|He makes cute faces.|
Driving is not too different than riding in the sense that you use the reins to control the horse in the same way you do when riding. The main difference is that you are behind the horse(or mini in this case) and it is consequently more vocal and more based on the reins rather than seat. It was fun to be able to control the cart on my own this time, and although I had a bit trouble at first I got used to it.
The whole group, which consisted of five mini and driver pairs, drove around a dressage arena a few times to stet out. Then we went down a path that led to a cones ours, which each of us drove one by one. I got lost going around it at first because I hadn't walked it before, and also knocked down a few cones, but made it through.
After each of us had gone, we all drove all around the trails for quick a bit---at least an hour. One of the funnest parts was when we let the minis canter full speed up the steep hills. I enjoyed doing that, and it was pretty easy to get Shadow to slow down at the top since he is used to canter to the top, then slowing down once he reaches the top. It was an enjoyable experience.
I have also been riding Pistachio several more times. He has been improving a lot since the first time I have first ridden him. While he had started out stiff and fast because he is mostly driven and not ridden, he is now much more relaxed, supple, and smooth. He doesn't try to take off and circles much more easily now. He even successful does leg-yields, though he us much better to right. Nevertheless I can see and feel an huge difference. Just being worked under saddle loosens up his muscles. It's a great feeling to ride a much more sideways leg yield with less resistance after only several rides. He even crosses his legs over very well, according to Gretchen and Mom. I could see him doing at least lower level dressage.