I tweeted this clip yesterday. It represented a high point in my life so I thought I'd tell a little more.
2. North of our place on gravel there is what is called a "low water bridge." That means the bridge deck runs from low bank to low bank, about 8" above typical water level.
Creeks have more than one bank. They begin in the nearest upland.
3. Each range of creek flow erodes a certain height and width above creek bottom. The long low water flows make the creek as most people see it. The creek Americans build their houses beside, which is why they get flooded.
4. The maximum flood depth is where the road starts going downhill noticeably. Then it levels some, then drops again. That's another, lower flow, flood bank.
Then it goes down sharp, and down there is the water.
Well, down there is the low water bridge.
5. Training equines is about the hard parts. It's easy to get one that will do easy stuff. Crossing bridges, or crossing water, is a problem for equines. Horses too. Donkeys are different, but there are similarities too.
So you need to go that way.
So far we haven't whipped 🚂.
6. But she's accepted the low water bridge.
Typically once they accept something, it's done. We got this.
But the low water bridge also represents two high load stresses. Braking, and pulling.
7. That green strap you see wrapped around her behind in that video is the brakes. There are two black straps wrapped around the shafts, and when we go downhill they pull against her behind. You can see if you look close here. Black straps beside her.
8. Donkeys don't grow up pushing stuff with their butts. They basically do push stuff with their chests and shoulders, so that comes naturally, but the first time a cart pushes one on the butt - the first time you ever take a cart down any slope - it spooks them. Wazzat?
9. It's always a good plan to have them pull a cart down the most gradual slope you have handy the first time. They'll still take a few quick steps. She's way beyond all that now.
The low water bridge approach is the steepest hill on gravel she deals with.
10. It took her a few trips to really get holding back the cart, which is over a hundred pounds empty, down. It takes different footwork than they do unladen. She's got it now.
Pulling back up that steep hill on the other side is another issue. They've got to lean into the load.
11. If you think about pulling a weight on a cart - if you've ever worked a garden cart or a wheelbarrow - you know that the effort is less than the pounds of weight. If you lifted me straight up, you'd be lifting 180 pounds. If it took you five seconds to lift me a foot,
12. You've done 180 foot-pounds of work in five seconds.
But if you pulled me on a cart, you might not lift me at all. Might be flat ground. So there's some friction, and some rolling resistance, and other forces, but if you pull me a foot in 5 seconds, that's maybe 10, 20 ft/lb
13. Gotta go. But you see where this is going.
She had to hold me back on the downslope and do lots more work lifting me upslope.
And she was a princess. She saw the load coming and was ready for it downhill, and I did have to encourage her uphill (verbally, kiss noise), but 👑
Later.

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More from @homemadeguitars

18 Oct
OK, where was I...
When we took off away from the house it was my intention to ride the cart home. I've been injured in a cart wreck. This cart is safer. It's about how easy it is to get off. The objective is to remain upright in the event.
2. My intention all along was to walk her out, and ride home. I had a dream of walking her all the way into Richmond, but I wasn't committed to it.
Gotta cross the tracks. So far we haven't conquered railroad tracks. We'll get there.
But the tracks on this route are edge of town
3. I don't know how far these places are. Walmart is 7 miles by main roads. The shelter's about 5 I think. Orscheln about 7. Missy & I aren't to main roads yet. The way we went yesterday would be significantly farther, but all gravel roads. People drive slower on gravel roads.
Read 35 tweets
17 Oct
Language lesson part 1: ass
Language lesson part 2: arse
Language lesson part 3: asshole
Read 4 tweets
16 Oct
Here's how my day has been.
A little later.
We had to turn back early because I noticed my cart was ailing. All machines break down.
Read 4 tweets
15 Oct
A friend sent me this tweet and inspired me to get back to work on an essay pulling my plans and suggestions together into a coherent presentation. I've been working on it and am making some progress.
The Hillary tweet above was referring to this "prize."
But as I looked closer, Hillary was wrong. You can't "send your ideas..."
It appears that "new" ideas can only be found by established experts. I presume this means the new ideas will be very similar to the ones which are currently not working.
Read 6 tweets
14 Oct
Yesterday was the first day Missy ever drove on lines (reins).
Once they become skilled on lines, you can wrap the lines around your shoulder and neck, and steer them by twisting your torso. This frees up your hands to operate an implement. This is me long long ago. You can see the lines.
It behooves you to have taught the animals you're their friend before you wrap the lines around your neck. If things go wrong they can go very wrong.
Read 4 tweets
13 Oct
I used to ride behind Abe as much as I could.
Although it seems weird to me, I've only been at this serious donkey thing for about two years. I've had Abe since he was born, 19 years ago, but he was just your basic semi-ignored pasture pet.
It's the worst thing you can do to one Image
2. That picture is a year, and about forty pounds, ago. There was 40 pounds more of me. Think if you got up every morning and you picked up a forty pound bag of dog food, and you carried it around with you all day.
It's exactly the same.
I decided I needed to walk.
3. That's the only conscious change I made.
I am a repairman. I look at a situation and I automatically think, "How can I fix that?" Which leads directly to the question, "What's it supposed to do? Exactly? How does it work?
Read 17 tweets

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