I am starting a 3 yr old draft cross in harness. He starts not bad, pulls well, learning patience when stopping, BUT HE IS HORRIBLE TO HOOK up to the sleigh. I am using a seasoned horse, thank goodness, to pull with him. Any ideas?
Teach him the cue to "stand". A verbal cue. Then everytime he tries to move, make him move. Get his feet going and make him work, eventually he learns it's easier to just stand still. And only let him rest next to the harness. I'm not a draft horse/driving person but this is how I teach horses to stand still for mounting and it works pretty dang fast.
Thanks for the advice, I agree that it works well with saddle horses as I do that as well. He stands perfectly well for harnessing and anything else we do with him. It is just the actual hooking up the traces to the sleigh where he doesn't stand - no patience. If we send him away from the situation to make him work -that is actually a signal to the horses that they are done working as we are walking away from the sleigh, not to tell them that standing still is a better option.
When I am driving Green horses, once I hook them I make them stand for about 10 minutes hooked quietly before I go anywhere with them, I also hook my horses while they are tied to a gate so they can't move around alot because I mostly drive by myself. This has worked very well for me in the past and present. Hope it helps Posted via Mobile Device
I agree with the past posts. You need to go back to the beginning with teaching him to be patient and stand. I have worked with harness horses all my life from drafts to standardbreds. When I teach a young horse and even older ones to drive I take sessions where I hook and unhook and repeat each time making him stand longer and reward. If they act up or refuse to stand for any amount of time I would take time to get him to focus back on you and return to ground work. Make him think by "okay you wont stand your going to work. " When getting him to stand patiently have only the harness on no lines that way he acts up you can make him trot and work harder till he gets the point. You know natural horsemanship kinda thing lol Hard to explain what Im saying in a post But it does work. Good luck be safe and Love your horses! TRR