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breaking to harness... my plan, what do you think?

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  • Pvc training shafts horse cart harness
  • How to make a pair of training shafts

 
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    04-26-2012, 05:22 AM
  #21
Foal
pvc pipe

Hi, when you are using pvc pipe as shafts -especially the first time-use a peice of light weight string or thread that breaks easily. That way at the first HINT of trouble YOU can get rid of the shafts, before your horse gets spooked or scared. I would recommend thread.. that way if you step on the pipe.. it breaks.. the noise quits.. horse settles, and you can restart again in a few minutes.
As the horse grows more used to the noise you can lengthen the time its attached to the shafts.. but the first few times short , non scary is the way to go imo. Thanks
     
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    04-27-2012, 11:45 AM
  #22
Trained
Hi, that's a good idea too. What I was considering doing is basically setting up a quick release knot tying the shafts onto her harness or roller, on each shaft (with ends long enough that I can hold them), and if she has a panic attack they can be untied instantly, thus causing the shafts to fall away, and then be re-used. Baler twine is brilliant for quick release knots as long as there aren't any knots already in the twine so I was considering using that, or else I have a bunch of smooth rope that comes out of knots real easy.
     
    04-27-2012, 01:48 PM
  #23
Showing
I used young poplar as I have more than enough, or any tree that keeps most of it's branches up top, about 2-3" in diameter. I used about a 10" wide board (plywood) nailed on well behind the heels. You could use twine to suspend the narrow end across her back so the shafts hang down about mid way. (think Indian travois). Often the horse gets a little nervous when you ask for the first circle as it rubs it's upper hind legs, so keep the circles large at first or do slight turns then straighten. As you circle her you must move to her inside and this is a good time to practise setting your reins across her rump as you step over to the inside. You want to make this movement fluid.
     
    04-27-2012, 01:57 PM
  #24
Trained
I don't think we have poplar in Aussie-land but PVC pipe with the baler twine setup I'm envisioning after your description would work pretty well I think. I did have a lovely long branch off a eucalypt that would have made a fantastic training shaft but I wasn't thinking about harness training and burned it in a big bonfire last year :( oh well, there will be plenty of others. Hmmm... would pool noodles with broomsticks down the middle work? A bit of stiffness, but all padded so she can't hurt herself?
     
    04-27-2012, 03:30 PM
  #25
Yearling
Quote:
Originally Posted by blue eyed pony    
My filly is 16 months old in a week. That means it's 8 months until I start breaking her to harness, because I've pretty much always planned to break her to harness at 2 so I can enjoy her for a year and get a real good mouth established before I get on her back. I figure most horses' knees are closed by the time they're 2.5 so if I make sure she's only in very light harness work at a walk until then, she'll be right.

My plan starts with getting a roller and longlining with me walking the appropriate distance behind, using a PNH stick as a driving whip (it's what I have, because I use some methods to train her that depend greatly on timing and anything flexible throws out that timing). It's something I always planned on to get her mouth really great before I get on her back, so it's simple enough.

Next step is to find her a harness, one with enough adjustment that I will have a decent amount of time with her in it before I have to get a new one, and ground drive her with a tire on a quick release in case she freaks out. From there, something heavier that I can sit on, and from there, shafts.

From shafts, a light jog-cart, which I should be able to find easily enough as we are in an area with a lot of harness racers. From a light jog-cart, I have a lovely two-wheeled buggy that got smashed up a few years ago that I can repair, and that will be her final cart.

She's pretty sensible most of the time. I'm not going to be able to drive her in pairs because she's a nasty little witch to other horses when she's in season (mares!) and she's not much a fan of cars, but I can put a sign on the back of us advising drivers to please slow down... we don't really have anywhere much to drive a buggy that's not busy public road or pacing training track, and I'm not paying for membership to the track so that I can work with my baby as she will be too tall to be a pony trotter and not a Standardbred so won't be a pacer, so I'm not sure how I'm going to swing that one. Get her more used to cars, I guess, and go from there. Need to do it anyway as the roads are really the only place to ride around here.

One important caveat here - I am not an experienced driver by any stretch of the imagination! I think I've been at the reins once, with a dead broke and experienced QH between the shafts. What I'm thinking I'll do is get my mother to help with the harness side of things, so that my girl is properly educated. Yes, we do have a proper driving bit, no I will not be using it (it is a liverpool, so way too harsh if I mouth her correctly) - instead I am thinking of getting a half spoon for her. She will have to go in the softest driving bit possible, as she is intended to be a dressage horse and eventer when she's old enough.

AAAnywayy. That's my plan, explained in a very long and convoluted manner. Good, bad? What could I do better? What have I got planned out right? Is there anything in my plan I should absolutely not ever do?
the best way is to use a small car tyre with a small chain and attach it to the traces via the crew punch holes in the traces with a bit of thin rope with a quick release not the reason for the small chain around the tire is if it was the rope it would wear through and it wont get cought round your horses hind legs the other thing is ground work that is a must lunging and useing comands as walk trot and canter and your horse will get to understand the commands whilst on a lunge and with a caverson then you can long rein in the same mannor if you go in a clock wise direction make sure the out side rein passes round the left side hind quaters and the weight of the rein will help the horse as well and you do not need to apply much preasure at all on the rein and you will have a very well schooled horse I never carry a wip and I ask him to turn right I say right right right untill we have done a full circle or the sane with the left the lunge lines in length are 20 meters and with the horses gaits walk trot working trot extended trot if you have an old spinner (cart and your pony is going good you can have a canter or even pratice scurry driveing which is fun through cones with tennis balls on them I wish you the best on your training.
     
    04-27-2012, 03:44 PM
  #26
Trained
Thanks MichaelVanessa, we have pretty much established that a tyre is going to be the best way to go to initially teach her to pull but I do want to get her used to the shafts before I hitch her up to a cart, partly because the one we have has been smashed so many times by horses having horse moments and I think this time we restore it could well be the last... would be a darn shame if it was destroyed again as it was made in the 1800's and all the metalwork is original. It's one of the reasons I'm considering trying to get my hands on a jogcart off one of the harness trainers in the area. Better to destroy a newer cart than one with so much history.

So the question still stands - pool noodles with broomsticks stuffed inside of them as her first pair of "training shafts". Yay or nay?
     
    04-27-2012, 07:23 PM
  #27
Yearling
Quote:
Originally Posted by blue eyed pony    
My filly is 16 months old in a week. That means it's 8 months until I start breaking her to harness, because I've pretty much always planned to break her to harness at 2 so I can enjoy her for a year and get a real good mouth established before I get on her back. I figure most horses' knees are closed by the time they're 2.5 so if I make sure she's only in very light harness work at a walk until then, she'll be right.

My plan starts with getting a roller and longlining with me walking the appropriate distance behind, using a PNH stick as a driving whip (it's what I have, because I use some methods to train her that depend greatly on timing and anything flexible throws out that timing). It's something I always planned on to get her mouth really great before I get on her back, so it's simple enough.
Next step is to find her a harness, one with enough adjustment that I will have a decent amount of time with her in it before I have to get a new one, and ground drive her with a tire on a quick release in case she freaks out. From there, something heavier that I can sit on, and from there, shafts.

From shafts, a light jog-cart, which I should be able to find easily enough as we are in an area with a lot of harness racers. From a light jog-cart, I have a lovely two-wheeled buggy that got smashed up a few years ago that I can repair, and that will be her final cart.

She's pretty sensible most of the time. I'm not going to be able to drive her in pairs because she's a nasty little witch to other horses when she's in season (mares!) and she's not much a fan of cars, but I can put a sign on the back of us advising drivers to please slow down... we don't really have anywhere much to drive a buggy that's not busy public road or pacing training track, and I'm not paying for membership to the track so that I can work with my baby as she will be too tall to be a pony trotter and not a Standardbred so won't be a pacer, so I'm not sure how I'm going to swing that one. Get her more used to cars, I guess, and go from there. Need to do it anyway as the roads are really the only place to ride around here.

One important caveat here - I am not an experienced driver by any stretch of the imagination! I think I've been at the reins once, with a dead broke and experienced QH between the shafts. What I'm thinking I'll do is get my mother to help with the harness side of things, so that my girl is properly educated. Yes, we do have a proper driving bit, no I will not be using it (it is a liverpool, so way too harsh if I mouth her correctly) - instead I am thinking of getting a half spoon for her. She will have to go in the softest driving bit possible, as she is intended to be a dressage horse and eventer when she's old enough.

AAAnywayy. That's my plan, explained in a very long and convoluted manner. Good, bad? What could I do better? What have I got planned out right? Is there anything in my plan I should absolutely not ever do?
if she is quiet and listening to your comands I think perchase a second hand troting sulkey and save your old cart when she settles and for best.
     
    04-29-2012, 06:52 AM
  #28
Trained
Yeah I was thinking of doing that. The lovely old 1800's buggy is a lot heavier than a harness racing jogcart (even the training ones they use), but I think for her first cart something lightweight and relatively cheap is a good idea.
     
    04-29-2012, 05:59 PM
  #29
Yearling
Quote:
Originally Posted by blue eyed pony    
My filly is 16 months old in a week. That means it's 8 months until I start breaking her to harness, because I've pretty much always planned to break her to harness at 2 so I can enjoy her for a year and get a real good mouth established before I get on her back. I figure most horses' knees are closed by the time they're 2.5 so if I make sure she's only in very light harness work at a walk until then, she'll be right.

My plan starts with getting a roller and longlining with me walking the appropriate distance behind, using a PNH stick as a driving whip (it's what I have, because I use some methods to train her that depend greatly on timing and anything flexible throws out that timing). It's something I always planned on to get her mouth really great before I get on her back, so it's simple enough.

Next step is to find her a harness, one with enough adjustment that I will have a decent amount of time with her in it before I have to get a new one, and ground drive her with a tire on a quick release in case she freaks out. From there, something heavier that I can sit on, and from there, shafts.

From shafts, a light jog-cart, which I should be able to find easily enough as we are in an area with a lot of harness racers. From a light jog-cart, I have a lovely two-wheeled buggy that got smashed up a few years ago that I can repair, and that will be her final cart.

She's pretty sensible most of the time. I'm not going to be able to drive her in pairs because she's a nasty little witch to other horses when she's in season (mares!) and she's not much a fan of cars, but I can put a sign on the back of us advising drivers to please slow down... we don't really have anywhere much to drive a buggy that's not busy public road or pacing training track, and I'm not paying for membership to the track so that I can work with my baby as she will be too tall to be a pony trotter and not a Standardbred so won't be a pacer, so I'm not sure how I'm going to swing that one. Get her more used to cars, I guess, and go from there. Need to do it anyway as the roads are really the only place to ride around here.

One important caveat here - I am not an experienced driver by any stretch of the imagination! I think I've been at the reins once, with a dead broke and experienced QH between the shafts. What I'm thinking I'll do is get my mother to help with the harness side of things, so that my girl is properly educated. Yes, we do have a proper driving bit, no I will not be using it (it is a liverpool, so way too harsh if I mouth her correctly) - instead I am thinking of getting a half spoon for her. She will have to go in the softest driving bit possible, as she is intended to be a dressage horse and eventer when she's old enough.

AAAnywayy. That's my plan, explained in a very long and convoluted manner. Good, bad? What could I do better? What have I got planned out right? Is there anything in my plan I should absolutely not ever do?
hiya thanks for you message and I wish you the best of luck in driveing.
     
    04-30-2012, 07:13 AM
  #30
Trained
Thanks :) I think she should be a good harness horse, she's real quiet and doesn't spook at much and I think she'll be a natural, she moves her shoulders into pressure readily. She shoves the gates with her shoulders when she wants them to move. Harness or polo/polocrosse would suit her really well I think, I want her to showjump and event but whatever she likes best.
     

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