I have a 7yr old pony before I sold him for 3 years I have tired to get him under cart. He will drag a sand drag, he will have PBC pipe next to him as shafts, he ground drives like a pro, but he will not pull cart. Everytime we drop the shafts down he bolts, he will run anyone and everyone over to get away from it. We have tried backing him up into them, trying to trick him into it. Nothing has worked. Now that I have him back after 2 years of being in Flordia im going to try again. He still ground drives the same and everything. He still pulls a sand drag. What can I do to ensure that he will pull? My driving instructure couldn't even get him in the cart and she is a driving champion who trains and shows driving Morgans all over the country.
Are you using blinkers? How often? Are you using them with all of your driving prep work? Is he confident in working with you when he can't see you?
When ours are ready to hook, the first thing we hook them to are Indian Shafts.
Basically they are just two shaft-sized trees, nailed together with a couple two by fours. We can't afford to go out and buy a new cart if one of them bails and tears it up. This inexpensive design can be torn up and it isn't going to be a b***h to replace.
You hook him with these just like you would a cart, and then long line him or lunge him. And if he bolts, hopefully after he is hooked, you just let him work it out for himself while he is working. Do not let go of your rope. Wear gloves, and lunge him or long line himlike it was any other day.
You might want to try a light sedative or even a calming agent for the first few times if he is working well unhooked and you are ready to hook him, and he is ready of course. I know many people are very much against it, but we have had great results.
When you go to pull the cart to him, are you coming OVER him, or are you pulling it up behind him? It is kind of hard with the Indian shafts, but it is not in your best interest to come down on him from the top. Just pull it straight in. Don't waste the time and energy by bringing it over him. Pull it straight in.
If he starts to get bully and tries to bust his way through, I'd honestly say put a stud chain over his nose and make him stand there until you have him securely hooked. Once he is, don't let go of that rope, but let him work it out. Ponies are tough little devils.
Stud chain, lip chain, twich. I have tried it all, he still bolts. He has done everything but had a cart literally on him. We have pulled it behind him and blahblahblah. He has blinders, no blinders, ect.
Well, then I can't think of anything else that could help you. Sedation and/or admitting defeat are about the only things that come to mind. My first post was what I would try with him.
Or you could hook him with his nose to a big wall, like the side of the barn. Where you going to bolt now, sucker? To the sides or backwards over the cart(which is where the inexpensive indian shafts would come in). Be careful.
Can you use a lighter cart? I don't know what type of cart your using, but maybe a lighter cart will be less noticeable to him. When he bolts can you prepare for it and run with him until he calms down, or is that unrealistic? (Too wild, too fast, uncontrollable?) If not maybe have a lunge line attatched to his bridle and when he bolts let him run until he is calm.
You didn't say whether he kicked back at the cart or not, I wouldn't suggest using the lunge line if he is going to ruin the cart.
My first thought would be to use as light a cart as possible, like a jog cart. If he is still a little crazy, then I would try either running with him until he tires out or lunging him or long lining in the cart (it would probably have to be outside with a long lunge line or even long lines). Keep enough slack so that if he tries to bolt you have room to give him without letting go.
I've never tried lunging or long lining with a cart attatched, but it might be just what he needs. Your instructor probably told you this or you probably already know this, but make sure when you hook him, he's far enough away from the cart to do minimal damage, until you know he's safe to drive with. Also, if you don't use a check I would introduce one while you ground drive (very loosely, and tighten it slowly), that way when you try to introduce the cart again, it's harder for him to buck or kick back at the cart. I'm sure your instructor can help you with the check, if you don't already know about it. =]
Also, has he seen other horses driving? Try following another horse and driver around for a half hour, watch for a few minutes, then walk behind them, beside them, in front of him. So he can get the idea. I'm sure you've probably done this, but maybe try it again a few times.
When I got him and I first got into 4h (6 years ago) we started right up with driving. We went to driving meetings seminars and such before I sold him he was ground driving for 3 years. We have done everything with him. Pulled a cart beside him. Behind him, infront of him. He has seen soo many horses pull cart he doesn't even care to looka t them now. Its just when I want him in the actual cart shaves. He bolts. He has never kicked at a cart.