Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: East Central Illinois
I've got the bug to drive, too. IF I had the extra funds I'd be sending my 5 yo QH to my Amish farrier/trainer this winter and have him do the work, but times are a little tight.
I think you should look for a driving club and ask to join. They could give you hands-on advice.
I've gotten several books on the subject and even tried to drive my older QH, "Ro Go Bar" (1982-2009, RIP) when he was about 17 yo. He learned to pull our breaking cart if he was led. But the 2nd or third time I drove him in my buggy, my DD was with me and she noticed that he was really tensing up. She suggested stopping and unhooking him from the cart, and she was right, since he was becoming frightened by the noises behind him. EVERYTHING I read about driving is that your good riding horse needs to be IMMUNE to distractions if you drive him. It wouldn't hurt (for a novice, like myself) to spend a good year or so ground driving a driving horse candidate to be absolutely sure that he has no problem with noise or anything spooky behind him. I have seen a program recently about breaking driving mules and they will desensitize them by loose lunging with a rope attached to a lightweight bag, which they drag in both directions until they no longer are bothered by it. When you drive you put yourself directly behind their back legs/hooves, which are the MOST powerful defense mechanism for any horse. Please look for help and be careful. Good luck! I hope to be posting about my driving horse sometime in the future. =D
Last edited by Corporal; 10-25-2011 at 12:09 PM.