Ok. My horse is fully broke to ride, but I want to start him on driving. My grandfather is building me a cart, making the harness, etc.. No one that I know around here does this, so I need all the help I can get from you guys! Everything, from how to start,to fitting stuff properly.. Anything will help... I've tried to read up on it on Google... But it doesn't help.. So please help me!
I can't stress enough how important it is to work with someone who KNOWS what they're doing. Driving is much more dangerous than riding. Check out American Driving Society Scroll down to regions on the left, pick yours, and find a club near you. Then you can find a trainer in your area.
I actually taught my pony how to pull, but I know practically nothing about the actual sport of [driving] ..*shame shame*
Really a good all-around tip would be to be patient. Some horses freak out over certain things, others don't care at all. All horsese are different. I have no clue about the etiquette on driving but I thought I'd just throw that out there.
Like ^^ poster said, try talking (or reading) something from someone who really knows what they are talking about (the opposite of me in this case, lol).
Gosh, DustyTrail01, sounds like you are really pumped about driving. It is good to hear such enthusiasm.
BUT, listen to what CheyAut said....
Driving is sometimes very dangerous. Unless your grandpa is some sort of mechanical engineer, I wouldn't trust a homemade cart. Even professionally made carts can break apart, turn over, and you can get severely hurt. Carts must be made to be perfectly balanced for the comfort of the horse and the safety of the driver. Dimensions must fit the horse perfectly well.
Same for harnesses. They must be made so they are comfortable to the horse and must fit. Even well fitted harnesses are frequently adjusted during training and driving. If made out of the wrong materials, you could have a disaster on your hands.
You can buy a sturdy easy entry cart and a beginner harness made by professionals who really know what they are doing. I would really suggest you starting with that.
Driving is so much fun, but there is no reason to take a chance with your safety or your horse's safety.
There is probably someone in your area who can advise you. I have been driving for over a year and I still have a lesson from a trainer every week. I want to learn and I want to try to be the best at what I'm trying to do. After a year, I still have SO MUCH to learn.
Heyy Dusty Trail...
Driing is hard but when you get it all worked out, it will be fun, Driving can be fun and everything, but like they all have said it can be dangerous too, :)... so just be careful,
Let us no when you have him broke or started.
Home made carts (small two wheelers) are probably the most common ones here :P Easy to make, just keep them strong and check so that the weight in the... what's it called..wood or metal bars that go from the cart to the horse.. has the right weight, and make sure it's built to work well with those lines you ull with, from harness to cart (sorry, my english vocabulary with horsedriving is non-existant) so that the horse can pull easily and without strain or bad balance..
However.. to teach a horse how to drive takes knowledge and experience.. you don't teach a horse to be ridden without having ever ridden a horse before, not even if you have been riding but don't have help from someone experienced. It's at least as important to know what to do when you're driving. You're further away from the horse, you have less controle and you have wheels behind it; the horse can't think of how that affects things. If it gets scared it can try to jump or run in between trees. When you ride that's not a great problem but if you drive it's disaster. You simply need experienced people to get things right.
Tell your grandad to make sure the shafts fit snug to the horse ,too wide a horse panicking can get his leg over the shaft,and when you finish doing all the usual long reining etc etc,before you try to drive him harness him in the cart tie him up to a post and let him get used to the feel of the cart occasionly going out and moving the cart yourself with most horses you will find its when their stopping they get nervous when the britching strap pushes them