Next Step?

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Next Step?

This is a discussion on Next Step? within the Driving forums, part of the Riding Horses category

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    01-06-2010, 01:11 PM
Next Step?

I've introduced her a couple times now, but I have a 2 1/2 year old Clydesdale/TB filly named Eve -

We've done ALOT of desensatizing -

Quite a bit of long reining this past fall-

And some under saddle work for the last couple months - just walk, trot, whoa, turning and the basics.

I've never taught a horse to drive, but Eve makes the perfect subject since she's bred to pull and has such a laid back attitude. I don't have a coach or anyone with cart training experience, hense why I haven't gotten further with it already - just wondering, what's my next step? I have a cercingle and she's fine wearing it obviously, but what is best to start dragging behind her? A plastic PVC pipe maybe? Should I hold it myself for the first little bit so I'm able to drop it if needed and calm her? I don't *think* she'll spook, but I want our training to be safe and effective. I'd do some desensatizing work with whatever I deside to start dragging behind her first, but what do you guys think?
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    01-06-2010, 01:44 PM
Thats a nice looking cob,don,t use the plastic pipe there is no weight in it and if you carried then dropped it that would scare her,a wooden pallet or small log might be better something with a bit of weight to it ,make sure its far enough behind so she dos,ent step back on to it ,have you shown her plenty of traffic that's important as well before you cart her
    01-06-2010, 01:50 PM
I don't drive, but people at my barn do. They usually have a horse pull a tire
    01-07-2010, 12:11 AM
Eve is actually a Clyde/TB, not a cob...unless there's something I'm missing? And I thought of maybe using PVC because initially I'd like to drag it myself...I'll be mostly training her myself and she's big enough now that if she spooks because of it, I need to be able to drop it and calm her...then pick it back up and continue. I wouldn't be opposed to using a small log but I'd worry that a tire might bounce, no? I guess not if it's a normal size car tire being dragged in the snow. As for traffic I've hand walked her on the gravel road a bit so far, never bats an eyelash at cars passing...but it's a gravel road - not ALOT of traffic! I'll start taking her for further walks and see how she does.

Thanks for the advise! Anyone else?
    01-07-2010, 12:49 PM
I would go with the tire. The PVC doesnt have much weight so she probably wont even know its there. If you can get someone to help you though that would be a lot safer, especially with her size. I don't worry so much about the noise that it makes when it drags or the bouncing because these are all things that will happen with a cart. Are you planning to buy a cart in the future? What we do a lot too is practice dropping the cart behind them, because a lot of times we have to unhook a horse alone, and we don't want them to spook at the sound of the cart hitting the ground, so we have someone hold them and drop it a few times every day so that they don't even flinch when they hear it hit the ground.

I don't know how you would hold what she's dragging, my thoughts is if you're holding it she's not going to feel it anyway... maybe im just thinking wrong??

Also with the long lining do some tight turns, a lot of horses sometimes get resistant to doing tight turns once theyre hooked because of the feeling of the shafts on them. But in the pics she looks very comfortable long lining.
    01-07-2010, 01:35 PM
I do have an older spare tire, meant for my car, but it can be used as a training tool as well! I'm not thinking about pulling weight yet, that will come in time...but I don't have blinkers so I need her to be ok with being able to SEE what's following her. If I start by dragging a small log behind me, then she can see it's coming along with soon as she's ok with that part, then I'll have no issue with it being attached to HER. I want to start with a visual, then add the tactile. Make sense kinda?

I do have an extra set of hands for the initial dragging training...but she also has 2 horses where we board and I don't want to take up all her free time. But she'll help me if/when I need it.

I don't have a cart at the moment but would be interested in purchasing one - just don't want to put the cart before the horse! LOL (sorry, HAD to!) I'm not 100% sure that I have the skills to properly train her for this so I don't want to go and spend thousands of dollars before getting a good idea as to how she's going to react to the idea. I want to be able to drag objects behind her without a fuss and like someone mentioned earlier, ask her to drag a pallet (wood) so it has a bit of weight to it before looking at an actual cart for her.

I hear what you're saying about the noises behind them, we've done ALOT of tarp work and I have a wooden rail on my round pen that has to be dropped to get in/out and she's ok with that. I'll work on the loud noises behind her though, good idea!

Long reining she's a doll. Has walk, trot, whoa down pat, working more on back now. Haven't done it in about a month now though since we really started under saddle. Turning and such she's better on the long reins than in the saddle, been honing in on that lately. I'll start some tighter manouvers though, see how she does. She typically takes everything in stride. Even when she spooks, so far it's 2 steps sideways and a google eyed stare at whatever startled her. I'm not worried about her running off and dragging me, but it's different when you're on the ground instead of on top of them...just new to me!

Thanks for the input, always open to more suggestions!
    01-07-2010, 02:49 PM
Thats a good idea to let her see everything 1st, when you get a placid horse you will be surprised how easy they take to the cart,like almagron said practise turning her tight,i,m just starting a 7yr old mare that's only ever been used as a broodmare and she is the same temperament,as yours .some horses are a pleasure to train
    01-07-2010, 02:56 PM
If you want a cheap driving bridle to start her with a have a ton I could sell you one if you want. That way you don't have to spend a lot if it doesnt work out.

Also for a cart, when you get to it, you might want to start with one like we use to jog horses in. You can get them in wood or aluminum and you can also get them fairly cheap used. The most expencive one we have right now that we bought used is a natural wood finished one and I think it was 800 but it was in mint condition. Those are also easy to get on and off if something was to happen when you first start out. They look like this:

That's a more expensive brand though^^

But I know how expensive the actual driving carts can be (our racing sulkies can be quite expensive, we bought one that was like 5k, and ended up returning it because it had too much lift and all our horses starting pounding their knees when they raced!!). This would be a cheaper one to start if something were to happen. Also when we break you can sit on the seat sideways when you start with your feet only inches from the ground so its a really quick way to get off. But that's just a thought for you.
    01-08-2010, 01:04 PM
A wheel is better than a tyre to pull, as it has more weight to it. Use one from an average size car. Then I always move on to a pallet with wooden "shafts" attatched. Plastic poles arent really a good idea, as jimmy says; and if things go wrong and they break, they can shatter with a sharp pointed edge which could cause serious injury.
    01-08-2010, 02:43 PM
Originally Posted by lillie    
a wheel is better than a tyre to pull, as it has more weight to it. Use one from an average size car.
thats what we meant, I think you just have different termanology there

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