Originally Posted by churumbeque
the pipe is not for weight it is for her to get used to the feel of something stiff along her sides and bumping her. I highly reccomend this step, I used some closet poles I had. If it falls who cares let it scare her. That is the whole purpose is to work out the kinks before you hitch a cart. I am sure there will be more scary things than a pipe falling. Also drop the pipe next to her and get her used to the noise. I think a tarp on her would be more scary. Get some long lines at least 30 feet and longline her. The reins should be low while training and not up on a higher ring except when pulling something. I found that in line driving I couldn't walk fast enough so my horse was not taking as long as stride and longlining my speed didn't matter and I could get her to do figure 8's and trot, walk and woe by voice. I also had a drag made but not nesseccary but it was inexpensive to do and I can trot while longlining and watch her pull it and it does make her work more. In the cart I have not trotted yet for safety as she has only been hitched 3 times and I am usually alone..So the drag has come in handy for me
Thank you for your advise! I actually had extra hands today so I practised some long reining while my best friend pulled a car tire on a lunge line behind her horse. I warmed Eve up, made sure she was listening and doing everything I asked, which she was, then we just continued while my best friend walked back and forth around us so Eve could see the other horse pulling it without a fuss. After about 15-20 minutes of this, Eve was barely even looking at the tire as it passed both coming at us and going past us the same direction we were going. So my best friend put her mare away and came out to help me...
I had my reins through the lowest holes on my cercingle, looped the lungeline with the tire attached through the top. Put the tire to the inside and my best friend on the outside holding it taught so that Eve was pulling the weight of the tire, but it was easy as pie to let go and be free of the tire if needed. Eve didn't bat an eyelash. Just plodded along, whoa-ed when I asked, turned around nice and tight to do the same in the other direction. So we changed the tire around so it was on the inside again and went the other way...only time she moved away from it was when my best friend was dragging it up beside her again to hitch it to the other side. Even then it was 2 steps sideways, a good look, and a "oh, that thing again".
I can't express how proud I am of her. I know we still have a long way to go, and I'm glad someone else agrees with me that something like a PVC pipe is an ok thing to use, because I think I'll have more issues with something bumping her side than the weight of what she's dragging. Her TB side makes her hypersensative to touch, which is really nice when I need her to get over, but I think it may take a little more work with regards to shafts on a cart. I'll see about dropping some logs behind/around her tomorrow and see what she does. I don't think that'll phase her in the least though...LOL!