I did 15 minutes of walking (10 times in each direction and two figure eights) then five minutes of trotting, 10 more minutes of walking, then tacked up to ground drive and ground drove her for about 5 minutes at a walk, just working on stretching out just like on the lunge so she didnt think it was a lunge-only exercise.
Long and low, down around round, forwards and up and on is a great way to think of the steps to training. Thanks so much for sharing that. We'll definitely be taking a few steps back with all of this and to lots of refining before progressing again in the cart.
I was really hoping to drive her this year in our parade (February 23rd) and have been preparing for months. Do you think its an ok idea to do that? I know she's still fairly green but she has never tried to spook or move out faster than I ask her to under cart, even when around cantering horses that are making a fuss and children, and she's pretty solid when it comes to ignoring loud sounds/distractions and listening to me, but I definitely wouldn't want to overwhelm her. She has a super solid halt as well.
What do you think? And if I can't drive her, what do you think of ground driving her in just her saddle and driving bridle (would that look to weird to onlookers? Haha) with a halter on underneath and maybe a leadrope with me just in case I need to lead her?
If I did drive her, she'd have a halter on underneath and I'd have a leadrope in case someone needed to lead her or hold her if she got jittery, and if absolutely needbe we could unharness her and load the cart (its super light) into our hay wagon that will be in the parade as well, or switch her out with our steady-eddy shetland gelding so that he could pull and she could walk. He's been in dozens of parades and spooks at nothing. I'd also be sure to wear gloves/a helmet of course, since this would be her first outing under cart.
I think ground driving is a good compromise to get her some exposure but not have her hitched in case something goes wrong. Leading a hooked horse is not that easy. I saw 6 men holding a scared large pony and they couldn't hold it when it took off.