I just recently own a 11 year old haflinger and she has never been harnessed or anything even close to a cart.Is it to late to even try to teach to use a cart? I know haflinger can live to be Fifty but I do not Know. Please let me know!!!
No, its not too late at all. Plus, if you just recently acquired her, she may have been started when she was younger. Its very common for haflingers to be started to cart when they are 2 or 3 before they ever start riding training.
However, driving is one of those things you really need an experienced driver to help train you and the horse. Its really nice if they have a good experienced horse to hook yours with, that really helps teach them. I would like to get my haflingers trained some day.
It is never to late to train horses to drive! I prefer the older ones, they are not as stubborn generally, better ground manners also. Have you trained a horse to drive before? If not I will go along with everyone else and say get someone who is experienced to help you out with teaching her to drive. It is a lot harder than breaking a horse to ride. Getting the harness on is just like getting a saddle or a blanket on for the first time, just desensitize the horse to it. Go slow and let them get use to it, there is a lot of leather lines to tangle a horse that is freaking out in. Good luck, PM me with any questions. I can give very detailed instructions on teaching a horse to drive, but still suggest having someone experienced to help you out if you have never done it before.
I like halflingers, such sweet ponies, most are willing to do anything!
Get the harness on the horse and spend time getting the horse used to the feeling of you driving from behind and not on top. Having access to an enclosed area works best. Like mentioned having some one work with you is best.
You can get a new metal easy entry cart for $499. That would be a good training cart and the seat on them usually has a back which would be good for a new driver. Also don't buy an expensive cart until you get your horse broke to drive. Halflingers look nice in Meadowbrook carts for showing, you could get one for anywhere between $800 to $3500.
Driving is an awesome way to condition your horse and to stay off his back. We are in the process of breaking a 5yr old to drive. He had a horrific injury about a year and a half ago, that he is lucky to have survived. So with his back hoof the way it is we are very careful about how much weight and stress we put on him. Driving is going to be a great way to condition him and stay off his foot. He is sound and we want to keep him that way.
I trained Standardbreds for the track for over 20 yrs and now train alot of minis.
I highly recommend you get someone to show you. The harness takes a bit of practice to get used to how everything goes together and how to properly adjust.
I also HATE metal easy-entry carts. They ride rough and don't hold up over time. They are also quite uncomfortable unless you're on a perfectly level surface. They're 499 because that's what you're getting, a cheap cart.
If you really want to get into driving, get your horse trained by a professional and get a nice used Houghton cart or other well made cart. Your driving instructor can recommend lots of other companies that make well made carts.
Have fun. Hafies are one of the easiest to train to pull.