Training to drive - The Horse Forum
 
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post #1 of 7 Old 05-01-2009, 03:28 PM Thread Starter
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Training to drive

Hello fellow driving enthusiasts,

I have a 17 year old TB that I am working on training to drive (for fun, not for show). I have tried to find driving trainers in my area with no luck. All I have found is one person that is willing to show me how a harness will go on my horse. I do not have a cart yet, but I do have a harness. I haven't put it on him yet. I've just been ground driving him so far. I am not in a rush to get him trained so I am taking it nice and slow. Sometimes I wonder if he has been driven before (I got him from a rescue when he was 13) because he took to the ground driving so easily. I normally use a lounge caveson, surcingle and leather driving reins, but have used the driving bridle too. I do not need to carry a whip to get him to move out. He will walk, trot, halt and back by voice commands. He also stands nice and quiet.

I have one book on driving - Breaking & Training the Driving Horse by Doris Ganton as well as the DVD that goes along with it.

I have been training horses for more than 20 years (on ground and to ride) and am hoping that given time and patience, I can teach my TB to drive.
Anyone know of anybody that I can have help me train him in the Austin area? Any words of wisdom? Don't tell me not to do it, because that'll just make me want to do it more

Thanks

"The horse. Here is nobility without conceit, friendship without envy, beauty without vanity. A willing servant, yet never a slave."
-- Ronald Duncan
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post #2 of 7 Old 05-01-2009, 11:22 PM Thread Starter
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Also, what do you guys think of this carriage? It sounded like a good deal (and worth storing until Hoover is ready), but please correct me if I'm wrong. I'm going to look at it in person tomorrow afternoon. Anything I should make sure to ask/look for?
horse cart carriage
Thanks!
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post #3 of 7 Old 05-02-2009, 10:56 AM
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A word of wisdom - definately make sure your horse gets used to noise behind him when in the driving bridle as his sight is restricted and he may become more spookier as a result. Kick stones and pebbles around to make a noise behind him, also run your whip along the hedge when long-reining him on the roads etc - we had a youngster that was broken to drive except he really disliked the noise of the whip if it so much as touched the hedge by accident - he would run for a few yards it scared him that much :S also do lots of road work if you live somewhere where it's busy - the sound of cars coming from behind him may unsettle him with the blinkers on.

You may already know all this but it's better to be safe !! :)

Also get used to the reins going near his hind legs - if he ever got a leg over the trace (I don't know if it's called the same in the USA) he would panic more so if he wasn't used to things round his back legs.

Good luck and have fun!!! xXx

It's a lot like nuts and bolts - if the rider's nuts, the horse bolts! ~Nicholas Evans ♥ ♥ ♥
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post #4 of 7 Old 05-03-2009, 04:14 AM
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post #5 of 7 Old 05-18-2009, 08:24 PM
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I'm very interested in this thread as I too have an older TB cross mare that I've been ground driving for a couple months now...wondering how to make the transition from just me behind her, to a cart/wagon. One question - do blinkers really make a big difference? My mare is about as bomb proof as they come...she gets antsy in the saddle, but has never so much as shyed evermind spooked in the 7 years I've owned her...what are the benefits of blinkers? Thanks! And I'll be sure to follow this thread!

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post #6 of 7 Old 05-21-2009, 08:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EveningShadows View Post
I'm very interested in this thread as I too have an older TB cross mare that I've been ground driving for a couple months now...wondering how to make the transition from just me behind her, to a cart/wagon. One question - do blinkers really make a big difference? My mare is about as bomb proof as they come...she gets antsy in the saddle, but has never so much as shyed evermind spooked in the 7 years I've owned her...what are the benefits of blinkers? Thanks! And I'll be sure to follow this thread!
The blinkers restrict the horses vision so they wont be easily distracted by what is going on behind them or beside them as much. It makes them focus on what is going on in front of them.

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post #7 of 7 Old 05-26-2009, 03:50 PM Thread Starter
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Smile Training Cart

The training is going well. I put the bridle with blinkers on tomorrow. That's the last part of the harness to go on. We'll ground drive in the full harness for a few days and then if all goes well, I plan to see how he reacts to poles being dragged around by another person. If he does well with that, next comes hooking up to the poles and then I'll need a training cart. Any suggestions on where to get one? Also, where do people like to buy their driving equipment from?
Thanks!

"The horse. Here is nobility without conceit, friendship without envy, beauty without vanity. A willing servant, yet never a slave."
-- Ronald Duncan
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