What can I do to prepare for driving if I have a harness and cart?
   

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What can I do to prepare for driving if I have a harness and cart?

This is a discussion on What can I do to prepare for driving if I have a harness and cart? within the Driving forums, part of the Riding Horses category
  • How to prepare horses for driving
  • What to do when a harnessed horse backs up

 
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    12-11-2010, 07:33 PM
  #1
Foal
What can I do to prepare for driving if I have a harness and cart?

I have a Shetland Pony I am teaching to drive and am having a few problems. I have a complete harness and cart set. My trainer showed me how to train him to ground drive, but hasn't been able to get back for a while. I think he's ready to be hitched up to the cart, I just need someone to show me how. So I think now is the time to have him drag things. My question is how to actually attach the weight to his harness. I put a haystring through a pvc pipe and tied it into the tugs so that he could hear and feel something on the ground behind him, but if I want him to pull actual weight, will that damage the harness?
And I have another small problem with him. When he is in his harness and I cue to back up(pulling gently on the lines and saying "back up, back up, back up in a monotone), his hindquarters always shift to the right. I think this might be because he is more comfortable lunging counterclockwise, if that makes sense. Thanks!
     
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    12-11-2010, 07:44 PM
  #2
Green Broke
I'm not sure on how to hook things up to the harness I'd just like to mention that one time I saw someone trying to cart break a Curly horse. The horse had never had a cart behind her before. Never been near one while it was squeaking and moving. So I casually mention that they should walk the cart behind her before hooking her to it. They didn't listen and hooked her to it anyway. The horse went nuts and hurt someone and broke the cart. So before you hook the cart to him walk it behind him and even walk it with him between the shafts so that if he goes nuts he won't hurt anyone or ruin your cart.

I'm sorry if you already thought of doing this, it's the only advice I could think of.

As far as the backing up straight thing don't let him stop backing up until he does it straight. He'll learn that it's easier (doesn't take as long) to back straight then to back crooked.
     
    12-12-2010, 02:09 AM
  #3
Weanling
When you 1st put it in the cart,have her tied up and leave her to get used to the feel of it for a while.as for dragging things something like a wooden pallet is good ,tie the end of the traces to it with baling twine [you can cut it off easier if theres problems,and make sure the pallet[or what ever ]is a few feet behind so she dos;ent back up on to it,hope this helps sorry him
     
    12-12-2010, 03:37 AM
  #4
Weanling
Not sure if this will help but have you made sure that he is used to being touched round the back end and down his legs? You should make sure you do this before he is put to the cart as if you go down a slight incline with a cart that doesn't have a break the cart will move forward onto the horses back end slightly and if he has never felt the cart there before he will have a major problem. We came across this problem and the horse smashed the cart to bits as soon as he felt it behind him. With the backing up, Keep backing him in and out of the cart shafts until he can back up without touching the shafts. Agree with above regarding walking the cart behind him and also when he is actually in the shafts walk with him and bear the weight. Before we put the cart on we always put chain arrors behind them, one for the weight and two because they are noisy. Good luck keep us updated.
     
    12-12-2010, 10:26 PM
  #5
Foal
Thanks everyone! Pretty much answered my questions. So tying something to the traces wont hurt the harness? And even if he is backing crooked, make him keep backing until he's straight? Probably pulling on the side that his hindquarters are drifting, so as to push his head one way and his hind legs the opposite way, the way they need to go to straighten out?
And I have put the cart behind him and had him walk as I pull the cart, with him in the shafts just as if he was pulling, except he wasn't actually hitched up. He didn't mind at all.
     
    01-05-2011, 01:08 PM
  #6
Foal
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ilovemyarab    
Thanks everyone! Pretty much answered my questions. So tying something to the traces wont hurt the harness? And even if he is backing crooked, make him keep backing until he's straight? Probably pulling on the side that his hindquarters are drifting, so as to push his head one way and his hind legs the opposite way, the way they need to go to straighten out?
And I have put the cart behind him and had him walk as I pull the cart, with him in the shafts just as if he was pulling, except he wasn't actually hitched up. He didn't mind at all.
hi hope your getting on okay its not so much learning to pull, its learning to hold the cart back with the breeching , you must do this by holding the cart back for him when you first go down hill , most ponies love to drive good luck.
     

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