When do I start hitching up to things - Page 2
 
 

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When do I start hitching up to things

This is a discussion on When do I start hitching up to things within the Driving forums, part of the Riding Horses category

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        02-23-2014, 04:33 PM
      #11
    Started
    I wish I had been able to save the photos off my old phone!!! I had every step documented....
         
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        02-23-2014, 09:36 PM
      #12
    Foal
    Oh, so I have been lumping it all together. I have been doing both then. :)
         
        02-23-2014, 09:42 PM
      #13
    Foal
    Nancy,

    I hate it when I have to change phones for things just like that!!! I finally am able to transfer stuff off my phone now and I know how to get it to do all the things I want it too. Just in time for us to have to change phone plans and that means, I have to get a new phone, they won't let me take mine. GRRRRRR! Wish we didn't have to change, but my husband works 12 hour days frequently and our phone company doesn't work out at his job. I've been with AT&T for 20 years, but off to Verizon we go.

    Okay that was a tangent. : )-

    I do the long lining when I trot her on the lunge lines. I can't keep up!
         
        02-25-2014, 05:28 PM
      #14
    Foal
    I believe much of those questions come down to personal opinion and differences in individual horses.

    I choose to start horses in an open bridle, just because I don't want them to ever be afraid of what might be chasing them. You never know when you are going to need it. I will then transition a horse into blinders for driving it busy areas, just to keep focus.

    I do not buy young horses, just to avoid temptations to start anything before the horse is fully developed. So I've got no advise on age.

    I started my kids out with just a bar that I was pulling on behind them while driving, so just a little pressure, then we moved up to dragging a tire. We did start out with someone leading the horse and someone else behind and ready to unclip the quick releases to the tire if the horse panicked.

    My horses both rode before teaching them to drive, so ground driving was just transitioning those cues across. The draft mare probably only ground drove 10-15 times before her first tire pull. She took everything in stride so we were able to progress with her at a fairly quick rate. The QH mare took a lot more time, she was a western horse, not accustomed to moving into bit contact, so she had a few issues that had to be handled first. I would just say stay at each step until the horse can be calm and trusted with anything you throw at her at that stage. We ground drove at both a walk and trot, over obstacles, lots of turns and lots and lots of just standing still. I expect the horse to stand still for hitching, adjusting any straps, and me climbing into the cart, so they need to understand that standing is a command that is to be obeyed until I give another command. And a good bit of this time was done in the full harness to get the horse comfortable with the feel of all of the new straps going every which way.

    My biggest suggestion would be to have someone knowledgeable there to help you for those first few times hitching to anything new. You will not be able to control the horse and release the drag/cart at the same time.
    nitapitalou likes this.
         
        02-25-2014, 06:33 PM
      #15
    Started
    Well, I don't know where the "LIKE" button has gone, but I like SG's post!

    Nancy
         
        02-27-2014, 12:25 AM
      #16
    Foal
    Thankfully, I do have someone to help me. There are so many steps that you need another set of hands! I have been doing all sorts of stuff with my filly and have been not only starting the driving training but also the riding. I've been on her about 5 or 6 times now with phenomenal results. She is a very curious and willing girl. There is so little that unsettles her, knocking on wood as I type that, just in case she looses her brain tomorrow. I feel very blessed!!

    I appreciate all the input. I can't wait for my harness to get here, so I can start doing some of the ground driving with it on her.
         
        02-27-2014, 08:26 AM
      #17
    Started
    Open bridle versus noseband: One good reason I heard to use a noseband in high-impact or high-risk situations is because the noseband reduces the potential gape of the jaw and therefore lowers the risk of a broken lower jaw if the horse falls on its face. The lower jaw is relatively fragile. Breaking it is not fun and involves expensive surgery, or euthanasia. A decade ago my parents had a stallion who broke his jaw when a young colt got into his enclosure when the electric fence had an (as yet undetected) fault. The jaw was pinned because the horse was much loved and there was a vet in the family. Broken jaws aren't all that common, but some showjumping associations at least used to prescribe nosebands for that reason. Educating to cart, your horse can end potentially up in a tangled heap if something scares it, so I'd use a noseband at least until the horse is less green.

    Blinkers / blinders:
    Opinions will vary, but my father has been a harness reinsperson for thirty years and never uses these when educating a young horse to cart. He prefers to make the horse very familiar with the cart and equipment - letting it sniff all the gear, rubbing the gear on the horse, etc, until it's not bothered. Then he drops the shafts over their back from the side at first, both sides, and when they're happy with that he drops them into the shafts for a few seconds, lifts them again, increases the time. When the cart first goes on, it's only placed in the loops, not tied in, so it can be quickly disconnected if the horse startles, and there's always a "babysitter" walking at the horse's shoulder, and the reinsperson long-reining from the back. Sitting in the cart happens progressively once the horse is good to hitch to the cart with straps and all. At no time does my father hide anything from the horses, he just progressively familiarises them with everything until they're happy. All this goes on in a safe environment away from traffic and fences and hoo-haa. Blinkers have only been used a few times in all these years as a temporary educational measure to stop harness horses from jumping shadows at night-time track meetings.

    Age: The earlier you familiarise a horse with equipment, the better. This is not the same as working a horse hard, which needs to be avoided until the horse matures - and conditioning for work is a gradual process. Horses can be taught to accept a cart as yearlings, and have a saddle strapped on them as yearlings, although the rider doesn't happen till later! If something is "old hat" to a horse, it will be so much calmer.

    Your context isn't harness racing, and you may have "scarier" carts and buggies, and want to drive horses as teams. But quite a bit of the underlying groundwork is the same.

    Oh, and doing courses and witches' hats and strange surfaces etc when long-reining is an excellent idea: Have your horse familiar with all that BEFORE you hitch it to a cart. It much reduces the risks of bad experiences.
    greentree likes this.
         
        02-27-2014, 05:29 PM
      #18
    Foal
    As she is only 2 1/2, I have been going pretty slow with things, figure I have plenty of time. When I have been on her, it has been bareback, as I am not the smallest of riders, and for very, very short periods of time.

    So far, I have been dragging things along side her and having my son drag things behind her. The only time I have run into issues with this, is when I am pulling along the hay wagon and only because she wants to try to eat out of it. LOL!
         
        04-02-2014, 05:56 PM
      #19
    Foal
    Hey.
    I ground driving long and hard with my horses.
    When I feel the horse is ready so I start to connect a pull cord on one side of the harness pull cord I keep in my hand while I ground driving and now and then I let the rope hit the legs of the horse so the horse learns this and not be afraid of the rope, then when it goes well I put on the second rope, and repeat this until you can.
    The next step for me and my horse is that I have made ​​a Skakel of round timber with a snap-hook in the end I attach the harness and I repeat it all again.
    Ground driving is everything instructive and fun.
    What I let the horse drag first was a drag manufacture of wood that is used to pick the stone in from the fields, now the fun begins, now that the horse is accustomed to this so will check on how much benefit you can have from his horse.
    The Lord was two years old when I started training him, I certainly have not driven with him yet trats that he is three years old, I prefer that he is well ground driving and the fun we have on the field together.
    Attached Images
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    michaelvanessa, greentree and SueC like this.
         
        04-02-2014, 09:49 PM
      #20
    Started
    Wow Lorden, very cool. Love the horse. Super photo!
         

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