Teen Forum Moderator
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: South East Texas
What a cutie patootie!
I've only 'restarted' one gelding, and he had been out of work for 6+ years. I actually wasn't even sure that he KNEW how to drive (turns out he did, but was super green) because his original owner has said 'we bought him at auction and they said he drove' so I started him from scratch. The fact that Ham already knew/knows how to ground drive is promising though.
So start with the ground driving, and make sure he remembers 100% what to do with that. Ground drive him around cones, over tarps, through mud, through water, around scary things... and make sure he has a very good 'Woah.' He should ground drive with contact and respond nicely to light commands. If not, start from there.
Once he is doing that well, let him drag a tire, wagon, or something else that will make noise as he pulls it. If he still does well with that, go ahead and hook him up and lead him with the cart (have a second person walk with you just in case). Then drive him from behind the cart. If he's still not worried in the least by all of this, have someone walk beside him with a leadline attached to him while you get in and drive him. Do this until you're confident that he's going nicely, then let him off the leadline. If he ever acts like you've pushed him too far, back up a step and do it until he's 100% comfortable, then reintroduce.
If he was trained properly, chances are he remembers everything and just needs some rust cleared. The gelding I restarted remembered almost everything but was a little stiff turning while he re-learned how to adjust to the breadth of the cart, but once he figured that out he was good as gold again.
Everyone in your life is meant to
be in your journey, but not all of
them are meant to stay till the end.