ground driving and lunging equipment? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 3 Old 05-18-2011, 12:48 PM Thread Starter
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ground driving and lunging equipment?

Sour turned three this past month, and I've decided that it's time to start teaching her the basics of driving skills. Because she's an extremely sensative animal, I figured I'd ask you guys a few questions about tack before I go out and buy the things we need ^^

First of all, I want to be sure that she is well prepared for driving before we begin even ground driving. I figure that I'm atleast going to have to buy her a miniature horse Surcingle, and I've already got a fairly nice one picked out that looks like it would suit her well.

I am already getting her used to the feel of something around her girth by putting our miniature horse girths on her and tightening them gradually with a leather strap. Before hooking her up and ground driving though, I want to help her learn to be more supple and rounded on the lunge line- as right now she trots with her head held high and canters in a very stretched out way. How would I change that? (note to anyone who hasn't figured it out yet, she's a minature horse, so cannot in any form be ridden.) What types of ground work will help her round out? Can I use the surcingle to do this in any way? The local tack store recommended that I buy her a training cavesson and attatch rubber side reins, but it doesn't seem like that would help very much.

Once we have that settled, I'm going to need some form of bridle, right? That way I can begin ground driving her. What kind of bit does everyone recommend? I'm assuming that some sort of snaffle is the best option because it would be gentle, but can you drive a horse in a snaffle?

Thanks guys =]

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post #2 of 3 Old 05-27-2011, 10:57 PM
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I use side reins attached to a bridle when lunging and they help encourage her to put her head further down and collect up a little bit. I would start loose and gradually tighten them over several sessions until they have a light contact on the bridle. I don't think this would work with the cavesson as well as it would with the bridle, though.
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post #3 of 3 Old 05-28-2011, 01:14 PM
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When it comes to starting a horse ground driving I forget about headset completely. Others may disagree, but my main priority is that the horse learns to get used to the equipment and learn to steer first. IMO, the rest can come later. The training cavesson/side reins will help build the correct muscle and start encouraging her to travel more balanced, but doesn't do anything in regard to steering. I get my horse's used to the bit/bridle AND surcingle first, make sure they are very comfortable with lunging (including voice commands) and then I start to introduce the reins into it all. I start my horses with a snaffle, which is gentle, and yes you can drive with.

Please take my advice with a grain of salt. I was taught by an experienced driver, the horses I start ground driving end up happy working individuals that progress so the way I do it seems to work. But I know there are others out there who are much more knowledgable in this this field!
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