Hi! My name is Christine and I live in New Port Richey, Florida (NW Tampa Bay). Several months ago we acquired a mini, his owners were looking to re-home him. Anyway, since he was acquired through a friend, we don't know much about him other than he's a gelding, approx., 4 years old, does not like to be caught and has a very big attitude in that fat little body. He has apparently never been given a "job". We would like to have him trained to drive. I have been searching the web and publication classifieds for trainers here in Florida with not much luck. Anyone out there have any leads or suggestions. Thank you so much!!
First, I would step back and get that pony in shape
No pasture, only dirt lot and controlled feed. Get him moving every day, start with small runs, 5-10 minuets, working up to hour long sessions. Get him liking to be around you, bring cookies if necessary. Some are naturally inclined to be around you, others will only come to see if you have food.
Make sure he's not spooky. Do bags, tarps, dogs, mail boxes, cars, things that go rattle and bump. Not every horse is made for the cart, nor is every pony. Some would look amazing in front of one, but don't have the temperament or head for it.
Then, see how he takes to ground driving. Does he refuse? Is he difficult? Even the smallest of miniatures can wreak havoc on your cart if they start kicking.
It's better to evaluate and prepare before you spend a lot of cash on a trainer. Good luck!