Question about driving???
   

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Question about driving???

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    • 1 Post By rookie
    • 1 Post By SlideStop

     
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        05-28-2014, 05:51 PM
      #1
    Foal
    Smile Question about driving???

    Hi! Iím a new Horse Forumer and I was wondering a few questions specifically about driving.
    What are the benefits?
    How long did it take you to train your horse to drive?
    Has anyone made their own cart/harness?
    I have a 5 yr old Morgan (broke to ride) and I think driving is cool (I have never driven before). THANKS!
         
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        05-28-2014, 06:04 PM
      #2
    Started
    If you are serious about driving I would send your horse to be trained by a professional. As much as in riding a breaking a horse to saddle, breaking a horse to harness is not for a green driver.

    The advantage is that driving can be wonderfully relaxing. It is flat out fun and you can take your friends with you! The disadvantages are that a cart and harness can be expensive, and it can be difficult to find a "safe place". While it depends on where you live, as a general rule driving on the road is not for the faint of heart. People in cars are idiots and horses in a harness can't move out of the way as easily.
    Foxhunter likes this.
         
        05-28-2014, 06:07 PM
      #3
    Foal
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by rookie    
    If you are serious about driving I would send your horse to be trained by a professional. As much as in riding a breaking a horse to saddle, breaking a horse to harness is not for a green driver.

    The advantage is that driving can be wonderfully relaxing. It is flat out fun and you can take your friends with you! The disadvantages are that a cart and harness can be expensive, and it can be difficult to find a "safe place". While it depends on where you live, as a general rule driving on the road is not for the faint of heart. People in cars are idiots and horses in a harness can't move out of the way as easily.

    THANK YOU! I am not serious about driving really, I just want to have fun!
         
        05-28-2014, 06:23 PM
      #4
    Green Broke
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by tori22    
    THANK YOU! I am not serious about driving really, I just want to have fun!
    Whether you want to drive for fun or for show safety needs to be PARAMOUNT! Some of the scariest wrecks I've seen have been driving horses. If you are both brand new to driving you really should seek professional guidance, especially when it comes down the the actually dragging something. You can probably teach your horse to ground drive using a simple surcingle and some driving reins.

    As far as making your own cart and harness... Probably not the greatest idea. The slightest miscalculation could cause some serious discomfort to you horse. Once you learn about proper harness fit then maybe reconsider it. In the mean time buy a used harness and cart.
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        05-28-2014, 06:40 PM
      #5
    Started
    Even if you want to drive for fun, take lessons for you and your horse. Wrecks in harness tend to be much bigger than under saddle ones. Ie, I have met folks who have had horses and carts flip over on them. One lived and is thankful they were wearing a helmet at the time. The other person died because a horse and cart landing on you is not small deal. When done correctly and safely its great.
         
        05-28-2014, 10:28 PM
      #6
    Weanling
    Driving can really get your horse in shape, and used to the outdoor world (away from a barn and horsey friends).

    I sent my mare to a trainer, and he trained her to drive in 2 months. She already had good ground manners though, and had been desensitized to quite a bit, so half of his work was already done. She's also a very quiet mare-for the most part!-and acted like she'd done it every day of her life.

    Unless you're a leather worker with years upon years of experience, I wouldn't recommend making your own harness. Same with a cart. Don't get me wrong, it can be done. But personally, I want to drive something that I KNOW won't fall apart!

    There is actually more to driving than just hitching up the horse and making it pull you around. Many people drive horses like they are doing dressage. My trainer did not train my mare in this way- he just taught her to pull the cart around without spooking at everything. Training your horse to move correctly while pulling a cart is more difficult, and takes more time. Driving IS a very neat sport, but one that you need to be completely competent in before embarking out on your own. I only drive in an arena, because I KNOW I wouldn't be able to handle a situation if one arose outside of the arena. There's nothing wrong with this, and maybe someday I'll leave the arena. But as of right now, there is no safe place for me to drive, so I stay in the arena.
    It's funny to see how different people approach driving. I let my boyfriend drive my mare in the arena one time. He took the reins, slapped her back with them, and yelled, "HEEYAH!" Thank god my mare was understanding, and didn't take off. She just gave him this look like, "Ugh! Amateur!" Lol! I had to tell my boyfriend, "Never do that again. Just take the reins up, and tell her to walk on." He looked quite sheepish after, and said, "Oh. Sorry. That's how they do it in the movies..."
    Good training is essential for both the horse AND the rider.
         
        05-29-2014, 01:20 AM
      #7
    Foal
    Driving is fantastic fun but yes, it has a dangerous element that is not present in riding. This is why driving horses have been distinctly bred for their forgiveness, people orient personalities, and less reactive tendencies.

    Making your own cart and harness would not be something I would recommend. A good harness and decent cart will not cost much more than a good saddle. Set aside at least $1,000. I would avoid used harness, a new harness is not super expensive and will not have been stretched and stressed. A gently used cart is OK but have the axle checked.

    What are the benefits?
    Benefits are multiple, a horse that is capable of going down the road confidently alone. Better freedom of gait, more bombproof, a way of taking friends out, and many horses prefer to not have to balance a rider.

    How long did it take you to train your horse to drive?
    My horse is an OTSTB trotter, and typically we have about 30 days to have a horse ground driving and pulling a cart with no one in it. We spend another 30-60 days with 2 "side walkers" for safety and I would say 90 days to have a horse with basics.

    Has anyone made their own cart/harness?
    No and I would NOT recommend it.

    I have a 5 yr old Morgan (broke to ride) and I think driving is cool (I have never driven before). THANKS!

    Morgans make nice driving horses, I would enlist the help of a knowledgeable trainer and take the time to learn properly and safely how to drive.

    Even if you are a "pleasure driver only" it is worth the effort to trot down the road in a cart with your horse.
         
        05-29-2014, 02:15 AM
      #8
    Foal
    Driving's great!

    My Haflinger is a rides and drives, and when I got him, he was mainly a drives with a little bit of riding work. I spent lots of time on the riding work, and a few years ago, I was feeling bored and wanted to do something nobody else on the ranch could do. I'd already learned to drive from my barn owner, and the owner of the mini we had briefly at the ranch and my boy knew how to drive (in his former life not too long ago, he was a professional carriage horse). So I got a harness and started ground driving for 3 months.

    And then we got a cart and started driving. Now, I love it. I can drive or I can ride. It's good stuff. I got hurt a few times (non horse related stuff) like when I fell down the stairs and hurt my back just after I started ground driving. I couldn't ride because it hurt way too much to put a saddle on, but I could harness and that let me take my horse out to do fun stuff with him. And then there was the time my mare bucked me off and I couldn't ride, but I could hitch and drive. Keeps me from going crazy. Besides, having a driving horse that knows what he's doing and is well nigh unflappable has turned out to be a great benefit to me as a trail rider, he's just got so much confidence in himself (because if he can handle being part of a 4 in hand with lots of noisy people on board, he can handle anything)

    But if you've never had driving experience, and you have a horse who's never had driving experience, you really need hands on training. Both of you. Driving's not for the faint of heart or something you can mess around with if you don't know what you're doing.

    Better off getting good quality harness than trying to make your own. It's like tack -- heck, it is tack -- you need good stuff to succeed at what you're doing. Driving around in cobbled together harness or poorly made stuff can be a real problem.
         
        05-29-2014, 02:46 AM
      #9
    Super Moderator
    In the UK to insure a horse for driving costs as much as insuring a horse for racing or eventing so that shows the risks are high.

    Fun or competition a horse needs to be broken. Or realty to harness. Making a cart is also not for the novice. It has to be balanced and the correct height for the horse.
         

    Tags
    american morgan horse, driving, morgan, morgans

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