11-08-2011, 05:10 PM
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I'm still prepping my three year old mare for driving, but what I did was I went ahead and bought a driving harness and bridle. (it's more cost defective to buy both together, or atleast it was for me. I custom ordered my equipment though, so it may be different for you.) I started out with lunging her in the surcingle and her familiar nylon halter; gradually tightening it as we went, taught her to ground drive, and have just now introduced the bit. I'm using a jointed half cheek mullen mouth, and I bought a bridle (partially why I bought it customized) with detatchable blinders. I took those and the draw reins off, and am ground driving her with both her halter and her bridle on; but with the reins attached to her halter. I'll do this for 1-2 weeks until she'll work quietly with the bit in her mouth (she's a rather finnicky little horse, and we've had quite a few problems getting her to take a bit, so I don't want to overwhelm her) then I'll attach the reins to the actual bit.
So personally, I'd say just go ahead and put all of the normal stuff on your mini now, rather than totally switching equipment halfway through his training. It will be much less confusing.