Driving my Gelding??
so i really wanna drive my Quarter horse gelding ive owned him for 4 years, hes 13 years old and 16hh i have the harness and it fits him pretty well but the wither it needs to get one more hole in it. and he does well with it on and doesnt seem to care with it on. but i was wondering how to get him to pull a cart? he was a ranch horse before i got him. and i turned him to a trial horse.
should i get a cart now or what?
I'd teach him to ground drive, first.
how? the set i got doesnt stay up very well it looks like you have to set the cart to him first.
I've got the bug to drive, too. IF I had the extra funds I'd be sending my 5 yo QH to my Amish farrier/trainer this winter and have him do the work, but times are a little tight.
I think you should look for a driving club and ask to join. They could give you hands-on advice.
I've gotten several books on the subject and even tried to drive my older QH, "Ro Go Bar" (1982-2009, RIP) when he was about 17 yo. He learned to pull our breaking cart if he was led. But the 2nd or third time I drove him in my buggy, my DD was with me and she noticed that he was really tensing up. She suggested stopping and unhooking him from the cart, and she was right, since he was becoming frightened by the noises behind him. EVERYTHING I read about driving is that your good riding horse needs to be IMMUNE to distractions if you drive him. It wouldn't hurt (for a novice, like myself) to spend a good year or so ground driving a driving horse candidate to be absolutely sure that he has no problem with noise or anything spooky behind him. I have seen a program recently about breaking driving mules and they will desensitize them by loose lunging with a rope attached to a lightweight bag, which they drag in both directions until they no longer are bothered by it. When you drive you put yourself directly behind their back legs/hooves, which are the MOST powerful defense mechanism for any horse. Please look for help and be careful. Good luck! I hope to be posting about my driving horse sometime in the future. =D
Ground driving is harnessing him (not even with the entire thing, if you have breaks/draw reins, etc) in a surcingle, a driving bridle, and two long lines (driving reins are the best, but two lunge reins would work well also) clipped to the bit, slid through the loops on top of the harness, and going directly back behind the horse; where you will be standing.
Basically, you're teaching the horse to respond to your cues from behind them instead of on top of/besides them, and once they're comfortable with that, you hook them to the cart.
( example. not my photo; taken off of casperandwendy.com , a lunging and ground driving blog)http://casperandwendy.com/wp-content...1_edited-1.jpg
that makes since now.
The way we do it is get them used to wearing the harness, then drive them (long rein) them on the ground. When you are happy they have got the plot, then get help and start getting them to drag an old car tyre about. ALWAYS use a friend who can help and is there to pull a quick release knot if the horse panics. ONce he's happy with the car tyre on gravel and all kinds of noisy road surfaces, then try with the cart.
yeah, what Lumpkin said.
Take everything slowly!
It really is best to have someone who knows what they're doing to help you.
Everyone has given wonderful advice, so all that I really have to add [or reinforce] is take it slow. If you want to drive your horse and you want to RIGHT NOW, then you might want to revise your plan. Just because you have a harness and an equine doesn't mean you can just attach the cart to your horse tomorrow. It takes alot of commitment, and if you want a solid harness horse, even if you will only drive every month or so, you have to get good training in. If you don't mind seriously injuring yourself and your horse, then attach the harness and cart right away. If you want to be smart and survive the experience, I would listen to what everyone has suggested.
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