Help with cart training
I am trying to find a trainer to help me train my 4 year old Chincoteague Pony to pull a cart. He is very sweet and laid back but I want to have someone experienced to help me. Does anyone know of any good trainers in that area? Also, what should i do to prepare him and get him started to pull a cart? All i have is pastures and I'm not sure where to get started? Thanks in advance!
Where are you?
You can do tons of desensitization to prepare him. Ropes between the legs, under the tail, stuff touching him anywhere... Work on him standing than work on standing some more. There's alot to do just to get them ready and you can speed up the process and save some $$ by not having the trainer do the work you can do.
I am in Maryland around Westminster. Thanks for the tips. What else can i do?
What you do next is going to depend upon how confident you are in your skills to bring her along. Teach her how to lunge than move up to ground driving. You don't need a harness or bridle at this point You can use your saddle or a $20 web surcingle and halter. Spend the time teaching her her name and voice commands. Pick one set of terms and stick with them. Get her soft and straight in your hands. Get her solid with whoa. Do all the desentitization again (you've changed things up where the stimulation is coming from plus added a layer that she also needs to keep track of). Now you need a harness.
I would recomment picking up either Doris Ganton's "Breaking and Training the Driving Horse" or Guffey and Winkel's "The Essential Guide to Carriage Driving" even if you aren't planning on doing any of the major work breaking her to harness. Being familiar with the correct terminology will speed things up, help eliminate any confusion and help keep everyone safe. I would also look into the American Driving Society, www.americandrivingsocity.org for a local contact that can help you.
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