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Wallaby 02-28-2012 02:31 PM

Training to drive? [Ground-driving/bits/etc Q's]
I wasn't sure where to put this so forgive me if it's not right? :)

I'm tentatively considering working on training Lacey to drive.
I'm thinking that, possibly, with her steadily advancing age, driving might be easier on her body than riding?
I'd like to have a fall-back activity that would get her moving but not put undue stress on her body, like having a person on her back does.
And, in any case, she's one of those horses that needs her mind to be working for her to get tired, so at least the training part would be good "exercise".

I've read that not all horses make good driving horses. What characteristics are signs of a good driving horse?

Lacey is very sacked out, not spooky, etc.
Her main faults are that she loves speed undersaddle (not sure if that would translate to driving since she's pretty laid back on the ground), she's not a fan of tight spaces (obviously that would have to change if she were going to be driven), and she is prone to "blowing up" when she's uncertain about a situation/doesn't want to do something. She's better with the blowing up than she used to be but it still comes out a little when she's really pushed.
As she ages, she's becoming more and more laid back and loosing that "blow-upability", so maybe by the time (if I do this) she's ready to be actually driven, she'll be the perfect driving specimen.

I've tried it, and I was terrible at it. I used to have a surcingle to use and that worked much better. When I've tried using a saddle, it was terrible. Most of the issue was that my lunge lines are much too long for ground driving. I either end up with tons of line on the ground or me too far out behind Lacey or something else.
I'm looking into getting a surcingle but that won't be for a couple more weeks.
What kind of lines make it easier? I've been thinking of just buying a gajillion feet of yacht braid rope, attaching clips, and using those? I'm thinking having one continuous giant rein (that's a just a bit longer than "the right" length) would be better than having 2 separate ones...

Why are there "driving" bits? What's the difference between them and a normal bit? Do I need one?

Any information you can share will be appreciated! :) Thank you!

Side-note: I do know a lady who has trained her horses to drive so I could get her help if I really needed it. She's super hard to get in touch with though, so I'd really prefer to try this on my own and get her help if I really need it.

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