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Clayton Taffy 03-03-2012 12:02 AM

Droping a line.
For all you experienced whips out there I have a question.
I have been having a recurring fear, it even kept me awake last night, that I will drop a line while driving.
I have dropped one before and it was no big deal, they are buckled together of course.
I have never, I don't think, dropped both.
I am starting to drive Pilgrim again after a 9 month hiatus and it seems dropping a line is consuming my thoughts. Pilgrim can be a handful with all of my faculties about me, so here is my question.
Is there any reason why I canít tie the end of the lines, say with a shoelace or light string, to the cart? I usually sit on the end of the lines, but in an emergency I don't want to count on that. I have never in my travels heard of anyone tying the lines for emergencies to the cart somehow, so is there some reason why this is inherently dangerous that I am not seeing? It might help me sleep better.

MarchWind 03-03-2012 11:31 AM

have read your post several times and just wondering if the concern here is not really dropping a line (since you say that has happened and it was no big deal) wondering, again just a suggestion, if that is not the real concern, but if there is an overall confidence issue with driving your guy...just a thought :-)

Clayton Taffy 03-03-2012 12:48 PM

Just asking the experienced drivers if tying the lines to the cart with a light string is safe.

hoopla 03-03-2012 07:29 PM

In fact the correct way for driving is to have reins unbuckled so you never risk the likes of getting a foot caught.

It's not safe to fasten reins to the vehicle. If you need to dismount you have to take the reins with you. ALWAYS. If you have a tip up or run away you don't want the reins stuck in the carriage.

I can't think why you're obsessing about dropping reins though. Perhaps you're best advised to brush up rein handling technique.

jimmy 03-04-2012 04:37 PM

its a bit like saying should i tie the steering wheel in my motor in case i accidently let go ,think about it

GreySorrel 03-05-2012 10:33 AM

Taffy, it is normal to be apprehensive when one drives an animal to a cart or any other vehicle. We all to through that, myself included, who is an experienced driver. No, it isn't safe as if things do go south, you want to have those driving lines free of anything so you can handle them.

Is there someone you can bring along with you who can watch how your hands are, what position you keep them, how you pull the lines through your fingers, etc? The reason I ask is you mentioned that you dropped one of your lines before, that to me tells me that your not correctly moving them so your hands are never off the lines. I too had that problem till I took a few classes with a phenomenal teamster and driver on the east coast who taught us to NEVER let go of those lines and showed us how to properly handle the driving lines so to never drop or loose one.

Very good question btw....

Corporal 03-05-2012 11:13 AM

I agree--you don't trust your horse. You wouldn't feel comfortable dropping your reins while riding if your didn't trust your horse. Spend more time ground training for awhile. Remember, the milkman's horse knew the route and would stop and wait patiently at each customer's house. YOUR horse can get to that point of trust, too. Give him some more time. =D
Here is "Corporal" (1982-2009, RIP) in 2007, on a slack rein, totally trustworthy, even though at the ready to gallop, if I asked for it.

GreySorrel 03-05-2012 02:27 PM

I agree that the op may not trust her equine yet, however, when one drives you should NEVER let go of your lines, no matter how trust worthy or calm that animal is. Driving and riding are two totally different disciplines. If your at a whoa and stand position then relaxing your lines a little to get out of the animals mouth, yes. But, when one drives, even when that animal is worked more off of voice command, you still should have taunt lines so they can feel your commands should you use both voice and your lines.

When I drive my team and we stop, I do relax on my lines enough so they know that we will be standing there for a few minutes and can relax their head. But, as soon as I gather up that slack, they perk up and their ears go back and they are alert for my command to walk on.

Corporal 03-05-2012 02:31 PM

I agree--don't drop your lines. I'm recovering from fear issues and you have to take your horse's training back a few steps if you are worried about it. =D

Clayton Taffy 03-05-2012 03:12 PM

Thank you all for your answers. Let me now answer some of your concerns. My problem is I have arthritis in my hands, not bad yet, but I do notice a difference from a few years ago.
I do not haphazardly handle my lines. I do not ever leave the cart without my lines in my hands. I never set my lines down. I am always mindful of where my lines are. I am not a novice driver.
Trust issue or not, as you all know anything can go wrong in the blink of an eye. Therefore I am as safe as possible when driving, that is why I asked the question in the first place.
I had a tip over in a hazard on a CDE several years ago, I avoided a very nasty accident having the lines with me as I hit the ground, as it happened, horse stopped, groom and I got back in the cart and finished the course. It could have been a disaster if the lines were tied, ever so slightly, to the cart. I forgot about that incident.
Thank you, again

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