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stevefromnfld 08-17-2008 03:51 AM

Hi,I'm new to driving
Hi there,I'm Steve,we bought a mare a few months ago,about 900lbs,half Newfoundland Pony,half Morgan,.Her owner died,an older men,and he used her for plowing his veggie garden,and hauling some firewood,etc,and his daughters rode her.
It took along time before she trusted me,I think she was mistreated somewhere along the way.
But she trusts me pretty good now.
I bought a used harness a couple of days ago,but In think the collar is too small,I bought it anyway as it was being all sold together.
Everything else is good.
I was just wondering,I measured her neck,it's 20" from top to bottom say,so I was thinking a 21 or 22" collar.
I do alot of woodworking,and can weld so I'm going to make a cart,and a sled for the winter.
Just was wondering about the collar size,and also I'm new to the forum,and really enjoy reading so I wanted to say hello to everyone too.
So,hi,and talk to you everyone later,take care,Steve

stevefromnfld 08-18-2008 09:01 AM

Hi again,when I get the harness sorted out,and the correct size collar,maybe in a few days,or even a couple weeks,as I got alot of other work on the go.
I was wonder where to start,lol.
I've read some of the posts,and find alot of info there!
Some terms I don't understand,like a sand darg,I guess that's like a kind of sled I can put some weight onto?
I think I might make a set of shafts,temperary ones,just for training,or retraining as she's been used for plowing,and hauling a cart before,,,supposedly.
Then I thought I'ld harness her,and hook her up to something like that has alittle weight,not much,and walk her around the garden to see how she acts.
I can tell by her face what she's thinking,lol.
Anyway guys,,,does that sound like a half decent plan to start?
I have some good shafts and an old cart from my brothers barn when he cleaned it out that needs just wheels,I was thinking of switching axles and having rubber tires.But I thought I'ld start her again in something simple and cheap,but safe.
Oh,also,I need a buddy to help I think,,what do you think of my "plan" so far?
Any advice/opinions will be greatly appreciated,thanks,Steve

3neighs 08-18-2008 12:59 PM

Hi Steve! i think you're on the right track by starting out with a set of shafts to get a feel for how she reacts, handles. Then move on to a lightweight cart. My dad bought a horse last year from the Amish and he uses her to pull a buckboard and this is a homemade sled he made to use her for helping get the wood to the house.

minihorse927 08-19-2008 12:19 AM

Hi Steve,

I like this idea for training shafts, I found this is another post so sorry for "borrowing" your photo. We use something very similiar for our driving horses but I have no pictures of mine.

First thing is get a harness that fits the horse. I would help you with the collar but I drive miniatures and only in light harness, so I do not know anything of collars other than how to put it on a horse.

Get a friend and harness the horse and then take the horse out for a "drive" with no cart or anything attached and make sure she still remembers her manners and listens to the commands you give her. Once this is complete move on to the next step, which would be either make something similiar to the photo or go out and buy a set of shaft trainers. Put these on her and do the same thing as before, drive her and make sure they horse listens to you. Be careful because sometimes horses do forget what shafts are if they have not been hooked up in a while. The third step would be to add weight to the shaft trainers, I usually tie a sand tube to the back of it as this part drags on the ground behind the horse. If the horse does all this and no problems then you can move onto something with wheels. make sure you try to have someone help you with each new step until the horse is comfortable with everything you are doing. The last step is the jump in and go for a drive!

Driving is more dangerous than just riding a horse because if the horse goes nuts, you have more than just the horse to try to get away from and the horse can also injure themselves worse with the cart than if they were just being ridden.

First things first, try to find someone who drives horses, whether they be minis or drafts, because when it comes down to it, driving is driving. The only difference is the size of the horse, the cart, and the types of harness. Try to find someone who has a draft harness who can help you fit it to your horse and teach you how to harness the horse also. Watch then drive a horse of theirs and then see if they have a horse you can drive and this way you can get an idea of what to expect. If you have anymore questions, just ask!
Again sorry for borrowing your picture.

stevefromnfld 08-20-2008 07:36 AM

Thanks guys,I feel like I'm on the right track with it,,I'll just go slow,and I have to get a helper,my wife usually helps.
The collar,luckily I live next door to a man who grew up with horses and carts and plows,etc,and his father,who's an older man now,knows alot about this,and told me about how a collar should fit,and how important it is to get the right size,so as not to make her sore.
So,when I get a few things clued up now,I'm doing some outdoor carpentry work now,,,I'll hopefully find a proper collar and give it a go.
I have told a couple of people I was looking for one,and am pretty sure I'll get a call about one soon,in the meantime,I know someone who has some gear,so I'll drop up to see him someday soon.
His horse died of old age this past winter,so I was putting off seeing him about the harness stuff.
Anyway,thanks again for the help,and I'll talk to you later,Steve

KANSAS_TWISTER 08-21-2008 06:04 AM

hey steve!!! really nice combo of morgan and NFL pony we had one at our barn when i lived in montreal, as for training to drive i asked my friend who just broke her's to drive and she started it out by (when in harness) hooking it up to a rail road tie with some one leading and then working her way you might of saw what my "charret " looks like that might be the next best thing to go too, good luck!!!

stevefromnfld 08-21-2008 07:27 AM

Yes,that's a neat little charriot!I do some welding,and am very good with wood,so,all I really need is another axle.
I have a couple of wood trailers for atv's,but I don't want to chop them up,lol.
I can get axles though at a scrap yard close by,so,you've inspoired an idea in my minds eye!!Thanks KT!
I'll let you guys know how it's going.
Right now I have to finish some jobs I got half done for people,lol,but after they're finished,I'll get at it.
Thanks everyone,talk to you later,Steve.
Oh,yes,she is a nice mare,Nfld/Morgan,she's sturdy,and has nice big hooves for her size,I'll have to post some pics,later,steve

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