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SnowCowgirl 02-17-2013 04:26 PM

Wanting to start driving
 
Hi everyone!

I'm a total beginner to driving but would really like to start training my mare to drive. I did ground drive her a bunch while saddle breaking her as a 4 year old... but that was 10 years ago now! We were to the point where she was pulling a tire around the arena... but everything I did was total guess work and I'm not sure how "proper" my training techniques were.

I'm just wondering what the best way to get started would be....? Unfortunately, I don't see having access to a driving trainer or clinic anytime. I'm thinking about picking up a book, does anyone have any suggestions?

Harness-wise, would you suggest one with a collar or one of those breast-strap type dealies? I can't see pulling a lot of weight with her and not for any longer than maybe 2 hours at a time (far in the future!).

Regarding the collar... I know I should try some on her (will be very hard, I'm located very far north in an unhorsey community and no one sells driving gear) but I've also been looking into how to measure her. In the meantime, can anyone give me a rough idea as to what size of horse a 23" collar would fit....? My mare is draft cross, maybe 15hh and solidly built.

churumbeque 02-17-2013 06:37 PM

Carriage Driving Essentials

Carriage Driving Essentials

Here are 2 good books to get you started

Endiku 02-17-2013 06:43 PM

I have the problem of having no one who sells driving gear either, and I have to order EVERYTHING online. Extremely annoying >.> However, Iowa Valley Horse Carriages has really great staff and helped me fit my mare by asking for very specific measurements. Amber Hillside Horse Harnesses is pretty good too, though they're cheaper and thus the tack isnt as high quality.

churumbeque 02-17-2013 06:48 PM

[QUOTE=SnowCowgirl;1898982]Hi everyone!

I'm a total beginner to driving but would really like to start training my mare to drive. I did ground drive her a bunch while saddle breaking her as a 4 year old... but that was 10 years ago now! We were to the point where she was pulling a tire around the arena... but everything I did was total guess work and I'm not sure how "proper" my training techniques were.

I'm just wondering what the best way to get started would be....? Unfortunately, I don't see having access to a driving trainer or clinic anytime. I'm thinking about picking up a book, does anyone have any suggestions?

Harness-wise, would you suggest one with a collar or one of those breast-strap type dealies? I can't see pulling a lot of weight with her and not for any longer than maybe 2 hours at a time (far in the future!).

Regarding the collar... I know I should try some on her (will be very hard, I'm located very far north in an unhorsey community and no one sells driving gear) but I've also been looking into how to measure her. In the meantime, can anyone give me a rough idea as to what size of horse a 23" collar would fit....? My mare is draft cross, maybe 15hh and solidly built.[/QUOTE] I think you are getting ahead of yourself. Depending on what you have for a cart would determine the collar. 23" is a large collar for a 16h or larger draft cross usually. Collars are more for pulling wagons or fancy carts with an axle draft.

SnowCowgirl 02-17-2013 07:32 PM

awesome, thank you to you both!!

churumbeque... see, I didn't even know THAT much haha.

.... but basically, I need to know what I'm getting for a cart before I get the harness? that's sorta crappy! I intended to start her back ground driving this winter and not even look at buying a cart til summer

SnowCowgirl 02-17-2013 07:34 PM

what would you estimate I should spend on a harness? I don't want to spend a ton of money, but I also don't want to go for the "best deal" and end up with junk. Second hand would be ideal, I know

churumbeque 02-17-2013 07:40 PM

if you do not have much to pick from in your area I wouldn't want to buy a used 1 without trying it on and seeing the condition of it nice leather harness made to fit your horse can run 1000 dollars easily and if you're not very educated on what to look for it would be difficult to know really what you are bu. that said it depends on what you're going to do with it I drive a lot it was worth the money for me to invest in a nice leather harness and I don't particularly like biothane or any of those types
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Left Hand Percherons 02-17-2013 09:31 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by SnowCowgirl (Post 1899245)
awesome, thank you to you both!!

churumbeque... see, I didn't even know THAT much haha.

.... but basically, I need to know what I'm getting for a cart before I get the harness? that's sorta crappy! I intended to start her back ground driving this winter and not even look at buying a cart til summer

I'd get the harness first. You can do a lot of work with a harness but no cart. You can't do anything with a cart and no harness. DraftX can be a hard horse to get a good fitting harness. Some makers will make a small draft size but inevitably, you will need to do some custom work to make it fit correctly. I am partial to collar harness (work harness) and my breast collar harness just sit in the barn and collect dust. I did like breast collar harness on young horses that were growing and changing constantly but over time, I've picked up enough harness to have something to fit just about every size and shape. Stay away from harness on eBay. You might find something decent but there is more junk out there and until you put it on the horse, it can be hard to see just how improperly sized it is. You might find something on drafts 4 sale. I would be more apt to trust the quality as well. Pick up a single tree as well to play with.

Carriage Driving Essentials is a good book to start with. It will familiarize you with the correct terms although the book does not give you the draft translation. Get a correct set of measurements off your mare, know what each strap is called, than you can ask the right question when you do find a harness and have to buy it on faith.

michaelvanessa 02-18-2013 06:36 PM

size of harness
 
i think you ned cob size judgeing by your horses hight.
if you can find a harness maker you could ask if he would make you a leather set a bit at a time and that would save you loads of money and it makes the out lay very minamal in deed and you have a super harness.
books here sally worlround breaking a horse to harness.
she has a few on the subject.
i have just measured my boy for a full collar i used 2 steel coat hangers and celotaped them togeather and made the shape of his neck dont forget to leave a hand whith so not to pipe your horse pinch the wind pipe.
so i used a tape measure and got his measurements you can get an adjustable collar i am ordering a 24-26 inch and hanging up his breast collari could photostat a size chart it shows you were to measure your horse.
if you need any more imformation let us know.

Left Hand Percherons 02-19-2013 12:04 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by michaelvanessa (Post 1901000)
i think you ned cob size judgeing by your horses hight.

In the US, Arab size is referred to as Cob size.


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