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-   -   Can any horse Drive? How young is too young? (

DreamOfDrafts 03-01-2013 07:56 AM

Can any horse Drive? How young is too young?
I have a rescued supposedly, paintxtwh cross. Cant really be sure except his dam was paint, and the only stallion on property where she was purchased was a big red twh type.
He is stunted and small, and will probably not breach 14hh when fully grown. His dam was 15.1, just shy of 2, and his supposed sire was 16hh give or take.
I got him with no intentions other then getting him healthy. He has a leg injury as well, no tendon or joint damage but all the hide had been ripped from the hock, all the way around.

While talking with my vet about his potential career optoins, he suggested letting him grow for a good long while before attempting saddle breaking, but maybe driving would be a good option. He didnt have any specifics on driving, as he deals mainly with english and western pleasure types, but said I should perhaps look into it.
Ive always liked the thought of driving, and did in fact drive minis on a farm where I worked as a kid, with my older sister, and a seasoned mini. We got to take him about the pasture for some exercise now again.

Im older and bigger now and have concerns. Like when would I start this training, where to take him, how to train him, and most of all would he be able. He is a very sensible young horse, at 22mths we have walked all over our neighborhood, which is a strange sight for my poor neighbors. Me totting a little colt along like a dog. He has no fear of traffic, or streets, random objects hitting him or people coming up and gushing over him. He adores the attention. But structurally, what is required of a driving animal? are there specifics that need to be there? Like good shoulder, strong hip? Would this put to much on his body? Im not thinking of now, of course, but sooner then say 6yrs old, which is when my vet suggested I wait to put a rider on him. I would love if he could have a job other then pasture puff, but will accept happily if he cannot.

all tips,hints,advice welcome.

and my fave pic thus far.

churumbeque 03-01-2013 02:43 PM

Is that picture when he is 22 months? he looks immature and like a weanling. I start doing ground work immediatly as a baby with lots of handling and desensitizing, linedriving as a yearling. Longlining at 2, and hitching in the fall of there 2nd year and driving regularly at 3.

DreamOfDrafts 03-01-2013 03:51 PM


Originally Posted by churumbeque (Post 1918051)
Is that picture when he is 22 months? he looks immature and like a weanling. I start doing ground work immediatly as a baby with lots of handling and desensitizing, linedriving as a yearling. Longlining at 2, and hitching in the fall of there 2nd year and driving regularly at 3.

That pic is fairly recent. I think he was just at 21mths. Yes he is very immature as far as growth. A lot of people think he is weanling instead of almost 2 :(.
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churumbeque 03-01-2013 04:11 PM

I would treat him as the yearling in till he fills out and grows up little bit
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greentree 03-01-2013 10:10 PM

That guy is ADORABLE!! I would look for some pieces of harness at antique and resale shops ( I am a native Houstonian, and used to see all types of stuff there) or check with the Equestrian Market Day in College Station in August....but start hanging stuff on him until he matures a bit.

You can also call Tom O'Carroll in Navasota who does a good job training driving horses, and he will have plenty of pointers, and perhaps some working harness pieces.

I'll bet with some good food and care he will blossom quickly!


michaelvanessa 03-03-2013 02:35 PM

young horse
hiya he does look like a yearling i will sugest to you to start walking him out in hand and talking to him and give him basic commands.
teach him with some titbits and ask him to stand out and pick feet up and so forth.
i would recomend that you buy a lunge caverson and a roler and lungelines you can long line with them as well.
also have you got a bit for him and what is it.
its best to let him grow first before you think about geting a harness and all i would do is educate him in the basics like i have said.
also working a young horse can have problems as to allow his bones and joints to grow so whilst you are waiting educate him like i said and youll have a great horse.
all my horses were schooled the same and lunged with a harness on at 3 years old and longlined as well and were put to at the age of 4 years old.
there were no problems what so ever.
quincy i have had now for six months he was four and he is broken in to harness and he is happy in his work as well.
the oldest horse i have broken in was my first pony called snowy she wa ill treated and was a rescue and my self back then was green with horses as i have not owned one.
i got her back to health and i broke her in to harness i followed instructions from a book and i have added bits in to the breaking of horses and with good results and well manord horses snowy was 26 years old.
she had a good loveing home with me for 8 years she is never forgotton and all ways remberd.
tricky was a rescue we got him as a yearling and he was in a bad way and he was broke in at 4 and he was a challange its not the brakeing in its the dammage done by the other people who had him.
he had been beaten round the head had shoes twice the size of his hoofs nailed on with roofing clout nails and he also had stragles.
ill be honest he took 18 years to settle him down he hated children with a vengence i think kids had badley beaten him when he was a foal,the best thing i can say he welcomes them now and axcepts them its taken a long time to me his my son and is treated likewise he is 29 years old and he has been with me 28 years now and he is the most loveing pony you would ever know.

DreamOfDrafts 03-03-2013 05:27 PM

So thanks everyone for the advice! and words encouragment and stories of success! I appreciate it all! If you have any recommendations on books or such to read im all for it!

As for the basics? Like just normal manners on the ground? personal space, leading, picking up feet, and desensitizing? I can move his body around too with a tap and "Scootch". He also knows what "Spread em" means, and will spread his back legs apart even if Im not close lol.
Havent started at all on the lunge line though, he has done a few circles around me on the lead line when he was extra frisky, but nothing more then that. Ive been waiting for his leg to really heal up and Ive heard to much lunging can cause damage. I do have lunge lines though, 3 I think, and a Surcingle? is that the right word. Its older though, found it at an estate sale and thought it might fit my then draft X mare, was way to small. Um No bit introduction yet either, and im alil concerned for choosing one because his mouth is oddly shaped. I think he might have a low pallet.
But he has had blankets, saddles, and a girth on without a problem. no bucking or anything he just mozied around the round pen like there was nothing on his back.
I know I lucked out immensly with his attitude thus far. Bass takes just about everything without blinking. Except that one time he got hit in the butt with a tennis ball at the park. He hunched so far down I thought he was going to sit. Then he just looked at me and was pissed, like I did it. Ears back and angry eyes.
It is really nice to know though that Ill be able to do something more then just well..walk him around the neighborhood like my over grown puppy.

greentree 03-03-2013 06:07 PM

Sounds like you are doing good so far. I don't think you should longe him, either. Just learning whoa, walk, trot, word commands will help, and when he gets those down, teach him gee (right) and haw(left), back ( I say "bick-bick" in a higher pitched voice to my driving horses to get them to back, but I don't know why I do that, riding I say "back"), and the very BEST command for a driving horse- STAND. stand means do not move your feet at all, and is a seperate command from whoa.


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