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NelsonsMum 08-25-2013 09:52 AM

Lurker - New to driving!
Hello folks, I have been a lurker for a long time but now I am dipping my toes into carriage driving I thought the support and advise would be much needed!

A bit of a back story... the driving bug got me a few years ago when I helped my friend with her green stallion. I learnt about the harness and carriage, how to tack and hitch up and drove the stallion round the village.

The bug has been chewing away at me since, more so the last 6 months or so having 'rescued' a horse that we believe has been driven. So a few weeks ago a bought a carriage and harness! The carriage needs a fair bit of work doing to it including new floor and dash and a new swingletree, so I am stuck with groundwork for now.

I have also decided to break my friesian to drive first (fearless obedient mare - giant labrador essentially) before tackling the rescue cob.

So far she has long lined and worn full harness but not the bridle. I want to do all her desensitizing work with an open bridle. She has been out with another one of our horses who can lag behind or gallop off ahead and she is no different but isn't keen on trotting :lol:

We are still in the first week of 'breaking' her in to drive and next week I am setting up an assault course to densensitize her further and introduce her to being around the carriage, watching it move and following it.

I have one question to yet and that is the breast collar.. Does it matter if its a tag long, as in the trace buckles would sit just behind her shoulder? I can't see how it would make any difference but it just doesn't look quite 'right' and I suspect she will fill it more once she has muscled up (currently 4 and very unfit!)

Cookies if you managed to read all that :D

Clayton Taffy 08-26-2013 09:44 AM

Hi lurker! Welcome, I read your post, You are going to have a blast driving. No time for more chatting. Lots of good advice to come from others.:-P

Southern Grace 08-27-2013 10:25 PM

A Friesian and a Cob, good gosh I'm jealous already! My girl's been driving for about 3 months now, and I still keep her in an open bridle. Eventually I'm going to take her into the city and she'll need to adjust to blinders, but for now, I like her seeing things.

Most breast collar type harnesses do run pretty far back on the shoulder, nearly to the girth on many harnesses. As you can see on this horse below, the buckle to the traces is almost on top of the girth.

As long as you don't have one of those freedom collars, vertical placement should be the only major concern on fit.

Oh, and welcome to the world of driving... it's addicting.

GreySorrel 09-01-2013 09:50 PM

I am a bit different, I prefer a collar and hames to drive, then again, I have a Percheron mare I do fine driving with, so a bit different than most.

Driving is a wonderful way to use your horse, once you gain the experience behind the lines, your horse gets some experience and training, you can share this incredible hobby with others. And what a way to see things, or in the fall when your walking or trotting down a quiet back road....

Welcome and enjoy. I look forward to hearing more...

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