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Laineylou 09-26-2011 10:02 PM

So I want to have Dolly ready for a driving show by next Fall. I have a year to get her ready and she's already Amish broke to drive single, double, pull and plow.

She hasn't been driven in three years so I'm going to ground drive her this fall and winter to get her brushed up on her commands and cues before hooking her to my light two wheeled show cart.

So what I want is some suggestions on getting her ready. What sort of exercises can I do through ground work to get her conditioned? Does anyone have any suggestions on exercises that might be fun while I do some ground driving?

I only know some exercises I've learned to get in practice for tough riding such as riding through snow to build strength and stamina, etc.

I'm eager to learn so give me your input. I'll give you the most recent picture of Dolly so you can maybe get an idea of where she needs work based on her conformation. Dunno if you'll get anything out of the picture but it's worth a shot. She's ridden lightly (30min. to half an hour of trail riding on flat ground) once every week to once every two weeks. Mainly she's been pampered the last three years.

Corporal 09-27-2011 02:47 PM

Dolly is gorgeous--NEVER owned a dappled grey.
Do you have either access to a driving trainer OR any good books on long-lining? Either would help.
**Corporal salivates over having a driving horse someday**

Laineylou 09-27-2011 02:58 PM

Unfortunately I have neither. I have a mother who used to drive carriage horses at public events, common sense, and ingenuity. The only "facilities" available to me are an empty hay field, the mowed path around it, and a seldom used gravel road. But luckily the ground is flat and fit for driving use.
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Laineylou 09-27-2011 03:01 PM

Oh, and I'll thank you for Dolly for the compliment. c:
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eliduc 10-15-2011 09:02 AM

I put some six foot pvc pipe in paint cans filled with cement and placed them in a line and drove around them. You could also make a cone course with gates to drive through. I am going to start longing my horse over an 18 inch high horizontal pole just for mind conditioning. There is a BLM skid trail behind my house and I used to ground drive him around that before I began him on the cart. Good thing I did too. You could make a hazards course like hanging marker tape from a tree limb to drive him under and through or by a piece of blue tarp on the ground or other scary things. You could make a water hazard. Be imaginative. I do extensive exercizes on the longe line. All kinds of transitions. Why should a horse have only one speed in any gait? My horse does an extended trot, trot and jog on the line, halts, reverses, backs, pivots front and rear and side passes all on a line. These are disciplines that will help make your horse responsive when driving as well as teaching it voice commands. .

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