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Discussion Starter #1
I'm back! if any of you remember me :p

Anyway.. now I've jumped to driving. I'm starting Sólon with grounddriving and the like.
He's 2 years old, you think it's a good age to start? Won't be pulling anything heavy of course, or go on very long tours. But he needs something to think about, I think he's bored from just biting and playing wth the two older horses.. he seems more content since we started at least, is quicker to come forward in the pasture and has more energy :)

I don't know much about driving, dad has a north swedish draft, and sure I can drive him on the roads, and I've had some horse driving lessons in high school, but I can't say I'm very skilled at it :p Fortunatly, I have a friend who used to compete in precision driving with her shetlands (also breeding shetlands and so), so she's here helping me :)

I figured I'd show some pictures. If you have any advice or so, feel free to share them :)


Solon in his new harness. It needs some fitting, and a few new holes to be punched, but I think it'll be good. I expect him to grow a bit more too :)


The sulky/rockard/thing when I bought it. :) It has gotten a new coat of paint, the wood is sanded down and fixed, and we've just finished the seat, I'll put it back on and take new pictures :)








First time with those..sticks :)P) attatched. He has been pulling chains and ratteling/noisy stuff before this and we'll pull a tire or something too before the sulky-thingy. But what we really need is some more time just practising. I think it's good if he knows to walk on a straight line before we start seriously, for one... :p And knows to slow down on the way home :p He's really good at stopping and fairly good at standing still (just a bit restless on the way home) already, but taking it slow is difficult. :) He's also really good when things go wrong, like if he accidenttally step with one leg outside the chain or stick, I can ground-drive him right and he doesn't panic. It's pretty comforting to know. The worst 'fight' we had was after this day; when he had stiood nicely and let me remove the sticks (ok, you may tell me what these things are called in english) and I was goig to lead him a few steps back and to the stall, he threw a fit with bucking and jumping and rearing and the like.. *lol* pretty boy :p As if he had never been lead before. But irt's nothing bad, I just let him act it out and lead him back in once he realised it was a pretty boring thing to do, jumping around like a fool. He stood nicely and lose when I removed the harness. (it's btw one I borrowed from a friend. It's easier to attatch random things to it and it's been fitted to him, before he get any weight behind him we'll change to the one I bought). I suspect the whip scared him, he doesn't care at all about it when I walk behind him, I can touch him wih it and wave with it and he behaves well, but it's scary when I walk beside him. We practiced a bit on that later on and I'll kepp doing that untill he can walk nicely even if I'm holding the whip.
We'll practice backing up more when he has that butt-strap (name?) rather than just the tail-thingy.. and without those sticks on.








Just checking how he'll look when he can pull it..xD Add a black seat and you'll know how the sulky looks when it's done :) I figured it wouldn't hurt to let him back in there a time or two. He's such a good boy :p
 

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I would line driving him and use the drag with the breeching (butt thingy) and traces so he gets a feel for everything and the different pressures. I would not worry about backing aty this stage except when line driving. Responding to voice commands is important before moving on. Also I would be goting him used to the blinkers. It also looks like your saddle is up a bit far on his withers. Should be behind on his back.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Yeah, as I said, we'll be practicing much more before hitching the cart :) And we'll start using my harness once my friend has helped fitting it for him.
Saddle..is that the back-thingy with the rings on it? I don't think I can place it further back, it moves forward when tightened I believe..I could try... :/ I think it's behind the withers, like a riding saddle should be, but I'll have to check that IRL before I swear on it..

He's had the eyepatch bridle on but I'm not sure I want to use it. For one I must have a bit with it (he has a cavesson with a non-jointed nose iron now), and when he's at this age he'll get teeth issues, and also... I just don't see a point on a horse that's not trying to look at everything and get unfocused.. in my mind it must be better to just get him used to seeing everything behind him without minding it.. on another forum I got the explanation that they're used so the horse won't react from the whip before they should but I fail to see that as a good reason. :/
 

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Saddle or pad is the part on the back with the girth. I had my 2 yr olds teeth floated and 6 loose teeth pulled by the dentist and it was a totally different horse.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
what I mean with teeth issues is that the teeth are still growing and changing a lot at that age, using a good bitless option just seems so much easier :)
 

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Zab, I think Solon looks great. Boy, is he filling out nicely!! It seems like you are doing a nice job with him and I can't wait to see him all decked out in his harness and pulling the cart :D.
 

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Wow is he ever cute! I wanted to teach my percheron/thoroughbred to drive but A) I have no money for harness, cart, ect and B) No where around the place I board to practice driving except for on the higghway. So thats a big no ha ha.

I think training without blinkers is a good idea. Let him see what your doing and realize it wont hurt him. Then if you drive him with blinkers down the road and soemthings there that really would scare him, he will trust in you and not worry about it :)
 

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some horses when being driven especially walking,go into some sort of a daze ,something similar to daydreaming,so it helps if you speak to them every so often just to remind them that you are there,i always talk to them ,when i see them raising their heads and twitching their ears,as usually it means they have seen something they are not sure of
 

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Wow, he's filled out! It looks like you're doing a great job with him. I really can't offer any helpful comments as I don't know the first thing about driving.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Thanks for all comments and advice :)
 

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What a gorgeous little horse! dont remember seeing him before. He's a stunner. The cart is beautiful as well :shock:

Can't wait to see pictures once he's started :D
 

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Yeah, as I said, we'll be practicing much more before hitching the cart :) And we'll start using my harness once my friend has helped fitting it for him.
Saddle..is that the back-thingy with the rings on it? I don't think I can place it further back, it moves forward when tightened I believe..I could try... :/ I think it's behind the withers, like a riding saddle should be, but I'll have to check that IRL before I swear on it..

He's had the eyepatch bridle on but I'm not sure I want to use it. For one I must have a bit with it (he has a cavesson with a non-jointed nose iron now), and when he's at this age he'll get teeth issues, and also... I just don't see a point on a horse that's not trying to look at everything and get unfocused.. in my mind it must be better to just get him used to seeing everything behind him without minding it.. on another forum I got the explanation that they're used so the horse won't react from the whip before they should but I fail to see that as a good reason. :/

i always thought the reason for using blinkers is so, the horse/pony does not see the cart folowing... if it can see the cart behind and steps forward, the cart will follow and it may feel like its being stalked/ chased causing it to spook and maybe even bolt!!! just something to be aware of :wink:
 

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i always thought the reason for using blinkers is so, the horse/pony does not see the cart folowing... if it can see the cart behind and steps forward, the cart will follow and it may feel like its being stalked/ chased causing it to spook and maybe even bolt!!! just something to be aware of :wink:
In my exp. driving with or without blinkers varys on your horse's tempermant. if you can train a horse to drive without blinkers the horse seems to trust and respect the driver a lot more.
 

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in my experience the blinders are worn as much for the driver as the horse,basically when driving [especially on roads]you don,t want your horse to see more then you,and if you have control over how much he sees,you are in a better position to control him shoul anything unexpected happen,i know you see adverts saying bombproof believe me there is no such thing,and if something scares a horse as long as he can see it he will run
 

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Discussion Starter #17
i always thought the reason for using blinkers is so, the horse/pony does not see the cart folowing... if it can see the cart behind and steps forward, the cart will follow and it may feel like its being stalked/ chased causing it to spook and maybe even bolt!!! just something to be aware of :wink:
Well..isn't that why we're training them for the task? :p To get them used to and accepting?

....
In response to all: I still don't really want the blinders. A horse isn't more bombproof with them than without them, as long as it's trained the same way it's driven. My friend who's helping me with this doesn't think I need them either, and he's just not a very spooky or difficult horse as such.

Thanks for all nice comments about him :) For those who hasn't seen him or doeasn't recognize him, this is how he looked last time I posted in here, when I just bought him:


So he has changed a bit :)
 

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That's so fun! I just recently learned to drive with a team of percherons and I keep working on it and I plan on showing a half-arab driving this summer. It's so fun to drive them!
 

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good luck he seems to be taking to it nicely we usually use a tire and get the horse to drag that at first. as for the blinkers its entirely on the drivers preference, we use blinkers with our horses because they don't seem to mind and some of them (hob-knob and whiskey) tend to have a nosey bout without them so it would put them off balance a bit if they tried to turn to see something in the harness and rubber bits are good for younger driving horses.
i've seen images where there would be a saddle and a harness where the driver would actually ride the horse
 

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I thought the blinders/blinkers are (mostly) so the horse doesn't spook at the big monster with round feet chasing them... But if your horse doesn't need them, then I don't see why you should have to use them.

My horse, however, is a lot calmer With them.

Personal and animal's preference.

Looking good.
 
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