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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have been given the opportunity to spend time with an ex carriage horse. I have ridden them once and barely got into a trot. I just wanted to know is it possible to retrain a carriage horse to be a riding horse? And if yes, where do I start? TIA
 

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Absolutely possible.

I start by letting the horse get used to carrying a saddle. Whatever kind you want.

Then I start easing myself up on the saddled horse. I urge forward with legs and voice.

When I've done it, the whole process took about two weeks. But, you said you've already been astride so you're ahead of where I started with standardbred that had been raced.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Absolutely possible.

I start by letting the horse get used to carrying a saddle. Whatever kind you want.

Then I start easing myself up on the saddled horse. I urge forward with legs and voice.

When I've done it, the whole process took about two weeks. But, you said you've already been astride so you're ahead of where I started with standardbred that had been raced.
Thanks so much for coming back to me. Im definitely going to try harder moving them forward with legs and voice. As a carriage horse they are definitely more responsive to voice.
 

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I’ve got a rides and drives.

my Haflinger gelding was trained to drive first, spent some time as a professional carriage horse and then was sold in to eventually end up at a therapeutic riding center, but wasn’t suitable there. He got some work under saddle, but they were pretty quick to move him on and that’s how I got him. Put in the rest of his finishing work under saddle myself. He’s been fantastic as a trail horse.

That said, he’s definitely much more used to voice commands than leg cues and I’ll ask with both most of the time
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for coming back to me. Do you think I would be better off sticking with carriage driving commands like ‘hee’ and ‘haw’?
 

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Thanks for coming back to me. Do you think I would be better off sticking with carriage driving commands like ‘hee’ and ‘haw’?
If that's what he responds to, I'd use that, but simultaneous to any rein or leg aids that you want him to understand. Then he should pick up the other cues in time.
 

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Thanks for coming back to me. Do you think I would be better off sticking with carriage driving commands like ‘hee’ and ‘haw’?
I haven’t had to use gee or haw unless I’ve been driving (which I haven’t done for a while). Most of the voice commands I’ll use while riding is asking for a change of pace (i.e. trot or lope) while asking with my leg. Old habits die hard for older horses and it’s just something I’ve done for the 13 years I’ve had him. He will pick up transition cues without my voice since we show on and off in schooling shows, but most of the time it’s just trail riding. He likes to hear the sound of my voice while riding too, and I’ll talk to him just so I’m not going along in silence. You’ll find that driving horses are very comfortable with direct reining.
 

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The horse might be more used to 'come round' for right and 'come over' for left.

As far as I'm aware gee and haw are used more america. If you're unlucky then its owners would've used their own variations to some extent, as did my relatives.

Once you're speaking his language, you can link riding aids to the instructions.
 
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