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Discussion Starter #1
I've introduced her a couple times now, but I have a 2 1/2 year old Clydesdale/TB filly named Eve -


We've done ALOT of desensatizing -


Quite a bit of long reining this past fall-




And some under saddle work for the last couple months - just walk, trot, whoa, turning and the basics.


I've never taught a horse to drive, but Eve makes the perfect subject since she's bred to pull and has such a laid back attitude. I don't have a coach or anyone with cart training experience, hense why I haven't gotten further with it already - just wondering, what's my next step? I have a cercingle and she's fine wearing it obviously, but what is best to start dragging behind her? A plastic PVC pipe maybe? Should I hold it myself for the first little bit so I'm able to drop it if needed and calm her? I don't *think* she'll spook, but I want our training to be safe and effective. I'd do some desensatizing work with whatever I deside to start dragging behind her first, but what do you guys think?
 

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thats a nice looking cob,don,t use the plastic pipe there is no weight in it and if you carried then dropped it that would scare her,a wooden pallet or small log might be better something with a bit of weight to it ,make sure its far enough behind so she dos,ent step back on to it ,have you shown her plenty of traffic thats important as well before you cart her
 

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i dont drive, but people at my barn do. they usually have a horse pull a tire
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Eve is actually a Clyde/TB, not a cob...unless there's something I'm missing? And I thought of maybe using PVC because initially I'd like to drag it myself...I'll be mostly training her myself and she's big enough now that if she spooks because of it, I need to be able to drop it and calm her...then pick it back up and continue. I wouldn't be opposed to using a small log but I'd worry that a tire might bounce, no? I guess not if it's a normal size car tire being dragged in the snow. As for traffic I've hand walked her on the gravel road a bit so far, never bats an eyelash at cars passing...but it's a gravel road - not ALOT of traffic! I'll start taking her for further walks and see how she does.

Thanks for the advise! Anyone else? :D
 

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i would go with the tire. the PVC doesnt have much weight so she probably wont even know its there. if you can get someone to help you though that would be a lot safer, especially with her size. i dont worry so much about the noise that it makes when it drags or the bouncing because these are all things that will happen with a cart. are you planning to buy a cart in the future? what we do a lot too is practice dropping the cart behind them, because a lot of times we have to unhook a horse alone, and we dont want them to spook at the sound of the cart hitting the ground, so we have someone hold them and drop it a few times every day so that they dont even flinch when they hear it hit the ground.

i dont know how you would hold what shes dragging, my thoughts is if youre holding it shes not going to feel it anyway... maybe im just thinking wrong??

also with the long lining do some tight turns, a lot of horses sometimes get resistant to doing tight turns once theyre hooked because of the feeling of the shafts on them. but in the pics she looks very comfortable long lining.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I do have an older spare tire, meant for my car, but it can be used as a training tool as well! I'm not thinking about pulling weight yet, that will come in time...but I don't have blinkers so I need her to be ok with being able to SEE what's following her. If I start by dragging a small log behind me, then she can see it's coming along with us...as soon as she's ok with that part, then I'll have no issue with it being attached to HER. I want to start with a visual, then add the tactile. Make sense kinda?

I do have an extra set of hands for the initial dragging training...but she also has 2 horses where we board and I don't want to take up all her free time. But she'll help me if/when I need it.

I don't have a cart at the moment but would be interested in purchasing one - just don't want to put the cart before the horse! LOL (sorry, HAD to!) I'm not 100% sure that I have the skills to properly train her for this so I don't want to go and spend thousands of dollars before getting a good idea as to how she's going to react to the idea. I want to be able to drag objects behind her without a fuss and like someone mentioned earlier, ask her to drag a pallet (wood) so it has a bit of weight to it before looking at an actual cart for her.

I hear what you're saying about the noises behind them, we've done ALOT of tarp work and I have a wooden rail on my round pen that has to be dropped to get in/out and she's ok with that. I'll work on the loud noises behind her though, good idea!

Long reining she's a doll. Has walk, trot, whoa down pat, working more on back now. Haven't done it in about a month now though since we really started under saddle. Turning and such she's better on the long reins than in the saddle, been honing in on that lately. I'll start some tighter manouvers though, see how she does. She typically takes everything in stride. Even when she spooks, so far it's 2 steps sideways and a google eyed stare at whatever startled her. I'm not worried about her running off and dragging me, but it's different when you're on the ground instead of on top of them...just new to me!

Thanks for the input, always open to more suggestions!
 

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thats a good idea to let her see everything 1st, when you get a placid horse you will be surprised how easy they take to the cart,like almagron said practise turning her tight,i,m just starting a 7yr old mare thats only ever been used as a broodmare and she is the same temperament,as yours .some horses are a pleasure to train
 

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if you want a cheap driving bridle to start her with a have a ton i could sell you one if you want. that way you dont have to spend a lot if it doesnt work out.

also for a cart, when you get to it, you might want to start with one like we use to jog horses in. you can get them in wood or aluminum and you can also get them fairly cheap used. the most expencive one we have right now that we bought used is a natural wood finished one and i think it was 800 but it was in mint condition. those are also easy to get on and off if something was to happen when you first start out. they look like this:

http://www.sulkyshop.co.nz/images/challenger_jog_cart-sm.jpg

thats a more expensive brand though^^

but i know how expensive the actual driving carts can be (our racing sulkies can be quite expensive, we bought one that was like 5k, and ended up returning it because it had too much lift and all our horses starting pounding their knees when they raced!!). this would be a cheaper one to start if something were to happen. also when we break you can sit on the seat sideways when you start with your feet only inches from the ground so its a really quick way to get off. but thats just a thought for you.
 

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a wheel is better than a tyre to pull, as it has more weight to it. use one from an average size car. then i always move on to a pallet with wooden "shafts" attatched. plastic poles arent really a good idea, as jimmy says; and if things go wrong and they break, they can shatter with a sharp pointed edge which could cause serious injury.
 

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the pipe is not for weight it is for her to get used to the feel of something stiff along her sides and bumping her. I highly reccomend this step, I used some closet poles I had. If it falls who cares let it scare her. That is the whole purpose is to work out the kinks before you hitch a cart. I am sure there will be more scary things than a pipe falling. Also drop the pipe next to her and get her used to the noise. I think a tarp on her would be more scary. Get some long lines at least 30 feet and longline her. The reins should be low while training and not up on a higher ring except when pulling something. I found that in line driving I couldn't walk fast enough so my horse was not taking as long as stride and longlining my speed didn't matter and I could get her to do figure 8's and trot, walk and woe by voice. I also had a drag made but not nesseccary but it was inexpensive to do and I can trot while longlining and watch her pull it and it does make her work more. In the cart I have not trotted yet for safety as she has only been hitched 3 times and I am usually alone..So the drag has come in handy for me
 

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Discussion Starter #12
the pipe is not for weight it is for her to get used to the feel of something stiff along her sides and bumping her. I highly reccomend this step, I used some closet poles I had. If it falls who cares let it scare her. That is the whole purpose is to work out the kinks before you hitch a cart. I am sure there will be more scary things than a pipe falling. Also drop the pipe next to her and get her used to the noise. I think a tarp on her would be more scary. Get some long lines at least 30 feet and longline her. The reins should be low while training and not up on a higher ring except when pulling something. I found that in line driving I couldn't walk fast enough so my horse was not taking as long as stride and longlining my speed didn't matter and I could get her to do figure 8's and trot, walk and woe by voice. I also had a drag made but not nesseccary but it was inexpensive to do and I can trot while longlining and watch her pull it and it does make her work more. In the cart I have not trotted yet for safety as she has only been hitched 3 times and I am usually alone..So the drag has come in handy for me
Thank you for your advise! I actually had extra hands today so I practised some long reining while my best friend pulled a car tire on a lunge line behind her horse. I warmed Eve up, made sure she was listening and doing everything I asked, which she was, then we just continued while my best friend walked back and forth around us so Eve could see the other horse pulling it without a fuss. After about 15-20 minutes of this, Eve was barely even looking at the tire as it passed both coming at us and going past us the same direction we were going. So my best friend put her mare away and came out to help me...

I had my reins through the lowest holes on my cercingle, looped the lungeline with the tire attached through the top. Put the tire to the inside and my best friend on the outside holding it taught so that Eve was pulling the weight of the tire, but it was easy as pie to let go and be free of the tire if needed. Eve didn't bat an eyelash. Just plodded along, whoa-ed when I asked, turned around nice and tight to do the same in the other direction. So we changed the tire around so it was on the inside again and went the other way...only time she moved away from it was when my best friend was dragging it up beside her again to hitch it to the other side. Even then it was 2 steps sideways, a good look, and a "oh, that thing again".

I can't express how proud I am of her. I know we still have a long way to go, and I'm glad someone else agrees with me that something like a PVC pipe is an ok thing to use, because I think I'll have more issues with something bumping her side than the weight of what she's dragging. Her TB side makes her hypersensative to touch, which is really nice when I need her to get over, but I think it may take a little more work with regards to shafts on a cart. I'll see about dropping some logs behind/around her tomorrow and see what she does. I don't think that'll phase her in the least though...LOL!
 

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Do you have a harness? She really should be pulling the weight against her chest. By your post it sounds as though you may have had the tire attached to the suricingle but not sure.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
My car tire (without the rim of course) weighs about 10 pounds. It's meant for my NEON. We were pulling it around beforehand...my best friend was riding her horse bareback while she was helping me get Eve used to it and she was hauling it around by her hand!

Like I said before - I'm not going to spend hundreds of dollars on a harness before I've done the desensatizing work to know she's going to take to it. So yes, I slipped a lungeline through the cercingle to make her drag 10 pounds around for roughly 10 minutes.

Don't get me wrong, when I upgrade to something that weighs more than 10 pounds and plan to work her longer than 10 minutes with it, I'll looking into a proper harness, but for what I'm doing, I don't see it as necessary. Once I'm thinking about dragging a pallet or whatnot, I'll be thinking of how it affects her, but thank you for youir concern.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Well I have numerous pieces of equipment that I could use to fashion a make shift harness, and I will once I'm asking her to haul something more than 10 pounds around...but it's literally JUST the rubber off my tiny car tire. If it was too much for the cercingle, it would have moved or slipped in some way, at which point I'll rig it up better. This was literally just to get her used to something being dragged behind her, not to actually pull anything of substance around.

On the bright side, I had her in the round pen and was dropping a small log on the ground all around her and she really didn't seem to care. Behind, beside - didn't matter. It was a log and didn't require her full attention so I think she'll do ok with that part. Rode her today too, but I'll make a post in Training about that... :)
 

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Don't want to beat a dead horse just would like to help if I can. I realize 10 pds does not sound like much but a suricingle even with just using the riens is designed to put pressure and help cue the horse. So 10 pds of pressure on 1 little point is alot. With the weight on her breast she will learn more of the leaning into it and head position lower while I am thinking with pressure on her back may make her hollow out and head higher. Not sure just makes sense to me.
 

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i think she really should have a breast collar, so she learns to pull into it.there shouldnt be any weight on her back at all, and when you get to fitting the cart it must be balanced so there is no weight in that area. therefore, not really much point in attatching anything to the surcingle. and the "shafts" as mentioned before, should be wood. yes she needs to feel themalong her sides, and learn how to turn with them, but if plastic piping breaks breaks, you could end up with a stabbed horse. almagron N; agree about the difference in terminology between uk ans usa, ie. the wheel, but i use a wheel, meaning the entire metal center with the rubber tyre included. just the rubber trye is not heavy enough, and get scaught up to easily in rough ground, or turning over. so i use a entire wheel or a one half railway sleeper....also jimmy has given a good suggestion ie using an old seat belt to make a breast collar, if you dont want to buy one, but i would pad it out, very carefully to prevent rubbing, and also get the real thing as quick as you can; synthetic are cheaply bought,or buy secondhand.
 
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