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teaching mini to drive


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#1 lucky seven

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Posted 05 January 2011 - 04:05 PM

In the spring I will be trying to teach my mini to drive by myself. I have never driven and my mini is young and untrained. I plan on buying books and cd's to learn from during the long winter but would like to know what equipment I should purchase beforehand and if there is anyone on this board from upstate ny (saratoga/glens falls) area that could offer assistance if needed? thanks

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#2 hobbyhorse23

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Posted 05 January 2011 - 04:49 PM

There are LOTS of driving people in your area. Please go take some lessons with an experienced horse and driver combination before attempting to train your own youngster! :shocked Green + green = black and blue as I'm sure you well know. :BigGrin You can pick up many good safety tips from books and videos and if you're an experienced horseperson with good common sense and ability to read your horse's comfort level you can probably do a lot of the training yourself, but if you don't know what driving itself is supposed to feel like there's no way for you to show your horse how to do it.

That said, there's an awful lot of ground-training you can do yourself. Just how "untrained" is this youngster? And how old? If he or she is at least three, sensible, and has basic halter and lead training then you can be working on an iron-clad "whoa" and teaching ground-work and lunging. I cannot over-emphasize the importance of Whoa-Stand! Don't teach him to do it off a little jerk of the leadshank like so many mini people do, teach it as a voice command and hand signal so you can tell him to Whoa from anywhere in or out of his line of sight and he'll stop instantly. He or she should also know "Walk on," "Trot," "Trot on," "Back," and some version of "Step" or "Over" to indicate moving sideways. I personally teach "Canter" as well but that's an individual preference. The horse should be desensitized to barking dogs, rattling tarps, ropes in the vicinity of its legs, anything and everything you can think of. Bombproof is not too much to ask!

As for equipment, it would be good to buy a surcingle, maybe some elastic (or better yet, sliding) sidereins and a set of long-lines. You'll want to take lessons in how to use them but that's the basic stuff you can't live without. Well, that and an open bridle and a decent bit. Lots of threads on this forum about that!

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#3 targetsmom

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Posted 05 January 2011 - 05:10 PM

There is a wonderful driving club in your area - the Saratoga Driving Association (www.saratogadriving.com). They are even having a mid-winter driving conference next month on Feb 19. I wish I lived closer. I did join them one year and the people are very helpful and friendly. The only ADS event I competed in was their Pleasure Driving Show in 2009. Please contact someone from the driving club, attend the conference if you can, and take it from there!

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#4 lucky seven

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Posted 05 January 2011 - 06:50 PM

There is a wonderful driving club in your area - the Saratoga Driving Association (www.saratogadriving.com). They are even having a mid-winter driving conference next month on Feb 19. I wish I lived closer. I did join them one year and the people are very helpful and friendly. The only ADS event I competed in was their Pleasure Driving Show in 2009. Please contact someone from the driving club, attend the conference if you can, and take it from there!



My boy is 3 and can be a brat sometimes. He pays attention one day but not the next but tries his best. I will look into the driving association and see what is coming up with them. thanks for the help

#5 disneyhorse

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Posted 05 January 2011 - 11:37 PM

I would highly, highly recommend taking lots of driving lessons and learning all about it in person before attempting to train a horse to drive. Books and DVDs are not adequate, in my opinion.
I am sure there are lots of people in NY that drive, don't just limit yourself to people with minis, either.
Good luck, and I hope you take the time to educate yourself! It took me several YEARS of driving trained horses before I was able to train one of my own to drive.
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#6 RhineStone

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Posted 06 January 2011 - 10:48 AM

My boy is 3 and can be a brat sometimes. He pays attention one day but not the next but tries his best.

Is he cut or still a stud? If you are a beginner, I would definitely either cut the stud or get a gelding to train after having some lessons.

I didn't have the luxury of learning to drive before I taught my own, BUT we went to some clinics and taught my own teenage something Arab-cross very well-broke Western Pleasure/Trail class gelding who I trusted with my life. When I look back on some of the totally green horses I taught to drive since knowing how to drive, I can see that it would have been a TOTAL disaster if I would have taught them when I didn't really know anything about driving. :yes

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#7 lucky seven

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Posted 06 January 2011 - 07:29 PM

Is he cut or still a stud? If you are a beginner, I would definitely either cut the stud or get a gelding to train after having some lessons.

I didn't have the luxury of learning to drive before I taught my own, BUT we went to some clinics and taught my own teenage something Arab-cross very well-broke Western Pleasure/Trail class gelding who I trusted with my life. When I look back on some of the totally green horses I taught to drive since knowing how to drive, I can see that it would have been a TOTAL disaster if I would have taught them when I didn't really know anything about driving. :yes

Myrna



He is a gelding, I have to measure him again as he had quite a growth spurt and I want to buy the correct equipment.

#8 MiLo Minis

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Posted 07 January 2011 - 09:29 AM

How much background do you have with handling horses? Would you consider training your own horse to drive if it was a full size horse? So many people think because they are Minis they are small and easy to handle. Yes, they are easier to deal with than a full size horse just because of lower height, weight and strength but, believe me, Minis can be very powerful and are definitely much stronger than we humans are. If you knew basically nothing about teaching math, would anyone hire you to teach their children math? To be fair to not just yourself but your horse as well you really do need to learn how to drive before ever contemplating teaching your horse yourself. There are so many things that can go wrong even if you read all the books in the world! You will be unsure and nervous which will not help your horse out at all. Horses being herd animals pick up on our feelings and emotions really well and you will make him unsure and nervous. When something goes wrong (notice I said WHEN and not IF) you won't know how to react instinctively to put it right as quickly as possible so that hopefully nothing comes of it. Until you can confidantly handle a driving horse I would NOT even think to attempt to train him yourself. :modedit: Please read the rules page. http://www.lilbeginnings.com/forum/et/
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#9 RhineStone

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Posted 07 January 2011 - 02:28 PM

He is a gelding, I have to measure him again as he had quite a growth spurt and I want to buy the correct equipment.

A good instructor can even save you money in this regard by helping you measure your horse properly. Minis are some of the hardest horses to measure because not only do inches matter, but 1/4" as well! :BigGrin I almost have a collection of browbands from mismeasuring horses' heads! :OKinteresting And even if you want to send back parts that don't fit, an instructor can save you shipping.

There are people around who are not formal trainers, but just like to help people and their horses. You don't have to get a full-fledged Trainer to train you (although then you hopefully know what you are getting). Checking around with your local driving club can get you all sorts of contacts including mentors. The point is that getting experienced help in ANY form is THE best method of training for you and your horse. (Written for the masses as well as the OP.)

Myrna

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#10 lucky seven

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Posted 07 January 2011 - 07:23 PM

[quote name='MiLo Minis' timestamp='1294410574' post='1339153']
How much background do you have with handling horses? Would you consider training your own horse to drive if it was a full size horse? So many people think because they are Minis they are small and easy to handle. Yes, they are easier to deal with than a full size horse just because of lower height, weight and strength but, believe me, Minis can be very powerful and are definitely much stronger than we humans are. If you knew basically nothing about teaching math, would anyone hire you to teach their children math? To be fair to not just yourself but your horse as well you really do need to learn how to drive before ever contemplating teaching your horse yourself. There are so many things that can go wrong even if you read all the books in the world! You will be unsure and nervous which will not help your horse out at all. Horses being herd animals pick up on our feelings and emotions really well and you will make him unsure and nervous. When something goes wrong (notice I said WHEN and not IF) you won't know how to react instinctively to put it right as quickly as possible so that hopefully nothing comes of it. Until you can confidantly handle a driving horse I would NOT even think to attempt to train him yourself. Edited by Mod for advertising training services.[/quote]


I have zero experience, I have never driven in my life and think minis are just as strong as large horses. My boy can break a board fence just as easily as my big horse. He is just such a good boy that I keep looking forward to doing fun things with him. He isn't registered but is just as special to me as the most expensive mini on the market.




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