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What do you look for in a good driving horse?


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#1 JaiteraMiniatures

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Posted 24 April 2011 - 06:46 PM

I know everyone's opinion on this will differ, but what do you look for in good driving horse? A certain conformation, height, personality? Can any Mini drive (pleasure) or are there certain things a horse would have to have before you'd ever think of training them to drive? Thanks.
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#2 Molly's Run Minis

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Posted 24 April 2011 - 07:10 PM

i think the biggest thing for me is how they react when they are spooked. if they automatically take off at full speed over a plastic bag-no go! if they back up a little and snort, thats good enough for me!
the next thing i look at is conformation. if the horse has anything seriously wrong-roached back, bowed legs, etc- i dont even hitch em'.
height isnt real big for me. IMO, most little ones can pull just as well as the 'big' ones!
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#3 jegray21

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Posted 24 April 2011 - 08:21 PM

I am not an expert at this but have several minis that I am training to drive all are different. Mine with the willingness to work are progressing faster than my strong minded ones.( I know Chief will be fancy in the harness but man he is a handful! )

With riding horses I always would take a horse that was willing over a fancy show horse that had a nasty attitude towards work! I could make the homeliest horse preform beautiful dressage all because they wanted to learn!

We have a pony that I have "retired" from driving ( and riding for that matter) because of his nasty habit of kicking when handling his hind feet. I am sure someone could work with it but I don't care to take the risk of getting kicked and he makes a wonderful companion pony :yes

Sum it up

Go attitude, sound, reasonable height for the minis ( I have a 29" that is as small as I am willing to drive) the rest is up to the training :yes

I would add it depends on your goals. Of course great conformation and strong gaits will have more potential to progress physically, but I still say pretty is as pretty does. Need to have a good mind. Ok that's all I got :)

#4 JaiteraMiniatures

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Posted 24 April 2011 - 08:46 PM

I am not an expert at this but have several minis that I am training to drive all are different. Mine with the willingness to work are progressing faster than my strong minded ones.( I know Chief will be fancy in the harness but man he is a handful! )

With riding horses I always would take a horse that was willing over a fancy show horse that had a nasty attitude towards work! I could make the homeliest horse preform beautiful dressage all because they wanted to learn!

We have a pony that I have "retired" from driving ( and riding for that matter) because of his nasty habit of kicking when handling his hind feet. I am sure someone could work with it but I don't care to take the risk of getting kicked and he makes a wonderful companion pony :yes

Sum it up

Go attitude, sound, reasonable height for the minis ( I have a 29" that is as small as I am willing to drive) the rest is up to the training :yes

I would add it depends on your goals. Of course great conformation and strong gaits will have more potential to progress physically, but I still say pretty is as pretty does. Need to have a good mind. Ok that's all I got :)


Thanks! I've been around the larger horses (eventing and hunter/jumper) longer than the minis and that's more or less my philosophy as well...a good mind is far better than a sour attitude. They may never be a nationally ranked show horse, but working with a horse that works WITH you (even just up to some local shows) is far more worth the effort in my opinion!
Jaitera Miniature Horse Farm:
Pretty Woman: solid palomino mare. RFM Extasy's Impressible Versace X Impressible Flames Summer Love
Guinevere: black varnish roan pintaloosa (?) mare. Another Dimensions DWBS Titan X Impressibles Sweet Sasha
Rose: palomino pinto filly. Impressibles Awesome Design X Impressible Versaces Pretty Woman
Buddy: solid silver chestnut gelding. Flying W Farms Little Boy Blue X Flying W Farms Love is Blue
Spartacus: solid bay gelding. Impressibles Awesome Design X Lowes Julie Ann
Daisy: palomino pinto mare. Impressible Majestys Fine Design X Impressible Stars A Daisy A Day
jaiterafarms.webs.com

#5 Minimor

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Posted 24 April 2011 - 10:41 PM

If I'm choosing a driving prospect I look for a slimmer neck that is well set on and has some refinement in the throatlatch area. I like a long, well laid back shoulder and a long hip. I like to see a good length of leg, and I don't want coarse legs or meaty hocks. I like an agreeable attitude along with some spirit and style.
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#6 targetsmom

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Posted 25 April 2011 - 09:41 PM

I look for balanced conformation in ANY horse, but for driving I want a good sloping shoulder and a long stride. I prefer a somewhat rounded and well muscled rear end, rather than the long, flat croups favored by many halter people. I also want a calm temperament but I can deal with lazy (lots of experience with that!) and very smart. Size IS important, but I am small myself so some of our driving minis are 32" and under.

Of course, a lot depends on your goals. I want one that can compete in ADS events or breed shows and also take kids for cart rides.

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#7 rabbitsfizz

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Posted 26 April 2011 - 06:43 AM

It depends entirely on what you want to do.If you are just driving for fun, you do not need to bother about whether the horse you are training will go in the ring and win, so a few conformational faults, or a not so pretty head, will not matter.
I want an easy going temperament, and a well balanced, useful length of stride but, having said that, all my geldings now will be trained to drive. The only one I am doubtful of is the five year old, he is 30" to the withers and a bit "sharp" so we will just have to start work and see where we go with it. He may, or may not, get there in the end, but one thing I would say, like Dog Agility, if you want to do it but the animal is getting no fun out of it, you really do have to stop!
So, if Toby really does not like harness training, then we will have to think of something else.
If you do not have the temperament you might as well bang you head against a brick wall, as that is one thing no amount of training can produce.
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#8 RhineStone

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Posted 26 April 2011 - 08:39 AM

I just saw an episode of Equitrekking the other day, and someone interviewed said he'd rather have a horse he needed to say whoa to instead of "giddy-up". :yes I've had the lazy ones and the ambitious ones. I like ambition with control.

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#9 Sandee

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Posted 26 April 2011 - 09:58 AM

I just saw an episode of Equitrekking the other day, and someone interviewed said he'd rather have a horse he needed to say whoa to instead of "giddy-up". :yes I've had the lazy ones and the ambitious ones. I like ambition with control.

Myrna



It's certainly much more pleasureable to drive a horse that is "willing" to move. I get so frustrated with my stallion as he always needs "pushing" while my mare moves out at various speeds without hesitation.
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#10 JaiteraMiniatures

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Posted 26 April 2011 - 07:54 PM

Thanks everyone for the replies! I would love to train one of our 3y/o mares to drive one day...and after everyone's comments she definitely SEEMS to fit the part (she may not enjoy though, we'll just have to see on that one.) She may be 10y/o before we ever get around to having enough free time to actually persuing that dream, but she's got a lovely trot, nicely balanced, and a good mind. She's very solid, which may or may not be a good thing, but sadly we think she's gone over 34" so I doubt we'd ever be able to show her in breed shows, except maybe AMHR? Anyway, thanks again...I enjoy reading what each of you look for :)
Jaitera Miniature Horse Farm:
Pretty Woman: solid palomino mare. RFM Extasy's Impressible Versace X Impressible Flames Summer Love
Guinevere: black varnish roan pintaloosa (?) mare. Another Dimensions DWBS Titan X Impressibles Sweet Sasha
Rose: palomino pinto filly. Impressibles Awesome Design X Impressible Versaces Pretty Woman
Buddy: solid silver chestnut gelding. Flying W Farms Little Boy Blue X Flying W Farms Love is Blue
Spartacus: solid bay gelding. Impressibles Awesome Design X Lowes Julie Ann
Daisy: palomino pinto mare. Impressible Majestys Fine Design X Impressible Stars A Daisy A Day
jaiterafarms.webs.com




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