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Trying on a tandem harness *Pix Added!*


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#1 hobbyhorse23

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Posted 21 May 2011 - 12:16 PM

6/3/11: Pix added on second page, see new post

Step 1: Harness your very dominant senior gelding.
Step 2: Harness your barely 3 year old, never had a full harness on, only started ground-driving last week baby.
Step 3: Connect the two harnesses. Don't forget to stand back and try to take pictures!

Extra points if you do this at dinner time as the bugs come out and the temperature drops. :RollEyes

:OKinteresting

Okay, so I'm not that bad. First of all I've got some tandem experience so I knew what went where, how to correctly get it there and the safety principles to follow. Second, I had a header before attaching the two horses and was right there prepared for trouble myself. The two boys were AWESOME though, I was really impressed and wanted to share because the more they tolerated the more I realized just how risky hitching up a tandem on a whim with ill-prepared horses could be.

Turbo was quite interested in the harnessing process and hardly fussed as I girthed him, pulled the breastcollar over his head, did up the crupper and secured all the dangling straps. (Keep in mind he's had a crupper and blinkers on maybe twice in his life?) Kody of course knew what was going on and waited patiently in the leader harness while I got the kid geared up. I untied Kody and put him on a Whoa, Stand in front of T with Mom heading him then got everything attached. I have to give the boys total credit- the worst that happened was Turbo (still tied) trying to walk off and circle the post to the right which pulled the breastcollar around on his neck and tangled him in the traces a little bit. He stopped when I said "whoa," seemed to immediately get that he couldn't do that and backed easily back into place where he then stood politely for the remainder of our experiment. Kody, for his part, stood like a rock when the traces went tight and tried to pull him over.

Turbo did get bored and start nibbling on the leader traces once or twice but I could not believe how good he was about having the leader reins run through the roger rings over his blinkers. The kid's barely gotten used to wearing his own reins and here he was with someone else's going over his eyes and except for a startled look he was an angel! His main reaction was to freeze and swivel his ears in confusion then relax completely when I praised him and go back to looking curious. At one point he got the end of the leader reins caught up around a hind foot (they fell out of his backstrap) and he was completely unbothered. Normally 4 times out of 6 I can't get blanket legstraps on this horse without dodging a flying foot but get harness involved and suddenly he was all business. :wub While unharnessing I took a chance and pulled the leader reins out of the roger rings while standing in front of Turbo (veeeerrry slowly) and was pleased to see that even with blinkers on all he did was freeze and "listen" carefully to the feel of the reins slithering over his body and then the view of them suddenly falling free in front of his face. I give him major credit for that! :yeah

Kody was awesome and patient and clearly interested in the proceedings as well so I have hopes that if carefully introduced he will decide this is a Driving Thing (rather than a Turbo Thing) and take it with his customary positive attitude towards anything driving-related.

Things I would not have even tried on a tandem harness without: Solid Whoa, Stands on both horses. Desensitization to straps EVERYWHERE on both horses. Leader MUST NOT be jumpy about sounds behind blinkers. Wheeler MUST be calm about getting tangled up- preferred reaction is to whoa and wait for me to get him out of it. Voice command obedience on both horses- preferably extending to moving individual feet forward and back and pricking ears for the camera. :wink They're already getting pretty good at differentiating who I'm talking to, which is important.

Things I would like to see solid before actually driving tandem: Turbo needs to continue his "Whoa, Stand" work until he'll stand like a rock without the steadying influence of the leadline even when cold or excited. Obviously he needs to learn to pull and stop the cart and be confirmed in sitting on the breeching no matter what's happening. Kody needs more ground-driving work on not spinning but I think having traces attached will help with that; he only spins when he feels no steadying influence along his sides. I've already been leading the boys together in a line but I need to put in the legwork on leading them together in blinker bridles and reinforcing that Kody must NEVER kick even if Turbo blunders into him. I also want a few more months establishing that just because we pick up a little speed, they aren't to be racing each other. :RollEyes We're finally getting that when being trotted side-by-side and Turbo seemed to get it when being ponied the other day- no more trying to race up alongside Kody and bite him like he did when he was still a stallion.

Overall I was very pleased however and think we're well on our way to being a tandem and pair! Pictures, as always, are on my FB page.

Leia

P.S.- Had to laugh- I had the boys at the chiro the other day getting checked out prior to starting harder work and they've now started spontaneously grooming each other. All I have to do is reach out and scratch Kody's withers and he whips around and starts scratching Turbo, who immediately sidles up and starts scratching Kody back! :OKinteresting I can get a line going at the trailer...I groom Kody, Kody grooms Turbo up ahead of him, Turbo grooms the trailer for lack of other options. :rofl

Horses, like people, are never "finished." The work of self-improvement is never done.

Proud partner of Arrowstar's Dakota, Evergreen Miniature Horse Club's 2008 Preliminary Combined Driving and Western Country Pleasure Under Champion

 

RIP Oak Bay Turbocharged Edition, April 15, 2008 - March 17, 2013

Beloved Partner of Leia and Kody

Taken Too Soon

RIP Spyderman, January 12, 1977 - May 27, 2010
You are (still) missed


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#2 RhineStone

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Posted 21 May 2011 - 01:31 PM

I could not believe how good he was about having the leader reins run through the roger rings over his blinkers.

I can relate to this, as we did this last winter, too. It is exactly how we got the pair going instead! :OKinteresting Skippy was less than thrilled with the reins at her blinkers, and of course her frustration led to undesired cues for Alax. She had been put to the cart a few times, but not enough to make it a go. It was my big bright idea to put them together in tandem at that point (it has always been the plan, just probably not so soon when she technically wasn't ready....:RollEyes ), and basically it went something like this. My husband said, "Ok, I'll drive them.....[makes one round in the arena], TAKE HIM OFF, she is not ready!" We didn't even think they would make a pair, but Chad's bonus check later and we are taking them to a show next weekend! Tandem with the blacks will have to wait. (Chad's having too much fun with the pair!) (And Skippy still isn't ready for tandem. I'm having major problems with her straightness...or lack thereof.)

We drove the other tandem, though, this week to see if they are ready to go to a show. Flair has a great attitude for a wheeler. She is perfectly content to follow the butt in front of her. I bought Roger Rings for Chad for Christmas, and he is liking them a lot better than the Tandem Rosettes. Flair has a pretty low headset, and having the Roger Rings gives more "play" so that her lowered head doesn't cue Alax to slow down. Chad drove them for a while and then told me to drive them as his hands were getting tired. I drove them for about 5-10 min., and my hands got tired, too. :RollEyes So, I put the reins in my hand Achenbach, and that was more comfortable, but you just have to remember what rein is what! ("Oops, sorry Alax for running you into the wall...." :OKinteresting ) Tandem is fun, but requires SO much more "brain power". It's like the difference between playing four-handed Euchre vs. Sheepshead! I hope to get better at it and won't have to think as hard about it. Just requires practice time and desire, and an extra warm body on the ground to get you untangled...:BigGrin

Myrna (who didn't see the Facebook photos. I dasn't get too involved in that....or I would be admitting, "Hi, my name is Myrna, and I am a Facebook junkie....)

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37" Fantasy Corral's Magic Galaxy (AMHR) - 8x ADS Champion in Very Small Equine, Juniors, and Multiples Divisions

www.rhinestone-ridge.wikispaces.com

American Driving Society Midwest Regional Director


#3 hobbyhorse23

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Posted 21 May 2011 - 01:57 PM

(And Skippy still isn't ready for tandem. I'm having major problems with her straightness...or lack thereof.

Ah yes, I forgot to mention that as one of the pluses for Turbo. Kody's gotten a lot of remedial bending training during his recovery and is doing well, and Turbo has started off so much ahead in that department I don't think I'll have any trouble with cueing each horse to straighten out despite how green he is. I wouldn't try tandem with most green horses unless they were the leader!

I bought Roger Rings for Chad for Christmas, and he is liking them a lot better than the Tandem Rosettes. Flair has a pretty low headset, and having the Roger Rings gives more "play" so that her lowered head doesn't cue Alax to slow down.

:yes I've got the opposite concern. Turbo's going to have a much higher headset than Kody when he's finished so I think it will be better to use roger rings (this harness actually has tandem rosettes) so that Turbo can have his head up higher without encouraging Kody to overflex and curl up. The harness I'm playing with right now would be just for breed shows- I will be using their ComfyFit harnesses with Freedom Collars and roger rings on long throatlatch straps for recreational driving and ADS competitions. That is one reason to wait on trying it though...Turbo may be okay with Kody's reins over his eyes but Kody isn't going to appreciate Turbo's find-your-balance I'm-a-youngster head-tossing! :wacko

I was dragged into FB kicking and screaming to see someone's photos. Oops! It's just so much easier to upload photos there than to use Photobucket and then post them here. Still, I've got some ready to go on Photobucket in the next few days.

Leia

Horses, like people, are never "finished." The work of self-improvement is never done.

Proud partner of Arrowstar's Dakota, Evergreen Miniature Horse Club's 2008 Preliminary Combined Driving and Western Country Pleasure Under Champion

 

RIP Oak Bay Turbocharged Edition, April 15, 2008 - March 17, 2013

Beloved Partner of Leia and Kody

Taken Too Soon

RIP Spyderman, January 12, 1977 - May 27, 2010
You are (still) missed


#4 Mominis

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Posted 21 May 2011 - 04:07 PM

Wow Leia! That's amazing! You go, girl!!!
Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass...it's about learning to dance in the rain.


"Be who you are and say what you feel because those who matter don't mind and those who mind don't matter."-Dr. Seuss

#5 shorthorsemom

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Posted 22 May 2011 - 09:24 AM

Leia, what I want to know is ...


  • When is your book coming out?
  • When can I buy it?
If you don't have a book in the making, you should. I love reading your posts.:yes




#6 Marsha Cassada

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Posted 24 May 2011 - 09:27 AM

Leia,
I tried to send you a message and it said you can't receive any. Is your box full??

#7 hobbyhorse23

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Posted 24 May 2011 - 05:11 PM

Leia,
I tried to send you a message and it said you can't receive any. Is your box full??

Yes, yes it is. :blush Sorry! You can email me at "hobbyhorse 23 @ g mail dot com" (written the normal way, of course) if you'd like. Now I'm curious!

Leia

Horses, like people, are never "finished." The work of self-improvement is never done.

Proud partner of Arrowstar's Dakota, Evergreen Miniature Horse Club's 2008 Preliminary Combined Driving and Western Country Pleasure Under Champion

 

RIP Oak Bay Turbocharged Edition, April 15, 2008 - March 17, 2013

Beloved Partner of Leia and Kody

Taken Too Soon

RIP Spyderman, January 12, 1977 - May 27, 2010
You are (still) missed


#8 jegray21

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Posted 28 May 2011 - 07:10 PM

Super awesome! :yeah

#9 drivin*me*buggy

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Posted 29 May 2011 - 06:29 PM

Pix here chickie! I don't do facebook....please :RollEyes

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#10 hobbyhorse23

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Posted 30 May 2011 - 05:16 PM

Pix here chickie! I don't do facebook....please :RollEyes

Yes'm! :blush I'm doing better getting things on the computer but I'm also spending a lot more time out at the barn actually working horses for once so it's slow going. :wink I'm just so happy to have both of them in training again!

Leia

Horses, like people, are never "finished." The work of self-improvement is never done.

Proud partner of Arrowstar's Dakota, Evergreen Miniature Horse Club's 2008 Preliminary Combined Driving and Western Country Pleasure Under Champion

 

RIP Oak Bay Turbocharged Edition, April 15, 2008 - March 17, 2013

Beloved Partner of Leia and Kody

Taken Too Soon

RIP Spyderman, January 12, 1977 - May 27, 2010
You are (still) missed





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