A new horse and old horse andI have a trainer

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Well-Known Member
Mar 18, 2012
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Northern Nevada
It took me over 18 months but I found a trainer that lives really near by. Steve is a nice guy and he loves driving. He is the president of our small local endurance driving club.

I found out about Steve when my neighbor hit our mail box. She left a note to say she was sorry. We called her and got to talking, she is teaching one of her horses to drive. That's when I found out about our local club.

Steve and I worked out my equipment and evaluating where my two horses were at the first week. The second and third weeks, Wiseguy pulled Steve and I around my neighborhood. He told me he didn't think he had that much to teach me about driving Wiseguy. He thinks we are doing great and we just need to keep getting out on the road. It was a pleasure to find out that Wiseguy and I are doing well together as I felt insecure. I have felt we are doing okay but it was nice to get that checked out by someone who has been driving for many years.

Nevada started out as a handful. He was gelded fairly recently but his hormones are settling down considerably. He seem to think he could drag Hubby and I around the yard. He liked my husband right away but he didn't think I was worthy of his respect.

My first demand was that he back up if he wanted to get his hay. Then, he had to hold still and not grab for the food bowl when he is getting his pellet food. He also has to back away from the gate when I am coming in. It hasn't taken him long to figure out the rules.

I started using a stud chain for walking him to the round pen. Wow, what a difference. A little tiny bump with the lead and he was like "Okay, I'm coming. Okay, I'm stopping." Of course, we are still working on being a great horse to lead but that has come a long ways.

Nevada has been getting into the round pen with me. Again, at first, "I don't have to listen to you." "Oh yes you do little buddy." Looks like the round penning has paid off. He is starting to be really responsive to what he is being asked to do.

A few days ago, Nevada decided I was okay, he might even like me. That is a great feeling, to know you are making that connection with your horse. So, I asked Steve to watch Nevada in the round pen and see where we should go from here. I keep thinking what a great cart horse Nevada could be. Steve says he thinks Nevada could be a great cart horse, as well.

Since Wiseguy and I are going to just keep doing what we have been doing, getting out on the roads together, we can turn to working with Nevada. That means that Nevada is going to start his training for cart. First, he needs to settle down a bit in the round pen. Also, Nevada runs counter clockwise in the round pen when left on his own so Steve says he wants to get him going the other way more to make sure he is balanced.

I am ordering a surcingle with an open bridle. Then we are going to get a surcingle on him. Then the open bridle and later on a bit. Then a harness and the closed bridle. Plenty of ground driving will be in our future. One step at a time, we are going to work towards getting him in the cart.

I have high hopes for Nevada since this horse is so confident, he learns fast and he is starting to develop my trust and I am starting to develop his trust. He not afraid of things [quite unlike my little Wiseguy]. Let's see how this goes.

I'm going to start this thread with the hope of posting some photos along the way. No rushing the horse but I am eager to get started:)
Sounds like you are doing great, and congrats on finding a nearby trainer.

I look forward to seeing your progress!
Here's my little Wiseguy peeking at the new guy.

We had to skip training last week but the trainer showed up this week. After a week of wind and rain and snow, I thought Nevada would be a handful since I hadn't gotten him out of his pen. Nevada walked nicely to the round pen.

The trainer lunged him on a rope for a bit. Nevada was calmer which has been one of my goals. He just gets to running and running and whinnying at Wiseguy when he is in the round pen. He doesn't like to leave Wiseguy.

The trainer got the new surcingle and crupper on that I purchased. At first Nevada was like "Hey, what are you doing cinching that thing up." It wasn't cinched tight:) Nevada was fine about the crupper under his tail.

The trainer went him out to do a couple of circles and then Nevada through in a bit of a buck. "There's the Nevada we know and love," said the trainer. I was laughing.

The surcingle was going pretty smoothly so the trainer got the reins onto Nevada's halter. Then he tried to get Nevada to go out in front. Nevada turned and came straight towards me like "Your the owner, save me." I told him I wasn't going to save him. I stepped back from the rail and sat on the ground.

It's going to take a little more time, that is for sure. Once Nevada looked a little tired, we quit.

I took Wiseguy out on the road for a mile and a half drive. He did so good. I started him on the sandy road. I may have to give up leaving that way since it is getting pretty sandy but we made it out to the pavement. At the end of the road was two puddles which we threaded around like pros. I was so proud of my little horsey.

I stopped to talk to a couple of neighbors and he did well. He didn't get weird about any of the dogs on the route. That was super. When we got back, I got the newspaper out of the newspaper box and the mail out of the mail box. He did pretty good at that, as well. Wiseguy definitely looked a little tired so I need to keep getting him out and getting him back into shape.

Old photos 942.jpg
This week the trainer was sick so he couldn't come over but I got Nevada, aka Mr. Grumpy, out of his pen and into the round pen. It was too windy to do much for at least a week so he was feeling pretty spicey. We worked on leading nicely.

I got him into the round pen and let him run and trot and toss his head. Then, I started calling him over to the rail. I am working on him calming down a little in the round pen. He would come over to get some attention and rubbing and then take off again. He wants to stop and look at Wiseguy so I moved around the pen to the back side and gave him attention away from his favorite places to stop.

I stepped into the pen with the lunge whip and got him to trot gently around the pen and make some really nice turns. I called him to me and gave him some good rubs and did it again. Nice!!!!! This is actually a nice improvement. I do this for about 4 times and then I quit while I was ahead.

Walking him back to the pen he did a lot better.

Yesterday he got groomed which isn't his favorite thing. He does like stealing items from the grooming bucket though. He makes me laugh.
It's anew week and the trainer made it this week. Nevada did awesome. First the trainer worked him in the round pen a bit. Next, the trainer put the surcingle on Nevada and worked Nevada a bit more. No buck at al.

The trainer got to ropes snapped onto Nevada's halter and had him move out. At first, Nevada was confused. Nevada gave it some thought and then moved out with the trainer behind him. Nevada did start to turn around to face the trainer a couple of times but then realized he was supposed to be walking out in front of the trainer. The trainer and I were all smiles at how nicely Nevada did.

Wiseguy, on the other hand, was a handful this week. He did a perfect drive last week. I couldn't have asked for a better little horsey. This week, he was bucking and rearing and jumping at every little thing. Twice, I decided not to get him into the cart in this mood. The third day, I got out the plastic bags and an old towel and took the little goober out to the round pen again.

I also got a plastic bag on the end of a short whip a friend gave me. I got that bag to hooping like a bunny. I tied bags around the corral. I waved the towel. At first he was Mr. Jumpy but he calmed down pretty fast and tried to see if the bags had any carrots in them.

The towel was a bigger challenge but by the end of our training session, the towel was on his back and moving around him and he was fine.

The weather is wet and windy for the next couple of days but onwards as soon as the nice weather comes back:)
I have certainly had my challenges with these two but there isn't a mean bone in their mini bodies so we keep managing to move forwards.
Sounds like you are doing great! Welcome to horsemanship and horse handling 101... Dealing with penned up horses in changing weather conditions.

Always fun - you know I have "broke" (they are ridden on the line, lounge and freely by children and drive single and as multiples) Shetlands that are heading towards their mid-20's that are "acting up" this week due to cold, wind and FEELING GOOD! The oldest mare was dancing, snorting, throwing her tail over her back and then rearing and pawing the air. She finally remembered that I refuse to turn her loose when she's doing that, LOL. When I removed her halter, she stood staring at me for all of 3 seconds, then spun and leaped up and out, hit the ground running and go the others (who were already loose, but not running) to run with her a couple of circuits of the pasture.

This morning, our daughter's NSH threw a buck and a kick at me while I was watering - she got a slap with the end of the running hose, since that's not allowed. With the wind it's only about 20* right now and they are ALL RUNNING around jumping and bucking. I love watching it - but don't like them to aim at me if I'm out in the pasture(s) - cleaning manure (1 kicked the lawn mower a couple of days ago - new mower has a HUGE dent and pony was lame for a few steps), putting out hay or watering. YEP, can tell they haven't been worked in a while!!

THAT's fantastic how your boys are doing with both you and your trainer. I'm enjoying your sharing...

The trainer says Nevada needs a harness since he is doing quite well in the round pen. I ordered a harness and it will be here this week.

Training has been on hold for two weeks since spring has sprung and we are too busy for words.

Several weeks ago, Nevada got his surcingle and crupper on. The trainer was getting Nevada to go around the round pen. Nevada started bucking. We were both laughing as the trainer followed the bucking horse around the pen. YeeHaw, we are at the rodeo. Nevada isn't very good at bucking and soon quit. Hasn't bucked once before or since:)

I'll tell you can really get airborne and that is my little Wiseguy. Fortunately, he never does it when hooked up to the cart.

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