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Another pair - more ground driving - page 3

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paintponylvr

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On Friday, I hooked up this pair for the 2nd time for ground driving work as a pair. Now, both Ami (4 yr old mare) and Cupid (4 yr old gelding) have had about 4 months of intensive ground handling (Cupid actually since birth) and introduction to harness and driving single. Ami has been hitched and pulled the cart several times before returning home. Cupid went into log work - both single and as a pair with his sire and with another mare that we own. I went ahead and hooked them together as a pair right in the barn and then ground drove them out, but soon discovered that that may have not been the best of ideas. This was their 2nd time being worked together - and Ami's 2nd time wearing the work harness.

I had two friends over who helped me and the 3rd time that Cupid decided he just needed to separate from Ami (charging ahead, rearing when given any correction and then twisting and coming down while catching harness and/or hooves in either hers or his harness/lines. What a mess! Soooo, they were unhooked as a pair and I worked him quite hard as he was just "wound up" and suddenly wanting not to listen to voice or lines - first lounging, then hooked up the pair lines to drive him single (had the stub lines on each side hooked into a ring and just draped along his sides) until he was really listening and ready to stand when he was given the "whoa".

Then Ami was worked too, but not quite the same way. She isn't as forward and with working with her in a new area (and she considered the ditch between our driveway and the barn - the "Grand Canyon"), I wanted to get forward movement without the greenie/beanie "squiggles" back and forth. So instead of lounging she and I went right to ground driving and working on bending and accepting contact (been a while since she'd been worked). Finally got her to first move steadily over the ditch from each direction - jumping it like she was gonna be attacked from below. Then got her to approach and halt while crossing the ditch - in different areas and from both directions.

She was also given a short break and then they were put back together as a pair. This time I didn't put a tie line between their halters. I used the longer tie line as a "tie down" for Cupid while working him single and decided to leave it in place while driving them as a pair. I used the shorter line as a breeching tie and - walla - w/i minutes they were working "sorta nice" together and syncing up their movement.

I hope that eventually Cupid learns he is expected to work and becomes more agreeable. He's a very pretty mover and has loads of potential, but just seems to always be sour and chargey. I think Vicki caught a couple of photos where he actually had one ear up and the other not pinned back. The rest of the time... well, a couple of times he still managed to let us know he didn't like Ami and the rest, he kept his ears not completely pinned back but just not .... happy! Twice, I stopped him from reaching over and biting at Ami and she responded by swishing her tail and hopping once or twice. I do think this pair will eventually learn to accept working together and can only hope that some of Ami's happy attitude will rub off on Cupid. Maybe when we graduate to pulling a wheeled vehicle and go out and about to see new countryside. We've got more work together as a pair ground driving pulling nothing, then we'll graduate to a tire drag and then a regular drag. We might pull the wagon some time this summer - don't know for sure. I'd love to get them far enough along to use them as a lead team with the larger pair as the wheelers and do a 4 up. But may not happen yet this year...

Some of his shenanigans at the beginning.



Moving lower than I really want him to - but finally relaxed, moving forward and not pulling on the tie down (attached to his breeching). And while he is more relaxed, he is also mad.



Ami thinking something is gonna jump up and eat her from the "hole" in the ground...



Doing great now as a pair -



Near the end of their work - with Julie driving the pair and they are working nicely together.


 
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Reignmaker Miniatures

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Love it, they were working nicely at the end and even the attitude seems to be shelved for the last 2 pictures. I'm thinking Cupid is one of those horses who thinks he should make the rules and really must be reminded that is not how life is. lol. I have one of those too, if we work him regularly he's fine but give him time off and he gets annoyed at being told he must actually work. He is part of a team too and does pretty well as one of a pair since he works with his brother but driven as a single he will try many tricks to avoid the work when he isn't worked several times a week. He's my husband's horse and I struggle to find the time to keep him tuned up for the once a month drives my husband finds time for. Cupid and Ami are going to make a great pair tho, they are so nicely matched in height, colour and stride. I look forward to seeing updates as the season goes on. BTW, what is that green stuff all over the ground?
 

Silver City Heritage Farmstead

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Shhhhh....don't tell Reignmaker......it's GRASS!! LOL

Yes, it was a good learning experience for me. I kinda feel like a shlep when I go to Paula's. She does the hard part, getting the bugs out, then when I take over my biggest concern was not chopping my head off while going under a line strung between the trees.

I've learned several different ways of dealing with cut-ups like Cupid while working with Paula. I've not had previous experience with multiples. It's interesting to see how the horses interact differently with the driver, as well as their reactions to, and with, each other. Ami is an honest little mare and looked quite shocked at Cupid's behavior. He was too busy being mad to do much thinking, until Paula separated him and kept pushing him forward, forward when he wanted to be naughty.

There's definitely more to it than what show harness training Arabians was for me back in 19......bluba, bluba something..... Fortunately, basic good horsemanship is the same no matter your breed or style. I'm very much looking forward to learning more with Paula and her horses.
 

poniesrule

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I just LOVE reading your posts... I learn so much just from the way you write
I can't wait to see their progress, they are a cute team! In your first picture, the expression on Ami's face is priceless... I'm pretty sure I've given my non-horsey husband that same look when he's around my minis.... (Oh, & feel free to send that grass this-a-way!)
 

Performancemini

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Paula; I need to send my husband and our "Tuxedo" out to you. Tux is also a Cupid! And he sure is putting a kink in Dave's getting his team going. Tux is not green to driving-just as a team. But his personality is the same going single too. Wants to do it his way in his time! Guess we'll have to scrape up the money somewhere for the 3 of them to go back to the trainer (a good ole boy Haflinger man, who has also gotten into driving minis. He has a 4-up of them now).
 

Reignmaker Miniatures

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Shhhhh....don't tell Reignmaker......it's GRASS!! LOL

OMgoodness!! You mean that stuff still exists, I am beginning to doubt I'll ever see it again lol.

Yes, it was a good learning experience for me. I kinda feel like a shlep when I go to Paula's. She does the hard part, getting the bugs out, then when I take over my biggest concern was not chopping my head off while going under a line strung between the trees.

I've learned several different ways of dealing with cut-ups like Cupid while working with Paula. I've not had previous experience with multiples. It's interesting to see how the horses interact differently with the driver, as well as their reactions to, and with, each other. Ami is an honest little mare and looked quite shocked at Cupid's behavior. He was too busy being mad to do much thinking, until Paula separated him and kept pushing him forward, forward when he wanted to be naughty.

There's definitely more to it than what show harness training Arabians was for me back in 19......bluba, bluba something..... Fortunately, basic good horsemanship is the same no matter your breed or style. I'm very much looking forward to learning more with Paula and her horses.

Having someone else to give quality input when you are working even experienced horses is a plus, when starting greenies and learning something new it can be a must IMO. I love taking part in clinics when I can just for that tweaking I get when someone else can see me working my horse. What I learn with on (or a pair) helps with every other one too. I hope you will continue to share the progress your pair make as they spend more time driven together (And btw... if you are sending grass your neighbours in the great white north saw it first
)
 

studiowvw

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Wow, you did great working through that. Congrats and keep at it and you will reinforce the good stuff.

Little Barney that I got last fall was at first a total forwardaholic - could only stop him by facing him up to the RP panels. I line drove him a couple of times. I think it was anxiety.

Then we got all that.... WINTER.... Barney got to know me around the barnyard and feeding times.

This spring he has totally changed. I took him out a few times on line - got into a big kerfuffle a couple of times over "yes, that is me telling you what to do and you can't just keep walking forward like a bulldozer!!!"

Yesterday's line drive was about a 3 - he wanted to go down the road which was great, but then he didn't want to go back home. Again, a big consistent "yes, that is me telling you where to go!"

Today I figure we earned 8s and 9s


His line driving was great, he actually STOPPED on whoa, and he was out of that bulldozing forward mode. We went down the road about half a mile, then came back without much resistance, although he allowed he would have preferred to go down the road!

He has actually been able to look at me, likes hugs around the neck and responds when I talk cute to him. The first couple of months I think he had his fingers in his ears and was singing LALALALALALAL. Poor little guy.

I'm hoping to hitch him this week for the first time. (He is an experienced driving horse whose owner died, hadn't been driven in a couple of years.)
 

paintponylvr

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Thanks, one and all, for helping me to see some things thru different eyes. I think both Vicki and Julie got a good idea how frustrated I was with his behaviour and part of me, at one point, truly wanted to "kill him"... It probably didn't help - I was/am sick (at that time - better now) and felt pretty rotten. I realized I may have "bitten off more than than I could deal with" but didn't want to put them up w/ him acting that way.

Both losing my voice (prevented the cussing I'd started doing) and starting to weeze made me slow down (a little anyway!) and think a bit. The "tie down" was pulled out of "old" memories and seemed to work w/o me getting in his mouth so much. His teeth don't appear to be a problem nor do they need to be floated at this time. I've also used draw reins to "force" a horse into slowing down or adding just a bit of leverage to help get a point across w/o damaging the mouth or always pulling on each other AND I've used them while ground driving him in the past and it does work. However, I've also found that ithey can create a "false collection" and causing a horse to avoid the bit by "over flexing". Cupid has just the right type of neck and throat hinge to allow him to be that type - so I want to be careful not to produce that because I have a difficult time fixing over flexion/false collection.

While i was sick, I also went back thru pictures of me learning to drive during lessons with the Draft Horse Trainer and working with my first driving ponies - both during lessons and while at home alone. I was able to re-read some of the posts here and on our website that I did of time it took and what I did. That drove home how little time either Ami or Cupid has had driving - even single and the fact that they haven't been worked in a LONG time due also to our weather (however much milder than others'). So chin up to me, and "time to thy feet, for ground driving" (hehehehehehe)... This little pair will get there. And yes, I think eventually that they will work well together... and just maybe I should do some "down & dirty" driving!!

Oh, and I truly hadn't even really NOTICED that green stuff. IN FACT, after I down loaded the pics, my hubby got a GREAT BIG LAUGH as I exclaimed about the FLOWERS on the trees. I was sooooo concentrated on what I was doing with the pair (& trying not to pass out when I suddenly felt sooooo tired after a coughing fit), that I truly hadn't even noticed the flowering Bradbury Pear trees!
 

Melinda Dean

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Paula, Thanks for sharing your pictures. You met my non horsey husband at the ECMHC get together. He has never said this, but I think he wonders why I have taken sooo long training my pair. Just showed him your pictures. Now, he gets it! I work completely alone, not by choice, and because of this, I took forever getting the boys together. Was so afraid I would have fire works, get hooves tangled, and hurt all 3 of us. Your post brings home to me just how lucky I am that both of my geldings like each other, love to drive single, and think going out together is great. Have not hitched as a pair yet this season. Draft friends from Ahoski are coming soon to help make sure all fits well, determine best pole length, before I cut down my new pole, etc. Did not have this input when I hitched originally and know my set up needs fine adjustments.

I never thought about making a tie down to prevent the herd leader, Bucky, from nipping at his younger side kick, Chester. He has only done this once, but since I was long lining, all I could do was a verbal,"Buck, No!". Which resulted in young Chester halting in his tracks at "No", as he assumes every "no" is meant for him! (Still has foal nipping issues. "Hi! I am friendly, " then tries to nip to say hello to strangers. Actually he thinks his name is DON'T BITE! and canters to me when I call this out.) Anyway, his neck is much shorter than Bucky's which allowed Bucky to grab the youngster's ear while long lining. I did set my yokes wide to not have this problem when hitched. Today I hope to put the harnesses on the boys and do some walks down our trails. I will try making a tie down on Bucky and see if it limit his ability to grab Chester's ear. I would never have thought about it with out your post.

Thanks for giving me another safety lesson!

I am sorry I did not get to hang around with you and your friends at the meeting. This was Tom's first horsey get together, is not a horse person, so I was trying to keep him entertained. Did find motorcycle interested friend for him, so he had a nice time too. He was my driver (car) that day. Hope you found some good hay!
 

studiowvw

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Hi again Paula - just something I've been thinking about.

We get into a big kerfuffle with our horses over something and push through to where there's a change and we feel we can quit on a good note. Like when you push through to a better understanding and then quit when there's some improvement (that's what it looks like you did.)

We humans tend to remember the big fight and "don't want to go there again!" As in: OMG that took way too much energy!

The horse is left with the good note and that's where he picks up next time (or it takes much less effort and time to work through his resistance).

Just think of a new horse going into pasture with another.

They don't know each other - they fight, kick, bite, chase each other - really ugly or a lot of energy and running around.

Then they sort it out and everything calms down.

The big kerfuffle is not what horses remember - they just move on in the new regime.

So congratulate yourself on doing everything right to get to the new regime! That's what you should remember, not the pain it took to get there


It looks like you got to a point you can build on - you only need a few minutes a day to build on these things.
 
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paintponylvr

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Paula, Thanks for sharing your pictures. You met my non horsey husband at the ECMHC get together. He has never said this, but I think he wonders why I have taken sooo long training my pair. Just showed him your pictures. Now, he gets it! (
) I work completely alone, not by choice, and because of this, I took forever getting the boys together. Was so afraid I would have fire works, get hooves tangled, and hurt all 3 of us. Your post brings home to me just how lucky I am that both of my geldings like each other, love to drive single, and think going out together is great. Have not hitched as a pair yet this season. Draft friends from Ahoski are coming soon to help make sure all fits well, determine best pole length, before I cut down my new pole, etc. Did not have this input when I hitched originally and know my set up needs fine adjustments. (It's amazing how just a small amount of weight either gained or lost means more fine tuning in harness fit. And with the draft harness, every change you make in one spot often affects several other parts! Glad you're getting help, I'm a little jealous - but then that's why it's fun having a couple of other people to ask if it looks right and forums to go to to ask questions.)

I never thought about making a tie down to prevent the herd leader, Bucky, from nipping at his younger side kick, Chester. He has only done this once, but since I was long lining, all I could do was a verbal,"Buck, No!". Which resulted in young Chester halting in his tracks at "No", as he assumes every "no" is meant for him! (Still has foal nipping issues. "Hi! I am friendly, " then tries to nip to say hello to strangers. Actually he thinks his name is DON'T BITE! and canters to me when I call this out.) Anyway, his neck is much shorter than Bucky's which allowed Bucky to grab the youngster's ear while long lining. I did set my yokes wide to not have this problem when hitched. Today I hope to put the harnesses on the boys and do some walks down our trails. I will try making a tie down on Bucky and see if it limit his ability to grab Chester's ear. I would never have thought about it with out your post. (For cupid, I'm seriously thinking of using the light weight single tree I made and hooking it to his halter and Ami's (or anothers halter) halter. The if he reaches to bite her, he'll push her away with the "pole"...)

Thanks for giving me another safety lesson! (
)

I am sorry I did not get to hang around with you and your friends at the meeting. This was Tom's first horsey get together, is not a horse person, so I was trying to keep him entertained. Did find motorcycle interested friend for him, so he had a nice time too. He was my driver (car) that day. (hmm - sounds like my hubby, too. But then I can't say too much - I'm not into the role playing games that he used to be into and some of which he is still interested in. While I would love to meet some of the Fantasy authors I've read, I might go "bonkers" if I went to a "DragonCon" or a Comic Book convention with him.) Hope you found some good hay! (I don't want to talk about hay right now...)
 

Jules

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LOVE the photos, they really tell a story.

Working with one horse is an art, convincing TWO horses to not only work with you, but also each other is well....an adventure!

My pair at times can 'squabble' as my mare is much more dominant and mature. My gelding sometimes wants to play, which annoys the mare and then she starts getting narky at him, then I feel like a teacher in a school yard when I have to tell them both to quit it!

Thanks again for the photos, it made me chuckle and nod in understanding all at once. lol
 

paintponylvr

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I didn't do it before, but here is the link to ALL the photos so far of Cupid and Ami driving as a pair. Ami & Cupid - Driving Shows me driving them at first, then splitting them up - but didn't show the time I worked Cupid on the line - lounging, reversing every few strides at a trot until he was ready to listen and ready to stop when I ultimately said "whoa". They do show me driving him "single" with both of the pair lines. Then Ami's turn - with some of her spooks and bending the wrong way. I put explanations up with the pics. Then Julie ground driving them. Two VERY short vids with Julie on the lines!

PerformanceMini - Here is also Cupid's single album. Lots of pics of different single works with him. Some show that attitude when he was single too, LOL. There are 553 photos, so it may be slow to load... Also, show some where he is working in his work harness in "draw lines". Cupid

And Ami's photos - Ami There's some interesting ones there as well...

******

For the NEW folks joining us in this forum - I started driving ponies in 1997 - when I got a Hackney Pony mare with her work tack, work cart, show harness and show cart. The woman I purchased her from didn't want to show me how to harness/hitch her - so I found another gentleman to help me. Then I went on to learn how to start ponies from scratch - starting our first Shetland stallion and his 18 month daughter late in 1997 and doing some driving with them. The larger harness never did fit them quite right - but was the basis for me to make a pleasure type harness with the rest of the working parts in 2009/2010.

I ground drove all our riding horses and riding horses for other trainers in the 70's & 80's while starting them under saddle - but it's not quite the same as working with a "true" harness horse...

Our own children wanted to ride and had no real interest in driving. With the 3 of them needing outfitting and growing, I couldn't do both the riding and the driving - just to expensive on a single, military budget. So the riding was shelved as we continually graduated up in sizes of mounts for the girls'. In 2009, they were pretty much done with riding (& showing) and I had the opportunity to get back into the shetlands - purchasing 3 Shetland mares, 1 shetland 2 yr old that went to Vicki, 3 shetland weanlings - with the goal to DRIVE matching ponies... I still didn't really have the money for harness - so I learned to make some out of a re-usable product (when I still had the time to do so...). It worked to get started.

I then started taking lessons with a Draft Horse Trainer in April 2010 - with the goal to be working up to different multiples - single, pair, 3 or 4 abreast. Then on to 4,6 and maybe even 8 up (!!!). Vicki and I took our lessons together - going every Tuesday from April thru November. Started with his horses, then started taking our ponies and starting them single and then on to pairs.

Some of our experiences are posted here thru-out this forum. I currently have 2 separate pairs (currently Bell & 2010 daughter, GG; Bit -Bell's sister- & Koalah) that work and can be hitched to farm equipment as well as the Forecart and the little Pioneer Wagon that I have. They also all drive single hitched to either the sulky style cart or an ez entry metal cart with wood shafts. Then I have various pairs started ground driving in work harness (Stuffy & Iggy; Iggy & Cupid; Cupid & KoKo; Cupid & Ami). Stuffy, KoKo and Ami drive single hitched to carts - Ami has been hooked several times and neither Iggy nor Cupid have been hitched to wheeled vehicles yet. Then ... I have a WHOLE LOT of youngsters waiting to be started - either single (well, all need to go single first imo) and then "fitted" as pairs. KoKo is started - but think she'd work best as a pair with a young mare from our breeding program not related to her - Flashi. Flashi is now 3, has been shown in halter as a 1 & 2 yr old, but hasn't gone any further than wearing a headstall and bit, yet. I think Cupid will ultimately match best with his 2013 little brother - Rio. His 2011 full sister took after their sire and Wyndy has lots of leg under a rather light body... Think she will match up in the future with her sire... Her personality lacks the "spark" of Cupid's - but that may be better when we get around to starting her in harness. Like her sire, I think she'll wear a mini harness - maybe forever - even though she's quite a bit taller than Cupid! There are others as well...

So those of you who have never checked out my albums - here they are. LOTS of pictures!! Many albums follow our "babies" from birth thru current day!! Some are show type pics, some are working pics, some are just hanging out in the hairy, muddy, pasture type pics. Some of my clip jobs are VERY FUNNY according to lots of folks on these forums, LOL.

Purple Paint Pony Photo Gallery (Picasa)

ENJOY. And if you see something you need to know more about - ask. I don't mind answering - either here or privately. Right now, our website is dysfuntional... I have a couple people working on that - but it doesn't seem to be going anywhere at the moment.
 

poniesrule

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:SoHappyTHANK YOU for providing the link to your album as well as the brief bio. I really do love reading about your (& everyone's) experiences & how you are able to work through things on your own & with the help of a friend (or two!) I think the thing I enjoy the most is seeing how you "work" with your horses. It's a great way to enjoy the little guys & keep a link to the past alive. Someday..... maybe..... I will be ready & able to get a little team together to help with the day to day tasks we have, dragging arena, spreading the poo, etc. But I need to get this whole single thing figured out first! When you don't have anyone else driving (mini's) close to you, and a couple young kids running all over the place, it's sure nice to have everyone here to help me learn along the way. Best thing I ever did was get on google and find this site! We live in a rural town and are fortunate that the majority of people around here love to see us out with the little horses. It provides it's own challenges, but is totally worth it. The only problem I have is that everyone and their dog wants a ride in the "baby horsie cart" and it's hard to explain to them that it's not happening. We've had some fun times going around through town, but not consistently yet, stinking "Sprinter" weather we're having.

When you fit your teams, do you look to match sizing & way of going equally? Or look more to way of going? The two I have right now are polar opposites, so I wouldn't dream of trying them together, but just curious. Ok, enough blabbering about nothing.
 

paintponylvr

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There are actually various answers to the question on pairing. Just the same height or just the same movement - may not work. I have the two sisters - they are close in height (not the same) and they are similar in movement but again not the same... AND then they have very different "outlooks on life". At various times, they have not worked well together at all. Others they have been quite perfect. You can use the BROAD generalization that a pair must be the same size or that they must have the same movement or even the same type of personality. And then you see big old draft mule driving with this lightweight, 3 hh smaller pony critter - and they are working evenly together w/o any issues at all. Or 2 great big warmbloods driving next to a tiny little Hackney pony as a pair not as a tandem or as a unicorn. I think part of it is truly the trainer/driver as well... It's amazing how well a pair will work for "the trainer" as compared to "the owner", or a green "driver".

Generally, the greener the driver/trainer I would say that yes - it's easier with a matched pair - in height, in movement and in personality. AND there are probably others - both drivers of large pairs and right here on this forum - that will say something different.

But I learned that with using training tips, learning better driving habits myself, "mileage" for them and me - separate and together, using training aids (such as securing your double tree so that it doesn't move and even securing your single trees so that they have limited movement; using a "buck back strap"; using voice to encourage one to step up while getting the other to slow down or shorten stride, amazing what you can do with that whip that is ALWAYS supposed to be in your right hand - there's a reason the lash is supposed to be a certain length and I still struggle with hand control to use it properly. There are "whips" that drive w/ the whip in the left hand) and paying attention (maybe the hardest part - when driving in a neighborhood or at an event - people want you to stop and let them see what you have going on, or pet the "horsey" or talk to you) . All it takes is one of your hitch getting upset or nervous and it can create major problems.

I was caught completely flat footed and by surprise when the "better" mare had a melt down when I pulled into the church parking lot a mile from our house while it was full of kids and when Vicki was with me. She was able to get down and head her, she settled only slightly but it was like her whole body was "vibrating"... I asked everyone to clear a path for us and to stay clear, Vicki got back into the wagon and I asked for a "walk on", and she leaped into the air and forward (thankfully, I had a good hold on the lines and was wearing gloves) - she neither pulled the lines thru the rein terrets (the buckle, once thru, usually won't pull back thru and while it's on the wrong side of the rein terret - there is no control whatsoever unless they listen and respond to voice alone), nor yanked her sister off her feet on the pavement. She wasn't bucking, she wasn't "squalling" but she sure didn't want to stand still for some time and when her sister didn't want to keep up - she quite willing literally "drug" her via the double tree. This went on for some time - when I circled back to home - I fitted her with the buck back strap I'd been using on her sister (who had "graduated" out of it). She stayed forward and pulling strong - not fighting the lines or her sister but certainly not willing to ease up or even take a break. Going away from home made not a lick of difference in her attitude or way of going. We were all needing the hose off that i gave them a couple hours later - and I needed non-sweat soaked clothes!! I never did really figure out what was wrong or whether it was just a "wild hair" ...

The better your "singles" work with your voice commands before you hitch them (especially responding to their name,imo), the faster you can get a pair working together even if they don't "match" at all. But then - I don't talk to my pairs/ponies/teams nearly as much as some folks I know. It's pretty amazing to watch as one will learn to slow down or shorten their strides while the other will learn to speed up or lengthen their strides. They can both become sore while doing that - you really have to learn your team so that you work them enough w/o asking too much. It's a lot! It's work! But it's very satisfying and FUN, too!

Generally, I learn something new each time I hook my ponies - because I'm still very much a "greenie, beanie" myself (IMO). But I look to learn more and expand my knowledge. Things that instructors have told me in the past didn't "hold" or "click" - and just didn't seem to work. Then all of a sudden, something happens and you remember that "little thing" that was expressed (and it could be as simple as turning your wrist on one hand while executing a turn one direction or the other) suddenly fits and the whole work comes together - even if it's only for a stride or two. That's horse training. That's learning. That's becoming a good whip (driver). I still have tons to learn. There is an amazing amount of difference between the different styles of driving - even though the basics/foundation are similar. You just go "up" or "on" in different directions from that foundation for different disciplines. And you have to learn to adjust some different terminology and techniques for each different discipline.

****

I recommend that you go out and read the articles and look at more pictures at www. driving pairs. com, too. (there's other multiple info there as well...)
 

paintponylvr

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And with pairs - I had the Draft Horse trainer tell me that we needed to put the two ponies in the same pasture, when caught - they needed to be led together to the gate or the barn, they needed to be tied next to each other to eat and to be groomed.

I found that for me, it did make a difference.

Now, the day that I hooked Ami and Cupid together, they were "thrown together" in a small pen in my boys pasture. They'd never been pastured together - though they live in pastures adjacent to each other. Cupid was running her from one end of the paddock to the other - I moved her into another pen. I wonder if they get to being ok together in a paddock or the round round pen, if they will start working together better. Hmmm...
 

BSharpRanch

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As for keeping the team mates together, that all depends upon the horses. I only have two horses that are kept together and that is because I cannot regulate their feed, I cannot observe how much water is being drank by each animal, nor who is pooping which piles, so prefer my horses to have sepedate corrals. However I do try to stall team mates beside each other when possible.

I do try to lead them out to the hitch rail together for grooming and harnessing.

My four-up ranges in size from 33.5" for the wheel team down to 32" & 30.5" for the lead team. I have found personality to play a big role in teaming them up, however I have very limited experience in team work. I have had a couple of "rejects" when trying to put the teams together. Mostly because the horses just were not team players, ie: they just really hated driving next to another horse and the fits just had the possibility of getting someone injured so off the team.

The lead pintos are fresh geldings, just had their surgeries in October. I started them when they were stallions and they did well, just picked at each other in harness, but got along surprisingly well when not hitched and just turned out for play time together. After gelding they turned into monsters! They destroyed a steel panel between them and fought like raging idiots! But when hitched they were quieter. I still have them corraled next to each other and lead them together and tie them together without any issues. They still pick at each other a tiny bit but are getting better all the time. I am aware of who my "problem" horse is and even though I watch all like a hawk when I am driving, I know pretty much if my PC is good, everyone is good.
 

poniesrule

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paintponylvr (Paula?) I love that driving website! I absolutely live on google.... Not trying to hijack your posting here, but when you mentioned the horses responding to their names... I have a gelding names EZ.... Easy is my term to half-halt/steady. I should probably think about changing one of them, eh?

On to my limited experience, I have always had trouble with my saddle horses when there was a mare in the mix of boys. I'm not saying they don't work together... but thrown together has always been drama. But once they worked their drama out, a mare & gelding seemed to bond better than two geldings/two mares, my opinion & experience, not necessarily the stone truth. As for keeping doing everything together, so funny.... I was just talking to my grandfather about farming with horses. He said that his dad raised a pair and from weaning always kept Mike on the left & Tom on the right. Everywhere for everything. He said those horses would line up next to each other on their own because they were comfortable with it & knew that was their job. I just LOVE hearing how those horses worked, usually off voice alone.
 

paintponylvr

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paintponylvr (Paula?) I love that driving website! I absolutely live on google.... Not trying to hijack your posting here, but when you mentioned the horses responding to their names... I have a gelding names EZ.... Easy is my term to half-halt/steady. I should probably think about changing one of them, eh?
Yes, that's me..


You might want to.

I have a youngster that we named right as we started pair driving with the trainer who we worked with w/ Draft driving. We used "GG" as her barn name (her registered name is LP Painted Silver Toy - she looks like she has a Fisher-Price giraffe on her rump but Giraffe didn't work and GG stuck). I like the pony, I like the name. Now that she's 4 yrs old and driving as a pair with her dam, that name "GG" has gotten confused with the command of "Gee" - to turn hard/pivot to the right.

She does OK with keeping it separate - when the driver (generally me) keeps the commands clear and concise and sounds them out rather slowly. But when moving fast - that gets difficult (for me,
).

Just our experience. That same trainer also recommended that we use only 1 syllable names for the ponies being driven as teams (!!). That is more difficult. Well, just try re-naming 30 ponies with single syllable names! And for me - most of our names do work the way they are. In a crunch - Koalah's name (3 part) is sometimes difficult, but she knows her name so switching it now would be more difficult imo.
 

paintponylvr

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Kinda funny thinking about geldings vs mares for me. Personally, I've usually managed to sell geldings fairly quickly once they were gelded - since 1997 usually had no more than 2 geldings at a time and they just ran with mares both in our previous single pasture set up and when we first moved up here. It's only been in the last 2 years that I"ve separated geldings from fillies and mares - we currently have 6 geldings and 2 Jr stallions running together. Then we have 3 2013 colts - who have not joined that group yet...

First time in my life I've had geldings separate from mares...

Until the last couple of years, my older mature stallions usually ran with the mares too. For the first time, I have our mature stallion penned separate from the mares. He's unhappy/sad (doesn't seem frustrated unless this is how his frustration manifests). Even w/ plenty of better quality hay (he's on Timothy, small squares) and plenty of feed - he's lost weight this winter like some of our others on lower quality coastal and less shelter in the icy cold this time around... Increasing his feed - he just leaves it or pushes his feed tub against the fence line where the other ponies can "help" him eat it!! Considering putting him out with the Arab mares later this spring. It did work last summer... AH - found my notes. The arabs are in a pasture w/ no hot line right now. He started leaving the pasture and "exploring" - not a good thing in our area (neighbors and busy roads)... Our property isn't large enough to allow us to pasture him with a gelding far enough away from any mares to be no problem - he'll kill them or at least cause serious injury with the "attack mode" he goes into.
 
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