Carting accident

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Wvfarm

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Yesterday when I was driving my mini on some real nice trails, we had our first accident. Vet thinks she might have gotten stung by a bee, but I dont know for sure what happened. Sunni was crusing along, happy as a clam, when she started bucking, and then kicking, and got tangled in the harness and cart. She bolted, kicking the entire time. We didnt get too far before I got her stopped and bailed out to get her unharnessed. By that time, she had cut herself pretty good on the hooks on the single tree. She was bleeding pretty bad, so my daughter led her the mile out of the woods. With sunni on one side, and pulling the cart along on the other, she made it safely to the trailer. ( my daughter graciously let me ride her horse out of the woods, since I cannot walk very far at the moment). Sunni is ok, didnt require stitches, just needs to heal up from her puncture wound.
Have any of you experienced an accident with your mini? How do you get them safely driving again? Any tips would be greatly appreciated!
 

MaryFlora

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I’m so sorry that happened to you both! What a frightening experience and thank heaven you both are still standing.

I cannot help with practical advice but am sure you will be getting some good advice from those here who have dealt with similar accidents.

Do you think there would be merit, however, in taking her for a walk where she exploded? The act of a simple walk back and forth through that area may help her relax at least location wise. Perhaps a small help in bringing her back to her normal confident self.

All the best as you both recover!
 

Marsha Cassada

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Oh, my goodness! What a frightening experience.
What was Sunni like as you led her out? Had she calmed down? Did she mind the cart being next to her? Did she stand okay while you got the harness off?
If Sunni seemed okay, mentally, when you got home, she will probably be fine when you drive again. However, you are the one who may have lost confidence. It may take you awhile to get comfortable driving again.
Did your daughter's horse freak?
I have only had one event in a sort of similar situation. I did have him pull the cart home; I think I led him, but kind of hazy on that now (probably a little shocky). I was able to cobble the harness enough to make it work; floor board was broken on the cart but it was driveable. I didn't have anyone with me to help unharness, so it was the only way to get home. But he had not injured himself, either.
I'm so sorry this happened to you both.
 

Abby P

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I don't have any direct wreck experience to share, except to say that I'm sorry that happened and it sounds scary! But it also sounds like she was OK afterwards (mentally) so it was probably as your vet said something stung her. Sometimes when they start bucking for one reason, they kind of scare themselves and then buck more because they are freaked out and then if more things touch them that they don't expect while they are bucking, they might kind of panic.

The one thing I will say is that I added a kick strap to Rowan's harness after it became apparent that bucking was his go-to for just about any reason. His bucking has diminished considerably with further training but I'm leaving the strap in place. He's only tried bucking one time with it on and stopped as soon as he realized it wasn't getting him anywhere. It has also helped my confidence because I don't have to worry about getting kicked (I have a Hyperbike so he's RIGHT THERE) and so I feel more confident about sending him forward assertively which of course is the best remedy for bratty-type bucking. Andy Marcoux of Coachman's Delight has a blog post about properly selecting and fitting a kick strap so that it's actually functional, which I found helpful. I got one that has snaps on the ends so it only adds an extra couple of seconds to the hitching process.
 

Willow Flats

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Wvfarm,
I'm sorry to hear about your wreck! Glad you and Sunni are ok. Wondering if Sunni is new to driving or has been driving for a while.
Someone I know had a wreck recently while driving her full size horse. The driver hurt her arm and had to wait for it to heal but the horse is driving again now.

I had a mini at the trainers with 5 months of training, so still green that spooked when some cattle stampeded, freaked out and went rodeo with the cart and dumped me in the process and ran around the arena draging the cart, and so for her, the trainer first ground drove her, then followed her with the cart then hitched her again and she had no problems.

I'm sure that was not that trainer's best day either!

Let us know how it goes and I hope it goes really well and you can just put this behind you!
 

Cayuse

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So sorry this happened. Hope she is on the mend. I would start be ground driving her several time just to be sure her head is in the right place, and then introduce the cart with help. Maybe just put the shafts in the carriers and have someone hold the cart so they can remove it if she gets jumpy. If that goes well then hitch her with someone at her head. And yes to the kicking strap. She'll probably be just fine!
 

Abby P

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the strap doesn't stop it, but he can't get his feet high enough to go over the traces.

I actually found it kind of amusing to watch his wheels turning when he tried to buck with the strap there. He was just so disappointed that he couldn't get his butt up in the air! He's not much of a tail-swisher but he gave a big tail swish and a huffy sigh when he gave up on the bucks. Like an 8-year-old boy kicking dirt - "Aw, man!" 🤣
 

Marsha Cassada

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Have you recovered from the ordeal? I was thinking of your this morning while driving Midnight. I've had some close calls the last few years and it zapped my confidence. I had to uncurl my toes a few times today, and she is really a very good girl. Just haven't quite recovered from past experiences.
 

Wvfarm

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Have you recovered from the ordeal? I was thinking of your this morning while driving Midnight. I've had some close calls the last few years and it zapped my confidence. I had to uncurl my toes a few times today, and she is really a very good girl. Just haven't quite recovered from past experiences.
I believe we are ready to try hooking up again. Her leg is healed, just a scratch left. I did hook her to a different buggy last weekend and ground drove her, she seems in good spirits, not spooky in the cart at all. Her cart is now repaired, the kicking strap I ordered came in, thank you to chimacum tack for their speedy shipping! I think I am mentally ready to give it another try, just waiting for a helper to go with me, just in case.
I hope you enjoyed your drive! Thanks for checking on us. 🙂
 

Wvfarm

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I have hooked Sunni up a couple of times since her accident. She is super jumpy in the cart, so her blinders went back on for a while, still the same. I have been doing ground work and trying to desensitize her to noises, which she does good until she is hooked to the cart, then she wants to run. I cant believe that I am so nervous to drive her again, but sadly, I am. I know it isnt helping her to be that way, but there isnt much I can do but deep breaths. Any suggestions to help us both get back in the swing of things? Taking her to a trainer isnt an option at this time, I dont know of anybody within 4 hours of me. We have a big ride planned for this weekend, I'm hosting and it has been planned for a year now. I'm not sure if we are ready, or should go at all. Pics are from our drive yesterday, and from trying to adjust the new kicking strap
 

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Taz

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I don't know if this would work but can you pony her from another cart this weekend? You'll have people there who know what they're doing, maybe if that goes well hook her up and have one of them drive her? They'll be more relaxed than you are and it could help her. Or drive her with someone leading her? I'm sure they would be happy to help.
 

Kelly

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Oh wow! That has to be so scary!

Did she usually wear blinders? I would set her up the exact way she is use to, I wouldn’t change a thing (except the kicking strap).

I would probably lead her around with the cart hooked up (I know some people don’t like that, this is just what I would do) until she was calm and not a crazy horse anymore. Then I would keep walking her some more & more & more.

Then…. Do you have a small area you could drive her in? An arena? Round pen? A small paddock? That way she can’t get away from you and hopefully you’ll both feel a little more secure. I would keep driving her in a small area until I wasn’t nervous anymore and then I would drive her some more & more & more. I would repeat everyday until I was ready to go out on the trails again.

Best wishes to you! You’ll have to let us know what worked for you. 💕 Losing your nerve stinks! I think we have all been there a time or two.


Edited to add:
PS: I would laugh and giggle the entire time! If she want to run, I would push her to run faster, then if she wants to stop, I would keep her running!🥰
 
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Willow Flats

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Are you driving Sunni solo right now?
Sometimes driving with another horse gives them comfort if that is a possibility.

I understand your nerves after the wreck! I had to regain confidence after I was thrown from a cart. It was suggested I sing while driving. It sounds silly but it worked for me. I think it soothed both of us.
You are going to laugh at me but I was singing the theme song to the Beverly Hillbillies! "Come listen to a story about a man named Jed." Lol
 

Dragon Hill

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When I got DJ he was broke to drive, but I had never seen him drive (just videos). So when I drove DJ for the first time I made my husband walk behind the cart holding onto it...he was my emergency brakes...
 

Marsha Cassada

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I have hooked Sunni up a couple of times since her accident. She is super jumpy in the cart, so her blinders went back on for a while, still the same. I have been doing ground work and trying to desensitize her to noises, which she does good until she is hooked to the cart, then she wants to run. I cant believe that I am so nervous to drive her again, but sadly, I am. I know it isnt helping her to be that way, but there isnt much I can do but deep breaths. Any suggestions to help us both get back in the swing of things? Taking her to a trainer isnt an option at this time, I dont know of anybody within 4 hours of me. We have a big ride planned for this weekend, I'm hosting and it has been planned for a year now. I'm not sure if we are ready, or should go at all. Pics are from our drive yesterday, and from trying to adjust the new kicking strap
It will probably help both of you to work in a group.
When i am tense in the cart my toes curl up. I have to make a conscious effort to relax my feet. My neighbor says she feels the tenseness in her face. If you can determine where your tension is and concentrate on relaxing it, that might help. I also have my phone with my itunes playing and sing along! Good luck with your pretty girl. Hope you both enjoy the weekend.
 

Wvfarm

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Oh wow! That has to be so scary!

Did she usually wear blinders? I would set her up the exact way she is use to, I wouldn’t change a thing (except the kicking strap).

I would probably lead her around with the cart hooked up (I know some people don’t like that, this is just what I would do) until she was calm and not a crazy horse anymore. Then I would keep walking her some more & more & more.

Then…. Do you have a small area you could drive her in? An arena? Round pen? A small paddock? That way she can’t get away from you and hopefully you’ll both feel a little more secure. I would keep driving her in a small area until I wasn’t nervous anymore and then I would drive her some more & more & more. I would repeat everyday until I was ready to go out on the trails again.

Best wishes to you! You’ll have to let us know what worked for you. 💕 Losing your nerve stinks! I think we have all been there a time or two.


Edited to add:
PS: I would laugh and giggle the entire time! If she want to run, I would push her to run faster, then if she wants to stop, I would keep her running!🥰
Your ps advice is the same thing my husband told me to do. Lol
 

Wvfarm

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It will probably help both of you to work in a group.
When i am tense in the cart my toes curl up. I have to make a conscious effort to relax my feet. My neighbor says she feels the tenseness in her face. If you can determine where your tension is and concentrate on relaxing it, that might help. I also have my phone with my itunes playing and sing along! Good luck with your pretty girl. Hope you both enjoy the weekend.
Thanks. I know I hold my tension in my shoulders, have a tendency to lean forward, but have been trying to make sure to relax them and take deep breaths. My daughter rode her horse next to the cart yesterday, and had to keep reminding me to relax. Sunni did good, only had a few episodes yesterday. I guess it will take time and miles again.
 

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