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!
 

Willow Flats

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Agree with Abby P on the kick strap. My green horse will occasionaly do a little buck as an evasion when asked to move out and the strap doesn't stop it, but he can't get his feet high enough to go over the traces.
 

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!" 🤣
 

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