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Way to much time to spend on my horse
Jan 7, 2023
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Western North Carolina
Ive been working with Rosie… but we’ve got this disconnect now when we are driving. Ive pulled at her bit simply because I don’t what else to do. When I ask her to stop sometimes it feels like she’s ignoring me but I think it’s because she’s scared. And now backing is hard, at times stopping and certain areas are very frustrating. It’s all my fault because I don’t know completely what I’m doing and would like some advice. I can’t be super light with her or really heavy. For example when getting her to stop and she seems to ignore my whoa command I simply just stop and she runs into herself. Or when turning and she seems to be not listening I end up just pulling her over. This obviously isn’t working. And idk what I’m completely doing.
My best advice would be to find a trainer, mentor or helpful experienced driver. I know there is quite a driving community in North Carolina. Find someone who can help you either with in person or virtual lessons, but it sounds like hands on will be the most help. It can benefit both of you!
Just a simple snaffle
I've had horses that don't work well with the broken snaffle. Too much movement. After discussing it with Iowa Carriage, I got the low port butterfly for Midnight. Billy seems to work well with it also. Also, you might check to make sure the size is correct, and you have the headstall adjusted to the correct length. Lots of tweaking to do with driving equipment!
I drive Falcor, my Hackney, in a french link butterfly and the middle piece is copper. I've tried him in 3 bits and this is his favorite by far.
Phillippe is in a low arch liverpool with curb chain and I use it on the lowest setting, but that is a donkey...
And my Jasmine pony is in a low port correction bit and boy do I like that one for her!
Ok analyzing how I work with her and doing a little research. I realized that it’s a bunch of different factors that is adding up as to why we are now having a hard time. (I can’t access a trainer right now unfortunately)

1: Stuck in old habits
We usually take one route most of the time and she kind of just takes me to the arena. So when trying to go outside and around to the road etc. She is thinking she has to go to one area and has a hard time responding to my cues. Then from there it can escalate.

2: Not addressing when she is ignoring me when I should.

Example: I ask her to go to the road, she doesn’t want to. It ends up with her still going to the road but the whole time at the first stretch she keeps wanting to turn off the road or go back. The only problem I don’t know exactly how to address this.

3: Me!
I simply am also learning with her and have a hard time going back steps when I should.

Getting over excited or simply ignoring something Simple because I still want to prove to myself that I can do this. Then though when I add other factors such as, pulling, blinders, the bit, and now bunching up my flag to make a makeshift driving whip to cue.

All these factors which I haven’t addressed simply just add up and make everything harder than it needs to be. So I need to improve, and take the time and responsibility to address all of this before moving forward.

I’ll definitely look into more factors as well that you guys have brought up as well such as, type of bit, voice commands and more.

Thanks for helping me realize all of this.
Hmmmm. Maybe give her some type of reward, be it praise, patting or dare I say it, a little treat when she is doing the correct thing. When she turns back or does an undesirable behavior, make a clear, loud noise and a quick tug on the halter/bridle, so a negative reinforcer. Another thought, put a small pile of hay at and/or toward your destination. Either way, the goal is for you to be the "herd leader" in all situations. Good luck!

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