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Filly haveing hard dealing with cart shafts...

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roxy's_mom

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Hello! I have a 3 yr old filly that I've been ground driving off and on since last fall and haven't had any hard times with her. She pulls anything you put behind her, i.e. tire, logs. Traffic is not a problem but the cart shafts are. The two times I've attempted to hook her to the cart she stands and hooks up fine but won't move once you ask her to move off. She throws a fit, rearing (not good I know) and tossing her head. The only thing I can figure is that she feels restricted between the shafts. When she pulls anything else has free movement to got either direction when asked to. She listens really well to commands but I'm just frustrated as to what I can do. Any help anyone?

What can I do to make her feel more comfortable in the shafts?

Thanks for any help or opinions!

Becky M.
 

rabbitsfizz

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Couple of lengths of PVC piping!!

Hitch her up...be sure to have a cross bar at the base of the pipes, sorry, forgot that bit.....and be sure to have her in an open bridle the first few times, even if you intend to drive her in blinders.

If you have a couple of people to hold the "shafts" up where they would be on the cart, all well and good, if not and you are confident enough to do so you can hold them up by the cross bar yourself and just walk around, making sure she gets used to having them press against her sides as she turns.

I never ground drive, etc in blinders (well, to be honest I never do anything in blinders but there you go!) and I have never had a horse balk....you have done everything right, it sounds like, so there is no reason you cannot get over this, it is just a hiccup.
 

choclat dreams

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I had a mini that hated the shafts. He had been in several wrecks. What I did was make a makeshift shaft using a hula hoop and pvc pipes. Sounds strange but I would lunge him with this on and he got used to the feel of the shafts without endangering himself, you or an expensive cart.
 

targetsmom

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If you don't have PVC pipes lying aound, you can do an intermediate step by having someone hold a broom handle in the tug loops. Do it one side at a time, and start with just holding it against the side. Once they get a bit used to it, you can try to hit it against the side in the turns the way the shaft will. If you have enough people and brooms, do both sides. Then go to the PVC pipes like others have said.
 

Rebecca

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I had the same problem. Kassie was terrified of the shafts, so we tried PVC. After introducing it we attached it to her bitting rig and she freaked out and ran around and around. So we finally got her to stand with it and she was good so we gave her hay. I put the PVC in her stall, one on either side. Gradually over a week I would put them closer together so she had to go between them to feed. I moved them back safely to the wall when she was done. As she eats, I hold them against her and rub them the length of her body. She doesn't mind them at all, I can bump them against her and she doesn't flinch or raise her head from the bucket.

Now I've been holding it against her and walking with her, while it is not attached to the rig (for now), just holding it. (If she were to freak out like she did, I am not strong enough to hold her, my trainer is much stronger and is able to keep her in check strength wise.) She was hesitant at first so because she's clicker trained I would ask her to move forward and when she did without spooking I gave her a click and a reward.

It's definitely helping, just taking a while and you must remember patience is key, keep it slow and safe.

Good luck!
 

roxy's_mom

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Thanks everyone! I thought about doing the PVC pipe thing too but wasn't sure how to put it together right to get her used to it. I'll have to keep working on it and practicing with her. Thanks again!

Becky M.
 

Ouburgia

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The shaft are the poles the are standing in between I think? (sorry, still working on my horse related english
)

How does she react when she just sees the cart? Can je come even near her with the cart or will even that give her a hard time?

What you can try: Place the cart somewhere safe, with the shafts on the ground. Let her walk (easy, just on a halter) in between the shafts in oposite direction (so nose facing seat). This way she can see and learn that the shafts don't do her amy harm.

What also an posibility is: Maybe youre harness isn't fitting well and puts pressure (and so pain) on the whitters (?? where the neck goes into the back) as soon as you put the cart into the harness
 

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