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Well-Known Member
Nov 27, 2004
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I have a mini mare that long lines good but I don't know where to go from here and I'm stuck at this point in her training. I am thinking about having someone else finish her on this whole driving thing and I'm willing to pay good money for a good trainer that I can trust that they will be good to her. I don't know what I'm doing or how to hook her up to a cart or anything. Not even sure what some of the pieces are on her harness. Where would you go to find a good trainer, or how do you find a trainer? I live in Gorham Maine. Should I put an add up in Uncle Henry's???
Go to the American Driving society website or to driving magazines and you will usually find ads for qualified trainers:)

Great way to learn is to take lessons from a trainer. I know several who either train your horse or you and your horse. That wya you can learn what to do from there on out.
While you're looking for that trainer, check this site out and learn what all those pieces are.
If you've got the patience to read a very detailed book you can find every step of carriage training from green baby to finished pairs horse in a book called "Carriage Driving: A Logical Approach through Dressage," by Heike Bean. If you aren't comfortable with the harness then you should definitely get some lessons from an experienced trainer and learn what the driver needs to know before trying to teach your horse. Meanwhile there's lots you can do to prepare your girl to be a driving professional. Long-line her over, through and around anything you can think of from tarps to cone serpentines to arches full of hanging streamers. Get her used to things making noise out of her range of vision by hanging pots/pans from your belt (seriously!) while you lunge and ground-drive her. Teach her to walk around calmly with two sacks full of tin cans slung over her back. Use a PVC pole along her side to get her used to the idea of shafts (have a helper hold it in the tug at first, don't tie it to the horse until she's comfortable with it.) Work on getting her transitions smooth and calm and teach her to stand calmly for five minutes or more at a time. Don't skimp on that!

Anything you can think of to safely bomb-proof your mare is worth doing. She should be comfortable with straps all around her body and even between her hind legs to prepare her for eventually stepping over a trace by accident some day, and calm about barking dogs, running horses and heavy traffic. If she knows all those things and all of her voice commands teaching her to pull the actual cart will be a snap.

Call Mary Gray at the Carriage Barn in Newton NH. I've been working with her since last summer and she is fantastic. I've been trucking my mare in and Mary was great about helping to fit her harness and then fixing my cart so everything was in balance. My mare is almost ready to hitch but not yet. I've been practicing my driving on Mary's pony so when the times comes I'll be ready for my own horse. I highly recommend the Carriage Barn.
Boinky on the forum lives in Maine and trains driving horses. The Carriage Barn does ADS not show driving. So it would depend on what you want to do.

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