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Abby P

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Hi! I'm new to mini ownership and driving, but not new to horses. I have a 37" gelding who came originally from the Amish. Working out a few kinks but making progress and hoping to be out on the trails in my Hyperbike very soon! So far I'm having lots of fun and enjoying horse ownership again after a few years off for a human baby. I'm looking forward to exchanging information and stories with everyone!
 

Taz

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Welcome!! Do you have any pictures of your boy? If he came from the Amish he should be a driving machine!
 

Abby P

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Here he is! He's only 5, so he's well-trained to drive but has teenage moments here and there. He was doing some kicking in harness so I backed up to basics, ruled out physical and equipment issues, and did a lot of groundwork and ground driving/long-lining since I'm more experienced with that than I am in the cart. Things are much better now - he still will do a minor kick when you first ask him to trot in the cart but he's a lot more relaxed now that he's more sure what I expect from him. He had some head shyness and didn't want to give his hind feet for trimming, also, so I'm pretty sure he was pushed around a lot. He's brave and seems to love the trails, and given the speed we've been able to work through everything thus far, I think he'll be great.
 

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Taz

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He's lovely! Yes, it sounds like he was rushed and pushed around. Good job getting him relaxed and doing with you. You're going to have lots of fun together :D
 

Willow Flats

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Abby P - Congrats on your new guy! What is his name? Sounds like you two are going to have a lot of fun together. Since I have never driven in a hyper bike I am wondering how that goes if they do kick. Since you are so close to your horse they would not be able to connect with you if they should kick right? I've only seen pictures of hyperbikes and have considered getting one in the future but there isn't anyone around here that has one. I'd like to try one first before I purchased.
 

Abby P

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Thanks! His name is Rowan. So far, the only times he's gotten his feet off the ground very far, he made contact with the underside of the front of the seat, not with me. Perhaps if you had a really committed kicker or a truly lost-their-mind bucking fit they might be able to squirrel their way around it and get their feet up enough to get you, or maybe get you on the leg, but it seems like it would be pretty hard. But I will admit it's disconcerting being that close to the hind end of a kicking horse, even a tiny kicking horse!

Since I now know about him that this is what he does to lodge any sort of protest (he did it on the lead rope at the top of a steep hill he wanted to charge down, when I told him he had to walk it), I'm planning to add a kicking strap to my harness just as a precaution even though the behavior seems to be de-escalating at this point. I haven't logged much time in the Hyperbike yet but in comparison to driving a basic EE cart, I do find it very comfortable and so zippy! Not sure how it would compare in comfort off-road with something like the Cricket that has a real suspension. I don't find it too hard to get into and out of although it is really important that your horse has an excellent "stand" since there is a moment when you're standing between the horse and cart. I have experimented a bit with swinging my legs both around to one side and hopping on and off that way, which does work, but is a little more difficult especially when getting on.
 

Willow Flats

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Thanks for the info! I like his name too. I'm still using a kick strap with my green driving horse just as a precaution. I've had one that buckled before, but this one I really like because it just clips in place. I bought it from Chimicum Tack.
 

Abby P

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Thanks! Do you feel like it would be enough to stop your horse getting their butt up? I've read in a few places (Andy Marcoux has the best explanation) that the ones that attach to the crupper fork, rather than the back strap in front of the hip straps, are more functional. Unfortunately I have yet to find one of this design that snaps on...I love me some snaps. :)
 

Dragon Hill

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I feel like your much safer in the Hyperbike if they kick than in an EE. If they do make contact, just like on the ground, if you are closer to the start of the kick there is less power than when they have full momentum going.
 

Willow Flats

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The strap is threaded through the harness, goes around the shaft and clips to a ring instead of a buckle. There are two spots on my harness where I can put it through and secure with the back strap. Higher or down by the crupper. I tried it low like Andy suggested in his video but it sits better a little higher than that maybe because it's a small horse. It won't stop them from kicking, just limits how high they can get their feet off the ground, because you have slack so they can have movement.
 

Abby P

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Thanks, that makes total sense, and I was also wondering that about using it on a mini vs. a big horse - there is so much less real estate! I think that style will only fit on my harness in front of the hip strap (the crupper straps are already separated from that point back) but that's probably OK.
 

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