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Abby P

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Thanks, Kelly! Yes, the kicking strap was a good investment, doesn't work very well if it's lying on the floor of the tack room though. 🤣

I wish I knew whether he had some incident in the past - he's always been anxious when hitched to the cart (not during hitching, only while driving) and that was the case from day 1, I could even see it in his sale video. I know he had rough handling so maybe it's just that expectation, or maybe he had an accident. Anyway - more miles, with precautions in place, and we'll see how it goes. I almost didn't shut the arena gate, so glad I did that at least!
 

Kelly

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Omg! I always leave the pasture gate open when I drive, I really should start closing it. One time I was cantering Stormy when he thought he should be done and took off through the gate. All I could think of was if my tire hits the post on our way out, my cart will come to a complete stop, and I am gonna be airborne! 🤣🤣
 

Abby P

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In your bike, you might have been OK! Much less easy to get launched in that style, your legs are so well braced and they don't tip as easily. These little guys are so fast when they want to be.
 

Abby P

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Thank you both! Yes, hopefully we can just move on, with no lasting damage (except possibly to the cart, but that's the most easily fixed!).
 

Abby P

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Quick update, drove him for about 10 minutes this morning after a fellow boarder helped me bend my cart back into shape. He was very good. We only walked but I think he would have been fine trotting. So it seems there is no lasting harm which is a big relief! The shaft bent back pretty easily, it takes a bit of a wandering path relative to the other one but ends up in the same place and the cart still drives fine. Pony seemed very proud of himself after. :)
 

Abby P

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You know, I do think they made a difference. I put them back on his bridle after Friday's mishap. I think I agree with Andy Marcoux' explanation of why they help - it's not that the horse is afraid of the cart, or doesn't know it's back there, it's that they have a hard-wired reflex that things following behind them are dangerous, so they are constantly having to override that instinct when they can see the cart. The cart shows up right in the part of their eye that is highest when they're grazing, so it's the "predator alert" zone of their vision. Even if they are not in the least bit worried about the cart, they still have to remind their brain every time they see it that it's not a mountain lion. That is distracting and increases worry.

I had also been thinking that it's better if they can see, and it may be in some ways - but it may be a lot to ask for some/many horses when they're pulling something. So I don't think the accident happened BECAUSE he wasn't wearing blinkers, but still it might not have happened if he had been wearing them, just because his worry level might have been lower to begin with.
 

Kelly

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That makes perfect sense how Andy M explains of why blinders help, but I do think it depends on the horse too. For Stormy, he spokes when he wears them and is fine without them. If something scares him when we are out on trail he immediately looks to me for guidance, he will stop/spoke in place and turn his head to see me. Of course I just start laughing and he is fine but he wouldn’t be able to see me with blinders on. Then I think, well I didn’t ride a horse on trail in blinders 🤣🤣 riding has to do something to their brains too since that is where predators latch on. 🤷🏻‍♀️🤷🏻‍♀️

Glad to hear your cart and pony are both ok! 💕
 

Abby P

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Yes, I think it may be very horse dependent. Andy M did say he had one horse, a very hot Saddlebred, that did very much better without them, and I got the impression that horse was competed at a fairly high level. So nothing is black and white!
 

Abby P

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So far just in the ring (which is grass, so not smooth) it feels great! SO much cushier than the Hyperbike (which had hard tires, plus the way it's supposed to cushion the ride through the frame flexing doesn't work well with a small person!). I also for some reason just find it way easier to drive. Maybe because it isn't so wide? I'm not really sure why.
 

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