Maybelle's Training & Fitness Journal

Discussion in 'Driving Miniature Horses' started by HomesteadFox, Jan 20, 2019.

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  1. Jan 20, 2019 #1

    HomesteadFox

    HomesteadFox

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    I decided to start a journal to keep track of the progress I make with my Miniature, Maybelle. She is 13, registered and was at one time a broodmare. I have had her since May of 2017 and she came to me as a seasoned, been there done that kind of horse. She really helped restore my confidence in horses after some bad accidents. The past year I have not done much with her, I've been saving for a cart and harness that fit her properly and am excited to be getting a Whitman Harness and a Kingston Saddlery cart soon. So she is currently in pasture puff condition, fat, lazy and a little bratty.

    Here are my overall goals for this year:

    Work on her ground manners (especially catching)
    Learn patience. Stand, walk and stop calmly. (she like to go, go, go)
    Be soft on the bit, and use proper reins-men-ship & whip handling.
    Get into shape.
    Attend the National Drive in Spring and hopefully Fall.


    For the month of February (I hope to have her harness/cart in by then), we will begin with:
    Catching and overall manners. Light exercise 2-3 times a week.

    I will keep an updated photo with each post.
    Here is the little monster now.
    [​IMG]
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  2. Jan 21, 2019 #2

    Marsha Cassada

    Marsha Cassada

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    She knows something's up!
     
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  3. Jan 21, 2019 #3

    Cayuse

    Cayuse

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    She is a cutie!
    I stepped back from driving a little bit last Fall and concentrated on some ground work and manners incorporating a little bit of natural horsmanship. The last time I ground drove, I noticed an improvement in his general way of going. Someone told me "You drive what you lead" and that seems to be true. Good manners on the ground carries over good manners when hitched.
    I hope you like your new cart and harness. Is a Whitman harness made by the same people that make Whitman saddles? Whitman saddles were THE saddle back when I was a kid (when dinosaurs roamed)
    I am waiting on a new harness, too. It is at the reps but it has been way to cold and crummy out to fiddle with trying to fit it to two minis.
    I will be following your progress with Maybelle, have fun!
     
  4. Jan 21, 2019 #4

    Reignmaker Miniatures

    Reignmaker Miniatures

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    What a good idea. I look forward to following your progress and hers. :)
     
  5. Jan 21, 2019 #5

    diamond c

    diamond c

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    I'll be watching your post and hopefully following in your foot steps when the weather breaks in the spring.
     
  6. Jan 22, 2019 #6

    MindySchroder

    MindySchroder

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    The Whiteman Harness is a very special harness that Chimacum Tack designed as a wonderful starter harness. It is a beautiful little harness and is a great place to start!

    I'm so excited to see your mare get into shape! She is so cute!
     
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  7. Jan 24, 2019 #7

    HomesteadFox

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    No pictures yet due to the freezing weather, but I got my harness in last night and its just beautiful. My cart is due to arrive friday, so hopefully by then I can get her cleaned up and try everything on and get some pictures!
     
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  8. Feb 2, 2019 #8

    HomesteadFox

    HomesteadFox

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    After the polar vortex we got stuck in over the past week its finally up to near 50s today, and now I'm sick! I managed to get her harness tried on and our cart put together today, thanks to my lovely boyfriend for putting most of my cart together. I forgot to get a photo of the harness only, but if anybody has any pointers or anything that needs moved please throw in some tips.
    Here is everything I feel like needs changed:

    The cart shafts definitely need moved up. Pointing downward currently but they are on the shortest height.
    The breeching needs to go up some, how much I don't know. Its on the shortest hole right now so I'll need to punch another.


    Otherwise she seems to like it more than the old one at least. The cart pulls a lot easier even with it being too low right now.
    [​IMG]
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  9. Feb 2, 2019 #9

    Reignmaker Miniatures

    Reignmaker Miniatures

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    From what I can tell looking at your picture I think your headstall needs some adjusting. The blinder seems to sit low on the eye. It could be just the angle of the picture but I have a gelding here that I have struggled mightily trying to fit a headstall on and had exactly that problem. Its something I look for now and see often on minis in harness. Your breeching should fit at the thickest part of the rump. You don't want it sitting too high so the horse feels like its going to slip under her tail nor too low so it is pushing her back legs under her when you are on a downhill. You can test the length of your traces by moving the cart as far back as the shafts will allow, at that point the traces should be engaged so the horse will not be pulling the cart with the saddle.
    Feel better soon.
     
  10. Feb 3, 2019 #10

    Cayuse

    Cayuse

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    Glad that she likes the harness and cart, she looks pretty happy with the set up. I bought a harness a couple of years ago and neither one of mine would wear it :-( I agree with Reignmaker that the blinkers could be adjusted a little so her eye is more centered it them.

    You probably know this but the side braces on the cart that run from shaft to foot basket can be move from the hole that is closest to her rump BACK to the next hole, or the one after that one. That will raise the angle of the shafts. I have a Kingston cart, too and had the same problem.
     
  11. Feb 4, 2019 #11

    MindySchroder

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    She looks very sweet and patient. That is absolutely priceless!!

    It looks like there is quite a bit of adjusting you can do to get things fitting correctly. The first thing is adjust the back strap, the one from the saddle to the crupper, so that the hip straps hang a bit more forward on her hip. Also there are two slots in the back strap, one for each hip strap. By separating them and running them in their own slots this will allow the breeching to hang more level. Here you can see the hip straps together and then separate.
    hipstrapcollage.jpg

    I agree that her blinders are too low on her face as is the nose band. I like to connect the neck strap back to the water hook on the saddle as well. We can send you a little connector strap or you can use a piece of twine or paracord. Just let me know if you want that piece! Here is a photo of my mare with the Whiteman harness on and the neck strap hooked back on the water hook. The harness below is your exact harness :) Except for these photos I left the check rein on. My mare hates a check rein as you can see by her expression. She also didn't like the bit I had in her mouth for these photos.
    DSC02984.jpg

    Here's a close up of my mare in the bridle as well:
    DSC03169.jpg
    You can slide the keepers up on the cheek pieces so that you can raise the nose band.

    And here is a blog I wrote about balancing the Kingston Cart...
    https://theessentialhorse.com/2018/03/19/how-to-balance-your-easy-entry-cart/

    and this one talks about how important the height of the shafts are. Even when the balance is perfect.
    https://theessentialhorse.com/2018/03/25/playing-around/

    Hopefully some of that advice is helpful! I hope you are feeling better and can get out and enjoy your mini!
     
  12. Feb 4, 2019 #12

    HomesteadFox

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    Awesome, I'll work on adjusting everything throughout the week. Thanks for all the pointers! It is crazy how patient she really is, looking at how much still needs adjusted on this, and comparing it to my old equipment, which was just horrid. She is worth her weight in gold this one.
     
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  13. Feb 4, 2019 #13

    MindySchroder

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    She is most definitely worth her weight in gold! I think everyone should have the one totally awesome pony at least once in their lives! Zorro is that for me :)
     
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  14. Mar 11, 2019 #14

    HomesteadFox

    HomesteadFox

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    Finally! We had decent enough weather and a day off. I did about 15 minutes of ground driving today and some lounging. She is so so out of shape she was already tired.
    [​IMG]
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  15. Mar 27, 2019 #15

    MajorClementine

    MajorClementine

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    Gotta love it when the other horses follow you around. They all get exercise and it doesn't take any extra work!

    Maybell is a flashy little thing. Glad your weather is getting better. I think we're all taking a breath now that spring has decided to finally show up!

    Enjoying the pictures and following your journey.
     
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  16. Mar 28, 2019 #16

    Marsha Cassada

    Marsha Cassada

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    Does she shed out to dapples? I had a horse one time that sort of looked like yours and he looked like a different horse when clipped in the spring.
     

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  17. Jun 3, 2019 #17

    HomesteadFox

    HomesteadFox

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    Yes she does! She's just sun-bleached now. I'll get a photo soon, waiting on new fly sheets and then they are getting clipped for summer.
     
  18. Jun 3, 2019 #18

    Crimson Rose

    Crimson Rose

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    I want to see! I so drool over dapples!! <3
     
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