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ErikaS.

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Hi, My name is Erika and I live in Ithaca, Nebraska (pop. 169) near Wahoo. I'm in my 30's, happily married to a non- horsey (but tolerant) Mike and have a one year old son, Sam. We live on an acreage with four dogs, six cats, eight goats and my mini, Trigger.

I've loved horses since I was 5, when I first saw a real one near my home in San Diego, CA. I took dressage lessons in MD, hunter/jumper lessons in NE and finally bought my first horse when I was 25, a 3 year old off the track thoroghbred gelding. We acquired a "free" paint/pony for my step-daughter when my new husband and I moved to our little acreage. Years later, I became pregnant with my son and my step- daughter lost interest in horses and eventually moved back to her mother's, which is a whole other sad story. Well, I sold my big horses but bought a mini so I could at least still own a horse.

Keller's Triggernometry or Trigger has been such a blessing to me. I've had him since he was 4 months old and he just turned 3 years. He's a silver bay gelding out of a Don Maas mare and a palamino stud. I really want to train him to drive. I have an easy entry cart, leather harness with an over-check bridle (I think that's what it's called) and a half-cheek snaffle bit. My question is: Is it possible to train him to ground drive without a "helper", because I don't really have one, not on a continual basis anyway? Are there any trainers for minis near Omaha? Well, my dream is to drive and someday own more minis... I would love any advice.



Thank you for your time!
 

Jill

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Hi, Erika --

Oh, you're going to fit right in here with your mini and your other critters


Trigger is so cute!!!

I don't know if there are trainers in your area but some other people here may know. If there is a good trainer, that would be my recommendation.

Driving is a lot of fun, and so is owning even more minis! Is it possible you'd be interested in getting a mini who's already well broke to drive, and then later having Trigger trained?

Jill
 

Minimor

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Hi Erika, and welcome from friendly Manitoba!

To answer your question about whether or not it's possible to start a horse ground driving if you don't have helper, I would say yes, it is, because I've been doing exactly that with all of mine. With some horses it is easier if you have a helper to lead them around the first bit, until the horse gets the idea of what is expected, but it is possible to get a horse like this going on your own. Other horses "get it" almost immediately and having a helper or not makes no difference at all. Mind you, I've been training horses for years and years so am well experienced at starting horses this way. If you have little or no experience at starting horses at ground driving, it will be a bit more difficult.

Do you have a corral or enclosed area where you can start?

When it comes to hitching, if you've never driven before then I would suggest finding someone to help you with that; if not an actual trainer to start your horse then someone that is experienced and can show you how to fit the harness and hitch everything up exactly right.
 

mizbeth

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Hello and welcome to the forum,

You will get lots of good advise here, so glad you joined. Your little guy is very nice and I know that you will enjoy him. Good luck with his training and please let us know how it goes?

Mine all know their verbal commands well and have good ground manners before I start them.

Beth
 

chandab

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I haven't started training my minis yet, but all my saddle horses were ground driven while under saddle with long lines and I did it without help. They had a good foundation of verbal commands and longeline lessons before I ground drove them. I spent nearly one whole summer ground driving my APHA mare (she was 2 at the time, I don't back them as two year olds). Like someone else said, you'll want somebody to help when first hitching to a cart, but for the ground driving, you should be fine by yourself.
 

Baydreamfarms

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Welcome, I'm new too and I just wanted to say that Trigger is absolutly handsome. I am still learning about actual ownership of a mini, I have had big horses almost all of my life so I know about them, but mini's are def a learning experience for me. I can't wait to see more pics of Trigger!
 

maryann

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Welcome from North Carolina. We are so happy to have you here on the borad.

You will have unlimited experience right here at your fingertips. This board is the

best place to find advise on everything mini.

As far as driving your mini , I would say yes the you can do it yourself , but that is because

we do it all the time and we are used to it. If you don't feel secure then you need to

have some help. One thing I can suggest that you can do now is to teach your horse the verbal

commands you will use while driving. Walk, Trot ,Woa, easy ,back or whatever ques you will use.

Put him on a lead and work with the ques until its automatic with him.He should change gaits with just

your words not tugging on the lead. Backing will be the hardest but its also the most imprortant.

To me this is the most boaring part of teaching them to drive but it really makes it so much easier

on the horse when you start driving. Its something he is secure with and is familiar with while you are

throwing a lot of new stuff at him. He won't be able to see you behind him with the blinders on but your

voice will be soothing to him if he has heard those words a lot. Don't rush him into the harness. We put one

piece on at at time. After he gets used to the verbals then put the saddle on him but not too tight. Work with him a couple days with that before moving forward . We also put the head stall on ours in the stall while we are going to be out working at the barn and just let him wear it without reins to get use to the bit.But don't leave him alone with it on. You need to be nearby so you can watch and check on him.

After he gets used to the saddle and the bit then the rest will not be so scary as long as he has your gentle but firm voice to guide him. You should be ok with ground driving alone but don't try to hook him up to the cart alone. Even experienced drivers should have someone nearby just in case . Anything can happen.

Good luck and have fun. !!! Maryann
 

Genie

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Welcome from Southwestern Ontario Canada.

You have come to the right place for answers to all your mini questions.

So many knowledgeable people with so many good ideas.

Enjoy
 

TMR

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Hi from western Iowa, Danbury/Mapleton area. There is a mini driving club around Sioux City, Iowa that I am with. We should be having an early summer get together that you could come to. We only get together a few times a year but it is fun when we do. Many of us have new horses that we are just now starting and try to help each other best we can. Some in the club have tons of experience and others are just beginners and then some in between.

You can start to ground drive by yourself. I have always done it that way with no real issues. I don't think I would know what to do if someone actually was there to help.


You are more than welcome to e-mail me and I will help as much as I can. I am just shy of 2 hours north of Omaha.

There is also several shows in our area if you are wanting to get into sanctiioned shows. Plus, there is several fun shows around. We are working on getting a fun show together now that will be at the Monona County Fair in Onawa, IA on July 19th. It will be a fun show with lots of prizes and hopefully a good starting experience for beginners.

Donna
 

ErikaS.

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You folks are great! I'm glad I joined and I don't know why I didn't sooner. Thank you for your suggestions, they give me a little more confidence. The hard thing for me , I guess, is not being able to use a little leg pressure to get Trigger to move forward. He is moving well on voice commands and a little tap, if necessary, from the lunge whip. And as you all have been saying, good ground manners are the key- even with saddle horses. I'm glad to have people to talk to if I have questions. Believe it or not, my neighbor drives Morgans, but she is not forthcoming when it comes to helping other neighbors out. I might have to bring cookies over to her house when I'm ready to hitch Trig up and maybe she'll remind me how. (I've helped hitch before at the equine therapy barn I volunteered at a few years ago.)

Thanks again, You all sure can make a gal feel welcome!
 

dreaminmini

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Hi, welcome! I'm fairly new here as well, just got my first mini a few weeks ago. I don't have as much experience so I did find a wonderful trainer to teach him to drive. It's going to be exciting. Good luck with yours, he is very cute.
 

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