Question on blinkers!

Discussion in 'Driving Miniature Horses' started by Huckleberry Hooves, May 30, 2019.

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  1. May 30, 2019 #1

    Huckleberry Hooves

    Huckleberry Hooves

    Huckleberry Hooves

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    Hello everyone!
    So one of my mares, Hillary, is in re-training to drive at the moment. She is a rescue from Pennsylvania and her previous owners said she could drive. So I’ve been ground driving her almost everyday, we go out on wide open cranberry bogs and she’s amazing. However, she does this in an open bridle. She turns great, has great transitions and won’t stop and look at me at all. Very confident in the open bridle. When I put her in a closed bridle she is the complete opposite. She won’t turn, she’s is very hesitant to move forward at all and always tries to turn and look at me. She is so spooky with them on and overall a lot more nervous. So as I’m approaching the hitching point in her training what do you guys think of just letting her drive in an open bridle? I understand there are certain risks but as she has driven before maybe they used an open bridle? I know I do not want to hitch her while she is that nervous. Thank you and sorry for the long question. I appreciate any input!
     
  2. May 30, 2019 #2

    Marsha Cassada

    Marsha Cassada

    Marsha Cassada

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    Leave her in the open bridle. Closed bridle is required for AMHA competition, but otherwise it is personal preference. Do what you feel comfortable with. Some trainers are adamant about blinders and overchecks. They give solid reasons for it, too. But I think each driver needs to do what he thinks works best for himself and his horse.
    Keep us posted on your progress, please.
     
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  3. May 30, 2019 #3

    Minimor

    Minimor

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    It is perfectly acceptable to drive in the open bridle. I do it all the time.
     
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  4. May 31, 2019 #4

    Cayuse

    Cayuse

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    Yup. If she is confident in the open bridle, no sense in rocking the boat!
     
  5. May 31, 2019 #5

    diamond c

    diamond c

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    I agree, go with whats working for you. If your going to show in the AMHA then cross that bridge when you get to it. till then be comfortable.
     
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  6. May 31, 2019 #6

    Huckleberry Hooves

    Huckleberry Hooves

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    Thank you so much! I will continue to ground drive her in an open bridle, our first hitch should be sometime next week as the cart is in the shop getting new tires.
     
  7. May 31, 2019 #7

    MajorClementine

    MajorClementine

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    I'm planning on using an open bridle when I train Perry to drive. I like the concept of the open bridle and since he's not registered we won't be showing in breed shows anyway.

    Any time you find something that works for your horse, go with it (unless it's unsafe for you somehow). A happy horse makes for fun driving :)
     
  8. Jun 1, 2019 #8

    madmax

    madmax

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    Open bridle sounds okay to me and it is working for you. However I see nothing wrong with giving her the experience of wearing only the closed bridle over her barn halter, for a few minutes every day while tied in your presence and see how she might adjust somewhat gradually. I would walk around calmly nearby so she could learn how you appear and disappear to see how she behaves. Just a thought about it. I have a bridle that I can bend the blinders outward a bit for a certain horse. I like that you are not rushing her, the more ground time I agree, the better, and safer for her and for you. I am known for taking driving training slowly and exposing the horse to a lot of new things for a goal of making a bomb proof horse as much as possible. How long have you had her, since she was a rescue has she learned to trust you yet?
     
  9. Jun 1, 2019 #9

    Huckleberry Hooves

    Huckleberry Hooves

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    I ground drove her yesterday with the open bridle and oh my goodness she was a dream! We were out on the cranberry bogs for about an hour or so. She was walking through puddles ( she spooks at puddles and even a different color DIRT when she wears the closed bridle) and navigating the trails with confidence. I’ve had her since December but I worked with her all summer last year as I work a couple horses at the rescue as well. I go out every morning and sit with her while she lies down so she trusts me and I trust her. She is the sweetest mini ever! Her old job was a traveling pony ride pony gig so that was rough on her but she’s so forgiving.
     
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  10. Jun 1, 2019 #10

    Huckleberry Hooves

    Huckleberry Hooves

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    Here’s a picture of her ground driving! This is a temporary harness I’m getting a new one before we hitch her m because it doesn’t fit her perfectly but it works for what we do now.
     

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  11. Jun 1, 2019 #11

    madmax

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    That is great what you have done with her! I bet she was exposed to a lot of "stuff" in her old life and she is glad she has you now. That trust is so important as I can see you know.
    I have never worked with an open bridle and am interested in how people like it compared to closed, I do not drive anymore so I cannot try it out.
    My first mini was a small stallion I bought at an auction, he was thin, cold and has an 8 inch scar at the base of his neck in his chest region that looked like a wire cut. He blossomed with me and became my best all around horse, we were bonded, he was so willing and smart to try anything I asked of him. I showed him in all types of classes, he seemed to love the ring, but also he loved driving down country roads to see what he could see!. Had him for 23 years. These rescue horses are special. Good luck with her!
     
  12. Jun 1, 2019 #12

    Marsha Cassada

    Marsha Cassada

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    In the picture there appear to be white hairs on her back. The mare I got from a sale last fall has white hairs there. They are sort of in the shape of large-horse bites so I am wondering if she had a bad bite and the hair grew in white. Or, if it is just random coloring on her black coat. Never know what life a sale horse had before...
     
  13. Jun 1, 2019 #13

    Huckleberry Hooves

    Huckleberry Hooves

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    Yes, she has white patches on her back but also has smaller ones on her belly and a couple on her legs. They could be scars or just her natural coloring. I would love to know as a definite though!
     
  14. Jun 2, 2019 #14

    Minidreamz0581

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    I started driving my little man in an open bridle this year and I’m so happy I did. He was a little confused at first, but he is so much happier driving without the blinders. We do a lot of trail driving; sometimes in the company of riders on big horses, and I much prefer him being able to see vs having the restricted vision of a closed bridle. He will still drive in both but he is much more relaxed in the open. I haven’t tried showing him in the open bridle yet...I only go to little local shows so I’m not sure if the judges would place me lower or not. I’ll find out eventually ;) For everyday driving I would pick an open bridle any day, so I would say that unless you plan to show, just drive her without the blinders :) I know Mindy drives Zorro in an open bridle as well...if you check out the page that is tracking the driving minutes she has pictures of him on there.

    Here’s Coady after a trail drive next to his much larger friend (Clydesdale cross). He is as happy as can be without blinders and clearly doesn’t need them. If your little gal is happier without, then drive without ;)

    DF0B82C7-58D4-41FC-BEC7-F59477890B10.png
     
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  15. Jun 21, 2019 #15

    MindySchroder

    MindySchroder

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    I drive my young pony Zorro in an open bridle. He is happiest in that bridle. I always start all my driving ponies in an open bridle. They do all their ground driving through the travois in the open bridle. Depending on the pony sometimes I will hitch them to the cart the first few times in the open bridle as well. If I decide they would do best in blinders then I go back to the travois for a little bit, driving them in the blinders and then hitch to the cart and off we go.

    I have trained quite a few ponies (and donkeys) that just prefer the open bridle. I always respect what they are telling me!
    IMG_1912.JPG

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    zorrosuperman.jpg
     
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