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Sharing what I learned about driving

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countrygirl27

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Hello, my post is about what I learned today. I am not trying to sound like I am bragging. Just what I learned today. I like hearing about the methods people use to drive. Isn't that what we are all here for is to help each other become a better horse owner and driver? Today I had a lesson with a retired professional driving instructor and won many competitions. I wanted to learn what I was not doing right or correct my driving. I also wanted to know new things about driving my mini correctly. I have been driving for 5 years, but never have an opportunity to have any kind of lesson. My teacher taught me the way to hold the rein is thru the first and second finger. Draping the reins over my hand and between the pinky and fourth finger. ( I hope I my understanding of where to put the reins is correct) She told me that the pinky is the finger that will tell the horse what to do. Even the slightest move of my pinky finger will make the horse move. Try it and you will see what a difference it will make with your horse. I personally was amazed. She also taught me to keep my elbows bent and next to my body with reins thru my fingers, with my arms relaxed. Moving the pinky finger can make your mini horse move right or left. The move can also get your mini out of a tight space.
 

Marsha Cassada

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I, too, was amazed at the response through the fingers on the reins. When i see people driving like tv teamsters i am so glad i learned about the correct finger pressure. And i forget about my elbows. I do find when I'm driving correctly i am not as tired. Thank you for sharing your lesson and reminding me.
 

Willow Flats

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CG27- This is the way I was taught too. I'm really glad you started this thread! I hope people will jump on and share driving tips. I still have so much to learn!

I'm wondering something about the use of the whip because I have been told two different things. If you've asked your horse to move forward, he doesn't and you need to reinforce does the whip touch his back end or side? I thought it was to move away from pressure touching sides for direction, and back end for forward.
I was corrected and told to touch the side for forward just as you would use your leg while riding.

Which is it?
 

countrygirl27

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Hello CG27 Yesterday my instructor was tapping the whip onto the side of my miniature to get her to move. I have tried both the top and the side. It sounds like the side isthe right place to touch with a whip.
 

countrygirl27

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Your welcome Marsha. I was also very surprised at the response my mini had at moving my pinkys. Ive been driving wrong for the last 5 years becuase I did not know this.
 

Cayuse

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The elbow thing is awesome, I was taught to ride with "weight" in my elbows. When I drive it is such a help because of the arthritis in my hands, I can drive through the elbows and bypass the hands if I'm on the ball.
I was taught touch high on rump for forward and on the side to move laterally. Touch left side to move right, right to get them to step left. To get them to engage belly and lift their back, flick the lash at the lower belly in an upward motion, and when the after burners need to be turned on, flick the lash to the left then the right quickly once or twice.
 

Willow Flats

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The elbow thing is awesome, I was taught to ride with "weight" in my elbows. When I drive it is such a help because of the arthritis in my hands, I can drive through the elbows and bypass the hands if I'm on the ball.
I was taught touch high on rump for forward and on the side to move laterally. Touch left side to move right, right to get them to step left. To get them to engage belly and lift their back, flick the lash at the lower belly in an upward motion, and when the after burners need to be turned on, flick the lash to the left then the right quickly once or twice.
Thank you for responding Cayuse! This is what I was doing before I was "corrected." I agree with you. Yesterday at the HDT I specifically watched the use of whips and saw both. I guess whatever way they have taught their horses to respond to what they want is what works for them. Tons of verbal communication with their horses in the cones and marathon courses.
Annie really liked flying around in some of the hazzards with my trainer after I drove her yesterday. She was worried about the water hazzard but once she got over it she really liked it. She is so strong and has so much go, I just wish I were more bold for her sake. I think Rocko is going to be more my speed. Well, a faster walk would be nice but I think he will get there as he gets stronger and uses his hind end.
 

Marsha Cassada

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Yes, it is amazing what a trainer can get one's horse to do! I've wondered whether it is intuitive, which is what makes them a trainer, or if it is experience. Maybe both.
 

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