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Thanks for tips on Ground Driving

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ErikaS.

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Well, I was getting a little discouraged when I first joined the forum because I had never really ground driven a horse before and I was having a difficult time teaching my mini. I had trained my step- daughter's pony to ride and lunge, but this was different. I wasn't even sure I could do it. I asked a few questons on the forum, got them answered, and gained a little more confidence to keep trying. And BOY has it paid off! I can ground drive Trigger in circles, serpentines, walk, trot, extended trot, canter. Now my only problem is he bucks a little at the extended trot and canter and I'm sure it's because he doesn't like the feel of the breeching on his butt. My neighbor, who drives Morgans, did adjust my harness so it fits him, so I don't think that the fit is a problem. I'm just chalking it up to inexperience and with more work he'll just get used to the breeching and stop being so silly. Looking into the future... I read about using PVC pipe to make a travois that I can strap to the harness so he can get used to poles/ shafts touching his sides before we even try the cart. Have you guys done this or is it unnecessary?

Thanks so much for your input. Training my mini has been so much fun; my day doesn't feel complete without spending some time with him. Some days all we do is itch each other.
 

hobbyhorse23

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I'm so glad things are working out for you! I agree, bucking is a green horse thing and as long as you say "Aaahhhttt!" and push him on when he does it he'll get over it. You'll want to use a kicking strap when you first put him to cart since you know that's something he's inclined to do.

The travois thing is a good idea, especially if you have the horse pull it over gravel, dry leaves, tarps, all sorts of noisy things. If he drives calmly with that much racket behind him, a cart will be no problem!
Start with one single PVC pole being held in the tug loop by an assistant then slowly graduate to one on each side and eventually securing the poles to his saddle and letting him pull a travois.

Leia
 

ErikaS.

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Thank you Leia. I'm gong to work on straight lines and more bending, too, as well as the bucking thing before I start thinking about shafts. But at least I have a plan now. Kicking strap? I have an idea of where that goes, but honestly I don't think I've ever seen one. I'll look at Star Lake Tack and see if they have one and maybe they'll put a nice pic of it all hooked up. LOL Sometimes I just need lots of pictures.
 

hobbyhorse23

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Most of the mini vendors don't carry kicking straps but carriage stores like Iowa Valley Carriage and Camptown Harness have them in mini size. Here's a picture of Kody getting a remedial course with his this spring:



See that extra strap behind the breeching and in front of his tail? That's the kicking strap.

They're very simple to use- just slide the backstrap through the loop in the middle and buckle the other two ends around the shafts. They work by simple mechanical force, holding the horse's rump down with the weight of the cart if they try to buck or kick. Do a search on here, we just had a discussion about which kind was best and how to adjust them.

Leia
 

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