Training to drive

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MBENES

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Right now I am on foal watch, but with bleary eyes looking towards the future, I hope to train Consuelo to drive. I have been told she has had preliminary ground work, but I will start from scratch. I am hoping to find a local instructor to get me started, but that person may not have experience with minis, so, my first question is what basic equipment do I need to start off. I have a long line. What else do I need, and where is the best place to purchase. Thank you in advance!
 

Taz

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I can't help you with getting her driving, I do self taught long lining with all my big horses and it's really simple but wouldn't be comfortable trying to tell you like this. I think the best thing to do would be to find someone near you who will let you learn with their trained horse, big or small, first. If one of you has an idea about what you're doing it makes it much easier.
How's foal watch going other than long and tired?
 

Abby P

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If the ZIP code in your location is correct, then we do have Andy Marcoux pretty local to us:

www.coachmansdelight.com

I haven't seen him in person (yet!) but have downloaded some of his articles and lessons and he has a good reputation. He gives lessons at his place and travels for clinics - not sure if he has lesson horses though or if you have to truck your own horse in. He also takes horses for training.

You're welcome to come visit me although I am completely flying by the seat of my pants. My horse is trained but I am not, I had a few lessons and that's it (lots of other horse experience but not driving). I'd love to visit with another driving enthusiast - I don't know anyone else local. My horse lives in Rehoboth, MA.
 

MBENES

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Hi Taz, I agree that I need someone local to get me started, but I am thinking really basic at the moment, should I get a caveson,
If the ZIP code in your location is correct, then we do have Andy Marcoux pretty local to us:

www.coachmansdelight.com

I haven't seen him in person (yet!) but have downloaded some of his articles and lessons and he has a good reputation. He gives lessons at his place and travels for clinics - not sure if he has lesson horses though or if you have to truck your own horse in. He also takes horses for training.

You're welcome to come visit me although I am completely flying by the seat of my pants. My horse is trained but I am not, I had a few lessons and that's it (lots of other horse experience but not driving). I'd love to visit with another driving enthusiast - I don't know anyone else local. My horse lives in Rehoboth, MA.
Oh wow! I live in Plainville! I didn't think there were any members near me. Thank you for the suggestion. I would like to find someone who could come to my place and train both of us. I haven't driven a horse cart in probably 30 years. Then I just hitched up the shetland and off we went. We both loved it. Now I am a little more cautious.
 

Taz

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Not suggesting you do it my way but.... I put on a bridle/halter with two long lines, sometimes through a surcingle sometimes not and off I go. I haven't had a problem yet ;) . I tend to keep things as simple as possible.
 

Abby P

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Definitely go for it with the long-lining! I mean I won't lie, the first few times I tried it, it was a total mess - he had no idea what I was trying to do and neither did I, and he turned himself into a cat's cradle a couple of times, but I've gotten better at it just by trial and error. I use a bridle and surcingle when I want to be serious about things, when I ground-drive him on the trails I often just use a rope halter and one 10' rope (no hardware). I make sure to switch off which side the rope is on during the walk and sometimes he goes along with the rope coming for example over the left shoulder, across his back, and me walking behind him on the right side.

You can't really get yourself into too much trouble without a cart involved so I would definitely second just giving it a try. :)
 
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Marsha Cassada

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Miniature or big horse--training is all the same.
If you have never handled a harness that comes as a jumble in a box, you will likely need help figuring that out! I got my first harness from Big Dee. Still using it nearly 20 years later.
Best of luck with your prospect!
 

MindySchroder

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I start all my driving ponies with a halter and two long lines. I use 18' long lines for some of my ground driving as well as 2 ten foot long lead ropes for when we go out and walk on trails and the road.
IMG_6494.jpg

There is little need for special equipment to get started. I wrote this blog about deciding if one needs a training surcingle or if just purchasing a harness will get you where you want to go: Tuesday Tip - Should I buy a harness or a long lining kit? | Chimacum Tack

I also write blogs over at my personal website and share LOTS about driving ponies, from the ground up! You can find that here: https://www.theessentialhorse.com/

I highly suggest getting hands on help when you can, but for the times before and in between going about it on your own is just fine. When I started training I didn't have access to hands on help so had to muddle along on my own. Thankfully I had very sweet and kind ponies that were very forgiving. We learned together and made headway! That was about 21 years ago. And I've been going strong since!
 

Kelly

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Me too me too!! 🤣 🤣 I use a halter and 2 lead ropes. I like simple and I tend to keep it ALL simple!! Always!

I posted a video on the forum somewhere of me and Shadow….well, here it is again….


The best place to purchase? Your local TSC, Tractor Supply Company, for lead ropes. Halters you may have to order online at minitack.com or state line.com, or chicksaddlery.com or sstack.com or any other fun places :)

Keep us updated!
 

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