What are the steps you take in driving a new horse or training one?

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LostandFound

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I was told Thunder drives. But I want to make sure no one gets hurt. I have harnessed him. Ground driven him. We have pulled things other than the wagon. Seems to be no problem. Is there anything else I'm missing or any other steps I should take before I hitch him to the wagon?
 

Kelly

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WOW! Sounds like he is coming along very nicely!!

What other things has he pulled? Have you ground driven him with travois? Or something similar? They say it’s a different feeling with “shafts” on both sides, that they can get claustrophobic.

The first time I hitch up I always wear a helmet just in case. Good luck! And post pics!!

ETA: And I try to have a helper the first time I get in the cart, just in case the horse wants to take off. I always make my horses back up when I get in the cart, instead of going forward. They don’t seem to be in much of rush to back up.🤣
 

Edelweiss

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When I start a new horse or a horse that is new to me, I not only do a lot of in hand work, but liberty work in the round pen. I want to make sure the horse knows that Whoa means stop immediately before I hitch. That way the chances of the horse running off are greatly minimized. I also teach them to keep to a trot and that cantering is not acceptable. Then I ground drive, introduce the horse to the cart, etc.
He sounds like a good horse. I'm sure you are going to have a lot of fun with him!
 

Dragon Hill

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I bought one that drove, but only saw a video. The first time I hitched him, I ground drove him walking behind the cart. Then when I got in the cart I had my husband walk with us behind the cart, with his hands on, in case I needed an emergency brake. Walked and did a few transitions from walk to trot and back to walk. Since you got a wagon instead of a cart, I would suggest working him with the travois or some kind of shaft set up first.
 

LostandFound

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Travois it is, we shall try that tomorrow and see how it goes. I have no plans of actually driving him in the cart anyway. I will be leading him. I'm not saying it won't ever happen just that it isn't really something I want to do. He has pretty good ground manners, a good whoa, and I will have a helper just in case.
 
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When I start a new horse or a horse that is new to me, I not only do a lot of in hand work, but liberty work in the round pen. I want to make sure the horse knows that Whoa means stop immediately before I hitch. That way the chances of the horse running off are greatly minimized. I also teach them to keep to a trot and that cantering is not acceptable. Then I ground drive, introduce the horse to the cart, etc.
He sounds like a good horse. I'm sure you are going to have a lot of fun with him!

My process is very similar to @Edelweiss
LOTS of hand work. Lots of start and stops!!!
I also do a LOT of sacking in general, and always right before hitching. Gets the 'spook' out :cool:

I walk behind the cart until they are doing very well with all commands, directions changes, circling, and LOTS of start and stops. I want them to start only on Que, and stop when I say stop!

Then I put a rider on the cart to help them get used to the xtra weight, especially with stopping.

Then, helmet on, climb on, and....It usually always goes smoothly after all that :)

Sounds like a lot, but it's actually only a few sessions.
 

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