I am interested in a driving mare. I never purchased a driving mare before. What ?'s should I ask? How do I know she is sound? I am just looking for a pleasure driving mare just for short local driving. ANy help would be great.
It is UNKIND, to say the least, to expect a horse, especially a miniature, who routinely hauls a heavier load, proportionately, than many 'big' horses, to be asked to drive anywhere (they 'get by' in the show ring because it is a level, well-firmed surface, and only for very short periods of time; even then, it is NOT the most comfortable thing for a miniature, I STRONGLY feel!)w/o breeching--making it even MORE important for the horse you want to just pleasure drive around your place/the neighborhood, etc. to be trained to and accepting of it! Why? Because breeching is your 'brakes', and your backing-up aid....without it, the horse may well end up pulling, stopping, or moving its load backwards via the harness saddle, which can put TOO MUCH WEIGHT on a (narrow) area of the back, and/or be 'tipped' by the weight so that it 'digs into' the back-even MORE pressure and possible PAIN! (I know; this is a bit of a rant, but SOOOO important, and sadly, SOOO often ignored with miniature driving horses!!)
OHHH, yes. That's a good one! My Arab was advertised as "trained to drive" and he was...they just forgot to mention he'd also had such a bad accident that he'd never be safe to drive again. I found that out the hard way when after being professionally restarted and doing fine he panicked the minute he got into a show arena, took off, broke the cart, harness and probably my head if I hadn't been wearing a helmet. After that he couldn't even bear to be NEAR a cart- he'd have a complete meltdown until it was out of sight. Sellers do seem to conveniently forget to mention deal-breakers like that!Rodeo said:Just wanted to add one question you may want to ask to all the great advise you are getting. Has the horse ever been in a cart accident?
Zoey, that's really going to depend on a lot of things. The most important thing is to watch your animal and let him tell you when he's had enough. You don't need to baby the horse as they're tough little things but if he's acting tired, puffing, or sweating you should probably give him a break until his breathing goes back to normal. As the horse gets fitter that will take less and less time and he'll be able to go longer. I'd say probably start with a half hour or less? If you and the horse are still enjoying yourselves at the end of that time then keep on going.zoey829 said:What is thier distance they can can pull in one session? How often do you take a break for the horse.