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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun. 12, 2006
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    Somewhere Over the Rainbow
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    Default Newbie Driver here! :-D

    nevermind....
    Last edited by All4Grace; Jan. 27, 2009 at 12:56 AM. Reason: because...
    "I'll stop crying on the mountain that we made from the mole hill where we spilt the milk."-Lisa Loeb-



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug. 27, 2004
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    1,112

    Default

    Yes, driving is a blast and you're going to have a lot fun with it. Unfortunately in my opinion both of your photos belong in the 'how not to' manual (if there is one). The cart is not just a 'tad' too low. It's WAY too low. The shafts should be as close to horizontal as possible, not pointing skyward as they are in the photo. With the weight of a driver in the seat I would bet there is uncomfortable upward pressure from the bellyband. The horse is quite saintly for putting up with it so far but I would not ask her to be putting in the miles until you get a cart that fits her properly.

    The other thing I really don't like to see is someone ground-driving a horse that is hitched to an empty cart. All you need to do is stumble slightly, lose your balance and footing and the horse can take off without you, cart and all, becoming an unguided missile. This can lead to a serious wreck. I realize some people do train driving horses this way but I also personally know more than one person who has had a horse get away from them while ground-driving a hitched horse, resulting in wrecks and, in at least one case, a horse that was ruined for ever being driven safely again. If a horse is hitched to a vehicle, the driver should be IN the vehicle where she has a better chance of controlling the horse. If the horse cannot yet be safely driven from the vehicle, then she's not yet ready to be hitched to wheels.

    This comment especially concerns me: "Today I plan on taking out on the road. I will first drive her from behind the cart and if she stays settles I'll hop in." It begs the question: and what if she DOESN'T settle??" Where are you then? On the road trying to keep up with an unsettled and hitched horse, it sounds like.

    I sincerely wish you all the best with your horse. She looks like a very nice mare. Please don't take my remarks as a personal attack. I only mean to offer constructive criticism.



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun. 12, 2006
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    Somewhere Over the Rainbow
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    11

    Default

    Nevermind
    Last edited by All4Grace; Jan. 27, 2009 at 12:56 AM. Reason: nevermind
    "I'll stop crying on the mountain that we made from the mole hill where we spilt the milk."-Lisa Loeb-



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan. 26, 2009
    Posts
    82

    Smile newbie driver here

    looks like you have a nice mare, but that cart scares me to death. So uncomfortable for you and the horse. If she gets upset about the short shafts jabbing her or some of the other uncomfortable things and kicks out it looks like you have a good chance of being on the receiving end of that kick. One of the worst mistakes I made when I started was a cart that was alittle small. I was always trying not to slide back and was balancing with my reins. (poor pony) We put bigger wheels on the cart that helped. I know its hard to find a good training cart at a good price but, keep looking you wouldn't want to ruin a good horse and I would hate to lose a fellow driver. good luck' Lkriesel



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun. 3, 2003
    Location
    Aberdeen, NC, USA
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    3,752

    Default

    Definitely have to concur with the others - that 'cart' scares me! I would never, ever use bicycle wheels - especially NOT with a horse! I had a cart like that for my pony (it came with her). I drove it all over the place until I misjudged a tree and the shaft bent like a twig!!! I also had a flat tire - 2 miles from home

    You can find good used carts inexpensively if you look. And as already said, you don't want to ruin such a lovely mare. She surely is a saint for being so willing when it's obvious that the cart has got to be at least uncomfortable and at worst painful.

    I also am from the school that does not believe in driving a hitched horse from the ground. You have only to look through the archives to see the many reasons why this is not a good idea.

    Safety around horses is important; safety with driving horses is critical! We just don't want to lose you or your horse so please find a suitable safe vehicle for you nice mare.... and then ENJOY!!!
    Pat Belskie - ASHEMONT Farm

    http://www.ashemont.com
    Ashemont2@gmail.com



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov. 29, 2005
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    2,625

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Ashemont View Post
    Definitely have to concur with the others - that 'cart' scares me! I would never, ever use bicycle wheels - especially NOT with a horse! I had a cart like that for my pony (it came with her). I drove it all over the place until I misjudged a tree and the shaft bent like a twig!!! I also had a flat tire - 2 miles from home

    You can find good used carts inexpensively if you look. And as already said, you don't want to ruin such a lovely mare. She surely is a saint for being so willing when it's obvious that the cart has got to be at least uncomfortable and at worst painful.

    I also am from the school that does not believe in driving a hitched horse from the ground. You have only to look through the archives to see the many reasons why this is not a good idea.

    Safety around horses is important; safety with driving horses is critical! We just don't want to lose you or your horse so please find a suitable safe vehicle for you nice mare.... and then ENJOY!!!
    I believe she had said: cart is small for the mare. The wheels are standard issue on easy entry carts that can be purchased just about anywhere.

    Likewise I have yet to see a cart that is road safe w/ wooden wheels for under a grand in Southern California. As a matter of fact I have posted NUMEROUS times on this driving forum searching for driving equipment and carts- and the best I got was 'driving essentials' which is great and all but that's just one source and yes limited in premium priced products. Hey if you can find something- let me know because there are several people around me looking. Hubby did buy me a jerald runabout but they too have those very same wheels and it's costing me over $500 to have wooden wheel replace them and the cart re-adjusted for balance. Not quite under a grand...

    All previous posts are actually very harsh even if you didn't intend them to be. If memory serves she even posted her hesitation in showing pics for fear of exactly what happened.

    Driving from behind the cart... it's been suggested by trainers. I went to a clinic where a driving instructor suggested having the horse pull a log or pallet. Now that is dangerous. I don't see the big deal if she's driving her mare in an enclosed arena.

    I understand the 'concern' you might have for safety but a simple explanation of "why" without the excessive adjectives is suffice.



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug. 27, 2004
    Location
    Florida
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    Default

    Yes, if she stays in an enclosed arena while ground-driving her empty cart the worst that could probably happen would be the horse getting away from her and getting hung up on the arena fence with a range of possible outcomes from 'not too bad' to 'devastating'. Which does = a wreck by my definition. But here's the thing. She said she was going to progress to ground-driving the mare hitched to the cart out on the road to see how things went before getting in the cart to drive. That introduces the potential of a lot of other variables quite likely beyond the newbie driver's ability to control.

    Just because one knows of 'trainers' who have ground-driven horses hitched to empty vehicles and gotten by with it, does not make it an OK, safe practice. People get lucky sometimes. Really, you only need to simply stop and consider how easily the horse can get away from you in this situation. And then think about the likely ensuing scenario with an unguided, uncontrolled horse hitched to a vehicle that is 'chasing' the horse. That should be enough to discourage the practice, even if you've never actually seen what does happen in this situation, which many of us have.

    I disagree with you that the responses to Newbie Driver were harsh. They were offered in the spirit of constructive criticism (she asked for 'helpful tips' in her OP) and they were offered by people who actually drive, some of us quite a lot! The fact that we all agree that the fit of the cart was completely wrong does indicate to me that whoever the OP's trainer is, he or she might possibly not be giving her the best advice! I sincerely hope the OP regroups, gets a vehicle that suits her needs and comes back here to share her progress. I think I can guarantee that we would all be thrilled for her.

    And just for the record *I* would not have a horse drag a log or pallet as a means of training a green horse to drive.

    AND the OP is very lucky that Thomas apparently didn't see the photos before she pulled them.

    [quote=SuperSTB;3837219]
    All previous posts are actually very harsh even if you didn't intend them to be. If memory serves she even posted her hesitation in showing pics for fear of exactly what happened.

    Driving from behind the cart... it's been suggested by trainers. I went to a clinic where a driving instructor suggested having the horse pull a log or pallet. Now that is dangerous. I don't see the big deal if she's driving her mare in an enclosed arena.
    quote]



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb. 16, 2006
    Posts
    718

    Default

    Didn't see the OP. That being said "ask and you will receive" The people that responded critisized the cart and harness, nobody called her an idiot just said the rig was not safe and told the reasons why. I see nothing wrong with that. I would want you to be that honest with me if I asked, not for it to be sugar coated.

    I didn't get a chance to see the cart but if its your typical easy entry with bike tires well sometimes you have to make do with what you've got and a reminder of what could happen could go along way. You have to give the person credit for just going out there and training the horse. Everyone has to start somewhere and suggesting what could be dangerous is OK. Advising a wee bit more reading and maybe some lessons is even better. Understanding the physics of it and why this does this and what this is for is necessary before you start driving. If you don't ask you don't get answers.
    The View from Here



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov. 29, 2005
    Posts
    2,625

    Default

    " how not too manual", "scares me to death, "poor mare", etc etc etc is not constructive critism. And we should be thankful Thomas didn't see them- why because it's okay for someone else to be even worse?

    Op has posted the pics on another forum... looking at them again. Some of the opinions posted- definetly valid- some other opinions would be very hard to tell by pictures.



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug. 27, 2004
    Location
    Florida
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    1,112

    Default Lighten up a little, SuperSTB.

    The reference to Thomas was a well-intentioned effort at humor. That's why it was followed by all the smiley faces.



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jun. 12, 2006
    Location
    Somewhere Over the Rainbow
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    Default

    I deleted my post because I felt no matter how many times I said I am working with what I have and learning... I'd still be rediculed for have a cart that's too low. I KNOW it is too low.. and I stated right from the beginning that I am looking to get a BIGGER cart for her and yet I was still spoken down to about how dangerous I am being.

    I can take critizism... I have been involved with horses my whole life, training and showing just new to driving and all that intales.

    I completely understand how many feel driving behind the cart is dangerous...but thats what I was taught..from clinicians, trainers, books
    While I completely trust my mare NOT to take off on my I know that "stuff" happens and a situation would present itself, but I'm not going to invest another $600-$2k in new driving equipment if she doesn't want to drive...

    If she is so "saintly" as someone put it, in a ill fitting cart it's more of a reason for me to invest in a better fit for her. I'm not stupid or naive, I am LEARNING. and I really appreciate the opinions given to me about my equipment and trust me 90% of it I already knew.

    Knowing COTH's reputation for "pouncing" on the newbies I still drumed up the cahones to post pics of her in harness, I learned some things and yet, I didn't...I was hoping for more tips and excercises rather then 3 posters saying the same thing over and over again.

    I now know never to post photos of me riding...BOY ya'll would have a field day with this potato sack dressage rider...

    So I have noted all that has been said, and I will say ONCE again...I am working with WHAT I have...I am looking for a new bigger cart but feel "training" her in this one (after I lower the shafts on the saddle) will be fine until I find the one with big enough wheels to see over her big 17hh rearend.
    "I'll stop crying on the mountain that we made from the mole hill where we spilt the milk."-Lisa Loeb-



  12. #12
    Join Date
    Nov. 8, 2000
    Location
    Upper Bucks County, PA
    Posts
    3,021

    Default

    You know, I wasn't going to reply to this thread...but I do feel this needs to be said.

    All4Grace, no one is ridiculing you. What people are showing is concern for you and your horse's safety. Any of us who have been driving for an amount of time have seen the horrible accidents that can happen with carriages. You can do everything right--correct harness, proper carriage, etc--and still have a horrible accident. But using inappropriate equipment only increases those chances.

    This board has always been supportive of new drivers and while you'll get interesting responses sometimes (Thomas and I have had our spats in the past), the advice is sound. Everyone here wants a new driver to have a great experience and join this sport for the long haul. We'd hate to see someone or their horse get hurt and consequently not enjoy or participate in the sport.

    I think everyone who posts here has probably had some type of carriage accident. It's really scary. Heck, it's scary when a horse bucks you off or bolts with you; imagine how scary it is when that happens with a carriage hooked to the horse. And no matter how quiet or well-behaved a horse is, shit happens. A loose horse with a carriage can seriously injure others and cause major damage.

    I'm not saying this is the case in your situation, but don't classify posters' concerns about your safety (and your horse's) as ridicule. Heeding their advice might just prevent an accident from happening.

    Finally, carriage driving is expensive. There is no way around it. To do it safely and properly is a major investment. Yes, it stinks to sink a lot of money into it before you've decided it's what you and your horse would like to do, but if you've done your homework, you should have a pretty good idea how you and your horse will take to driving before you ever hook them to a cart/carriage.

    Best wishes!
    Kelly Soldavin Harvest Moon Farm
    www.harvestmoonfarmpa.com



  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jun. 3, 2003
    Location
    Aberdeen, NC, USA
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    Default

    Well said Kelly What really scared me was the OPs intention to go out on the road with this equipment. If it's what she has and all she can work with, then I think she needs to contain the situation and not go out in public. We all know how crazy some people can be with their cars/trucks/etc. Even with everything right things can go wrong. Why make matters worse by having unsafe equipment?

    As I said, looks like a nice horse. OP should be able to look forward to having lots of fun driving - if she doesn't get herself or her horse hurt.

    And Grace... this is about the kindest forum I've ever encountered. When people give you advice or criticism here, they are only trying to help you. You need to lighten up a bit
    Pat Belskie - ASHEMONT Farm

    http://www.ashemont.com
    Ashemont2@gmail.com



  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jun. 12, 2006
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    Somewhere Over the Rainbow
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Ashemont View Post
    And Grace... this is about the kindest forum I've ever encountered. When people give you advice or criticism here, they are only trying to help you. You need to lighten up a bit
    Now that's funny!!!
    Telling me to lighten up ... I thought my response was very light hearted and intended to clarify some things. If you new me in RL you'd fine that comment hilarious...I'm prob one of the sillest light heart people you'll ever meet!

    Like I said 15 times...I understand everyones concern, it was noted and I am doing the BEST I can. I didn't post expecting everyone to be all...
    "OH look how wonderful...ooo everything your doing is perfect" I know better, I know I still have ALOT to learn and I AM buying a bigger cart! should I say it again??? I AM BUYING A BIGGER CART

    As for the road comment...I said I am going to try taking her out on the road, and IF she is ok then I'll drive her. She has been ground driven around our closed community several times both with and without the cart, I personally haven't driven her out there, a more experienced driver has. I haven't taken her out yet as I personally don't feel I am ready to drive her on the road. She is fine, I am not ready, until I am we'll stay in the inclosed arena.

    I don't want ya'll to think I am blowing off everything your saying to me, I am not, I am taking notes, getting ideas looking online for new carts, the EA is coming up and I'm sure I'll be elbow deep in driving stuff the whole weekend.

    if it wasn't the intention of the previous posters that saw my pics to "attack" me I'm sorry I took it that way, but remember its the internet...we can't read emotion. I took the comments as... "Your a horrible person for subjecting your horse to such torture"..."everything your doing is for the "What NOT to do" book"... (that comment was mean)... if that wasn't the intentions of the posters...my bad.
    "I'll stop crying on the mountain that we made from the mole hill where we spilt the milk."-Lisa Loeb-



  15. #15
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    Aug. 27, 2004
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    Florida
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    Default

    As the author of the "how not to" comment, I apologize for offending you. I'm real nice in person too. However, when I opened that first photo, my honest first thought was that this can't be for real. Nobody drives a horse with the shafts pointing up to the sky like that. Yes, you see poorly adjusted carts and carts that are way too small for horses but I personally have never seen one quite that bad. You'd have to lower the shaft loops almost to the horse's knees in order to get those shafts horizontal. And of course that wouldn't work too well because then she might just step right over the shaft. No doubt it was callous of me to call it a 'how not to' photo, at least in writing. But it certainly did strike me as a good illustration of that principle and so that's what I wrote.

    Anyway, that's all I have to say on this subject. I wish you well with your endeavors. I'm off to drive a pony or two on a lovely afternoon- 72 degrees and sunny here.

    Not-mean Karen



  16. #16
    Join Date
    Feb. 23, 2008
    Posts
    4,266

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    I didn't see the photos, but just to add some experiences from my own learning-to-drive and training-my-horse-to-drive:

    One way to figure it out before spending on the cart etc. is to get through the ground driving stages, and then haul the horse to a driving trainer's facilities for a day or two, and have him/her (who will have a variety of equipment and lots of experience) help you with the first real driving. You can visit the trainer without your horse a few times first, perhaps auditing a clinic or watching them teach a lesson to someone else, or taking a lesson with one of their horses, to see how they work and whether you like them.

    Another thing I would recommend - do not drive your horse outside of an enclosed area without a second person, particularly if you are a newbie driver.

    Just one example of why this is helpful: years ago we drove my Hanoverian x mare on a five mile road loop. Trainer was driving, I was the passenger. Horse had been driving for well over a year, maybe two. She had done this loop many times. We passed a field full of cattle right by the road, who suddenly stampeded at the sight of the cart. The mare spooked hard at the sound of the galloping cattle, and even with my experienced trainer's quick reflexes, she managed to u-turn across the road, go down and up a ditch and nearly hit a tree before he got her stopped. At that point it was my very important job to get to her head and hold her: she now had her tongue over the bit and was half rearing and plunging in between momentary obediences to "whoa". My trainer could not safely get out of the cart to deal with the bit. We also decided to school the situation by unhitching her, ground driving her back and forth until she settled, and then hitching her up again to head home. This was the incident that made us decide this horse was not the world's best driving horse, and she was "retired" to arena-only driving. But if it had been me, by myself, driving that horse and that had happened, I would likely have been thrown from the cart and the horse would have bolted home cross country dragging the cart, probably getting killed in the process.

    Even with my new very safe, bombproof driving horse I never drive outside of an arena without a human companion who knows enough about horses to jump down and help if it is needed.

    I have yet to meet a driver who doesn't have a few nightmare stories to tell about good driving gone bad.



  17. #17
    Join Date
    Jan. 26, 2009
    Posts
    82

    Smile newbie driver here

    SO SORRY you felt you were being criticized. That was not my intentions. I was very concerned for your safety. We have all heard of or, seen bad wrecks I can still picture my best friend when her horse got agitated, started running, and kicking at her cart with every stride. My friend received a concussion, a bruised kidney and some memory issues. She was lucky; and although she has no memory of the incident she has no desire to drive again. We have all probably made some dangerous decisions in our lives and most have lived to tell about them. I was hoping to save you from learning the hard way. I believe when you gain more experiece you will look back on this and see what we were trying to say. Best wishes for contined success.



  18. #18
    Join Date
    Aug. 26, 2008
    Location
    Alvin, Texas
    Posts
    94

    Default

    I am new to the driving world having just had my first lesson last week. I have learned a lot from this post alone. I have no desire to get in a wreck! I have a fairly "tolerant" horse I've been told, but even so, we will be taking lessons for some time to come! Glad I found a wonderful trainer to help me.

    To the OP, good luck with your horse and be careful.


    Angela



  19. #19
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    Jun. 12, 2006
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    Somewhere Over the Rainbow
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    Quote Originally Posted by exie4me View Post
    SO SORRY you felt you were being criticized. That was not my intentions. I was very concerned for your safety. We have all heard of or, seen bad wrecks I can still picture my best friend when her horse got agitated, started running, and kicking at her cart with every stride. My friend received a concussion, a bruised kidney and some memory issues. She was lucky; and although she has no memory of the incident she has no desire to drive again. We have all probably made some dangerous decisions in our lives and most have lived to tell about them. I was hoping to save you from learning the hard way. I believe when you gain more experiece you will look back on this and see what we were trying to say. Best wishes for contined success.
    I never said I wasn't listening or ignoring your advice...I was just explaining the situation and no matter how many times I said..I know the cart is too small I am getting a new one...people just keeping going on and on about it.

    I know what you all were saying, I said I understand and welcome your concern...I was just irked by the "attack" but I guess it wasn't meant as an attack...

    I guess me saying...I KNOW I KNOW I get it, I am going to fix it, is falling on deaf ears...or rather eyes...
    Oh well... on to better and greater things...
    "I'll stop crying on the mountain that we made from the mole hill where we spilt the milk."-Lisa Loeb-



  20. #20
    Join Date
    Feb. 16, 2006
    Posts
    718

    Default

    What you didn't hear was GET A TRAINER, GET SOME LESSONS AND THEN COME BACK AND TELL US HOW GREAT LIFE IS BECAUSE YOU DIDN'T GET YOURSELF OR YOUR HORSE HURT!
    The View from Here



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