Hi all! I have a 6 y/o Percheron mare at 17 hands I want to train for a buggy/cart. Her previous owner had played with gee/haw some. I'm clueless as to where to start and how. I really want to learn this on my own w/o putting tons of money into sending her to a trainer... I already have an OTTB going for Dressage for a month @$1200! I have measured her neck for a collar (24) but what's next? This mare is pretty rock solid and spook free... I practiced the barrel pattern on her one afternoon a few times and ran her in a rodeo the next night having to go between two bull pens to get in the arena and she just slightly took notice of them. NOTE It was purely for fun and entertainment! She's normally just ridden around the pasture and trail rides of all kinds and even ridden by my 12 y/o daughter. Can someone please tell me what to get started with and how? Would it be with pulling a tire (one WITH a rim in her case as she's a huge thing...? Lol Thanks!!
Where are you located? Check out the Americandrivingsociety.org website and look for local clubs, if any. That way you can come out to some meetings/activities and see what's involved and pick people's brains. Might find someone to get you going as well, likely for a whole lot less than your dressage trainer.
Thanks for the advice! I'm in Birmingham, AL and the website is much appreciated! I put Maybe in a surcingle yesterday and lunged her on a 22' line using voice command walk trot whoa and she remembered perfectly what her previous owner had taught her! I think she's ready for long lines, she's very easy to handle and light to work with! I was looking at some of the other posts and websites on how to get started and got some great information! I'll look today to see what's in my area for the society listed below! :-)
Get the book by Doris Ganton - Training the Driving Horse or something along those lines - it's excellent, with diagrams and instructions step by step. Well worth the money. Next super books are the two by Lynn Miller of the Small Farmer's Journal out in the NW. Training the Teamster/Training the Workhorse. Very good as well. I was able to bring my Haflinger mare along to the point of actually hitching before I needed help. There's a lot you can do on your own to get a willing/suitable horse very close to the point of driving, safely. You will need a set (or two) of extra hands for the first drives.
I have a book called Breaking A Horse To Harness by Sallie Walrond that's very good! I'll check into the others! My mare has been harnessed when she was younger (6 now) and had no problems! She's very light and responsive to anything I asked and she backs in long lines and moves forward off voice command! I'm super excited because she knows most of everything! I'm the one learning!
Will definitely check out Alabama Whips and Wheels!!
The good part about hooking up with a driving club is
1- you may be able to find someone to help you actually hook up the horse
2- you may find a source for a "previously owned harness and / or cart
3- you may find a great group of people to get together and drive with
4- you may find a good source for clinics and lessons when you want or need them
best of luck
BTW we pretty much used the old book by Charles Kellogg for learning and teaching the horse to drive
Very good advice!
Drivers are really great folks - reminds me of how eventing used to be!
The CD-L can also be a good source for information.
DriveNJ, your comment at the end made me smile. I am about three weeks away from putting my new pony to and I am not using the Charles Kellogg book. I am lucky enough to have his son live and in person instead!
Lol, you girls are great! Thx so much for helping! I'm in contact with a person that drives and gives lessons about an hour from me! This is so fun and exciting and I can't wait to start some ground driving!!