So my darling coming 2y/ mini colt has been long lining with a halter and surcingle. Up and down hills, through the woods, and on the road. He walks and trots and is becoming more consistent on voice commands. Still a little impatient about the "woah" and stand but it's getting better. I've also drug feed bags behind him and tied one to his tail. He was unfazed by all this.
So my question is...what is the next step? Do I start to put a harness on him and get him use to bitting, etc? Do I just let him sit for the winter and be a baby? I've driven quite a bit but this is my first time starting from the ground up.
he is only 2. I agree with the above two posters. Harness him up, long-line him in full gear, have someone hold the traces, just a bit to feel a little resistance, and then give him the winter off. Play with him of course, but let his brain and body mature a bit more before you hitch him up. In the spring you should be able to pick up where you left off.
While you have him in full harness, not only do you want to have someone pulling back on traces while you lead him - to teach a bit about the push into the resistance, BUT: also have someone jiggle and pull the breeching against his butt while you hold him in a whoa or halt. He will need to learn to stop in spite of it pushing him forward. Particularly important if he is a bit antsy about the halt on long lines. Both of these things are a bit counter intuitive to the little buggers.
We don't get less brave; we get a bigger sense of self-preservation........