I live on quite a slope and my Morgan is already excelling well in ground driving (Getting to go undersaddle) and I would love to move on and also teach him to drive. However.. This slope is my problem!
Perfect! Thank you so much! We are just starting out and I will be sure that he has the best training possible and confidence in his tack that he can. We won't be doing it this year for certain, but we can certainly practice on the dry road for next Christmas. It would be so fun to offer sleigh rides through the town when it snows well when no cars will be out.
Munching On Hay's last line is probably the most important thing mentioned. Even if you get a 4 wheel vehicle with brakes, your horse still needs to know well (very well!) how to deal with the feel of the cart pushing onto the breeching.
I have some hills that I go up (cantering up hills in harness quite possibly is indeed the greatest thing ever!)...... and some I go down. Some are steep, although not as long. Either way, I am always careful to make sure my horse is using his haunches going down a hill. I try to get him to really hold back down a hill, especially with my big QH, who can get on his front end sometimes. If he gets out on his front end while going down a hill (especially when I go down paved hills), I am quite sure he would lose traction easily and slip, because he's not using his hind end to hold the cart back (I only have a 2 wheel vehicle).
So, getting him to carry himself "sitting" a little on his haunches, is something I pay particular attention to.
And once I get down the hill, I can turn around and shoot back up. Tremendously fun!
I just want to say that is such a pretty picture!!!! It would be awesome to drive a pony and cart along that road. I've never tried sleighing (we never get snow here) and I have to say that going down a hill could be scary. I'm sure you'll work something out.
As a friend and I were driving my ponies the other day, I realised how much more confident they and I are. I am now okay about trotting down hills that a few months ago I would only walk down very carefully. You might be surprised by the progress you have made by next Christmas.
Can you take the vehicle to the bottom the hill separately, then ground drive him there and hitch on the flat with a helper? You could then practice going up a little and turning around and coming down a lot less hill.