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How old is too old to break to harness?

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  • How old is too old to break to harness?

    As per title really

  • #2
    never too old ~ IMHO


    a cooperative temperament in the horse is required as is at ALL ages •

    as well as a skilled and knowledgeable trainer/driver •

    ^ to ensure safety for horse and driver • IMHO •
    Zu Zu Bailey " IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE ! "


    • #3
      I agree with Zu Zu. My daughter's riding pony hated to be ridden, and my driving pony needed to retire. So she and I started her pony in harness. I think he was in his late teens (he came from a rescue so I don't know his exact age). He became the best driving pony. I finally had to retire him two years ago due to his failing eyesight (he's over 30). So now he just gets groomed and scratched in his favorite places and hugged a lot.



      • #4
        I know of an 18yr old mare who was trained from spring thru summer for driving just this year Extremely level headed horse, confident, well trained for riding, used hunting, exhibitions previously. She would not get in foal anymore, so was the choice to teach to drive for a family wedding just recently. They got her going with harness, then a 2-wheel cart, driven a lot all summer learning her driving job. Graduated to 4-wheels before the wedding, got in more practie with the light carriage, did an excellent job for her family on the big day.

        Trained by an experienced driver, no hurry in learning the needed steps progressing to being hitched and driven, then got the needed time to get solid in responses, commands, so horse was confident with a vehicle behind her.


        • #5
          Well, thanks a bunch, you COTH Driving Enablers!

          My Hackney Pony is 18 & will ground-drive for me, but I've been telling myself he's too old to try getting re-broke to drive.
          If I were 20yrs younger, I might give it a Go, but with Age comes Wisdom (& a stronger sense of self-preservation).

          Besides, I'd then have to buy harness & cart for him....
          I will expect donations towards purchase of the above accoutrements from you who say "18? Not too old!"
          *friend of bar.ka*RIP all my lovely boys, gone too soon:
          Steppin' Out 1988-2004
          Hey Vern! 1982-2009, Cash's Bay Threat 1994-2009
          Sam(Jaybee Altair) 1994-2015


          • #6
            2DogsFarm, I still have my beloved Hackney's harness. I finally tried to sell it a couple of years ago, but the folks interested had bigger ponies. I am still willing to sell it...just sayin'.

            He was 12.2, and had a very delicate build. The harness is black leather with traditional brown leather sections on the reins, with brass fittings. I think the range on the girth was about 53" to 66" without a saddle pad. It's in pretty good shape, but not perfect.



            • #7
              Originally posted by 2DogsFarm View Post
              Well, thanks a bunch, you COTH Driving Enablers!

              My Hackney Pony is 18 & will ground-drive for me, but I've been telling myself he's too old to try getting re-broke to drive.
              If I were 20yrs younger, I might give it a Go, but with Age comes Wisdom (& a stronger sense of self-preservation).

              Besides, I'd then have to buy harness & cart for him....
              I will expect donations towards purchase of the above accoutrements from you who say "18? Not too old!"
              Best to be careful asking for donations

              If you were 'closer' ... I'd wait til you were gone.... sneak in and 'deposit'

              a plethora of accoutrements

              from training equipment - harness - training cart - bits blah blah blah

              to show harness in a Radon harness bag - show cart ....a hickory driving whip - custom driving apron though it has my monogram on it

              watch out for the UPS MAN !
              Zu Zu Bailey " IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE ! "


              • #8
                I have a client who trained her ex roping horse (previous owner was a roper, not the client) and trained him to drive at 21.


                • #9
                  I trained my now 38 yr old to drive when he was a spry 26. We didn't do much, or go far, but we had fun.
                  Being terrible at something is the first step to being truly great at it. Struggle is the evidence of progress.


                  • #10
                    I like this thread! I have a couple minis that need a job. SOMEDAY I will get time to use the harness and cart I have had sitting around.....


                    • #11
                      Apparently I have opened a can of Hackney Worms

                      RMJacobs Your harness sounds lovely, but probably would not fit Kouma (Japanese for pony). He's 52" , but stout - so much so that I would also consider riding... if he had ever been broke for that

                      Besides, I am a recent convert to beta-biothane as ADS allows it.
                      & since polishing brass gets very Old, I have even considered changing the brass trim on my - black-painted wood - show cart to stainless.
                      Of course, the seat fabric would need to be redone as well, so probably won't happen anytime soon.

                      Already have a spiffy black (with stainless) beta-bi harness for everyday. The ease of cleaning that has made me consider switching metals.

                      What a lovely offer!
                      Caveat: if your training cart is of the Jherold-type bike kind you may keep it.
                      Getting In would be hard enough, getting Out...
                      This Old Broad needs EZ-Entry!

                      Having all that lovely stuff might even lean me towards sending Kouma to Amish Camp.
                      I would even consider changing my name to match your monogram
                      Of course I would still need a patron(ess) to bankroll showing #2.
                      *friend of bar.ka*RIP all my lovely boys, gone too soon:
                      Steppin' Out 1988-2004
                      Hey Vern! 1982-2009, Cash's Bay Threat 1994-2009
                      Sam(Jaybee Altair) 1994-2015


                      • Original Poster

                        Aaaah I love this thread.
                        My pony does not.
                        She thinks 'professional lawn mower' is a totally acceptable job.


                        • #13
                          2DogsFarm, I totally agree with you regarding synthetic harness. I got synthetic when I started Salt, with stainless steel trim, and never regretted it.



                          • #14
                            I recently acquired a lovely 15yo 11.1 shetland for my kids. Calm, level-headed, and was previously trained to drive, though hasn't been driven in 9 years. I have every intention of getting him re trained, so I can enjoy him too. Sooooo... RMJacobs, about that harness....


                            • #15
                              midkniggit, you're in Chesapeake, VA, correct? If you want it, we can pursue logistics via PM.



                              • #16
                                I am training Tank to ride and he is 13. I was told he was too old, and I just rolled my eyes at the person and we have continued on with what we do.


                                • #17
                                  We (and several others much more experienced than I) tried and failed with my then 12 year old welsh pony. He ground drives lovely and will happily pull a sled for fun, I used him one bad winter to haul manure tubs to the pile. But the shafts are a no go for him, he thinks they are the devil's own device and will flip the cart if he is touched by them. No amount of desensitizing in various ways helped, we never could find the key to making him comfortable with the idea.
                                  So I guess my point is, some just say no. Sometimes loudly .


                                  • #18
                                    c. ? did your grp ever try the training shafts on your Welsh ?
                                    Good for those who are claustrophobic or just scared t death if the shafts

                                    LaSalle carried them ...

                                    I agree if they pitch a too many fits ..
                                    call it quits !

                                    Be safe .. drive another instead !
                                    Zu Zu Bailey " IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE ! "


                                    • #19
                                      Hi Zu Zu! We tried short "poles" in the tugs and he was fine, we then progressed to PVC pipes fashioned into a drag and he pulled that without a problem. When we introduced the cart it was slow, with just the shafts in the tugs and one of us leading and the other steadying the cart, he would get progressively more tense until he would blow up. We kept the lessons short and made them happy, but he never could seem to cope with the shafts attached to the cart. It did seem like claustrophobia, although he is a good little man in other tight spots.
                                      I will look up the LaSalle training shafts and see if they are similar to what we used on him.
                                      Pony is now 20. I ground drove him a few times this summer and he was happy, but I didn't have the gumption to try and go any further with him. He's not the only one whose getting old, lol. Maybe this winter I will put him to the sled and see if he still likes that.


                                      • #20
                                        c .... sounds like you tried everything and accurately and it just wasn't meant to be ...

                                        pulling the sled sounds pretty wonderful though !!!

                                        nice chatting .... I enjoy your mini stories !


                                        Zu Zu Bailey " IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE ! "