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Ground driving vs. just hitching up & going - a philosophical difference?

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  • #21
    Originally posted by Risk-Averse Rider View Post
    If I'm going to be walking up by his shoulder as buck22 describes, any reason not to use just a regular pair of riding-length reins?
    Yes, because if you want to slip behind the pony to walk alongside the other shoulder, you can do so with a long pair of reins. Short just doesn't "do it". Plus if you want to walk at his hip, tail, etc - the long reins will allow that fluidly and seamlessly.

    And while I'm tossing questions out there... what about a whip? I've been carrying my dressage whip, but that means I'm probably closer behind him than I should be for safety. But my longe whip is - I think - too long for this application. Should I (please, please, SOMEONE enable me!) be getting an actual driving whip? And if so, what kind, how long, etc.?
    For quick and easy - use a longe whip with the thong tied back onto itself along the shaft (runing it down the shaft and then doubling back to the top, tying both ends with baling twine) so that you only have about 36" dangling, not the full 5'. Don't carry the whip by the handle - carry it with your hand on the shaft just in advance of the handle. That will allow it to balance better in your hand.

    And yes, go ahead and buy a driving whip. Not a "popper". You want a whip with a thong. You can buy an inexpensive whip just about anywhere from a carriage store - like Witmer Coach Shop, New Holland, PA, (717) 656-3411
    (super nice people, btw) They have a pony lash/thong whip (imported) for $9.25; American made (same quality) $22. 30 years ago I purchased my "daily use" whips from them, and I'm still using those whips today. They look just as good as when I bought them.

    You guys are great, by the way - VERY helpful.
    We're having fun with this too, btw.


    • #22
      Yes, because if you want to slip behind the pony to walk alongside the other shoulder, you can do so with a long pair of reins. Short just doesn't "do it". Plus if you want to walk at his hip, tail, etc - the long reins will allow that fluidly and seamlessly.
      Yep, riding length reins won't allow you to drop away when you're ready, cross behind him, etc. You don't want to stay by his shoulder all the time, the goal is to start dropping back, but if he's thinking of being a stinker - or just confused - you want to advance back to his shoulder for control. Like on a longe line, the better behaved the horse is, the more line you can feed out to them so they can enjoy a larger circle. Just like a horse learning to longe, you might yo-yo the length of the rein several times in one school. Long reins give you flexibility to suit the moment.

      Do stay out of kicking range, off to the side until you can walk well behind him. And when you use your whip, use it where the rider would use their leg, or shoulder... do not whomp him on the butt, that invites a kick.
      Being terrible at something is the first step to being truly great at it. Struggle is the evidence of progress.


      • Original Poster

        If I used riding-length reins, I could simply vault from side to side over his back.

        And I could get Mr. RAR to video it, then make enough to buy a cart by selling the video

        Or not.

        OK... thanks... so now I understand why I need to use longer lines while working him.

        Perhaps I can enlist Mr. RAR's help - he can follow along behind me holding the ends of the lines so that they don't drag in the dirt. I'm sure he would LOVE to do that.

        Or I could add an IV pole to a Roomba and get my scathingly brilliant son-in-law to program the Roomba to follow me around. Or maybe just get a remote-control car & do the same. Probably cheaper.

        So many options...
        Approved helmet: Every time; every ride.
        "When a sport gets to be predictable it ceases to be fun." - RAR's wise brother


        • #24
          Get the SIL to work on my Brainstorm:

          Rollerblades modified to work in sand

          I volunteer to test the prototype
          *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


          • #25
            Originally posted by gothedistance View Post
            We're having fun with this too, btw.
            And for me it's a very timely subject - came home last Sunday with the heir to my current CDE pony, a lovely Section B Welsh five year old. Tons of potential. Knows nothing. Has been standing in a field for his entire life. Wasn't halter broken until two weeks ago.

            I do like the Roomba/IV pole idea!



            • #26
              I drive big drafts and long line (and short line). I don't hang on their mouths, they don't walk any faster than normal horses. Trust me, when I trail ride with drafts and light horses -the light horses are not struggling to catch up with the draft horse walk. The trot, sometimes yes. BUT...

              There is nothing wrong with a slow walk or trot (as long as you really aren't in their mouths). It teaches patience for a horse to slow down and walk or trot slow. If that is as fast as you can go, no worries in my opinion. When you want faster, put them on a circle.

              If your horse won't slow down to your pace, they may need a bit more work learning patience before hooked (or not, depending on what you want to do with them).

              Here is a link to a pair of our BIG horses being long lined by my husband -you can tell they are going slow and there is a bit of slack in the lines. Definitely not in their mouths. http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fb...type=1&theater
              Luistano Stallion standing for 2013: Wolverine UVF


              • #27
                "Is this possibly a draft-vs.-pleasure/sport driving philosophical difference?"

                yes and no.

                There are tons (the majority) of drafters who long line first (usually call it ground driving). This is standard practice by most.

                But some will put them in a sled or stone boat first time harnessed. Some will joke about the draft trying to run away with a thousand pound sled hooked behind them (evidently a horse will rarely try that more than once)

                BUT they are lots of real yahooos in the draft horse business. People who manhandle horses and can get away with it. A typical person like that would use a tight overcheck or sidecheck, and a military bit with the lines in the last hole for the first time hitched and then hook the horse up as a team for the first time driving to a been there, done that horse. Some of the macho draft horse teamsters delight in being a-holes and showing how tuff them are/can handle and break any horse immediately...

                Many times people will send their horses off for thirty days to be broke to drive and the horse will get taken out for the first time on day 29 and broke to drive. Owners come back and think the horse must have been worked a lot, when in fact, it all happened on day 29.

                and yes - frankly there are also the village idiots draft horse "trainers" who want a horse that is a fire breathing monster to take into the hitch ring. They are not training for soft and supple!
                Luistano Stallion standing for 2013: Wolverine UVF


                • #28
                  This was from the Rural Heritage magazine article in Winter 2010 (not a long time ago) on how to break a draft . One of the authors techniques was snubbing it to a tie post. I kid you not. The sick, sad thing is that most of the draft horse forum participants attacked people who wrote letters in opposition to such training tactics.

                  Luistano Stallion standing for 2013: Wolverine UVF


                  • #29
                    Interesting the amount of people talking aout "keeping up with the horse" while ground driving ..... IMO you should be standing in the middle of a circle with the horse going around you.


                    • #30
                      Originally posted by frankie1159 View Post
                      Interesting the amount of people talking aout "keeping up with the horse" while ground driving ..... IMO you should be standing in the middle of a circle with the horse going around you.
                      I agree. I'll walk in some straight lines, but running around the ring trotting phooey that's why your hooking the cart to them.


                      • #31
                        Originally posted by frankie1159 View Post
                        Interesting the amount of people talking aout "keeping up with the horse" while ground driving ..... IMO you should be standing in the middle of a circle with the horse going around you.
                        That is called Long Lining, ground driving is not the same. You may be doing bits of BOTH, during your time out with the animal, but they are each a different type of training for the animal.

                        Ground driving is not about doing circles, but going forward, to other locations with handler on lines/reins.


                        • #32
                          I resepctfully disagree. Long lining, ground driving, double lungeling (blech hate that term), call it what you like its all the same thing. You can go in straight lines or circles, even do lateral work and more, but it does not change what you are doing. If you are long lining horses who are not going forward to have a problem!