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Re-driver and Hackney pony make road debut!

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  • Re-driver and Hackney pony make road debut!

    Yay! Today, after almost two months with my new pony that my very dear Amish friend Mel bought for me at New Holland as a thank you for helping him get his harness shop ready for a liquidation auction, we agreed that it was time to take Tempest out on the road for the first time. I drove him with Mel along for support and guidance and he did so well--only a shy at a pony-eating table that some neighbors had at the end of their driveway. He didn't mind the cars at all. I think all of those long hand walks I took him on and the hours I grazed him near roads helped him to become comfortable with cars. He seemed so happy to be out there doing his spanking trot in a straight line after schooling in the paddock.

    I just realized, reading some other threads, that I'm surely a re-driver! In another life I had a fair license to drive standardbreds and competed in a couple of fairs as well as some amateur driving events at Rosecroft in 1993-94. (Yikes. Almost 20 years ago!)

    It was such a happy day. I just wanted to share with others who know the feeling!

  • #2
    Congratulations!!!
    eBook on Amazon - The Beginner's Guide to Buying a Horse
    My Blog - Life in 2014; Horses, Life, Photography

    Comment


    • #3
      Well done. How satisfying.

      I love driving my pony on the road - and he loves to go too - its so much easier for him to pull the cart on the sealed road than in a paddock with long grass or on bumpy tracks.

      I have another pony I can't wait to get out onto the road. He's been out on the lead from a ridden horse and is ready to go out with the cart. I usually get a friend to come along either with their own sensible horse or to ride one of mine. The ridden horse is so much more visable to traffic than my little pony and cart.

      Comment


      • #4
        Go Tempest!
        Go SaudiHunterer!!

        Hoping I can report the same shortly.

        I ground-drove my Hackney yesterday.
        And after probably 2 months of inactivity, he was fine.
        I even had him trot a few steps - stopping only because I was running low on fuel.
        TG he did the slow trot I asked for - his road trot would have had me belly-surfing in the sand!

        A neighbor who drives ponies will be coming over to help newbie-me hitch pony soon.
        Fingers crossed we can report back with as great results as yours.
        *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

        Comment


        • #5
          Can't post good news like that without picture, now can you???

          The first time I saw a hackney pony in harness (actually, it was two) was on Mackinaw Island. What a smart looking pair they were, too! Gorgeous!

          Congratulations to you! Have fun.
          Riding: The art of keeping a horse between you and the ground.

          Comment

          • Original Poster

            #6
            You're right, allpurpose! A few pictures are in order. I've copied this link from my FB, hoping it works. I did manage to get one of him standing at the hitching rail pre-drive.

            https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?...2280000&type=1

            Thanks everyone for you kind words and support!

            2dogs farm, I'm wishing you and your hackney lots of luck. Give us an update soon.

            Comment

            • Original Poster

              #7
              allpurpose, I wanted to share my story about the first time I saw hackneys. It was the second day of the annual two-day ice cream sale at New Holland. (They sell horses, and give away free ice cream.) The first day was mostly all driven standardbreds, saddlebreds, and morgans, and the second day featured ponies and riding horses. I was there working at my friend's harness shop both days.

              There is a road right between the sales pavilion and the parking lot, and consignors use the road to show buyers their horses. There were mostly little kids driving ponies in wagon, adorabling everyone to death, and then there was a quick little snappy bay trotting up and down with knees almost up to his chin. He must have taken 20 laps past the pavilion and did not ever seem to lose his enthusiasm. I followed him to the sale ring and back to the stall to see this wonderful creature up close. I could not believe how small he was; he, and the other ten or so that the consignor had brought up from Kentucky.
              I also noticed the uniquely shaped head and bold little eye. Wow! I was hooked and kept talking to my friend about how much I loved them.

              Comment


              • #8
                For some reason, the Facebook photos don't appear to have any reins in the terrets (rein rings on saddle) except in the tied photo. Do you not use the rein terrets while going down the road?

                I liked the photo of pony with big mules in the background, looking like Groupies looking at the star kid! Mules look like they are commenting amongst themselves, so it is a cute picture!

                Pony looks like a nice guy, very Hackney looking head. He is quite attractive. Glad he went along so well for you.

                Comment

                • Original Poster

                  #9
                  That is right. In the ground driving pictures, one in the paddock, and the other on the road, I put the lines hrough the shaft lugs. As we progressed in ground driving, I put the lines through the rings. (No pictures showing that). The most recent picture, Tempi hitched to the cart, that I took before the drive, has the lines hooked.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Glad to hear those were ground driving photos! For some reason, maybe because tied pony was first photo, I thought the pictures from behind him were taken in the cart. So that is why I asked about it, willing to hear about a reason to not use the terrets, since I couldn't think of one myself!!

                    We also use the tug loops for long lining, keeps the equine BETWEEN them for better control. We really don't use the saddle terrets unless the equine is between shafts, so they can't turn UNDER the lines and get tangled. Had that happen before and it was a mess. Teaches the equine bad things.

                    Thanks for the answer, and again, he is an attractive guy, nice breed head, and sounds like a lot of fun. Maybe someday we well have a Hackney pony to make our blood race very fast!!

                    Comment

                    • Original Poster

                      #11
                      Thanks for your kind words. There were some comments made the night I got him
                      about how his very convex head indicated a wilder-than-usual nature. He is
                      just so darned cute that sometimes when he is being frisky (on the lunge, especially)
                      I am usually cracking up so much that I don't have the immediate strength to quiet him.

                      The first time I ground drove him I had the lines in the terrets. He managed to spin around
                      a few times and he would stand there blinking at me. So, I ended on a good note and went
                      back to the drawing board...thinking about it, checking out COTH and a few other resources,
                      and thus I decided I needed them lower; most of all when going past scary objects.

                      What kind of driving do you do? Have you had Hackneys before?

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Tempest(in a teacup) How adorable. Really love those ponies. They live forever too. Congrats!

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          We do a bit of all kinds of Driving, down the road, picnic drives, trail drives, a show now and then, with Combined Driving being our favorite.

                          Never had a Hackney, large or small, yet. They were THE PONY at the Fair I attended as a child, made a big impression on me then. Just looked like so MUCH fun, with heads up, snapping those knees and hock way up as they went along. Very FANCY with the viceroy behind them, drivers also looking very nice. A very long way from our Western type riding ponies. We have known some Hackney horses, very nice individuals. Good minds, very sturdy bone and GREAT hooves, good gaits, along with the flashy movement. They can take a loaded vehicle behind, make it look easy to pull. Neither size is the animal for everyone, but they do look fun to use.

                          Heritage breeds seem to still have the convex noses. Hackney is among the older Heritage breeds, and I actually find the nose attractive. I haven't met a horse these days, with that convex nose who is not a lovely individual. One of our best guys ever, had the convex nose, but would work his heart out for you with just asking. They may be a bit stronger minded to start, but they do well with good training, have nice minds when you use them in performance things. Tiny heads, cute faces have not proven to be a good feature in modern breeding for many animals. Don't seem to have kept the sensible brain while improving the looks.

                          If anyone comments on his nose, tell them you are always behind his head, can't see it. Head is for holding his brains and the bridle while using him. Shape of head and nose is never going to affect his performance in work.

                          Comment

                          • Original Poster

                            #14
                            Originally posted by goodhors View Post
                            We do a bit of all kinds of Driving, down the road, picnic drives, trail drives, a show now and then, with Combined Driving being our favorite.

                            Never had a Hackney, large or small, yet. They were THE PONY at the Fair I attended as a child, made a big impression on me then. Just looked like so MUCH fun, with heads up, snapping those knees and hock way up as they went along. Very FANCY with the viceroy behind them, drivers also looking very nice. A very long way from our Western type riding ponies. We have known some Hackney horses, very nice individuals. Good minds, very sturdy bone and GREAT hooves, good gaits, along with the flashy movement. They can take a loaded vehicle behind, make it look easy to pull. Neither size is the animal for everyone, but they do look fun to use.

                            Heritage breeds seem to still have the convex noses. Hackney is among the older Heritage breeds, and I actually find the nose attractive. I haven't met a horse these days, with that convex nose who is not a lovely individual. One of our best guys ever, had the convex nose, but would work his heart out for you with just asking. They may be a bit stronger minded to start, but they do well with good training, have nice minds when you use them in performance things. Tiny heads, cute faces have not proven to be a good feature in modern breeding for many animals. Don't seem to have kept the sensible brain while improving the looks.

                            If anyone comments on his nose, tell them you are always behind his head, can't see it. Head is for holding his brains and the bridle while using him. Shape of head and nose is never going to affect his performance in work.
                            Thank you for your very interesting and helpful remarks about the head shape and personality. It must have been great to have known hackney horses. I have read that their numbers are on the decline but that there are a few initiatives to revitalize the breed. So far, three horsepeople said that a more convex head results in more willfulness. As far as driving breeds, I'm only familiar with the head of the standardbred, a breed I like very very much as it is sensible and hardworking. I suppose some of it could be put down to superstitions, just as the two whorls on the forehead idea. Personally, the head was one of the first things I noticed about the hackneys I saw and I thought it nice.

                            I had not heard the term "Heritage breed" used before. (Only applied to tomatoes and other vegetables!) I will do a search myself, but it would be very nice if you could explain that a little bit.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Heritage breeds are the old breeds which don't allow outcrossing to get into the main Studbook. Both parents need to be registered in the Studbook, not crossbreds, or outcrossing is extremely limited, perhaps to get new genetics into a rare breed of few numbers. Nothing like the modern Warmblood Studbooks.

                              These breeds would include Lippizans, Andalusion and Lusitano, Hackney, TB, Fresians, Cleveland Bays, certain ponies and other breeds I can't think of. The animals can trace their lines back a VERY long way, animals are VERY similar in looks, way of going, because of not being out-crossed. Some breeds have inspections, rule out inferior animals from being stallions because they are not improving the breed.

                              Many of these breeds are not popular, their original use is gone or uncommon now, like carriage driving or war horses. They often take quite a while to mature, gain their full size and mature brains! People can't wait these days, so they get other breeds. Again, the convex nose is common in many of these breeds, but is considered ugly by many horse buyers. Most of these breeds are pretty smart individuals, not always suited for "Mr or Ms Average or Beginner horse owner", because they can easily UNLEARN their training if not well handled. Real Horsemen enjoy these kind of horses for their good nature and being so responsive in work, but other less skilled rider folks consider the horses "difficult or willful" as mentioned. As with all smart horses, the handler needs to be in-charge, though not harsh about it.

                              Maybe since the convex nose is a similar feature on a number of these breeds, so people casually observing get it confused with the old "horse from the west" of mixed breeding, no handling, often convex headed, that displayed so many Bronco characteristics in the past. There were a LOT of them shipped east, cheap price from dealers, the train company, so people bought them and fought with them. Pretty easy to label horses with such a distinct feature as that nose, as all being "willful or strong minded".

                              Except for the TB and Hackney, most other Heritage breeds were not to be found in the USA before the 1950s, showing people animals with GOOD minds and convex noses.

                              Kind of like folks look at mules or donkeys, first thing they say is "Wonder how stubborn he is?" Sterotype thinking, often from stories they have heard. Lots of great mules and donkeys, who NEVER have refused to do what they were asked! But people new to longears animals, go to rough handling them like they have refused to obey, before EVEN being asked to move. The convex nose look works the same way. People sterotype them willful, before they even know the animal. Kind of sad that kind of thing still is around with all our "modern thinking, training techniques".

                              Comment

                              • Original Poster

                                #16
                                Fascinating! Thank you for taking the time to explain. Two breeds I've really fallen in love with from afar are Cleveland Bays (only saw them twice-
                                once at Royal Mews and the other at a show in Warrenton)
                                and Andalusians. They are very beautiful, and there is something very
                                pleasing and workmanlike about their heads and necks.

                                I adore longears. I had four little donkeys when I lived in Oman
                                that I used in place of ponies to teach children how to groom and lead.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  I love Roman noses. I'm a softy for them. The more convex, the cuter, I think.
                                  eBook on Amazon - The Beginner's Guide to Buying a Horse
                                  My Blog - Life in 2014; Horses, Life, Photography

                                  Comment

                                  • Original Poster

                                    #18
                                    Me too!

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