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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar. 24, 2004
    Location
    Pottstown, PA (East Coventry)
    Posts
    4,618

    Default Teaching small ponies/minis to drive

    I saw this interesting ad on Craigslist. Now I don't know anything about training driving horses but this seemed a big odd to me.
    http://poconos.craigslist.org/grq/5500926759.html
    Oh, well, clearly you're not thoroughly indoctrinated to COTH yet, because finger pointing and drawing conclusions are the cornerstones of this great online community. (Tidy Rabbit)



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec. 1, 2012
    Location
    Cloud cuckoo land
    Posts
    142

    Default

    It's an interesting concept, however what happens when the little monster balks? My mini can, will & does BALK!!! I'm not claiming my monster is well trained, but he can't be the only mini with attitude!


    1 members found this post helpful.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb. 16, 2003
    Location
    MI USA
    Posts
    8,622

    Default

    Interesting, but not needed if pony is trained in the steps he needs to learn to be a good driving animal. He learns his voice commands on the long lines, stops because you have trained him well!

    The deal with the minis, small ponies, is folks take very little time to put on the basics, have him wearing harness and often pulling weight, hitched and driving within a week or two. These smaller animals often have amazing tolerance, put up with stuff they don't understand, until they can't take it or get frightened, then they space out. As the driver, you have no "emergency tools" because animal doesn't KNOW what Whoa mean! These small guys can be real foolers, you believe they "understand" what they did and saw during that short learning time, but they really do not understand at all. Kind of "slam, jam, thank-you ma'am" training, with no good basics. No depth to equine understanding of what is happening, commands to obey, so they tend to be time bombs. OK until they are not, when they wreck.

    The other thing is that small as they are, they STILL outweigh you or are at least equal in muscle, you can't FORCE them to halt, hard as you pull. You might be sort of able to steer, but the cheapy rubber wheel carts are VERY tippy. You will probably get bounced out, tipped over, before you can get any control back during a runaway. Doesn't matter how big you are, where you sit, those carts will knock you loose bumping over rough ground, one side goes up and you fall out. Seen that happen more than one time!!

    A screen in front won't prevent the animal from taking off sideways if he feels like it. Better to train well, expect him to be obedient than buying more equipment and not putting in the training time horse needs.


    2 members found this post helpful.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun. 4, 2014
    Location
    Overgrown NE forest
    Posts
    415

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by goodhors View Post
    The deal with the minis, small ponies, is folks take very little time to put on the basics, have him wearing harness and often pulling weight, hitched and driving within a week or two. These smaller animals often have amazing tolerance, put up with stuff they don't understand, until they can't take it or get frightened, then they space out. As the driver, you have no "emergency tools" because animal doesn't KNOW what Whoa mean! These small guys can be real foolers, you believe they "understand" what they did and saw during that short learning time, but they really do not understand at all. Kind of "slam, jam, thank-you ma'am" training, with no good basics. No depth to equine understanding of what is happening, commands to obey, so they tend to be time bombs. OK until they are not, when they wreck.

    The other thing is that small as they are, they STILL outweigh you or are at least equal in muscle, you can't FORCE them to halt, hard as you pull.
    I've had two minis for just over a year, and I have learned exactly this -- people barely train them, and over-rely on tack and a misguided belief that you can overpower them.

    My 12 yo mini is a really bright, brave little guy, but he was yanked out of a field at 9, gelded, and put into many situations that overwhelmed him, so he was rehomed several times with a bad reputation. He's a saint, IMHO -- he tries to understand what's happening, never bites or kicks, and is curious about new things, never scared. But, he's pushy, and will drag you around, and offers a lot of threatening body language when he gets uptight. I have high hopes for what we'll do together, but he still needs a ton more hours of basic handling before we move on. It took 6 months for him to chill out while tied. Today, he gave one of his first-ever relaxed sighs while being groomed.

    I love my riding horse, but I also love giving this mini the respectful training he deserves. My other mini is a retired old pro of a driving & agility competitor -- he's our role model for good citizenship



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov. 14, 2002
    Location
    Sorta near the Devon Horse Show grounds...
    Posts
    5,597

    Default

    You know, they can be pretty redneck up THAR in the Poconos....
    When someone shows you who they are, BELIEVE them- Maya Angelou
    www.americansaddlebredsporthorse.net
    http://www.asbsporthorse.blogspot.com/



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