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Discuss Pony cart training at the Horse Training forum - Horse Forums.

Just curious because a friend was injured the other day...when do you start training ponies ...
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    Senior Member gratifite's Avatar
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    Pony cart training

    Just curious because a friend was injured the other day...when do you start training ponies to pull carts?
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    Everyone does it a little bit different.

    Do you mean the age at which they are trained? Or when in the training process?

    First we teach voice commands, get them thoroughly comfortable with the concept of give to pressure, and allowing them to be touched all over with the lead rope. Then lunging is started for a very short while, only to get the horse used to working while being far away from the trainer while continueing to work on the voice commands. Get them used to the harness. Then teach ground driving and get them used to going out and about around the farm and down the driveways etc... Somewhere in all of that they are trained to hobble, that way if they ever get tangled up in equipment they will know not to fight it. They are also trained turn on the forehand and haunches. THEN the hores is first put to a shaft. And even then it's just one shaft that a helper carries next to the horse so the horse can get used to the feel of it. Then once the horse is completely comfortable with that a second shaft is added. Then the cart comes next with TWO helpers at the head of the horse/pony and the driver walking behind. Then the driver in the cart and then one helper at the head and then that helper can get into the cart. All in all the horse is usually around 3 at this time.

    What happened to your friends? Are they okay?
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    My friend was helping one of her friends and they had a 1 1/2 yr old pony hitched to the cart. She (the pony) spooked and took off w/ my friend. They went into a brushy area and the cart upturned...my friend ended up w/ a concussion and assorted bumps and bruises.When she told me the story, my first reaction was that the pony was too young. But, I've never worked w/ them myself and didn't want to say anything. I sometimes question the information she gets from the other friend, but here again, don't want to say anything if she doesn't directly ask for my opinion.
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    That sounds more like a matter of not taking enough time to desensitize the horse before hitching him to the cart. Personally, I would wait until age 2 to start driving, but the accident sounds like it's from a lack of training. Also, it's a good idea to wear protective equipment while driving a young horse, in case something does happen.
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    I'm sorry about your friend. Cart accidents are terrible things that I would never wish upon anyone.

    Yes I definetly think a 1.5 year old is too young to be put to a cart. First of all there is no way that you can do all the training that needs to be done before you put too on a horse that is that young. There just isn't enough time. Second of all it's the rare 1.5 year old that is mentaly stable enough for that kind of work.

    And I agree with AQHA hunter. Helmets are a must when training a young horse to drive. Driving accidents are much worse then riding accidents, with all that equipment to get tangled up and hurt in.
    The Morgan Horse! Everything else is just a horse.

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    Hey sorry that this isn't on the subject of Pony Cart training but can anyone tell me how I can open up a new thread started by me? I can't figure out how to. The help would be very apriciated!

    And this thread of pony cart training has helped me a lot I have been considering training my pony's to a cart. I have 2 Shetland mares I want to train to a cart.
    Thanks all

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    1.5 for a horse or pony is way to young to be pulling a cart. Also, you should always wear a helmet when training a young horse to pull a cart.

    There is a long and labor intensive process involed in cart training any horse. It is incremental and requires time, patience and an extra set of hands. Unfortuanatly your friend was the extra set of hands and thank God she didn't get more badly hurt.

    Also, not all ponies have a suitable temperment to drive. many people assume t hat just because you have a pony it will be a good driving horse. Not always the case.

    Always stick with your first impression. In this case you were right
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    Driving accidents Are VERY Scary!!!!
    and in my mind, Mostly because once the driver is off / or out of the vehicle ... the horse(s) who is already scared, Now Has this cart Bumping, Jumping, Bouncing Wildly ... Chasing Him!!! .. and no matter How fast he Runs ... It's Still Behind Him!!!
    So as They race along.. trying to escape the monster hot on their heels .. they become Completely empty headed about Anything around them .. They're Just Running For Their Lives!!

    I Love To Drive!!
    But I think even MORE So then many "other" equine disciplines ... horses who are trained to drive, and pull .. need loads and loads of good Solid / Correct training!!
    And the FIRST time you go to hook your horse up ... There should Be Absolutely NO Question about "are they ready"
    ~ Lyrical Lass

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lyrical Lass View Post
    Driving accidents Are VERY Scary!!!!
    and in my mind, Mostly because once the driver is off / or out of the vehicle ... the horse(s) who is already scared, Now Has this cart Bumping, Jumping, Bouncing Wildly ... Chasing Him!!! .. and no matter How fast he Runs ... It's Still Behind Him!!!
    So as They race along.. trying to escape the monster hot on their heels .. they become Completely empty headed about Anything around them .. They're Just Running For Their Lives!!

    I Love To Drive!!
    But I think even MORE So then many "other" equine disciplines ... horses who are trained to drive, and pull .. need loads and loads of good Solid / Correct training!!
    And the FIRST time you go to hook your horse up ... There should Be Absolutely NO Question about "are they ready"
    ~ Lyrical Lass

    Great post! Many people think driving is safer than riding. It actually can be A LOT more dangerous

    The worst horse accident I ever saw involved two Percherons and a sleigh..
    The last of human freedoms to choose one's attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one's own way.
    Viktor E. Frankl


    "Those whom the gods love grow young" ~Oscar Wilde
    ~RIP Doe 1967-2010~
    I love you and miss you

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    Quote Originally Posted by calypsoscarnivl View Post
    The worst horse accident I ever saw involved two Percherons and a sleigh..
    I can only imagine
    ~ Lyrical Lass

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