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 Driving experts....I need help :)

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SexyDexy

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PostSubject: Driving experts....I need help :)   Wed Apr 07, 2010 10:11 am

I hooked George up in his new harness last night and walked him up and down the road. It sure will be a lot easier when I get a cart. lol!

I'm pretty sure I had everything hooked up right but we were having some issues. The crupper was too short for him so I took it off for now till I can punch some more holes or rig something up. How tight should it be? The overcheck rein also seemed a bit taught so I hooked it to a ring that allowed it to slack up a bit.

I think the real issue is with the bridle. He was rearing quite often and throwing his head. I know for a fact he was one of the most well behaved horses in harness when he was racing so it must be something causing him discomfort. The overcheck thing seems to really be pulling the bit up in his mouth. Could it be too tight? It's let out as far as it can go so I will have to get him a new bridle if that's the case.

I was going to try ground driving him in just a regular bridle and see if he's still doing his rearing trick. Maybe he's just pissed off that I'm going to slow and he wants to boogie lol! I could be a bit of "frig off, I'm retired" too. He seems to do more rearing heading away from home.

From what I remember being told, the overcheck is to keep their head up and reduce the possibility of them stumbling??? Do all driving harnesses have an overcheck?

D, Tammy? Help lol!
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oldsaddlebags

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PostSubject: Re: Driving experts....I need help :)   Wed Apr 07, 2010 10:28 am

It could be any of the various reasons that you have stated. I would definitely toss the over check away. You don't need him going around with his head up in the air. You want him to relax and be happy.

Try long lining him in a circle with your reins running through your shaft loops. Then drive him in a straight line. With your reins down low on his sides, if he trys to turn around the rein will come under his but and you should be able to straighten him out without too much entanglement. just tug gently with the rein that is around his but until he straightens out.

Once you have this mastered you can ground drive him in big loopy surpentines to get him soft and supple. It also keeps his mind on you and not on trying to turn around to go home. Your driving horse should be as supple as your saddle horse.

Good luck and have fun. It takes lots of patience, but it is well worth all the work in the end.
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Ellie*Mae

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PostSubject: Re: Driving experts....I need help :)   Wed Apr 07, 2010 11:04 am

I agree with OSB - we have never used the overcheck rein on any of the horses...including Worthy, who raced for a million years...what kind of bit are you using? If it's his regular riding bit, chances are its the overcheck. Pics would help, too!
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SexyDexy

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PostSubject: Re: Driving experts....I need help :)   Wed Apr 07, 2010 11:14 am

I'm working on the pictures. Gotta snag a camera first.

Looking at stuff on the web I think the issue with the overcheck is that is it attached directly to the driving bit (1/2 cheek snaffle) instead of to a seperate straight overcheck bit. I bought the harness second hand and that's how it was set up but there was a straight bit in the bag and I was wondering where it was supposed to go. I'll take it off tonight and see how he responds.

OSB - There's no issues with him turning on me. He's great in that way, point him where you want to go and he's off. He would just stop and rear a bit every now and then. I'm sure once I get this bridle part figured out we will be good to go. That is when I find a cart. Know of any for sale??? lol!

Thanks for the replies ladies. I'm glad I can get rid of that darn thing. It certainly didn't look comfortable to me. I just wanted to make sure I wasn't going to create a safety issue by not using it. Not like we're going to be barreling down the road. A nice walk/jog is good enough for me!
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Barefoot_Horsegirl

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PostSubject: Re: Driving experts....I need help :)   Wed Apr 07, 2010 12:23 pm

I would also remove the overcheck, we never use it on our Canadians. We use a Liverpool driving bit, not a snaffle. It has various severity levels but we always keep it on a gentle setting. Driving is more dangerous then riding and I want the extra WHOA in the event that I ever need it (never have so far, knock on wood). Jason is the driver, that's why I say "we" but we work as a team :)

Have you driven before SD? If not, I would recommend getting someone experienced to help you the first few times. Keep ground driving until you both have each other firgured out. Do lots of stopping and don't let him move until you say move. We make the Canadians stand around a lot when they are hitched so they learn how to be patient. He's already harness broke, but I don't think you want to be going at racing speeds all the time, haha.

I've done quite a bit of driving research online and I've read you want to buy something relatively heavy for a cart for pleasure driving, preferably with wooden wheels. The COTH forum has a driving section with posts you can read over with input from experienced drivers:

http://www.chronofhorse.com/forum/forumdisplay.php?f=79

:good_luck_grap and have fun!!! :)
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PostSubject: Re: Driving experts....I need help :)   Wed Apr 07, 2010 1:12 pm

If the check is too tight, then yes it sure will cause discomfort. It would be like you walking around with your head jerked back and tied.. I would just unhook the check and see how that works. Do you have any pictures?
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Tammy



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PostSubject: Re: Driving experts....I need help :)   Wed Apr 07, 2010 8:23 pm

Hmmm ... sounds like the harness and bridle may be too small for him. I took the overcheck off Thunder's harness when I got it. Skipper has never had one. I'm not much help because I've just basically made my way through driving blindly - the ponies have taught me.

The old fellas here told me that the croup thing that goes under his tail MUST be really clean or it will chafe him. And not too tight, basically just sitting under his tail. As one of them said to me, "I just pretend that it's my testicles that it's sitting under and judge the tightness from there". Hmmmmm ... not REALLY something I could relate too but it did make me laugh!

It's fun to set up little obstacle courses when you're ground driving. Keeps things interesting for both you and your boy.

Sorry I couldn't be of more help. When you have the harness on him try to snap a few pictures (buy yourself a damn camera!) so we can have a boo.
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Wissy
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PostSubject: Re: Driving experts....I need help :)   Wed Apr 07, 2010 11:14 pm

I have nothing to add for I sucked at teaching Gunnar to drive.. hence we do not have the cart ..sold it.. still have the harness .. ummm maybe someday when he's old.. try again..

Remember when I said Joan and I would come to your place and go for a ride in the cart with you when you get it.. and I said Joan could go first.. hehehehe she told me last week when Firebug and I were at her place she though I said she could go first because I was being nice.... hahahahahahhaahhahah.. I nearly peed my pants.. she knows different now ...

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SexyDexy

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PostSubject: Re: Driving experts....I need help :)   Thu Apr 08, 2010 9:30 am

What, you don't trust old George Wissy? or would it be my lack of driving skills? lol! Really, George is the pro here. His trainer would let anyone jog him, he was so well behaved. The first day I met her she asked if I wanted to jog him on the track Ummm, NO. He was the only horse one of the barn helpers (he is mentally impaired in some way) was aloud to take out.

I didn't get out last night, was being lazy. Hopefully if it doesn't rain too badly over the weekend so I can try again - and get pictures.
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D-Cutch

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PostSubject: Re: Driving experts....I need help :)   Thu Apr 08, 2010 8:24 pm

Do you know if George wore any other pieces of equipment when he was raced? Sometimes STBs have their heads tied to limit the tossing or they have some kind of poles to hold their head a certain way...

We are required to use a sidecheck when we show our Minis... somewhat similar to an overcheck but it run directly to the bit on both sides. We don't keep it particularly tight though.
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Wissy
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PostSubject: Re: Driving experts....I need help :)   Thu Apr 08, 2010 8:41 pm

No I don't trust anyone except D-Cutch.. now I'd allow her to take me out or teach me to drive.. I think I am hold her on a pedestal.. hehehehe.. two of my good friends got horses recently that are great .. safe and both are extremely happy.. Sexy dexy.. I'm a big big chicken!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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PostSubject: Re: Driving experts....I need help :)   Thu Apr 08, 2010 8:58 pm

Wissy you need to bring Gunnar up and have him broke to harness! OMG he'd look awesome.. We hook my sister's welsh ponies with them!! I would just set you up there with my mare Dinah and away you would go... You'd do just fine!
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SexyDexy

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PostSubject: Re: Driving experts....I need help :)   Thu Apr 08, 2010 9:03 pm

As far as I know, he only wore the overcheck when he raced. He didn't need anything else because he knew his job and did it! If the head tossing and rearing continue after I remove the overcheck I will go and see his former trainer and see what she says. She would know if he's just being a turd and testing me or if something is really wrong.
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Tammy



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PostSubject: Re: Driving experts....I need help :)   Thu Apr 08, 2010 9:12 pm

Guess what SD ... carts work in the RAIN! So put on your slicker and hook the boy up. Don't turn into a "Wissy" on us! :doglaugh.gif:
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SexyDexy

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PostSubject: Re: Driving experts....I need help :)   Thu Apr 08, 2010 9:34 pm

Don't you know I'm made of sugar

Rain sucks. I don't have the energy to do anything when it's raining.
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Wissy
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PostSubject: Re: Driving experts....I need help :)   Fri Apr 09, 2010 7:30 am

really mere.. I'd love to have him broke for harness.. just know one around here to do it for me.. and yes he'd look great pulling a cart.. he loves to pull.. he's pulled us around some.. Sarah on a tire.. it was funny.. he dug right in..
Tammy I am a Wissy.. and proud of it.. lol..
and Dex is made of sugar for sure..

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PostSubject: Re: Driving experts....I need help :)   Fri Apr 09, 2010 1:33 pm

Oh he'd look soo cute! You should really think about it!
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