Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Introduction the the cart

Since Bobby had two whole days under his belt with the harness on, I figured, "Eh, let's hook you up!" I helped BM do the barn Monday morning in exchange for her help hooking up my future driving OTTB. We started off digging through BO's copious amounts of driving stuff and she managed to piece together a new saddle without a soon-to-be broken girth strap. She ground drove him up to the outdoor while I pulled the cart up. Holy cow, that thing is heavy!!!! For being a fucking two wheel pony cart, I barely made it up the hill!

BM drove Bobby around for a few minutes while I caught my breath and then we went for it. He kept stomping and kicking out out the flies while BM got him hooked at mach speed. Then, once hooked, he found out the joy of swishing his tail over the lines which rendered them useless for things like...oh, steering.

We set off with BM on the lines and me with a longe line on his bridle at his head. He was completely unconcerned, so after a lap, BM boosted herself onto the seat. Bobby continued on without a reaction until we were about halfway around at which point he came to the same conclusion that I had: that cart is heavy! We agreed on that, but not on how to handle it.

Bobby threw on the brakes and tried to do his fave evasion trick by spinning around and backing up. Well, that's really hard to do when there's a cart behind you. When that didn't work for him, he tried laying down. I was like "O.O" but BM had the situation in hand and yelled for us both to go forward no matter what. Going forward to Bobby meant bolting, but BM and I were like, "Yay, good pony!" and he quickly came back to the walk.

We repeated the whole process multiple times, once losing BM off the back of the cart to the dirt. I whipped around when I heard her call my name and she was jumping back up laughing hysterically. I thought Bobby was being pretty naughty, but she just laughed and said she's seen much worse. And that's why she got recruited!

We kept trying to end on a good note with having him walk to so-and-so spot, halt, walk a few steps, and be done. But he kept throwing a tantrum before we could reach our spot. BM was trying to help him out and basically push the cart for him, but he hasn't learned how to really lean into the harness yet and actually pull.

We finally just gave him a mental break, let him chill in the middle of the arena for a minute, and when he started walking on his own, we gave him big praise, stopped him a few strides later, and got him unhitched. The good news is that he didn't once give an indication that he was scared of the cart. He was inclined to throw fits, yes, but it was more of a "This is SO hard, and I don't WANNA! You can't MAKE ME!" I'll give him that--it is hard. But he's going to do it anyway.

He ended his session with BM trying to blow out of the open gate and earned himself a trot figure eight and passes in front of the gate until he remembered his manners. He ended his session with me with a CTJ moment when I halted him in front of the open barn door and he saw no reason to actually stand still. After our discussion, he stood.

He's getting today off because it's pouring out, and he's probably feeling the work and acrobatics he did yesterday. Poor princess.


  1. I love these posts. It makes me excited to teach the tiny painted pony how to drive or better yet have the hubby who has actually driven ponies before train the pony to drive.. To be honest...I just want to have something bribe my friends to come out and visit me this winter. Who wouldn't want a ride in a one pony open sleigh?

  2. Perhaps this is my new goal with Jingle.. he doesn't like me riding him, so maybe he'll like hauling my ass around in another way.

    In other news.. you are one fearless chick, I don't forsee myself being able to be anywhere near Jingle and a cart in the forseeable future.

  3. Very cool. He'll figure it out :)

  4. Oh Bobby. What a goof. It's so cool that you have experienced help while figuring this out, plus all the tools available. Can't wait for Bobby's FEI driving debut. ;)

  5. That is so cool! I've always wanted to learn how to drive.

  6. So cool you are able to do this, he'll learn to pull in time!

  7. At the rate you guys are progressing, I fully expect you to be kicking ass at combined driving trials next year. Driving + XC= Good.

  8. So cool! Keep up the good work!

  9. Yay Bobby and your BM rocks! He'll figure out the leaning forward thing soon. Then you can do this!:

  10. Love how you always end on a good note even with a "discussion". He'll get there! So impressed, B would not know what to do with himself.

  11. Sounds like a lot of fun! He's catching on quick :-)

  12. That is so cool! I would be totally chicken about training a green horse, being behind them makes me feel less in control than being on them.

    1. That's why BM is in control behind him. I just have the longe line attached to his halter and stand to the side smiling uselessly lol.

  13. What an adventure you guys are now on, cannot wait to hear what you get up to next!


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