Re-Training Mikey To Drive

I brought Mikey home at the end of June. It took just over a month to get him healthy enough to start re-training him.

At the beginning of August, or so, I started taking him for walks, then moved onto ground driving him; first with just the halter and then with the bridle as shown in this video:

Next I started putting the harness on him, (that’s a process in itself because I don’t want my horses fidgeting when being harnessed. I like them to be cooperative to the process, including accepting the bit, and not being stressed when having the crupper put on, etc.) then ground driving with the harness and FINALLY hitching to the travois. He has been pulling the travois for a few weeks now.

mikeyandtravois

The last two times he had a little temper tantrum about half way through so today’s drive was a test. I have been feeling that he is getting bored and ready for the next step, which is the cart, and today just solidified that. He did an awesome job, always listening to me and steady as a rock, even when he got nervous. So the next time we go out he will be hitched to the cart!

This little video shows him being harnessed, to show how quiet I like my ponies to be when being harnessed. He has been quite flinchy when being touched or brushed due to having ulcers when he came. I made this video to show how fine he is with being harnessed. He doesn’t mind at all!

We did a few videos today. I like my horses to be SOLID in the travois before I ever bring the cart out. Mikey is just that.

So the next step is hitching to the cart. Stay tuned!

 

5 Comments

  1. Chloe

    Can you do a post about training a horse to accept the travois? My pony has done great with ground driving, but she’s struggling with the travois. She’s very flighty, so I think that may be a big part of the struggle. How do you train your horses with the travois?

    1. LadybugFarm

      Hi Chloe! I can and will do a video about that as I have my three year old to hitch to the travois next 🙂 If your mare is having a hard time with the travois then take a little smaller step and have her drag a cone or a tarp or a couple of pool noodles. Just to help her get used to the noise behind her. Also I never have the horse drag something without first allowing them to follow it. This means you’ll need another person to drag the item in front you first. Then you will have your mare walk up beside it as they continue to drag it, then have her walk in front while they drag it. When she doesn’t feel the need to look at it then she can drag it. I also find it’s helpful at this point to have them in an open bridle without blinders so they can see. I will make a few videos showing this! Thank you for the idea!

  2. Linda White

    Loved it Mindy. I love your videos and find them so interesting and informative. Mikey is doing so well. Looking forward to seeing how well he does hitched to the cart.

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