Re- starting Sky

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Sky is 17 years old this year. We have had her since she was about 8 months old or so. We started her in cart when she was between 2 and 3 years old. She was always a rock steady driving horse. We drove her in parades, in group drives, early in mornings when my mom would accompany me on my training drives, and we showed her.

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Then she had about 7 years off. When she came to live with me here, I re-started her to drive. She did awesome. She took to everything so beautifully. Not much seemed to bother her when we were at home. But all that fell apart when I started taking her on the group drives with the big horses. I don’t know what happened but she became extremely unconfident and started racing everywhere. My famous saying is “I’m not sure if she is trying to save us or kill us.” But honestly it feels like we may die due to some of her decisions sometimes!

So for the last year she hasn’t driven. Once I got Zorro going I just focused on him. BUT she is getting super FAT. She needs to exercise. (We had to take the track down for a month or two and since she has been locked up on the small dry lot she has packed on the pounds. We are re-building the track this week!) So I decided I would just take my time, again, and focus all our attention on her being confident and calm during this second re-start. I don’t plan on taking her on the group drives, unless I feel she can be super confident and hold it together. If I don’t see that happening then she will just stay home and drive around our driving track!

Her first day went very well. She was nice and responsive to the bit and when she would start to get anxious I would stop her, back her and let her think for a minute. Then we would go on. Only time will tell if I have the skill to help her, but I sure hope I do!

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2 Comments +

  1. You are just driving her in her bridle for a while? I have a mare I need to do the same thing with, but have never trained a driving pony from scratch.

    1. I always start them in a halter, but Sky needs to find peace with the bit so we are restarting with the bit. When starting a horse that has never been driven I always start them in a halter. And I’ll drive them all the way through to the cart with the halter.

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