Lantair Vlea (lantairvlea) wrote in equestrian,
Lantair Vlea

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Projects and Progress

Today marked yet another milestone for our HaflingerxBelgian filly Tru-D. This summer I acquired some more harness bits so I could advance her driving training without having to buy a full one before she has finished growing. She'll be three in April so she has close to a year to grow height wise and then another two to three to fully fill out. This Spring her body was too short for my Fjord's harness, which is why I picked up a breastcollar and kicking strap to double as a trace holder to use with my training surcingle set up. I also found some rope traces, which I used as her first thing to drag this Summer and introduce the feel of drag and more things touching around her side and haunches.

2016-08-19 14.49.07.jpg

Here she is sporting all of her training gear. She's currently working bitless (has worn one a few times, but don't plan on working in one until she has a full mouth). The breastcollar is secured to the surcingle by some large spring snaps so it doesn't slide forward and the traces snap into the buckles on the breastcollar with panic snaps. The other end of the rope traces have 2" rings so you can attach them to whatever you're pulling.

So today I had an extra set of hands with one of my working students and took the opportunity to hook her to the tire for the first time.

I started with my student dragging a singeltree around for noise while I ground drove Tru-D. She had dragged the singletree well previously. I also put some weight in the traces so she could feel some drag before we hooked her up. We then dragged the tire for some noise before hooking her to it. The tire has a large U-bolt with a heavy duty spring snap and a panic snap. The panic snap has a small eyehook on it that I tied a long string to so it can be released either by pulling (in this case I had my student holding the string) or stepping on it.

I asked her to walk on and she initially bounced off of the pressure on the breastcollar. She tried stepping sideways to find less resistance, but with a little vocal encouragement she stepped into it and pulled the tire. I stopped her after about ten feet and gave her lots of verbal praise and repeating.

I had my students take some pictures.

I took her around our small ring once in each direction before calling it a day. Other than the initial "are you sure I can pull this?" question she was awesome. I couldn't have asked for a nicer first pull.

Plans going forward include more tire pulling in small doses, ground driving, ponying, and trailering out places.

So what are you all up to? Any fun projects or goals you're working on?
Tags: draft horses, driving, project horses
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