April 25, 2013

Harness Training // Day One

This is my friend Glenda and her horse Mariah...

My mom's pony Freckles is trained to pull a cart, and Glenda had the brilliant idea that we should teach Mariah how.  So, we are.  Isn't that an awesome summer project?!  Neither of us have ever trained a horse to pull a cart, so this is going to be a learning experience for all of us, that's for sure!

We took it easy our first day and just got Mariah comfortable with wearing the harness, then the headstall with the blinders.  She's used to be ridden with a hackamore (bit-less bridle), so we started with that.  Eventually we'll begin using a d-ring snaffle bit, but the hackamore is best for now.

It seemed wise to leave the halter on under the bridle for now, and we took turns with one of us holding the lead rope while the other walked behind holding the reins.  Since it was just the two of us, we couldn't really get any pictures of us doing that.  Next time, I'll bring my bro and he can take some pictures.

When it was Glenda's turn to walk behind with the reins, she practiced starting and stopping Mariah using voice commands and the reins.  Mariah is very well trained with voice commands, which made that step much easier.

Mariah took to it all very well!  I thought for sure we'd have a fight on our hands when we put the blinders on, but nope.  Nothing.  We gave her lots of treats and pats for being such a good little girl.

Of course, this is the easy part.  Just wait till we try adding a cart to the mix...;)

Happy Trails, y'all!


  1. Now, this is a very cool summer project! From the first lesson, it seems like Mariah will be easy to teach and work with. It would be so fun to go for a cart ride in the lovely early mornings when the air is still cool. Maybe you can teach Bonnie Girl to ride with you in the cart? Keep us posted on the progress.

  2. So fun! I love these pictures:) And Mariah is such a pretty mare.

  3. This is all so interesting and new to be, town girl that I am! Seconding the "keep us posted"!

  4. I will definitely keep you all posted! I can't wait to work with Mariah some more this week!


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