Years ago I wrote a book. I had people asking me lots of questions about my driving training program and figured a book was the best way to help people! Two years ago I re-wrote my book and added more photos and ground work information. I am very proud of my little book!!
Now I have had Sky for a year, got her physically healthy and sound and restarted her in cart. It’s been quite a few years since she’s been driven, but we started her using my step-by-step process all those years ago, and since she is so smart, she took to being hitched and driven again like a fish to water! I am so so proud of her. She is a shining example of my training program for driving horses!!
She has been very worried when driving out alone and I realized that we didn’t drive her alone all those years ago. I would take my training minis and ponies out alone but we didn’t take her out alone! So that was a hole in her early training and one I have been working to fix.
To do that I pay close attention to her thresholds. We head down the driveway and when I feel her slowing down or wanting to stop I will simply turn her back towards the other horses and trot her back! Then we turn again and trot or walk away from the them. Each time I do this her threshold gets longer and longer, until she is looking out the driveway gates, ears pricked forward and no hesitation in her trot and away we go! If she has a threshold once we get out on the road I will turn her around and head for home again until she is feeling calm and connected and then we turn around and head back down the road. If she is rushing while we are still at home I do figure-of-eights with her across my driveway and into my yard area. We just do big looping figure-of-eights until her brain kicks in and then I can point her straight down the driveway. Patterns really help RBE‘s engage their brain because they are moving their feet, but having their pattern interrupted. She is becoming more calm and connected faster and faster when we hitch now!
Today we had a major break through and she was able to walk when we were still “far” away from home. We were about 3/4 a mile from our house and we could hear her son, Zorro, calling for her. But she calmly walked down the road, looking around. When I asked her to trot, she did immediately! When we got to the bend in the road that you can see in the video I asked her to walk again and she walked the rest of the way home! Such a huge accomplishment for my little RBE.