Contrary to what many people believe, there are many other ways to enjoy a horse besides riding it. While some horse owners create a hobby and even a business from raising foals, others enjoy family outings in a horse pulled wagon or buggy. If you have never pictured yourself climbing atop a horse's back, teaching your horse to drive may just be the perfect solution for spending time with equine.
- The first step in teaching a horse to drive is to learn the different pieces and functions of the driving equipment. You must learn what equipment is needed and how it fits on your horse. It is best to practice harnessing a trained horse to drive before attempting to place any equipment on a horse that is not trained to drive.
- Once you know all of the tack involved in driving, it is time to introduce the equipment to your horse. After the horse is harnessed, lead it around and let it become accustomed to the feel and sounds of the driving tack.
- When the horse is comfortable with the equipment, it is time to practice lunging while harnessed. Lunging your horse while it is wearing the harness will add to the feel of the equipment at different speeds as well as reinforce the control and commands of the trainer.
- Before attempting to drive your horse from a wagon, it is essential to practice from the ground. Some trainers prefer using a drag for this step. A drag is simply something weighted that the horse practices pulling. A homemade drag could be a piece of wood or a tire. The item should only be heavy enough that the horse notices the weight. The horse should not struggle. Hold the long driving lines and instruct your horse to walk and pull the drag. The first time that this is attempted it may be best to have an additional person standing at the horse's head.
- It is now time for the cart. Introduce the horse to the cart. Try having one person lead the horse and another pull the cart behind the horse with the cart unattached. This will help the horse get acquainted with a cart being behind it.
- Hook the cart to horse. Command the horse to move forward. After the horse takes a few steps, ask it to stop. Each time increase the distance that the horse walks. Once the horse calmly and obediently walks and halts with the cart behind it, try standing in the cart and give the same directions.