Driving Diary


Well-Known Member
Jun 21, 2000
Day 4 & 5 of Training
I've become a lot more suprised over just how much can be achieved in some bite size lessons. 10 x 4 minute sessions vs 1 x 40 minute session and he has is a different animal.

I've been doing a lot of long reining (sometimes 3 times a day for about 15 mins a go) and over these sessions and mostly working on vocal cues, it's suprising just how much I can read from his back end :giggle: I can see when he's gathering himself up ready to go a bit quicker and he's flicking an ear back in concentration as a 'Are you sure?' before he gets another click to trot on. I've been jogging behind him and my god my bum hurts, clearly there is muscles of some sort in there !

Yesterday for a laugh we did the week 1 run 1 of C25K out on the forest, I thought I need the exercise and so does he, lets combine the two ! Fortunately he trots a low enough pace for me to jog behind him comfortably and if he strides on then I just let the long rein tapes out to allow him to go on.

He's come on in leaps and bounds responding to vocal commands and going in the long reins. I've let the tapes fall around his legs and body and he doesn't care. We've done a loads of large circles figures of eight using gorse bushes and lots of walking over uneven ground to get him striding out and looking good. I'm finding it very interesting watching him move and how he's looking as he's going.

Today I introduced a driving bridle complete with blinkers. He had a good look around and realised I was still there, he was a little nervous to begin with, but I led him off the bridle so he knew I was right next to him for reassurance. After a 15 minute wander I attached the long reins on the stretch home and he long reined perfectly. Because he can't see me, this is where the vocal aids have come in very well and he was a lot sharper on them as previously he has lifted his head and held his head at a slight angle so he can see me.

Little bit more long reining in the next few days with a bridle on, then on with the remaining bits of harness and we'll start with starting to pull something noisy behind us but not attached to him so he starts to get used to a noise. Then we'll attach a tyre and do a bit around the farm so he gets used to pulling a bit of a weight.

I'll do as much of the work as possible myself but I think the final polishing stages and to get him out and about in traffic I'm considering sending him away for a few weeks to the instructor, she actually only lives a mile from where I live so it works out quite handy.


Gimpy Gimp Gimp
Jan 19, 2005
Look forward to following your progress, I am a huge fan of long reining :smile:

Sparky Lily

Well-Known Member
Nov 27, 2008
Yell, Shetland
I look forward to following this too.

I'm going to start getting mine fit and ready for work again soon, and that will have to be in short bursts because of my stiffness issues, so your experience is very encouraging.
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