Harness training progression thread

Discussion in 'Pack and Working Goats' started by Riverside Fainters, Apr 5, 2020.

  1. Riverside Fainters

    Riverside Fainters Active Member

    778
    Feb 6, 2013
    Hey all! I know I introduced myself and Gilbery my 4yr old Myotonic wether in another thread. However, I figured it would be easier to just keep all of his training progress in one thread. Its finally nice enough that we were able to do some training in the yard. We have no snow, the ground is a little wet, but overall, I think he did great!! How do I go about posting videos?? 20200404_172519-01.jpeg 20200404_172515-01.jpeg 20200404_171818-01.jpeg
     
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  2. Tanya

    Tanya Well-Known Member

    He looks so awesome in his harness. Strong and self assured
     
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  3. ksalvagno

    ksalvagno Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

  4. Riverside Fainters

    Riverside Fainters Active Member

    778
    Feb 6, 2013
    Let's just hope he continues to do well!
     
  5. Damfino

    Damfino Well-Known Member

    Dec 29, 2013
    Right behind you
    Nice! I love seeing other folks train harness goats! It's a long lost art.

    One thing I would suggest is using a whip instead of slapping with the reins. I find that slapping with reins is not very precise. The timing is off, and you can't control the "volume" of the cue. Most of the time it's too abrupt and not very subtle, and other times it's too understated to make an impression so your goat may get the idea that he can ignore this signal whenever he feels like it. Rein slapping can also cause you to lose control in situations where you need to tell the goat to walk on and turn at the same time (been there, done that!). Dressage whips work very well as driving whips for goats.

    Best of luck to you! I look forward to seeing y'all's progress! Got any parade plans in your future?
     
  6. Riverside Fainters

    Riverside Fainters Active Member

    778
    Feb 6, 2013
    @Damfino, thanks for the tip. I do have a whip to use. But didnt have it at the time!! He seems to ignore the whip when I do use it. Parades would be fun and who knows, maybe. Its more of a hobby for me! Do you train goats for carting??
     
  7. Damfino

    Damfino Well-Known Member

    Dec 29, 2013
    Right behind you
    I do train goats for carting! It's a hobby for me too (I don't think anyone could make a living at it!). If he ignores the whip, give him three sharp taps in quick succession so he can't continue to ignore you. After that he should be more sensitized to it and listen the first time you tap. Now that my goats are well trained to harness, I usually tap the hip strap of the harness. That very light touch combined with the tapping sound of the whip on the harness is enough to start them off. But if they need a stronger cue, it is immediately available.

    I've written a few articles about harnessing, hitching, and training goats to drive in single and double hitches. If you're interested you can read them on my website here:
    https://www.goatorama.com/articles/

    I also have videos of my goats in harness here:
    https://vimeo.com/user1925583
     
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  8. Riverside Fainters

    Riverside Fainters Active Member

    778
    Feb 6, 2013
    Damfino, where did you get your cart?
     
  9. Damfino

    Damfino Well-Known Member

    Dec 29, 2013
    Right behind you
    We bought our first single cart from Hoegger's Goat Supply back in 2003. I bought another one about 4-5 years ago that someone posted to the classifieds of our packgoat forms that was of similar vintage to our old one. They were built specifically for goats with adjustable shafts for short or tall goats (and they're still a little short for our goats on the tallest setting!). Sadly, these carts have been discontinued for some time. For goats the size of mine, miniature horse carts are exactly the right size.

    For your goat, however, you'd probably need a smaller/shorter cart like these made for large dogs: https://k9carting.com/
     
  10. Riverside Fainters

    Riverside Fainters Active Member

    778
    Feb 6, 2013
    I have an re-entry miniature horse cart. You said tap him with the whip.. like do I tap him?? Or his saddle?
     
  11. Damfino

    Damfino Well-Known Member

    Dec 29, 2013
    Right behind you
    If your mini horse cart's shafts are level when you hitch him up, then it fits him! On the other hand, if the shafts point downhill then it's too tall and he'll need something shorter. You can get away with a too-short cart, but not a too-tall one as it will put too much weight on the saddle of your harness.

    Use the whip in whichever way gets his attention. If he responds to a tap on the hip strap, do that. If he ignores it, tap him on the rump. If he ignores that, give him three quick, sharp smacks on the rump and make him know you mean business. He may jump and act nervous at first, but praise him excessively the second he walks off. Be ready so you don't accidentally pop the reins if he moves suddenly. He'll quickly realize that it's best to move off right away when he feels that gentle tap combined with your vocal command to "walk on."

    It looks like Gilbert is making excellent progress (ground driving is hard--goats often like to turn and face you instead of walking ahead!). And it looks like his harness fits well and he has a good, workmanlike attitude. He should make a nice driving goat.
     
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  12. Riverside Fainters

    Riverside Fainters Active Member

    778
    Feb 6, 2013
    Tha is Damfino. He will do what ever I ask of him usually. He is my special boy.
     
  13. LuvmyGoaties

    LuvmyGoaties Member

    412
    Mar 8, 2010
    I wondered how Fainters would do at carting or as pack goats. Have you had any issues with him locking up in harness?