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(01-06-2014, 08:41 PM)deschutes dawn Wrote: [ -> ]Nanno, would it work to use a light training harness to train to move forward and whoa, right and left before they are two? I have tentatively trained a young horse that way and used makeshift shafts made of pvc to teach them how to turn without freaking out. Worked well for that young mare but all it took was one spook on her first hook up to the cart and she destroyed the cart and nearly herself! So ended my harness training experience!

Oh dear! I'm sorry you had such a bad driving experience with your horse! I've found it's easier to train horses to drive by hitching a young knuckle-head with an older, steady horse. If the youngster plays up, he can't do much damage since he's tied firmly to an old campaigner who isn't going anywhere, and seeing the other horse not spook at things helps the youngster not overreact.

You can definitely begin training a goat to drive before they are two. Teaching them to walk in front of you without balking may be the most difficult part of training, so the earlier you start the better. One problem you'll encounter with ground driving is that the goat is going to keep turning around to face you, and it's difficult to prevent this without shafts to keep them straight. If they are dragging shafts, then you can step on the back part if your goat tries to do an about-face.

If he already trusts you, the goat should not need to get used to the harness, but some may be spooky about dragging shafts, so make sure to introduce these in a safe, contained area. A goat can't wreak havoc to the same degree as a horse, and probably won't injure himself, but he could easily put a nice scratch down the side of your car or take out some kneecaps if he panicked and got away from you.

Once he's two, then you could put him to a cart or wagon and use him for things like hauling trash to the end of the driveway and other little chores, but once again, he probably shouldn't be hauling people until he's about three and well grown-out. A smaller goat may need longer.
Thank you. That will be very helpful. With all I have going it will be awhile before I can get to training to drive but I think my stout little guy, Tamarack, would be the one. His taming is coming along pretty well so it will be a future project.
(01-06-2014, 09:00 PM)Sanhestar Wrote: [ -> ]you can teach all that without harness, just with a halter and a lead rope. Remember - goats aren't horses. They don't spook the same.

I second this. We taught all our commands with halters and ropes (walk on, whoa, left, right, faster, easy, stay). I feel like our guys benefit from routine practices but don't always have time to rig up the whole harness and cart (blech). It's easy to grab the halter and rope for a quick review. The boys seem to transfer the skills just fine when the harness and cart are attached...but then, we walk them on leads when they pull the cart behind... It could all be a bit touchier if you are driving...

Rose-Marie and the Saanen boys
(01-09-2014, 02:05 PM)AACmama Wrote: [ -> ]The boys seem to transfer the skills just fine when the harness and cart are attached...but then, we walk them on leads when they pull the cart behind... It could all be a bit touchier if you are driving...

Yeah, driving is a whole other matter and one I've never completely mastered with Cuzco (although he's done pretty well considering how little time he spends between the shafts compared to following us on the trail). You spend all that time teaching your goats to stay behind you, and then you confuse them by trying to make them walk out in front! Of course, with a minimally trained goat, how easily they walk out with the cart often has more to do with whether you're heading home than anything to do with training. Wink
that's right. But you can also teach them a "walk ahead" with halter and lead rope only. Or do some ground-driving - making sure that they carry a girth with loops or rings along the topline to keep the driving lines in the right place. Ground-driving might be the best way to teach them to walk ahead and with the girth you make also a clear distinction between normal leading, packing and driving.

I also like doing travois work in preparation for pulling.
If you had say 300# of elk in the cart, how much of a hill could these buggers pull? Wondering about a cart to haul game out of the woods on gravel roads.
I want your goat nanno I've wanted a cart goat forever
Joecool911 - I believe 1 goat can pull up to 2 times its weight, so if you get two 200+ pound wethers for a team, you shouldn't have any trouble. I'm new to this cart stuff though, so don't take my word for it.
Geez, Joe, I want to hunt where you do! The areas I hunt have no roads and just barely have trails. Thank goodness for my packer boys.
I would love to learn to drive goats but time doesn't allow me to do any new things right now. Someday maybe.
I'm thinking that if you had a cart, you could walk in front of them and not need to teach them to drive. We hunt weyerhauser and there are a lot of roads, but closed to vehicles. We've got a 5 mile downhill walk that goes from camp on national forest at 3,500' to the river bottom at 1,000'. Gate at the bottom where you can drive to. We leave a rig at the bottom, so we don't have to trek back uphill.

We also have a similar run that's 12 miles downhill on mountain bikes. On good years we bump elk almost each day. But getting one with a bow is not easy. Sometimes bumping means having one come in to cow calls. Sometimes they sneak in. Chirping for 30 mins or so. Decide nothing is coming, only to bust him out. Crash, snap, crash... They cannot move in the west side thick vegetation without making noise. So you generally know they are coming, but sometimes they find a quiet route.
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