First Team Outing!
Hello Nanno
That was My Arabian Stallion Baron Von Black and me for Stopping a Run Away Team of Belgian Drafters In a Packed Labor Day Parade They were pulling a full size Hitch Wagon With people from the Teamsters Union aboard, The Local Union was the Sponsors for the Team and Wagon.
Quite literally it was a desperation move for me to keep people on the ground along the parade route from getting trampled and run over by a heavy wagon.
Cause: hitch pin failed,Double Tree hit the horses in the heels, they kicked the wagon and Took off
The Neck Yolk was bolted to the pole same as chaining. Yes, a spooked team running down the street is bad enough but a hitch wagon still hooked spooking them every time it banged on them would have be lots worse.
I would rather just deal with team not the wagon but that was not an option.
I Give all the credit to Baron My Stallion (RIP) He was the one talking to Drafters I was way to busy watching people to keep them out of the way. When we got them stopped we swung around in front Baron Faced the team 3X his size down, Gave them that "Stallion" I will stomp you good. It you move. I got down saw the situation people were bailing out from the wagon(Good) A couple big Guys Came out from the spectators. used both to help and did get a new hitch pin put in the double tree. They had one in the wagon parts box..
Moving on: Point of the story.
Hitch wagon had good hydraulic brakes, could have stopped itself If the horses would have NOT been bolted/chained to the pole. The neck yolk would have just slid off. and catching just a team without a heavy wagon bouncing off them would have been much better to stop.
BTY: I had been in other Parades with that exact team,( They were not a bad Team) some with my own horses (Baron) Or my Percheron Saddle horse Windy,(RIP) I trained him for some basic Dressage Talk about something Fancy to see a 1800 # Black Perch in Piaf or side pass. My Perch friends loved to take me along for their Parades, and loved Windy and me as a outrider. They were Hitch horse people, and would drive team, 4-6 up in parades and show.
Windy was big enough to impress and if the hitch had a problem big enough to do something about it.
All of the hitch horse people I worked with always maintained, "Went the Hitch was Showing Good, they were about 1 stride from a run away. The horse in the hitches were all HOT. Not Carriage horse dispositions.

You know how parades go, Start and stop.
Hitch horses do not like to stand still, in Parade stops.
The trick was with Windy at a Parade I could put Windy into a Piaf catch the the hitch horses attention and keep them quite, or side pass up one side stand him at the head of the hitch Piaf a bit and then side pass back down the other side.

In Ending Nanno
We both Have different back ground Experience and are sharing it.
There is no ONE Perfect way, Discussion is always a part of the learning experience.

Happy Trails
hihobaron Blizzard ,Fuzzy,Pete, Sam and the Troops in SC
Awesome job by you and Baron to stop that runaway wagon! It's a good thing you two were there or the story could have had a very unhappy ending. That sort of thing is exactly why horses are banned from many parades now, which is a real shame. I anticipate that by the time I'm old, horses will be a very rare sight in most parades because of liability.

I still maintain that a team that bolts from a broken doubletree has no business being anywhere near a parade. You can't blame the engagement of a safety feature (yoke fixed to pole) when poor training is the culprit. A panicked team of Belgians bolting through a crowd of people is extremely dangerous even without the wagon. If, say, the wind had blown an empty trash barrel, baby stroller, umbrella, etc. into the back of them the result would have been no different. Those horses weren't desensitized to having something unexpectedly hit their back legs. Parade horses need to be pretty well "bomb-proof" and trust and obey the driver when he pulls the reins and says, "Whoa!" Had they done that in the first place, the doubletree would have flopped to the ground and stopped bothering them. I spent a good deal of time making my team pull the doubletree around the pasture before I hooked it to anything. I wanted them used to having that noisy, floppy, unwieldy thing bouncing behind them. Sometimes one end would go over a bump and hit one of the horses in the hind leg. They got used to it after a while.

Horses that work in public have to be prepared for the worst because idiots do stupid things to set horses off, sometimes even on purpose. I've seen people throw water bombs, and I once had a kid run up and smack my horse in the butt with his skateboard (one of the few times I wished I my horse kicked!). I had motorcycles speed up close behind and rev up as loud as possible as they passed. I had cars swipe in close to the hindquarters and honk. My team was attacked by a loose dog that came in at their heels snarling and biting while the owner just stood there and watched (I whacked that dog hard with the carriage whip and he left us alone after that). Once a guy set his 2-year-old down on the ground as he walked by my horses and the kid took off like a rocket and ran smack into the back heels of my off horse and startled him (that time I was overjoyed that my horse didn't kick!). I once saw someone on a bike in a parade who was flirting with girls, circling around the parade route, not paying attention to where he was going, and he crashed his bicycle into a team and wagon. It's perfectly natural for horses to shy at stuff like this, but if the team is well-trained then these spooks should not escalate into runaway situations. Having the horses "One stride from a runaway" may not be a big deal in an arena at a show, but it's downright dangerous and irresponsible when you're out on crowded streets. This is why insurance companies keep pressing to get horses banned from parades.
Hello Nanno
I have seen many of the same kinds of things. It is why the teams I Paraded with always liked to have Windy along or even Baron or Prizim Chief my Paint Stallion. as out riders and of course hitching help. Smile
The more Eye balls on the crowd and activities around your hitch the better.
I do have a bunch of near close call story's "Campfire Stories"

So here we go:
I was working with Fisher Brothers Percheron's, Wi breeders and a family milking farm that also used their drafters for field work. They had tractors (Non-Amish) but use the lighter field work to condition hitch horses.
They Showed Hitch Class at several Fairs all through the summer.
Showed in the Milwaukee Great Circus Parade for several years 6 up on Historically  Restored wagons.
Big Parade in DT Milwaukee ( They have had some run away teams that went into the crowds (Not Good)
Note: NOT FISHER Hitches.
Merle Fisher was the horseman of the family.
Circus World contacted Merle and asked if he could "Recreate" a 13 horse Tandem hitch for the Milwaukee Parade .
Merle agreed but told them it would take a couple years to train and put the hitch together. Get matched horses, trained ,etc. CWM gave him copies of 4 original pictures they had of the original hitch. He had to to do all the rigging from scratch and I have seen the pictures. I started working with them when the hitch was built up to 8.
As a Outrider/Safety Rider. All the Perches in that hitch went over 2000# His wheel horse went 2500# 18 Hands
We would do some local parades to practice the hitch. As well as lots of country road drives every weekend.
It took a crew of 15 people to clean up, Harness up,set up the complete hitch.
Moving on:
One Forth of July Parade at a Local Parade we did with the hitch, I was Riding Swing right with Windy.
Only 1600 # Black Perch with some Dressage Training, Swing was a critical spot for that hitch with 135 feet of driving lines from wagon to lead horse full Collar Tops and show hames it was always a major point to keep lines untangled. Windy was perfect because he would work on a side pass with the team so I could come in beside a horse with a tangled rein,clear it and work back out to the 12 foot out point.
Moving on:
I saw a Teenage Kid (I am being PC NANNO)
In the spectators lighting a string or trying to firecrackers that had stepped into the street ahead of the hitch
Like 3 feet out from the curb just waiting for the horses to come by I could tell what he was going to try.
I Drifted Windy a little out, (When I saw a "little" Smoke" I gigged Windy just a little and charged the person knocked him down and walked over the top of him. Did not Stomp him but that could have been arranged. Smile
A nice Piaf would have done the trick well.
Person fell on top of his firecrackers and they went off under him.
Merle Gave me a rather nasty look from the wagon, like What the F did you do.
All I could do at that time was sign him "Later"
We got back to the assembly area, got horses un-hooked ,harness off and Merle came up to me about the same time a LEO did, I told both of them what I had seen and the actions I took Merle settled down real fast, the LEO goes " That Explains the burns and fragments in the persons chest."
They will be more of a problem than getting run over by a horse.
They charged the person with having fireworks, Public Endangerment, and second degree assault in a public event.
No charges on me or Law Suits on Fisher Brothers Farm
BTY: Meral has a holstered 1911A1 in the wagon beside him all the time when driving any hitch. JIC
I have a feeling he would have used it on the person if the firecrackers were tossed under his horses. Smile
Happy Trails
Good Driving Have a SAFE 4TH of July/Independence Day Weekend.
hihobarron Blizzard,Fuzzy, Pete, Sam and the Troops in SC
Yikes about the guy with the fireworks! Serves him right to fall on his own firecrackers! I did something similar to the little punk who whacked my horse with his skateboard (too bad he didn't have fireworks to fall on!). I was riding, not driving, so I threw my horse into reverse and about backed over top of him. His eyes almost popped out of his head as he jumped out of the way just in time and ran off cursing.

I think the scariest thing my team ever encountered was sparklers at a wedding. It was a nighttime wedding and we were not accustomed to driving after dark. The couple were late coming from the reception hall so we had to wait in a very dark parking lot for a good hour, which as you observed earlier can be one of the hardest things to get horses to do calmly. It was a very crowded parking lot so there was no walking around to get the jitters out. When the couple was finally ready to leave, about 150 people came pouring out the doors and swarmed the carriage. A couple of the groomsmen were there to help keep the crowds back, but there just wasn't that much room so we were a little cramped. Then there was a loud, crackling hiss and a sudden blinding light as all the sparklers were lit at once. A lot of smoke went up and the overwhelming smell of gunpowder really set Jet on edge--he was only four years old and had never smelt anything like that before. I'd never seen sparklers at a wedding before (this was the beginning of the fad) so I had not prepared the horses for such a thing. And when the newlyweds came out the whole crowd started screaming and jumping up and down. It was pretty frightening for all of us, and the horses felt very claustrophobic in that moment. But I kept talking to them and playing with the reins a bit to steady them and they came through it alright. There was a little head-tossing and some prancing in place, but they didn't try to bolt for the hills. In that moment I was very proud of them. They transported the bride and groom nicely to their getaway car at the bottom of the hotel driveway, but they were never so eager to get out of a place!
And here is the goat team video I promised the other day! 
Good Video and I take it that is Phil fiddling as back ground music??  Smile
Looked like they were pulling nice and even and moving out at a good rate.
Good Job !!!!!!
The video "Hung Up" on my first look at it about 1/2 way through but the music kept going.
Probably because of my slow connection here, not a problem on your end.
Reset my browser (Crome) and played through good.
You going to take them in the Parade???
They look ready for it. Smile
Happy 4TH of July
hihobaron Blizzard,Fuzzy,Pete,Sam and the Troops in SC
The music is a slow marching tune called "Miss Wedderburn" played by the Melbourne Scottish Fiddle Club. Phil can play it, but it's not him in the video. Wink

We took the boys for a short drive last night after the other goats were put to bed. We drove them from home, so it was significantly more difficult than previous drives. As I told Phil, leaving home and coming back to it calmly are the most difficult things to train a working animal to do. The boys were quite good, considering. Sputnik cried a lot at first but he settled down once we got on the road.

The boys were well-behaved about leaving home, but as soon as we turned to go back they put their heads down and took off like racehorses. I was at the reins and I had to have Phil snap the leash on Finn's halter to help me keep him in check at first. Phil was able to let us loose after a bit, and then I let the boys trot. They thought they were trotting home. Instead I made them trot right on past the driveway. It caught them by surprise when I pulled the right rein and made them keep trotting and they were a bit dismayed to see the driveway flashing by on our left, but it was their idea to go fast so I kept them going. They started slowing down a couple hundred feet past the driveway and seemed confused about what had just happened. I made them walk on until I was satisfied and then we turned back. That time they were not so keen to race home and kept things at a brisk walk and didn't try to yank my arms out. I made them pass the driveway once more on the way back and then I got out.

At the driveway's entrance they got quite keen to run again, so I handed the reins over to Phil who got in the wagon and drove them home. It's a long, somewhat steep (for pulling) driveway, and we have really big, bumpy gravel on it right now to combat our clay problem. So the drive home was rather more strenuous than the boys expected and their grand ideas of disobeying the reins and hightailing it home were quickly put to rest. They ended up being very obedient all the way up the drive. Finn stopped trying to bolt ahead, Sputnik quit plowing his head down to avoid the reins, and everyone got cookies for good behavior (and Sputnik did not sulkily refuse them, so he couldn't have been too unhappy).
Hello Nanno
When is the Parade Sunday or Monday?
Think their Batteries will be recharged by then? Smile
I can hear fireworks going off around here right now.
I know some towns around here do their big displays on Sunday evening some on Monday.
I am going up to the Main house and go sit on the high deck over the tree line.
It is like 35 feet in the air, should give me a good view of several different towns displays. Smile
No Goats allowed.
Happy Trails
Have a Safe 4TH of July /Independence Day
hihobaron Blizzard,Fuzzy,Pete,Sam and the Troop's in Sc
The parade is tomorrow morning. I'm about to go clip and bathe the goats and polish up the harnesses! We went out for one last practice today. The bits I ordered (3 1/2" mullen mouths) finally came in yesterday afternoon, and even though we're at the "11th hour" here, I decided we would give them a try this morning. I brought the halters with us in case the bits made the goats upset, but they went amazingly well! This was easily our best drive yet. Gone was the problem of halters sliding up, down, back, and forth on the noses. Since the halters can slide as much as two inches to one side or the other, they mess up the length of the stub lines and hurt communication. Finn discovered he couldn't lean on the bit when he felt fractious like he was accustomed to leaning on the halter, and that made a huge difference in his behavior. He quit putting his head over Sputnik and kept his eyes in front of him nearly the whole time. He acted like the bit was no bit deal and never once shook his head or tried to spit it out.

Sputnik was not so keen on the bit. He was pretty violent about having it put on (that was the worse part), and he spent a little time shaking his head at first, but once we got on the road he settled down. He shirked a little today and I think it was because he doesn't like coming up into the bit, but with gentle training he'll soon learn not to fear it. He also sulked the entire drive and wouldn't take a single cookie from me. He took one from Phil. (Yes, I was the one who put that horrid, nasty bit in his mouth!) He behaved very well, but he refused to be happy about it.

I love the difference these bits make to our driving. The mullen mouths, being a solid bar, provide quite a lot of stability and help keep the goats' heads facing in the exact position as the bit is being pulled. It's a very clear signal to them about what we want them to do, and this cuts down tremendously on both confusion and fractious behavior. We were able to keep a feather weight on the reins almost the whole drive. One problem we were having with the halters is that sometimes one of the goats would try to go sideways against the pressure, and since it took such a strong pull to align them again, the reins running through the terrets would often pull one or both saddles to the side. Phil and I were constantly having to straighten them. We didn't not have to straighten saddles even once today, and we didn't have one problem with the boys pulling against the pressure or going the wrong way. The halters, being able to slide around on their faces, too often made our signals inconsistent, and there's nothing like inconsistent signals to confuse an animal.

I also noticed that the goats pulled much straighter today. Until today they've had a tendency to lean toward each other and and walk too close to the pole. I think this goes back to the play in the halter messing up the adjustment of my stub lines. Also, it is difficult for them to "find the center" on a halter since once it slides to the side it won't slide back until it's pulled a different direction. With the bits it was easy for them to find the center, and thus they were able to pull better than ever before. So even though these bits are brand new, we're using them tomorrow!
Good Job
Glad to hear the bits worked out.
Your next job is going to be teach them "Open Up" to bit them. Smile
Because I always rode and drove my horses even my drafts, I used open bridals and I see you are doing that with the goats. Good.  I would use a blind bridals for driving depending on the event and horses.
Some Hitch Class Shows Require them and they are "Traditional" for Drafters.

You are making a new Tradition take it by the horns and make it your way.


Note: Maybe The big floppy Nubian Ears work as built in "Blinders" You do like your big ear goats. Smile
Look at the last three old pictures I posted all multiple hitches No Blinders, and I can not see bits.

How good do the 3.5" bits fit your boys, using horse biting guide lines.

I have been playing with Pete and Sam to get them to open their mouth.
In time they may be the East Coast Goat Hitch To compete with.Smile

Good Luck with the Parade
Save some Candbe for Goat treats.Smile
hihobron , Blizzard,Fuzzy,Pete,Sam and the Troops in SC

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