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View the document Program for training horses, donkeys and mules

4. Training draft animals

Some animal traction extension programs sell trained animals to farmers or encourage systems of custom or contract training, where the farmer pays a professional to do the training. However, these options are often not available, and many, if not most, farmers are involved in the training of their own animals.

Those who instruct these farmers in animal traction should keep in mind that many of them are already familiar with basic care and handling of animals, though the animals may not be used for traction purposes. In fact, farmers may be more knowledgeable about particularities of a local breed or individual animal than the instructor; in many cases the teaching can go both ways. Also, instructors who become involved in animal training should always remember that their goal is to include farmers in every operation and make them do the training. Farmers quickly become confident trainers when they are shown tools and techniques that give them sure controls over the animals.

This chapter describes one program for training cattle, and another for horses, donkeys, and mules. The programs described are not the only ones possible, but are accepted as standard by many experienced trainers. They are direct, effective, and pose minimal threat of injury to trainers and animals.

An important step in training animals is getting them used to harness. Sometimes it may be helpful or necessary for the reader to refer to Chapter 5, Harnessing, before reading this chapter.

 

Before training begins

Before formal training sessions begin, an animal should have time to adjust to its new owner and surroundings. Separated from its familiar environment and handled by someone whose touch, voice, and movements may be new, it may refuse to eat or drink, appear abnormally quiet or nervous, or try to run away.

New owners can help their animals adjust by:

• handling them in a calm, confident way. People who use hesitant motions, speak in excited voices or misuse ropes and whips can cause animals to react defensively. Cattle kick, butt, toss their heads, or simply refuse to move. Horses, donkeys, and mules may kick, bite, rear, or try to squeeze a person against a fence or wall;

• avoiding frightening the animal with procedures that cause it pain or discomfort. Inexperienced owners are sometimes anxious to make their animals more docile or trainable through castration, use of drugs, or restraints such as noserings or hobbles. While such measures may be needed or advisable under some circumstances, it is generally poor practice to use them before an animal has had time to adjust and reveal its natural disposition.

 

General comments on training procedure

Training draft animals is the process of teaching them to obey commands, accept harnesses and yokes, and pull loads. The person who gives the commands and controls their speed and direction is called the driver. The goal of training is to teach animals to obey the driver's signals so he/she can steer the load (plow, wagon, etc.) and regulate the power of the animal(s) at the same time.

Before an animal is trained, it is "broke" or "broken" and made to recognize the authority of the trainer Breaking an animal is a matter of introducing it to new schedules, procedures and expectations-and teaching it to obey. The word also describes the process of getting an animal used to new behavior or equipment. A bull is broken of aggressive behavior, but broken to harness.

Animals learn at different rates. An animal is considered trained when it responds consistently to commands. This may take as little as two weeks, or as long as two months. Many factors influence the rate of learning: species and breed, individual temperament, health and condition, type of harness equipment used, and skill, patience, and persistence of the trainer.

Animals learn faster, and new owners acquire training skills, when training advances in small, clear steps. Generally speaking, one-and-a-half-hour sessions are used. Two of these sessions are given per animal per day. Training is done in the same location and during the same hours each day. Early morning and late afternoon are good times, as this gives animals time to rest and graze between sessions.

Before any draft animal is harnessed as part of a team, it must individually recognize and obey the voice commands stand, walk, stop, left, right, and back. Commands are given in the language the driver will use. The importance of teaching voice commands cannot be overemphasized. Drivers who must rely on an assistant to control their animals with pulls of a rope or constant whipping get limited performance and results.

Sometimes it is possible to train an animal by putting it in a yoke or harness with a veteran animal. This is a good technique, but it does not eliminate the need for individual training. The driver must be able to control each animal within the team if the team is to pull evenly. This is especially important during turns, or when one animal lags or acts up.

Finally, it should be understood that handling and training methods for cattle differ from those used for equines. This is because these classes of animals have different strengths and temperaments. With horses, donkeys and mules, the overall approach is to use the least severe methods possible, resorting to greater force if needed. With cattle, and particularly bulls, it is important to break the animal of its independence quickly and with carefully applied force. Forceful handling is rarely needed once a bull recognizes your strength and your ability to make it obey.

 

Training cattle

This section will deal first with methods of catching and restraining, and then with actual training procedures. Information on harnesses and types of hitches (ways of connecting individuals or teams to loads) is given in Chapter 5, Harnessing.

Catching and Restraining

Owners must be able to catch, restrain, and immobilize their animals for examination, treatment, or harnessing. Young animals and older ones which haven't been handled much may be very unmanageable at first. Catching and controlling them without hurting them, or oneself, is a matter of establishing and maintaining physical advantage through use of mechanical force. The techniques detailed below are recommended because they are safe and easy to learn, and require minimum equipment.

An experienced stock handler can catch an animal by throwing a noosed rope, or lasso, around its head or feet. Learning to do this takes much time and practice, so beginners will want to use other techniques.

Choosing the right technique is important because animals that repeatedly outsmart or overpower their trainers become headstrong, inattentive, and increasingly hard to handle. Before trying to catch an animal, watch its movements, judge its disposition, and decide which measures are most likely to work.

The methods described are used for catching an animal which is loose in a corral.

Lead Rope Method

(for quieter animals who have been raised in domestic situations and handled frequently)

1) Make a running noose at the end of a 3-or 4-meter rope. This is done by tying a fixed loop, or honda, at one end of the rope and then threading the opposite end through it.


Figure

2) Approach the animal slowly and slip the noose around its horns. If it shies away, speak to it in a low, calm voice and approach it from another angle. Once the rope is on the horns (or tied to the halter if the animal has one), lead it to a post or hitching rail and tie it so its forehead is close, but not against, the wood. This is called "tying the animal on a short lead."


Figure

3) If the animal is frightened or unruly, lock its horns and head securely against the wood by carefully shortening the rope.

4) If the animal kicks or swings its hindquarters while being yoked or harnessed, attach a rope to a rear leg.

Pole and Noose Method

(for animals accustomed to some handling, but which shy, balk, or butt at the approach of the trainer)

1) Hang a running noose on the end of a 3-meter pole. Holding the pole in one hand and the free end, or shank, of the rope in the other, approach the animal slowly and position the noose in front of its hind leg.

2) Use your voice and body position to make the animal step toward the loop. Be prepared to drop the pole and pull on the rope as soon as the foot is inside the loop. Pull up and back; if you simply pull back, the noose will slide out under the hoof and you will have to try again.


Figure

3) Pull the animal backward to the centerpost of the corral and hold it secure while a second person approaches from the front and slips a rope around its horns. Avoid using a post which is part of the fence; animals are often injured when they kick out and catch a foot between the rails.

Open Noose Method

(for animals brought in from the range; animals which are large and aggressive; animals which cannot be caught with a pole and noose)

1) Put a sturdy post inside a corral. The post should be chest-high, smooth, and very firmly set. It should be 21/2 to 3 meters from the fence. Refer to this post as the "centerpost".

2) On a fencepost opposite this post, put a nail or peg at a height of 6 or 7 cm (3-4 inches) above ground level.

3) Make a running noose at one end of a 5-meter rope. Arrange the rope on the ground between the peg and the centerpost so it forms the letter "P". The top of the "P", or loop, should be near the fence. The bottom of the "P", or shank, is stretched back toward the centerpost.

Hang the upper-left-hand portion of the loop over the peg. The rest of the loop should be on the ground.

4) Stand near the centerpost and hold the shank of the rope with one hand. Have a second person drive the animal around the corral from the right. When the animal's midsection is passing over the loop, raise your arm quickly and without bending the elbow. A properly-timed motion will throw the entire lefthand portion of the loop into the air and across the path of the oncoming hind legs. The noose will close as your arm rises.


Figure

The technique works because the natural tendency of the animal is to run along the fence. Hanging the rope on the peg makes it easier for the trainer to start the noose

moving in an upward direction-or, to give it "lift".


Figure

5) Draw the animal back until you are in a position to wind the rope once around the post. Then get behind the post and continue to draw the animal in until its leg is snug against the wood.

6) With the animal secured by this first rope, someone can safely approach from the front and slip a second rope over its horns.

If the animal has been caught by a foreleg, it will be necessary to attach ropes to both the horns and a hind leg.

Casting a Bull

Sometimes an animal must be immobilized completely before it can be treated or harnessed. This is done by casting it-pulling it to the ground and tying its legs. To do this, tighten a noose around its horns. Bring the free rope back to the withers and cinch it loosely around the animal's girth. Then pass the rope back and cinch it again around the loins. Pulling the free end exerts pressure on the loin area, and the animal sinks down.


Figure

Once the animal is down, the rear legs can be bound with rope at the fetlocks. To further immobilize the animal, one person can hold its head, while another puts his or her knee on the animal's front shoulder.

 

Program for training cattle

The program consists of four phases. During the first two phases, the animals are taught to obey voice commands individually. In the last two, the individuals are yoked as a team, redrilled on all voice commands, and then made to pull a log (skidding).

Breaking an Animal Using a Running-W Harness

Cattle can be difficult to control during the first few days of training, so the first step is to break them of their independence. This is done by using a running-W harness. This is a mechanical teaching aid which lets the trainer stop the animal instantly by making it trip and fall. The purpose of the drill is to make the animal recognize the strength and authority of the trainer, and pay attention to his/her voice.

a) Make, or have local craftsmen make, the parts of the harness:

surcingle-an adjustable belt, approximately 3 meters long, which circles the animal's torso. It has a ring or fixed loop on each side called a side ring, and one underneath called a chest ring.

anklet-an adjustable bracelet which fits around the foot just above the hoof. It has one ring or fixed loop.

All parts can be made of rope, but leather straps fitted with metal rings are easier to use and less likely to cause sores or burns. The surcingle later is used to help support the lines (reins), and so it is recommended that one be made for each animal.

b) Chose soft terrain for breaking, preferably a sandy corral.


Running-w harness

c) Place the harness. First, immobilize the animal and buckle or tie the surcingle around its torso just behind the front legs. Make it snug. Then buckle on the anklets.

Feed one end of a 10-meter rope through one of the side rings, down to the ring on the nearest foot, and up through the chest ring. Make surf the rope goes behind the knee, not in front of it. Draw the rope through the chest ring, down to the other anklet ring, and up to the other side ring. Tie it to this ring. Seen from the front, the rope should form a "W" pattern.

The free end should be long enough to let the trainer stand several meters behind the animal's rear quarters.

d) Stand behind the rear quarters holding the free end of the rope. The rope is called a "trip rope". Have an assistant remove all other ropes.

Make the animal walk forward. Urge the bull forward by raising your free arm and stepping toward the tail. At the same time, tell it to walk. Use a clear, controlled voice. If necessary, tap the bull with a stick. Try to avoid making it bolt or run. The goal is to make it walk ahead of you at a fixed distance.

e) Stop. When the animal is moving, give the command to stop two or three times and then pull the trip rope so the front legs buckle and the bull drops to its knees. Keep tension on the rope so the animal can't get up right away. Then give the command for walk, releasing the tension and walking toward the tail. Use voice and body position to get the bull up and moving, tapping it with a stick if necessary.

f) Repeat the process of making it walk and stop five or six times. The purpose of the drill is to:

• teach the animal to pay attention to the trainer; listen.

• show it the trainer is stronger and not afraid.

• begin to teach it that the command stop is related to the action stop.

g) Evaluate progress. Most animals learn to obey the commands walk and stop after two or three days. Breaking sessions are kept short-30-45 minutes in the morning, and again in the afternoon. Harness is left on between sessions so the animal gets used to it, but the surcingle is loosened.

While it may seem that an animal has learned to obey the commands during a given session, be sure to check its memory: begin each new lesson with a review of the old. Some animals may not learn so quickly. Be patient and persistent. If an animal doesn't respond after five or six days, try putting it in a yoke with a trained animal and repeat the drills; use the W-harness on the untrained animal. When the session is over, turn the pair loose in a corral with the yoke still on. Later, repeat drills. Some animals have physical or behavioral problems that make them aggressive or extremely stubborn and unmanageable. Castration may help if the animal is still under 18 months of age. The safest and easiest solution is to find a replacement animal.

Ground Driving

This is the process of controlling an animal's movements from behind using voice commands and lines. Lines are long reins attached to the animal's halter (or nosering).

a) Place the W-harness.

b) If the animal isn't wearing a halter or nosering, make a halter and put it on (see page 35).

c) Attach lines from either side of the halter or nosering and run them through the side rings of the surcingle. They should be long enough to reach a driver standing several meters behind the animal. The driver holds a line in each hand.

d) Have an assistant control the trip rope. Continue to use the trip rope as a teaching aid/ safety device throughout training. Once the trainer can manage the lines with one hand, he/she can take the trip rope in the other.

e) Now follow the steps b, c, d and e described on page 71.


Figure

These steps are for ground driving horses, but they do not differ when applied to cattle. The leverage offered through a halter or nosering is sufficient to turn a bull's head; a bridle and bit is not needed.

Important Note: During this stage of training, each command is preceded by the animal's name. Later, when in a team, it can be singled out and made to respond.

Yoke-Breaking the Team

Before the team is yoked, the trainer must decide which animal belongs on the right-hand side. This is the animal which walks in the furrow during plowing. The taller of the pair is usually put in the furrow, as this makes the yoke ride parallel to the uncut ground and square to each animal's neck. The team pulls more evenly, and is less likely to develop sores or yoke galls. When speaking about pairs of animals, it is customary to refer to the right-hand animal as the "off" animal and the left-hand one as the "near" animal.

a) Tie the animals to a rail, side by side. They should be wearing W-harness and halters (or noserings). The lines should not yet be attached.

b) Place the yoke. Stand on one side holding the yoke. Pass one end over the team's back to an assistant on the opposite side. If the team shies or refuses, try passing it from the other side. Shying is often caused by imperfect vision or the sudden appearance of a strange object near the head.


Figure

c) Adjust the bows by sliding them up or down in the yoke stock so they rest against the animals' chests without touching the base of the neck (windpipe).

Note: The best yoke for training purposes is the kind shown below. Each bow is made of two J-shaped bars which can be turned so they lock and unlock under the animal's neck. If the team falls, or gets the yoke caught, the bows are unlocked and the yoke lifted off. A single piece bow can be extremely difficult to remove in these situations; the danger of strangulation is great.

When single piece bows are used: First lay the stock across the animals' necks, then slip the bows up and into the stock from underneath.

d) Place the lines. (Use the system illustrated on page _, and see page _, lead pair.)

e) Drive the team from behind, drilling it on the commands walk, stop, right, and left.

f) Teach the animals to distinguish between individual and general commands.

Slow one animal down by pulling its lines. Then get it to speed up by calling its name and giving the command for walk in a sharp voice.

Example: "Walk" means both animals walk; the team moves forward or speeds up. It is a general command. "Red! Walk!" means you want Red to pick up his pace so he is walking even with the other. He was lagging behind.

g) Teach the team to back up. The command is given and the driver pulls back on the lines evenly. At the same time, an assistant standing in front of the team urges it back by tapping the animals' knees with a stick and raising his hand so they shy. Pushing against the yoke helps if they don't shy back. Pulling the yoke with a chain also helps.


Figure

Breaking the Team to Pull (Skidding)

a) Yoke the team. Use lines and trip ropes.

b) Skid a log. Wrap a chain around the butt (broadest) end of a log. Extend the chain so it forms a straight line with the log. The chain should be 3-4 meters long and have a hook on the end. The log should be very light and easy to drag. Drive the team over the log and toward an assistant who stands at the end of the chain. Have the assistant hook the chain to the clevis which is at the midpoint of the yoke stock. An alternative method is to attach the chain to the clevis and let the team drag it so the free end is close to the end of the log. If this method is used, be sure the team is used to dragging the chain.

Drive the team, practicing all commands. Have the assistant control one or both of the trip ropes. Rest the team for a minute or so after every 5-10 minutes of work. Don't let them get out of breath or overheated. Make sure the yoke doesn't cause bruises or sores.

c) Increase the size of the load. Attach a short rope to the back of the log and when practicing turns, bring it around as though it were a plow or cultivator. Pull the log back as you would if the plow snagged on a root.

d) Hitch your team to a field implement or load or repeat drills.

A Note on Breaking Cattle to Collar Harness:

Animals that have pulled in yokes usually will pull in a collar with very little additional training. The section on training horses in collars will be helpful to those who are training cattle in collars. However, it is important to break cattle with a running-W harness first.

 

Training horses, donkeys and mules

Catching

Whether staked out or corralled, these animals are generally caught using very simple methods. Approached slowly and spoken to softly, or offered a handful of grain, they rarely refuse to be taken by the halter and led. They are easily cornered in a corral and grabbed by the halter, or by the nose and ear; in some cases, a rope may be slipped over the animal's head.

Cross-tying

Cross ties are ropes which used to immobilize a horse or donkey in a standing position. To make cross ties, fasten two pieces of rope one meter long to each of two posts or trees which are spaced two meters apart. Fasten the ropes to the halter, one at each side, drawing them tight so the animal cannot move its head.


Figure

To immobilize the animal, lift one of its legs, squeeze the tendon above the fetlock and pull the leg upward. Thus forced to stand on three legs, the animal cannot move.

If working alone, the trainer can use a belt or rope to hold one of the front feet. The animal will not fall and will remain still while being treated for ticks or wounds. It is especially useful if one of the animal's feet must be kept in a bucket of water.

Casting an Equine

Casting a horse or donkey by pulling the hind legs out from under it is best accomplished in the following manner:

• Choose soft terrain.

• Hold the animal in front with cross-ties, or by a strong lead rope or "twitch", which is a loop attached to a short handle.

• To apply the switch, put the loop over the muzzle and twist until very secure.

• Tie a fixed loop in the center of a long rope, and fit the loop around the animal's neck like a collar. The knot rests on the withers and the two ends are parted over the back, one on each side, and brought along the flanks and down between the hind legs. The right-hand rope circles behind the right pastern and is brought forward along the animal's right side. The left-hand rope is used in a similar fashion on the left side.


Using a Twitch


Casting a Horse

• People on either side of the animal pull ropes, "walking" the rear legs forward until the animal sinks gently into a sitting position.

Rope burns caused by the casting method can be reduced by running the ropes through anklets attached to the animal's feet. Further advantage can be established by placing a surcingle around the girth of the animal and feeding the ends of the draw-ropes through the support rings.

Once the animal is cast, special care should be taken to ensure that its head is kept low and outstretched; serious neck and back injuries may result when a horse or donkey is allowed to raise its head once it is on its side.

Proper control of the legs will ensure that the animal does not injure itself or the people around it. Immobilize the hind leg by attaching a rope above the pastern, bringing it around the neck and chest and then locking it behind the hock and drawing it up. Control a foreleg by pulling it up into the chest either by hand or with rope. Limbs not drawn up should be bound together at the fetlock with soft rope. In no case should a leg be pinned by having someone sit on it.


Tying the Legs

 

Program for training horses, donkeys and mules

The program consists of six phases. On the average, it will take 3-4 weeks of training before the animal is able to pull a cart or field implement.

Note: In the United States, it is standard procedure to approach, lead, harness, mount, and dismount from the animal's left side (sometimes called the "near" side). In countries where a right-hand standard is used, proceed from the right, reversing hand positions described below.

Halter Breaking

a) Place a halter on the animal. Fasten a one-meter rope to the chin ring of the halter. This is called a lead rose or lead shank.

b) Stand on the left side of the animal close to its head. Hold the excess rope in the left hand. You are facing forward. The command given is the animal's name and the word "stand". Use a firm, unexcited voice.

c) Walk forward, pulling with your right hand and giving the command for walk. If the animal won't move, you can get it started by pulling its head toward you. This throws it off balance and forces it to take a step (be careful not to let it step on you). Keep pulling the animal around you in a tight circle, forcing it to take successive steps. Gradually straighten out the line of movement. Don't look at the animal: look forward.

If the animal refuses to lead:

• Have a second person encourage it from behind by tapping it with a stick or whip. The voice command, however, comes from the trainer-the person leading it. Use whips sparingly.

• Practice next to an animal that already is trained. When breaking a colt, walk it next to its mother.

• Use a "come-along".

If two assistants are available, have them stand behind the animal and hold opposite ends of a 2-meter rope or strap. When you give the command for walk, have them move up and push the animal forward with the rope.

If you are alone, circle the rear quarters with a large, fixed noose and bring the free end of the rope forward and through the chin ring of the halter. Pull on the free end of the rope to lead the animal (see illustration below).

d) Teach the animal to stop by pulling the lead rope back and down so pressure is exerted on the front of the noseband. Give the command and pull back without turning and looking at the animal. For extra leverage, lock your right elbow into its chest as you tug back on the halter.

e) Practice turns. Walking on the left, the trainer uses the lead rope to turn the head.


Figure

For a left turn, pull the rope toward you and begin to circle leftward as you give the command. The pull is perpendicular to the head-not up or down. The animal feels pressure from the right side of the halter. For a right turn, walk as close to the animal as you can and then begin to extend your arm under the chin and then out to the right. The animal feels pressure from the left side of the halter.

f) To back up, stand in the usual position, but face the rear of the animal. Hold the lead rope in the left hand and push back and up gently while giving the command.

g) During the first few sessions, use the same area for training, avoiding potential distractions. Later, lead the animal to other areas. See if it will lead into a stall, stream, woods, over a bridge. How does it behave around other animals and people?

Breaking to a halter may take 1-2 weeks of two one-and-a-half-hour sessions each day. Be patient and persistent. Do not be discouraged if the animal refuses to lead, or fails to recognize commands as quickly as you think it should. Never abuse it. Try to outsmart it: show it you can make it do what you want without hurting it.

It is extremely important to reward correct behavior. This is done with a pat on the neck and a word of praise. Do not reward with food.

Lunging (Longeing)

Once an animal begins to associate voice commands with the movements expected by the trainer, the lead rope is extended and commands are given while the animal circles the trainer. This process is called lunging. Its purpose is to get the animal to listen and obey from a greater distance. This phase should take only 3-4 days.

a) Attach a 5-meter rope to the halter. This is the "lunge line".

b) Stand one or two meters back from the animal holding the line in the left hand and a long switch or whip in the right.

c) Have the animal circle you to the left, obeying the commands for walk, stop, and stand. Use the switch to drive the animal forward as needed.

If it refuses to move forward, have an assistant stand behind it and use the switch. If it moves in toward you, force it to keep its distance by having the assistant walk inside the circle between you and it.

d) Reverse the direction and repeat all drills.

e) Gradually extend the lunge line until the animal will respond to commands given at a distance of five meters.

Harness-Breaking

This is the process of getting the animal used to the harness it will wear when pulling a cart, plow, or other field implement. Basically, it involves repeating lunging drills while the animal is wearing its harness. Do not try to put the harness on all at once. This can frighten it, or distract it so much that it won't listen to you. A good approach is to lunge it first with its bridle, then with bridle and surcingle, then bridle, collar and surcingle, and finally in full harness. This should take 2-3 days.

Note: Description of the actual harnessing procedure is found on page 86, How to Harness a Horse, Donkey or Mule.


Figure

Ground Driving

This is the process of teaching the animal to obey commands given from behind-the place where

the driver or plow operator will be when actual work is done.

a) Put the harness on, making these checks:

Traces should be fastened to the britching so they do not drag on the ground.

Lines go from their starting point on the bit, pass through rings on both the hames and the jack saddle, and then back to the driver.

b) Stand approximately two meters behind the animal holding the lines. Keep your hands high, about level with the animal's mouth. Keep them shoulder width (your shoulders). Try to establish enough tension on the lines so you can feel the bit without actually pulling the animal back toward you. The tension on the lines makes the animal pay attention. It should be alert to your control even though you are not moving.

c) Release the tension slightly, and give the animal's name and the command for walk. If it doesn't move, snap one line so it slaps the top of rear quarters. Repeat the command using a louder voice.

d) Practice turns by using the lines to pull the head right or left. Remember that if you pull one line, you must slacken the other.

To turn right, draw your right arm back and to the outside of your shoulder without jerking or changing the height of the line. At the same time, extend your left arm straight forward so there is no tension on the left side of the animal's mouth.

Reverse the procedure for a left turn.

e) make the animal back up. Begin in the position described in step b. Give the animal's name and the command "back" while pulling back with both lines. Don't change the height of your hands. Pull gently, but firmly. Use a low voice and draw out the word so it lasts for several seconds at a time.

Ground driving may take 3-4 days of two one-and-a-halfhour sessions per day.

Skidding

Skidding is the process of dragging logs or fallen trees using animal power. It is used primarily during logging or field-clearing operations, but it is extremely useful as a training procedure for draft animals. Teaching an animal to skid should take 2-3 days.

a) Put the harness on the animal and unhook the left trace from the britching ring.

b) Hook the trace to one end of a swingtree or "tree".

c) Stand behind the animal and ground drive it, making a very large circle to the left. This lets the animal get used to the noise and vibration without having the trace rub against its flank.

d) Hook both traces to the tree and ground drive the animal. Tie a safety rope to the middle of the tree so if the animal spooks and runs, you can run with it and keep the tree from hitting the back legs. Hold the lines in your right hand, the safety rope in your left.

Add resistance by having an assistant pull back on the safety rope. The tree is now off the ground, as it would be when attached to a cart or implement. The assistant stands directly behind the animal, the driver slightly to his right.

e) Skid a log. Wrap a chain around the butt end of a log. Drive the animal over the log and forward so its swingtree can be fastened to the chain. The swingtree can be fastened to the chain. The swingtree must have a ring in the center. Stop and hold the animal steady with the lines as an assistant hooks the chain to the ring.

f) Drill on all commands (except back)

Training the Team

When individual animals are well trained, they are harnessed as a team, ground-driven, skidded, and finally hitched to a cart or implement. The commands practiced in each stage are stand, walk, stop, turns, and backing up. Training the team, the last phase, should take one week.