Looking for a fun project? How about Driving goats!

Just what happens when your child raises a meat wether for the fair, and you end up buying it back at auction? Well driving goats make an ideal project, and they teach patience, respect and responsibility. The wether that was raised for a market class has everything that you are looking for in a working goat, good conformation, size, and his start with a good feed program not to mention all the time and training that has already been put into him.

The best and safest way to drive your goat is with a bridle that has straight bar bit  3 to 3 Ĺ inches wide with 1 inch rings on either end. Donít worry about a brow band on your bridle as they will be hard to fit and the goats donít need them. Make sure that your bridle fits properly, if it is too tight it will make the corners of the mouth sore and to loose, the goat can dislodge the bit with his tongue. Your harness can be either bought or homemade. A standard small size pony harness will fit with some small changes and adjustments. Such as removing the crupper. Make sure that the training harness is wide enough to spread even pressure across the chest without binding or pinching. When adjusting the chest plate make sure that it is high enough as not to restrict leg movement and low enough so it will not press on neck or windpipe. A horse size halter turned upside down makes a great training harness.

When selecting a cart or wagon, it should be light weight and pull easily. The ideal shaft length is 45 inches. Four wheeled wagons put no weight on the goats withers, while a two wheeled cart is a challenge to keep balanced. You want the goat pulling from his chest and shoulders.

After you have your equipment it is time to start the training. Teach the goat first to walk quietly on a lead with both a collar an a halter. I have found the best training tool is a hitch rail., the goat will learn patience by being tied, start for a few min. a day at first then increase until he will just relax and stand or lay quietly while tied. Get him used to walking over poles and through water. Start using voice commands from the very beginning, walk, ho (stop), back ,(Gee) right, (Ha) left, and tell him to stand every time you tie him, goats learn by repetition.

After your goat has basic knowledge of commands then you can get him used to wearing the tack. If you start him out with wearing the tack also his mind will be on what he is wearing and not on what you are trying to teach him. When working him with the bridle on make sure you are using even light pressure when you are stopping, turning and backing. When asking him to walk release the pressure on the reins and ask him to walk. Patience and praise are the keys to successful training.

The next step in teaching him to pull, make a drag out of light material, pvc pipe works great then add weights so he can get used to pulling, once he can pull, then you can hitch him to the cart, however donít get into the cart, he still needs to learn how to drive with the cart, walk behind and drive him until he has mastered all of the steps.

Good luck, see ya on the road!

BBF Bazooka Joe-Learning to pull a cart for the 2008 Rosamond Light Parade.
Who said a "Fainting Goat" couldn't drive?



Setting up for the 2008 Rosamond Parade Of Lights

 




Waiting for Craig and Dale to pick us up after the Parade. Joe was still watching the parade go by, of the entries behind us :)


 

We brought 4 of the market goats home from the Kern County Fair.
We are teaching them to drive.
We only harnessed three, Ben felt left out!

Rosamond light parade 12-04-04

Blaze and Mark, our dog . .