Teaching our Pygmy goat to drive

BlueBaby

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If you just google "cart goat" all manner of results come up. There's even a goat carting and packing forum.

It's actually really easy. We used to train all our buck goats to pull a cart so they had more than 5 minutes of work a year, lol. Then we didn't own our own buck for a while, but I just picked up a stunning little fella and I'm thinking he might just get a second job like my old crew. Basically, we just got them to love taking walks with us, then we did it with a cart, and slowly increased the weight.


My next door neighbor has a couple of goat's so I emailed the youtube link you just gave to her, and told her to make her goat's useful. :gig
 

lomine

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Driving is a dangerous sport. I taught my pony to drive last summer. I did have the help of a horse trainer but she had never driven a cart. There's a lot of info online about teaching a horse to drive so I'm sure you could adapt things.

I think it would be fun to see a little pygmy goat pulling a small cart, but I wouldn't risk putting any kids in the cart. I'm sure you could come up with some fun things to do that wouldn't involve pulling kids. Like maybe the goat brings out the presents in the cart.
 

Weeg

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Driving is a dangerous sport. I taught my pony to drive last summer. I did have the help of a horse trainer but she had never driven a cart. There's a lot of info online about teaching a horse to drive so I'm sure you could adapt things.

I think it would be fun to see a little pygmy goat pulling a small cart, but I wouldn't risk putting any kids in the cart. I'm sure you could come up with some fun things to do that wouldn't involve pulling kids. Like maybe the goat brings out the presents in the cart.
I definitely wont do it unless I am certain its safe, but he is such a little guy, there is almost no way I would let him get away from me. I'm only going to be leading him while kids are in the cart, so I'll have control.
Ponies are different, they are strong and harder to keep under control, goats, especially Pygmy's are small and easy to be kept under control. There perfect, since there little, but super strong.
 

Weeg

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Update:
He did awesome today! We trotted around the backyard on a rope halter I made him, and the only time he really fought me was when he didn't want to walk through the mud! Lol! He isn't perfect, doesn't want to go far from his pen, and will still fight me in certain places, but overall, its great!
Were still working on it for sure, but the improvement in 3 days is awesome!
 

littledog

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I see nothing dangerous about letting little kids ride in the goat cart, as long as you are walking while leading the goat, the cart has some kind of padded handle in front for the kids to hold onto, and make the kids wear helmets. Also, make the parents sign releases before you even let them on your property, especially if they're customers rather than friends or family members.
Maybe sounds like overkill, but haven't we all met a few parents who require 100% safety at all times for their child, and expect animals to have read the fine print, understand and comply.

ETA: If you're partnering with your friend's pony-party business, make sure you're part of her insurance.
 

lomine

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I see nothing dangerous about letting little kids ride in the goat cart, as long as you are walking while leading the goat, the cart has some kind of padded handle in front for the kids to hold onto, and make the kids wear helmets. Also, make the parents sign releases before you even let them on your property, especially if they're customers rather than friends or family members.
Maybe sounds like overkill, but haven't we all met a few parents who require 100% safety at all times for their child, and expect animals to have read the fine print, understand and comply.

ETA: If you're partnering with your friend's pony-party business, make sure you're part of her insurance.
If you don't think it's dangerous, why do you suggest padding and helmets? If nothing bad will happen why would OP need insurance? It's because animals, no matter how small can cause damage and injury. Even you see that while suggesting the opposite to OP. That mindset makes it even more dangerous.

OP, I'm not saying you shouldn't try it, I'm saying it's not as simple as strapping a cart on and walking around. First you have to teach the goat to except the halter. Then it has to accept a harness. Learn to pull weight. Learn to wear shafts, Learn to pull a cart, which means being okay with a "thing" chasing them everywhere they go. Learn to do all that while still listening to the handler. Being in a harness and cart can be very scary to some animals and not all of them are suited to it.

Then it has to learn to do that while not near the barn. While in strange places with strange smells. While people are walking and talking all over the place. While little kids are excitedly laughing or some tired kid is having a screaming meltdown. How about those ponies? Has the goat been around them and isn't afraid? Have those ponies been around goats, or carts for that matter? I've seen horses freak out as we drove past their pasture with my pony and cart. Ever seen a scared horse bolt? Image that in the middle of a kids party.

It's not an easy thing to handle a frightened goat much less one that's strapped to a cart. I have ND so I know that even though they are small, they are powerful. If they get scared it can get real dangerous real fast. Goats are prey animals and, like horses, their first instinct is to run. Image you are running because you got scared but no matter where you go there is a monster right behind you. It wouldn't be very easy to hold onto you at that point, would it? I bet a goat will also try to climb to get away. Think about how much damage/injury could be done by that cart being flung around. Especially if there are kids in it. A goat might be a lot smaller than a pony but kids are small too. The goat could also very easily break a leg or its back if it starts to twist and buck. If a shaft breaks it could puncture the goat.

Like I said, I'm not saying you shouldn't try it. If the goat is suited to it, it would be fun. But if you have in your head that the above could never happen you should stop now. If you deny the risks, you won't take it as seriously and then it's even more likely to happen. You can accept that there are serious risks, and still move forward.
 

Weeg

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I see nothing dangerous about letting little kids ride in the goat cart, as long as you are walking while leading the goat, the cart has some kind of padded handle in front for the kids to hold onto, and make the kids wear helmets. Also, make the parents sign releases before you even let them on your property, especially if they're customers rather than friends or family members.
Maybe sounds like overkill, but haven't we all met a few parents who require 100% safety at all times for their child, and expect animals to have read the fine print, understand and comply.

ETA: If you're partnering with your friend's pony-party business, make sure you're part of her insurance.
We are getting insurance for all the horses, and forms for when we do the party's at the park depending on the size of the party. We could easily get forms for the goats as well, thats not a bad idea.
I will 100% be leading Billy, no way i'm going to let anyone drive him. Helmets are a must, and really, he's a little Pygmy goat, the worst he would do is run the cart back to his pen. I can't imagine that is going to be a issue though, he's storing, Pygmy's are built like tanks, but he's still so small.
I agree, I totally think we can make it work. ☺️
 

Weeg

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OP, I'm not saying you shouldn't try it, I'm saying it's not as simple as strapping a cart on and walking around. First you have to teach the goat to except the halter. Then it has to accept a harness. Learn to pull weight. Learn to wear shafts, Learn to pull a cart, which means being okay with a "thing" chasing them everywhere they go. Learn to do all that while still listening to the handler. Being in a harness and cart can be very scary to some animals and not all of them are suited to it.
I 100% understand this. I am definitely not going to throw it on him and go. I have a thread on The Goat Spot, and very experienced members, that are experienced in driving, are helping me find a good harness fit, (I know this is just as important as a saddle on a horse), a sturdy cart, halter training, all of it. The party's are months out. We haven't even stared yet. I have months and months to train him, and desensitize him to the harness and the cart. I totally understand the training needed to make this work.
My first horse that I got last year, would try to kick me when I put the saddle on, took off in a gallop because of a car, and all kinds of things. Today, she is a completely different horse, calm and chill after I trained her.
I Understand you concern, I also understand what I will have to do to make this work. I'm not going to throw everything on, if I was going to do that, I wouldn't have made this thread.
https://www.thegoatspot.net/threads/teaching-our-pygmy-goat-to-drive.220339/#post-2515685
 

littledog

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If you don't think it's dangerous, why do you suggest padding and helmets? If nothing bad will happen why would OP need insurance? It's because animals, no matter how small can cause damage and injury. Even you see that while suggesting the opposite to OP. That mindset makes it even more dangerous.
I guess I should have been more specific, I didn't mean to make it sound like, "LOL, there's no danger at all, but take all these precautions anyway."

Of course there is always an element of danger when kids are going to be around animals, and there are also ways to keep the dangers to the customers to a minimum by taking a variety of safety precautions, and also minimizing liability risk to yourself by having insurance and requiring a form.

It sounds like the OP has all this covered.
 

Gizabelle

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Doing some halter work with my boy atm, and he's the first goat I've ever attempted to halter train.
He's doing pretty well, accepts the halter no problem now. In fact, he gets really excited to see it and all but jams his head in there since he knows he's going on an "adventure" out of the pen. Leading and responding to cues are a little hit and miss (somedays mostly miss, lol) but you know how it goes. I'm thinking with enough repetition we'll get there.
I'd love to train him to drive also, but I don't think he's physically suited for it and there's so much expense if you don't have a specific purpose in mind like in your case.

Looking forward to more updates, can't wait to see how it goes for you! :pop
 

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