Training Miniature Horses to Drive

Cathie has done amazing work with my two rescued miniature horses! She has taught them ground manners and gently, but firmly, explained to them what behaviors will and won’t work  for them as we become a team. She has gotten us through “fear of the whip” with ground driving training and has also shown me how to safely manage the occasional “tantrum.” My horses are now much better citizens, and we LOVE to go to the state park! Cathie as transformed what was once a scary, dangerous  “event” for all (especially for me as a total novice horse owner trying to manage my “larger”, stronger and spooky minis),  to a relaxing, joyful experience. They hop right on and of the trailer, and walk happily through the park, easily greeting children, adults, dogs and even bikes speeding past them! They go to the water, and one of them even swims! My friend, also a non-horse person, can now easily walk one of the minis and is confident in her role as leader, as am I, after having both taken lessons from Cathie! Things are going so well, that I now have bought a cart...that will be Cathie’s next challenge, as both minis have had some pretty significant negative driving experiences, but we are in good hands, and I am confident with the right time and patience that we will someday safely drive! I would NOT have thought this until meeting Cathie and watching her with my little steeds! And....yes, of course....ALWAYS BITLESS! Thank you, Cathie! You are amazing! 7/21/2014

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“Cathie Hatrick-Anderson is one of the most professional trainers I have ever met. She has worked with my two horses on respect issues, training to drive a cart, trailering and other issues and she has impressed me with her techniques.  She is respectful not only with me, but with my horses and they respect her. I have watched her work with them and have been amazed at how my horses respond to her and then to me after the training sessions.  Cathie has helped me to be a better horse owner.  I have so much fun with my horses now.  They have changed for the better because of her and I have as well”. Cynthia Wagner 1/6/2014


                                                                                     Now that the weather has begin to break I would like to recommend Cathie to help you get ready for the show season. She has helped me with ALL my horses. Cathie will teach you from putting on a halter, loading on a trailer and driving

Heidi 2018



Spring of "09"  Cathie came to my barn to teach me how to use the Dr. Cook’s new bitless bridle for a mini. I have driven and ridden a "big horse" without a bit. The only reason that I have not use this bridle on a mini is I do not like blinkers. The new bridle for a mini is made so one decide if they want to have the blinkers on their horse. I was very impressed with how well Ginger drove with her new bridle. I would strongly recommend anyone who loves to drive to seriously consider this bridle. Many people think that a horse is not "finished" unless they know how to handle a bit in their mouths. I do not think that you have to even consider using a bit with your dear mini. They drive just fine with this bridle-Ginger did better than when I used a traditional bridle. Thank you Cathie!!!! Heidi J. Sardina


Heidi ground driving Ginger in a Dr. Cooks biltess bridle for the first time. Prior to this she had been using a regular halter. The cross under straps provide fine tuned communication that the rope halter or regular halter does not - Cathie

Four years prior to meeting Cathie I was involved in a horrible riding accident. Due to my school pony spooking with a bit in his mouth, I was thrown at a full gallop into the indoor arena wall. The impact was so severe that I knocked the clock in the tack room off the wall. The injury resulted with a broken knee is three places, femoral artery shattered, and a spiral facture of the right femur. I never stabilized enough even to reach intensive care. After countless operations, today you would never see the physical damage. However the fear of the event still haunts me. One friend present that December night ended her riding career. 

My husband did not want me to go back to the sport. However since he understood my love of horses he strongly encouraged me to buy a miniature horse. At my new barn, the owner gave me some brochures on one of Cathie's upcoming clinics.

At Bobcat Farm clinic, I could not believe the positive results Cathie was able to obtain with problem horses. One example was the owner informed Cathie that she was having trouble loading her horse into a trailer. By the end of the afternoon Cathie was able to ground drive the animal into the trailer.

Last Saturday, I spent three hours learning the safe methods on driving. This is the first time that I have done anything with a full grown horse and truly green to the sport of driving. . However, due to my faith in Cathie and her training methods, I was not afraid to hitch and drive her beautiful mare, Cachina around the farm. Please look at the picture, no bit!

Cathie is a true horse whisper. She will spend the time to show you how to handle the bad behaviors which many of our equine partners may develop. She can also help start a young foal, teach you how to load your horse, and the basics in driving. Many horse trainers do not have the patience to instruct the human element of the partnership. I sincerely believe that you owe it not only to yourself, your horse but to your family and friends to have a safe experience as possible around horses.  If you would like to speak to me in person, My home phone number is 508-788-1253 and my e-mail is This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Sincerely,Heidi Jane Sardina M.Ed.

 Preparing to pull a log, First time hitched to a log. 

I had Cathie out to my farm to help me start my mini driving. I thought it was great to find a trainer willing to come out to my barn and work with me and my horse! My mini never had any previous driving training. Cathie worked magic with him! She started the ground work and progressed at a comfortable pace that left my little guy confident.

She took things one step at a time to ensure he understood what was being asked before she moved on as to not skip any steps. What she accomplished with him in several sessions was truly amazing! Best of all, my horse was happy which speaks volumes to the training process. Thanks, Cathie for your help! Sara Minsk Mendon, MA

                                                                                             driving-starz-resizedCathie and Starz

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