Getting into driving-advice needed - Page 2 - The Horse Forum
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post #11 of 16 Old 03-29-2010, 11:31 AM
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: yorkshire england
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you will manage fine ,if you findputting the harness on a bit difficult at first ,there are plenty pics on the computer you can get up and study
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post #12 of 16 Old 04-09-2010, 12:32 AM
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Klamath Falls Oregon
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Old Horseman

I began ground driving my 1/2 Fjord when He was less than a year old. While he was growing up I built an easy entry cart with motorcycle wheels. When I advanced to pulling a tire and firewood logs out of the woods I didn't want to buy an expensive harness. I bought a nylon harness from Rons Discount Harness. he has ads all over the Internet. In the pictures the harness appeared to be well built with good hardware and I have to say I have been more than satisfied with it with the exception of the bridle. If you buy the harness throw the bridle away. I ended up using a western snaffle bit bridal I had. It's not that the bridle was cheap. It was so overbuilt that it was useless on my cob sized horse. The crown piece is about 2 1/2 inches wide and like the rest of the harness, heavy duty two ply nylon. I notice your ad states the harness is light weight. That's not always good. The breast strap appears to be very narrow. Mine is four inches wide as is the saddle and girth. All are well padded with closed cell foam. It's brown and because the harness is well made with good hardware it doesn't look bad. My horse went through the terrible twos stage and I was very happy I was not using an expensive harness on him.
I've been thinking it's time to move up to a classier harness. A friend in our club loaned me a leather harness which wasn't bad but I think an economy grade. The brest strap is narrow and unpadded. The saddle is also narrow and I could not keep it from tipping back. The corners dug into my horses ribs while the edge rode on his back. The girth is about an inch and a half wide and not padded. The traces are about 1-1/4 inch wide and single ply leading out of the breast collar buckle. This harness really made me appreciate my nylon set. However, the bridle was perfect and the owner said I could use it. Gilly drives good in an open bridle but I wanted him to be accustomed to blinders as well. I am grateful that I had a chance to try it on because I certainly have a better idea of what I want now. My nylon harness was $130 something. When I get a decent beta harness I will still keep and use the nylon.
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post #13 of 16 Old 04-15-2010, 10:21 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Mar 2010
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Thanks guys i actually now ground work horses for a gal that has driving horses that need worked and she is going to get me started. So instead of buying a horse and harness and paying to board it i am going to drive her horses and get free lessons and she eventually wants me to parade the horses for her.
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post #14 of 16 Old 04-15-2010, 11:35 PM
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: oregon
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Great. that sounds like a lot of fun.
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post #15 of 16 Old 06-26-2010, 01:48 PM
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Klamath Falls Oregon
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It looks kind of cheap. I bought a nylon harness from Ron's Discount Harness in Canada to start my horse on. It is really a heavy duty quality nylon harness with quality fittings and is not much more expensive than the one you are looking at. I could pull a freight train with the traces. However, nylon is nylon. I just ordered a Comfy Fit beta harness from Chicanum. Their harness maker , until recently made the Camptown harness. I ordered the sport harness with the deluxe deep vee breast collar which is the same as the "freedom" collar, sliding back band and quick release shaft loops. It is black with brown leather padding. The bridle comes with a contoured crown piece for comfort. I didn't really need the deep vee collar but it was only a $20 upgrade from the contoured collar. The harness is about $300 cheaper than from some of the other comparable harness. I was offered free shipping. No money is due until the harness arrives and it fits. I was even offered three interest free payments. Jainie at Chicanum is great to work with. I will keep the nylon harness for standby and pulling firewood logs out of the woods. It is a better harness than some of the cheaper leather harness I have seen. A tip. I made a sharp 2 inch wide chisel out of a length of flat metal. I heated it in the forge and cut the ends off my nylon strapping that were too long and at the same time sealed the edges. New buckle holes can be made with a hot nail or heavy piece of welding rod. If your harness is already marked with a felt tipped pen your farrier can alter it in a few minutes. He can't make it bigger though.
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post #16 of 16 Old 06-26-2010, 06:41 PM
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: California
Posts: 39
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Originally Posted by CheyAut View Post
I'd never use a nylon harness. Leather is great, although I prefer betathane, easier to care for hehe (but not biothane, that I don't like). LOVE Camptown harnesses, but not the most inexpensive. I really like Zimmerman's in Pa and Smuckers.

As for a cart, depends on what kind of driving you're looking to do. If just having some fun driving around then a Frontier Easy Entry is affordable and do well.

I agree leather is the way to go. Take the measurments so that the harness fits. Start with a cart first the easy entry carts don't cost a lot of money but you do get a bounce from them on rough ground. If your buying something at an auction take someone who knows a little about driving and carriages before you spend $
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