How much can a horse pull? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 4 Old 05-01-2013, 11:56 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Dec 2012
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How much can a horse pull?

Hello there I am just curious how much your average light horse without any physical limitations & in good shape, around 1000lbs can pull ? I have done a lot of looking around and am still unclear as to how much they can comfortably pull ? I am sending two of my riding horses away to be broke to drive so that we can have little sleigh/cart rides on our farm so just want to make sure we get the right type of cart and know roughly how much our horses can pull.

Just for fun here are some pictures of my horses the first one is a Solid bred paint X gelding named Jake he is around 15.2 & 1100lbs and is around 9 yrs old. The other is a bay AQHA mare named Lark she is a 7yrs old and around 15hh and maybe around 1000lbs.

Any suggestions or tips would be greatly apperciated !
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File Type: jpg Lark1.jpg (57.8 KB, 68 views)
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post #2 of 4 Old 05-01-2013, 01:27 PM
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There are a lot of variables that go into how much a horse can pull. A ballpark amount is somewhere between 3 and 5 times their weight. What can affect how much they can pull are desire, some horses just don't like the work, the balance of the cart or wagon, the size of the tire, larger tires are easier, the drag of the cart or wagon, the speed at which you want to go, the terrain, the point of draught, the fit, width and type of harness, the build of the horse....

An average light horse is not going to have any problem with a sleigh (400#) and a few passengers.
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post #3 of 4 Old 05-02-2013, 09:39 AM
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Texas
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I work for a carriage company, we have 3 light horses (Tennessee Walkers) in our company. Any of the three can pull our average carriage (about 900lbs) with 6 passengers and the driver, even up the steep hill, though we avoid taking them up hills often. I would say as long as the terrain is flat and you don't have much friction with the vehicle you should be good with that type of weight. We do keep all of them in full-collar harnesses, not breast pulls, as the breast pull type harness can restrict the shoulder movement and affect the angle of draft, neither of which you want to encounter with anything heavier than a small cart with 1 or 2 passengers.
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post #4 of 4 Old 05-02-2013, 12:58 PM
Join Date: Aug 2009
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I have a heavy 13.2. mare that is loaned out collecting scrap and she pulls a four wheel dray(in full collar harness) with somewhere between half a tonne and over most days ,at the end of this month she will be pulling a bowtop Waggon to a horse fair which is over 300miles return and she will be pulling very close to a tonne,,the Waggoner is on 19inch tyres and I find the front tyres from a Massey ferguson tractor have the least drag
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