That is interesting - I also do the saddle first - again I think it is because it might be related to having only one pair of hands to get the horse ready with...
for some reason (and I don't know why) I don't like to put the shafts on the ground. I don't know if it was the way I was taught, or some OCD thing (LOL)...
So I don't even get the cart out until he is harnessed and it can go straight into the tugs....
I also don't put my reins on until last. Does anyone else do that? That's another thing I have great respect for - my driving lines. That is the very last thing I attach before I take the halter off of his neck.
for quickness my working set is all togeather so i have no adjusting to do when its cleaned its put back as it was.
i put the driveing saddle (pad) on first that includes the back strap briching crupper back band and the reins.
i then do up the girth slightley as i have to add the martingale.
the crupper is opened and refastend around the tail.
so the pad and back strap and breeching are all in place the reins are looped through the back strap and heald in place with the back band keeper.
i then have the full collar dont for get to bend it slightley on your knee to ease it gentley.
i undo trickys head collar and offer the full collar and ask for his head he offers it and the full collar is put on upside down then rotated to the right way up and slid down the neck.
the hames and martingale and tugs are put on the collar in one and the top hame strap fastend.
the girth is undone and the false martingale fitted and the girth done up tite and his legs offerd to me to pull them up as to free traped hair and skin and helps make him comftable.
i can drive him in a blinkerd bridle or an open one then the reins are fed through the hame terrets and fastend to the bit.
the cart is out side the yard i walk him out and ask him to stand and i put him to i feed the shafts through the tugs and thay rest at the tug stops.
i then walk to and undo the traces and put them to the pigtails then the breaching straps to incorparate the traces through the breeching ds on the shafts.
i use a troting sulkey with motorbike tires and drive up the tracks and on the road i ask him to stand and i climb aboard and ask him to walk on and warm him up in walk for 10 minuits.
my reins are laced on the last section were thay buckle up togeather.
and after exerciseing the harness is wiped clean and left to dry and put back in the harness bag.
the harness in question was brought in the reading horse sales and it was total junk.
a harness maker aproched us as thay set up in a rideing school down the road and thay went to the london harness horse parade and sent letters asking if any one needed there harnesses repaired.
i had it rebuilt i used 90% of the buckles the blinkers head pece of the bridle the throat lash and the outer part of the driveing saddle and the crupper.
the collar is a split full adjustable collar from canada by burrows collars its the best full collar i have ever owned as it fitted all our ponys.
all the ornaments on the face drop and on the martingale are brass horses.