Too much play in the singletree?
 
 

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Too much play in the singletree?

This is a discussion on Too much play in the singletree? within the Driving forums, part of the Riding Horses category
  • Purpose of a single tree in driving
  • How much play in a swingle tree?

 
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    11-30-2009, 01:30 AM
  #1
Weanling
Too much play in the singletree?

In my new adventures of driving, things are going well. Had an experienced helper come and get us set up, and the horse is doing well.

Anyway, the single tree ends were bound with rigid metal bands on each end, instead of leather, and the bands were so tight, the single tree didn't actually swivel at all, and I know the whole point is to have some give for the shoulder movement with a breastcollar harness.

My husband removed the metal bands to replace them with leather, but the pivot point seems to have some extra play. I thought I'd ask before we messed with it, but there is not a screw/bolt that goes through the stationary bar all the way, and the single tree pivots fine, it's just that it wobbles forward and backward, as if the bolt end that holds it is perhaps broken? Yet it won't come off.
So the question is.. how do we check this or fix it without damaging everything? Can we just spin the single tree completely around to tighten or loosen it to stop the wobble then put the straps in place to keep in place? Or is the wobble a sign of extreme fatique and I need to get a professional to remedy? Or, is it normal, and I should just put the leather straps on the ends to stabilize it and go on. How much play should I allow in the single tree for the shoulders? My helper won't be able to come back for a little while and I can't find any info in the books I have.

Thanks in advance for any tips.
     
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    11-30-2009, 04:32 AM
  #2
Weanling
Hi its hard to say with out seeing it,but if I were you I would tighten it back up it sounds like it was made to be rigid,1 of my exercise carts is the same,the tree moving is a good benefit for serious driving competitions etc but for normal driving I wouldent worry about it
     
    11-30-2009, 05:19 AM
  #3
Foal
I had one that I bought which had lightweight springs at each end of the swingletree, attatched to the front of the cart, to stop it from having too much play, which I removed, as someone told me that they would create too much friction on shoulders. What I have done is attatch a thick rubber top and bottom of the central bolt that holds it to the cart, which holds it more stable and stops it rattling around. Maybe that would work with your cart, too. They are all different. I definitely wouldnt have the swingle tree so it had no movement if you are using a breast collar.
     
    11-30-2009, 07:40 AM
  #4
Weanling
Quote:
Originally Posted by lillie    
i had one that I bought which had lightweight springs at each end of the swingletree, attatched to the front of the cart, to stop it from having too much play, which I removed, as someone told me that they would create too much friction on shoulders. What I have done is attatch a thick rubber top and bottom of the central bolt that holds it to the cart, which holds it more stable and stops it rattling around. Maybe that would work with your cart, too. They are all different. I definitely wouldnt have the swingle tree so it had no movement if you are using a breast collar.
i,m not biting lol, god luv ya
     
    11-30-2009, 11:13 AM
  #5
Showing
Not to go completely off topic but could you maybe post a pic of the kind of singletree you are talking about. I have only ever seen single/doubletrees that attach to the wagon with a single mobile, metal u-joint type thing that allows it to pivot back and forth with the motion of the horse.

Thanks.
     
    11-30-2009, 12:02 PM
  #6
Foal
Yeah, lets liven this driving section up jimmy!!! But jimmy, you drive with a full collar don't you? Actually,just realised I missed out the word "washer" in my post, its a thick rubber washer top and bottom of the bolt, not a thick rubber!!.
     
    11-30-2009, 01:55 PM
  #7
Weanling
Hubby and I went ahead and disassembled the whole thing and took a look. The vertical bolt that is the pivot point is what is wobbly, and it's a locked nut/bolt that is welded, so can't adjust it, but at least I know it's not about to pop into 2 peicses, so it wobble it will, I guess. At least the bolt looks solid and well greased to pivot in place.

The metal bands were almost to the tips of the single tree, and were on the last (loosest) hole for adjustment, but still held the whole thing rigid, as far as swiveling goes, but didn't stop the wobble. We replaced them with leather, and I'd say it can swivel maybe an inch forward, and inch back from center now. Is that enough give for a breastcollar harness? It's more than there was before, at least.

Thanks for the input guys, really appreciate it. Hubby didn't have any patience before he took off for work, and I should be on my out the door, myself.

Thanks again.
     
    11-30-2009, 02:08 PM
  #8
Weanling
I drive with both the full collar[mainly pulling something heavy]but for every day use I use a breast collar set I,ve got 6 differant carts, only one has got a swingletree,and to be honest I,ve never found a difference between the 1 that has and them that hav,ent when driving and I,ve never knocked the shoulders off with or without so I don't know[ its a mystery]
     
    11-30-2009, 06:14 PM
  #9
Started
BFH, are you sure those bands weren't on just to keep the singletree from spinning around loosely and being a pita when not in use? I do not recall a single tree needing to be restricted from moving. Perhaps I am not understanding or correctly picturing it . Pity I can't ask my dad. :(
     
    12-01-2009, 01:06 AM
  #10
Weanling
Well, they were screwed in tight, and painted over...real pain to remove in the first place. The only ones I've seen were leather, and used while the horse was in draft. Not sure why they restrict them. Tis why I'm on here asking questions, perhaps not the right questions...

Sooo, why DO they put any bands on the single tree in the first place that limits the swivel motion?

All my novice mind knows is that the purpose of the single tree is to pivot to mimimize the sawing motion of a breastcollar harness or, with regular collars to help prevent sore shoulders by absorbing some of the natural motion, however, the collar and hames are easier on the horse than the breastcollar type in general. Even when pulling logs, if you look at old pics, I see single trees used to pull loads, and they aren't restricted then, obviously since there's no way to do so. But that's just what I've read. LOL
     

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