Working Buggy/Wagon/Carriage Horses... - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 32 Old 03-04-2011, 06:28 PM Thread Starter
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Working Buggy/Wagon/Carriage Horses...

We live in Amish country and own an Expedition that gets about 10-12mpg. At $3.50+/- a gallon, we're not going many places these days in it! We have a car that my hubby uses for work (commutes almost an hour away!) but we're seriously contemplating buying a buggy or wagon to drive us to town for groceries/friends, etc instead of using a modern mode of transportation.

I know SQUAT about driving horses or the equipment. Will a Halfie pull a buggy without any problems or will the pole be too small? I'd rather have a draft trained that can pull a buggy AND a wagon than have a horse for a buggy and a draft for a wagon...

Thoughts? Anyone else crazy enough to do this?!?!!?!??!

Michele
"Not evil, dear. Wicked." - Once Upon A Time.
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post #2 of 32 Old 03-04-2011, 06:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chele11 View Post
We live in Amish country and own an Expedition that gets about 10-12mpg. At $3.50+/- a gallon, we're not going many places these days in it! We have a car that my hubby uses for work (commutes almost an hour away!) but we're seriously contemplating buying a buggy or wagon to drive us to town for groceries/friends, etc instead of using a modern mode of transportation.

I know SQUAT about driving horses or the equipment. Will a Halfie pull a buggy without any problems or will the pole be too small? I'd rather have a draft trained that can pull a buggy AND a wagon than have a horse for a buggy and a draft for a wagon...

Thoughts? Anyone else crazy enough to do this?!?!!?!??!
What are you refering to when you ask if the pole is too small? A pole is for a pair and why would it be too small for a haflinger which is not big? You buy the proper equipment for the size of horse.

With your experience level you could be a danger to your self and others driving on the road. It is a big investment to get good equipment to save a small amount of money while taking alot more time.
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post #3 of 32 Old 03-04-2011, 06:52 PM
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You might want to acquaint yourself with some of the Amish folks from your area. They could teach you everything you would need to know about driving, harness, gear, carts, wagons, etc. Plus, probably give you some hands on training before you just dive in with a horse of your own. While you are doing all that, you can start stocking up money for the equipment because Churumbeque is correct, it isn't cheap to get everything you need.

Always remember that feeling of looking at a big, open country over the ears of a good horse, seeing a new trail unwind ahead of you, and that ever-spectacular view from the top of the ridge!!! Follow my training blog: http://robertsontraining.blogspot.com/
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post #4 of 32 Old 03-05-2011, 10:12 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by churumbeque View Post
What are you refering to when you ask if the pole is too small? A pole is for a pair and why would it be too small for a haflinger which is not big? You buy the proper equipment for the size of horse.

With your experience level you could be a danger to your self and others driving on the road. It is a big investment to get good equipment to save a small amount of money while taking alot more time.
Thanks for the vote of confidence. I don't recall saying I'd grab a buggy/wagon and attempt to hook up a horse and just drive. Nothing in my post even suggested such. Perhaps before implying I might be a danger, you should READ what I wrote: "I know SQUAT about driving horses or the equipment."

I am, however, attempting to educate myself prior to purchasing anything and it has and always will be my opinion that learning requires handson experience. My intention is to talk with the Amish in my area who are more apt to teach but at the moment, I am simply posing questions and looking into the possibilities.

As for the pole/halfie question. I will reiterate that I know diddly about equipment. A halfie may be small compared to other drafts but the breed is definitely not small in comparison to other driving horses. I will readily admit - again - that my knowledge is limited and still needs improvement. Thanks, tho, for jumping in and helping!

Michele
"Not evil, dear. Wicked." - Once Upon A Time.
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post #5 of 32 Old 03-05-2011, 10:14 PM
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I second what everyone has already said. but for the record, of course a halflinger could pull a buggy.


ETA:
Quote:
My intention is to talk with the Amish in my area who are more apt to teach but at the moment, I am simply posing questions and looking into the possibilities.
If you can get lessons and your horse is safe on the roads (after his training) I don't see why you couldn't drive your horse.

I think by the way you wrote your original post, it sounded a little like the only reason you want to drive your horse is to not drive your car. But if you really want to learn to drive your horse ALSO for the joy of driving your horse... Go for it! It is very rewarding!!


Everyone starts out as a beginner.

Last edited by Reiterin; 03-05-2011 at 10:23 PM.
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post #6 of 32 Old 03-06-2011, 09:50 AM
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I think it would take along time to gain the experience and knowledge needed to do what you want safely and it does not make sense to save a little gas. Most do not understand the amount of time, money, and training and you might think you are ready before you should trek out to town and again be a danger to yourself and others.
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post #7 of 32 Old 03-07-2011, 10:16 AM Thread Starter
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I understand it's not going to be a quick solution! We have another vehicle to use and a neighbor who can drive us (with a truck) if I absolutely need to go somewhere.

I am not dependent upon my vehicle for anything other than an emergency bc I work from home and do most of my other errands when my husband and I are both home. At least, I am now that my horse is no longer being boarded and is here at home!!

I also understand the task can be expensive. I wouldn't expect it to be otherwise, since simply being able to ride is expensive - saddles are not cheap! That's why we are looking into it prior to making a final decision/transition. We're simply contemplating it at this point.

Driving would be enjoyable to me simply because it would put us back to simple living which is something I've always wanted to do. I think I was born in a totally different century!!!

Michele
"Not evil, dear. Wicked." - Once Upon A Time.
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post #8 of 32 Old 03-09-2011, 03:44 PM
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I was always a rider, not a driver when first getting into horses. I than decided to try my hand at driving and absolutely loved it. Now I would rather drive than ride. I was lucky and found a trainer who drove by horse and buggy/wagon everywhere. He knew alot of the amish. Told me I took to it like a duck to water. But again, been around horse's, and knew the dangers. It was alittle scary at first, as you don't have the use of your legs to help cue the horse, all communication is done thru driving lines and voice. It can be done, just takes time and a willingness to learn.
My trainer started me with a trained driving horse, than as my skills progressed, we went to horse's with less training. Not all horse's make good driving horse's. Your haflinger would be plenty big enough to pull buggy, just have someone evaluate your horse to see if he's a good prospect for driving. Want a very level headed, forward driving horse.
My driving horse is haflinger size and we go to town and back with no problem and town is about 13 miles away. I bought a horse with driving experience though. He was 3 1/2 yrs, old and gentleman had used him to go to town and back for groceries. He lived in a small Alabama town.
Have put alot more miles on him since getting him in the last 2 1/2 yrs. I've owned him and he is a great driving horse, not much of a riding horse, but great at driving. Horse's sometimes have a preference, and will let you know which they prefer. LOL Some are good at both.
So, find you someone willing to show you the ropes and get started, you will love it. If you don't you can always go back to riding - just can't carry as many groceries. :)
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post #9 of 32 Old 04-18-2011, 10:57 PM
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Horsemanship is horsemanship, riding or driving. A lot of your knowledge will carry over into driving.

You just need to find someone to teach you the specifics of driving. That almost needs to be a hands on teaching. If there is a harness or draft club near you, joining that will get you more help than you would ever need.

Getting into driving can be expensive as you make it. My training cart my neighbor and I made from scrap and had less than $100 into untill we added the hydraulic brakes.

All my harness I buy off off of Craigs list or at auction.

In the video section I placed a video of a haflinger (Pancho) pulling my training forcart
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post #10 of 32 Old 04-19-2011, 11:14 AM Thread Starter
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I really need to start considering this as I absolutely refuse to drive anywhere if gas hits $4/gallon except for NECESSITIES. It's either driving or Chili gets a crash course in dependability to be ridden anywhere!

Michele
"Not evil, dear. Wicked." - Once Upon A Time.
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