I get to drive again
So, apparently when you put more than one exclamation mark at the end of a few sentances, the forum says NO, rewrite. OOPS.
The sucky part is it was a really long post. Oh well, my bad.
Long story short, nah, I want to talk horses, long story long!
Four (five?) years ago I decided that my little easy entry cart that Shaman and I had put about 150 miles on, was actually too short for him.
I sold it and the nylon harness we had been using for years. I bought a brand new biothane harness for more money than I want to admit and put a down payment on a very nice sulky. At that point, my life fell apart, and one of the consequences was that I wound up defaultign on my sulky. Sigh. Sadness.
Since then I have only been riding, though we have used Shaman, and his new harness to do some yard work dragging.
Last year I bought a project cart, but due to lack of funds and pending major spinal surgery, I didn't get very far with it.
When I got it home.
Where it is now
If I can't ride, I really can't restore a wagon. Well, I found a little easy entry cart, seems to even have been made by the same manufacturer that my original one was - for $200. Now, we are broke beyond broke right now, but knowing that I can't ride, my husband scrounged the money for me to get the cart! I pick it up at noon today.
I am going to spend at least a few days - depending on my horse, having my daughter ground drive him and make sure his manners are intact before I get in the cart, but I feel better about starting him back to driving in a cart he knows, rather than jumping back in and introducing him to a wagon all in one step.
I get to drive again! (Of course, I have to figure out how to get it home on top of the SUV, but heck, my daughter is good at working things like that out)
How many hours has your horse had hitched to a vehicle? How long have you been driving yourself? Is his whoa flawless? How about the other commands one uses when driving?
Very exciting indeed but honestly, the cart you had for your horse, least in the photo you provided, the shafts were too long and he was too far back, the shafts were also too high as well. As for the harness, it doesn't look bad and bio-thane harness isn't too awfully expensive if you don't get all the bells and whistles on it.
If you look closely at the picture provided, the horse is being backed up. Which is why he is pressing back into the breeching. As the cart is a bit short, it causes the shafts to go up when backing - which is why I sold it.
So why are you questioning my horse's training? Or mine? Or the quality of my harness?
I can't wait to see your horse in your new cart and harness.
It is great you are able to get back into it!
I was trying to be helpful as people who are new to driving do make the above questioned mistakes and I would hate for something to happen. The old saying, green driver and green horse make black and blue drives!
IF you were hitched correctly, those shafts would not go UP and be so far forward, again, the shafts were not down and in the correct position. I have made this mistake as well and learned from instruction from those who had more time and experience behind the lines. If you were to back and turn that horse of yours, the end of the shaft would stick into her neck and/or you would get your lines caught on them as well.
Here is my mare being backed in a fore cart, you can see where my shaft end is AS she is being backed and turned. I hope you understand that I am only trying to help but, if you think you know more and are doing it the correct way, then I wish you well and good luck.
No, I am not a professional driver - but if you want to help someone get better, you cannot do it with this sort of remark.
I know that I am a better rider than driver. In the photshoot that I took that pic from, a professional teamster, who made his living renting out his 8-up hitches (two of perches, one of mules) for events had borrowed my horse to give lessons on that day. You can see the pics I took here - for some reason they wont' download correctly. He was the one who had harnessed and hitched my horse that day.
Kodak Pride - GP and driving Shaman
I know the cart did not fit right - which is why I sold it. That I have never been able to afford one that does fit him right is fustrating as Shaman is primarily a cart horse and secondarily a riding horse.
He has seven years of five to ten hours a week under harness doing every thing from playing in the arena, going down the road, to going through traffic and drive-thrus, and being used by Jack as a lesson horse.
Am I willing to take constructive crititizen to make my drivng better, heck yes. But not condesending questions. I have about a dozen more hours in a cart than my horse from lessons.
His Whoa is pefect, as are he othe needed skills. If I wreck, with my broken back, I die - hands down. I don't plan to die to safety if always paramount.
My concern about moving to a wagon is that neigher of us (horse or rider) has even been in one before. The only carriage trainers in the area think it is ok to hitch ponies to draft carts - so they will touch my horse over my dead decaying body. If I could find someone reasonable to come out and give us lessons, I woudl love it.
Is the cart I picked up yesterday perfect. Nope. It is about four or five inches too short to have the shafts level. But we can play with it and have fun.
As for my harness, it is NOT some $150 harness from ebay and made in India. It is a top quality harness that I paid top dollar for.
Sorry for the rant, but I wanted friendship, even guidance, not what I got.
Shaman gets harnessed up and ground driven at least twice a month so all his drivig skills are not rusty - and the occasional use of 'hey, I need this heavy thing moved over there' has kept him used to pulling. It is me being worried that is all!
I also like that we can both get used to driving again in what we are familiar with, which is two wheels.
Then, the new cart won't go to waste as it is the perfect size for my daughter's 14.2 hand Arab 3 year old filly. (It is going to look a bit silly with my 15.3 hand National Show Horse, but we will do ok.)
A little easy entry cart with rubber wheels will never sit level. They are not designed to so with out large wheels it is impossible. This is a young horse at about 14.3 and this is a horse size cart. Just wanted tio show you that it would never sit level
See how nice and snug Churumbeque's horse example is in it's harness, as it extends in the trot the breeching actually makes an indentation in the rump. This keeps the horse from having to much play back and forth in the shafts, it can sour a good horse having to much movement of the cart constantly banging into them. And the breeching is at the proper height for optumum stopping power, not to low to knock the legs out from under the horse and not to high to slip under the tail, and tight enough to not move much.
Getting the breeching adjusted snugger will help to keep the cart in proper position, and even more important on a heaver vehicle.
FYI this is a good article on harnessing that I have read often,
and it is a great place to get reasonably priced harnedd parts.
Camptown Harness - camptownharness.com and horseharness.com - 800-717-0957
Good luck to you.
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