Horse to cart size
I am a total newcomer to driving. I have a gentle riding pony that I thought would make a nice cart pony. I found a used Easy Entry cart in good condition and bought it. I am now looking for harness for her that I can afford.
I saw a post that someone put up in this forum that had a link to a site with cart sizes to horse. I read what it said and then I measured my pony and my cart. My cart shafts are 33" with the shafts paralled to the ground. The pony is 36" tall at her front point of the shoulder. Is that going to work?
I am slowly discovering I should have done more research before just hopping into this cart driving idea. From what I am reading here, it is more complicated than I thought. I appreciate any advice I can get. Thank you.
American Driving Society
Here is the link, as has been stated before this is a guide , it is not gospel.
While some people might be able to afford a different cart for every size horse they have, I cannot. My horses have to share, the 14.3 and the 15.3 horse share.
I see in TaffyClaytons avatar that the shafts slant up from the cart to the horse. I have not put her in the shafts yet but I will go measure again.
I dug up a few photos on carts. Some fit the horse some do not.
This meadowbrook is passable on fit, but look how low I sit, and how I have to carry my hands so high, it is exhausting. I now sit on extra cusions when I drive this vehicle. It helps with my hands but you are correct the shafts go up, so it is a bit too small. It is much better to have the shafts go up than down. If I saw this cart on someone the olny comment I would have is how low the driver sits.
Notice that the shaft tips do not go past the shoulder.
This cart is too small for this Clyde. The horse was in training and this was the largest cart I had. So I used it. The worst is the length of the shafts, they should be about 9 - 12 " longer, and, you can't see but they should be spaced wider apart. But notice that the shafts still follow the traces as they go from the breast collar to the single tree, and the breeching is still conected properly.
There is still plenty of room between the horse and the cart, his hocks will never hit the cart.
In the second photo you can see I am draging a shovel, a bucket and a logging chain. We went down the asphalt street to make all kinds of noise, getting ready for parades and crowds. We looked like Stanford and Son's Junk wagon.
I not a driver--just a wanna be--but I thought I'd share my driving experience, since you said your pony is gentle. I bought both an Amish breaking cart (still own, stored) and a 4-wheeled buggy, and proceeded to train my 15'3hh babysitter, then 18yo QH, to drive. I had great success with the breaking cart, and I ended up using it at CW Reenactments as a large alternative to a wheelbarrow, leading my horse from my other horses to unload and load stuff back from the camp to the trailer.
Hindsight is very good. When I switched him to the 4-wheeler he got more and more frightened. Finally, my DH, who was aboard on one trip with me, told me that my gentle-as-a-lamb and not afraid of ANY gunfire or cannon, was about to explode from fear of the buggy, we halted, unhitched him, took the rig home and sold it.
As I look back, I realize NOW that he needed LOTS more time to get used to being driven--he couldn't have had TOO much driving training time at home. If I had realized that, I could have given it to him, and we would have had great memories driving everybody around. ("Ro Go Bar', 1982-2009, RIP)
I just want you to know that a great riding horse starts driving as a very GREEN driving horse, just like a great driving horse can be a very GREEN riding horse.
This cart is too big for this arab.
You can see that the shaft tips are past the point of the shoulder. I could have moved the horse farther forward in the shafts, but that would have put a field from the horses rump to the cart, but it would be better than the shafts in front of the shoulder.
You can really tell how big the cart is in the second photo. Look how wide the shafts are at his shoulders, he is swimming in them.
In the third photo the shafts are actually pointing down. I should have raised the shaft holders a hole and that would have helped alot. See how now the traces do not follow the shafts from the breast collar to the single tree. We still won the class though:wink:
You are so helpful taffy clayton. Thank you so much for the informative pictures. If I knew how to post them, I would take pictures of my cart and pony. She is 13.2. I do not have a nice meadowbrook cart like yours, just a metal easy entry type. It seems nicely balanced because I can easily lift the shafts and pull the grandkids around.
I know that my pony will know nothing about cart driving. She is calm by nature but that doesn't mean that she can't get scared of that noisy thing behind her. I have a harness ordered but it has not arrived. Will I need a breast collar and back pad?
To post pictures, you have to click the "Go Advanced" button next to the quickpost button below the reply box at the bottom of the page. You should see a paperclip button in the advanced post page - click it, and it will give you the option to upload pictures straight from your computer! :)
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