Is this a good carriage for a beginner?
I am currently going through choices of choosing the right cart/carriage for my horse.
First, the horse in question - 6yo, gelding, 16.2hh, Latvian Warmblood, light draft type. They are traditionally used as carriage and allround horses here. He has been introduced to driving at age 4, and since then he has been pulling some logs and light constructions from logs and tires, and we also often ground drive. He's a bit downhill in this picture (July), but he has leveled out since then.
Since it has been snowing, I plan to put him to a sleigh soon, and it will be his first "proper" pull ever. When summer comes, I hope to start driving him in a carriage or a cart, and I have been eyeing this one:
I have, however, heard, that carriages with wooden wheels are heavier and harder to pull, especially, for inexperienced horses, and that driving should be started in a cart with rubber tires. The problem is that around here such wheels are either only on fugly working carts, mostly half rotten, in which I don't want to invest, either on super expensive marathon carts that are simply out of my reach.
So, experienced drivers - would it be a good idea to get this carriage? The roads around our barn are mainly flat dirt ones. I am myself a beginner driver, but I plan on getting some more driving lessons in a local driving barn before I harness him to the carriage.
It looks very uncomfortable to me. It's certainly a nice looking one but I wouldn't want to sit on it for very long.
Something more like this looks more comfortable
That isn't a carriage I would even consider. Besides being heavy it is way too low to the ground and looks to be an accident waiting to happen. I would get something professionally made not something cobbled together.
Thanks for the opinions! Although I appreciate all of them, I would like to note, that the carriage isn't just something cobbled together - it IS professionally made, just antique.
Let me explain the situation - carriage driving was important in Latvia up to the early part of the 20th century. There weren't any competitions in driving back then (apart from some harness racing, I suspect), but driving was an important means of transportation with horses. Carriages like this were used, and the same methods were used to build sulkies and other models. Then the wars and next the Soviet times came and pleasure driving was disregarded as being useless - instead it was replaced with driving for strictly practical means - so only farm carts were generally used by the common folk.
That continued for a couple of decades. Now, just before 5 or so years, carriage driving started re-appearing, instead of just a smaller number of drivers who supplied pleasure rides for tourists and such. Even so, carriage drivers are a minority among the horsey part of our nation. Thus the market for new, professional carriages is small and ridiculously expensive. One is either really rich to get a new one (which I am not), either drives a farm cart (which I don't want to invest in) - those look like this:
, either gets their hands on one of the antiques. For example, something like I have been eying. And even so, the market is still very small. I bet that there are carriages that are far more comfortable, however, ones like this have been driven around for a long time and you really don't hear anything about any accidents happening, unless there is a drunk driver involved.
The main question was - what are these things like regarding the comfort of the horse and the wooden wheels vs pneumatic wheels. Re that - thanks, churumbeque, I really hadn't considered it as low, but I will take a very close look if I come to visiting the owners and seeing it!
Inga, that carriage is certainly something beautiful - I'd love to get my hands on something like this. :)
When I say cobbled it looks very old, heavy and not safe. The driver is sitting on a board and it is between his legs. It looks like it is for small ponies but looks to heavy for ponies. The gear also looks very heavy also. Do you have 2 wheel carts there to get started on?
Nope, I haven't seen any 2 wheel carts around at all. If I wanted one, I had to order one from Germany, Poland or the Netherlands, which would all be too expensive, sadly.
Thanks for the explanation. The ad states this cart has been repaired and is ready for work, and full size horses were hooked to it, but I haven't seen it in life yet - it's on the other side of the country. The sitting on a board thing - well, I admit, it doesn't look neither comfortable, nor too safe, but that comes with these old carriages... I guess I'll keep looking for now - there's still plenty of time till spring comes.
Thanks. This is why I love this forum - as a beginner with almost no experienced drivers around, such advice comes to be very useful and protects me and my horse from possibly dangerous mistakes.
So I got the sizes of the carriage out of interest - it is 280 centimetres long, 120 centimetres wide and 100 centimetres high. What size horse would be suitable for these numbers?
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