driving a horse for manure maintenance?
o.k. is this a crazy idea?
Once a week I go through my pastures and pick up manure. I am using my tractor and with gas prices now, I had a thought of using my horse to pull a cart for collecting manure to the compost pile. I have no idea about driving, although I have begun reading about it. It may be a bit much for the use I have planned. what do you think?
I have a 14 yo QH - been there done that type. I think he could handle it. Also, what kind-of time and money would I have to invest?
Thanks so much - new to the forum - glad I found you all!
it depends a lot on what you want. you can pick up a cheap used cart for next to nothing, a nylon harness is fairly cheap...the biggest variable is your horse. while some will take to the long lining well, some don't like the shafts around them or the breaching to touch them...you'd just have to feel it out without putting you or your horse in a position to get hurt :)
I don't think it's a crazy idea at all. My dad uses his driving horse to help him bring wood to the house in the winter for their furnace. Now, training your horse to drive with no experience presents a challenge. If you have books on the subject, that's a good start. Like Kickshaw said, start with long lining and somebody posted a picture on another thread of homemade shafts for training. I'll see if I can find it.
Okay, this thread has a photo of the shafts (and my dad with his horse :) ) with some great info on getting started:
So my idea is to buy a nylon harness (budget friendly). Work with my horse without cart until he is comfortable, then make a cart for collecting manure. Any ideas on that? All I find are carts for riders. Could I adapt a utility cart? Should I watch out for weight? As you see, I have A LOT more to learn!
Oh yeah, I also have read about blinders, would that be necessary for my use?
many driving horses wear blinders so they can't see what's behind them...
I would actually suggest you find a site that caters to draft horses and using them for plowing fields and such...they haul equipment similar to what you are talking about - and could probably offer more help than I can :D
I personally don't like blinders. Don't see any use for them except with a nervous horse (and then why would you drive?) or if you are driving in a very busy environment.
I am the solution to manure problems.
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If you're mechanically inclined, I think a regular old wheelbarrow would work. If you could replace the handles with shafts, or even just a single tree, you'd have yourself a poop-holder.
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