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Southern Grace 04-30-2013 11:05 AM

Training and the new wheels
River is coming along quite well. She's gotten the hang of ground driving, so we decided to hitch her to the tire this weekend. I decided to try starting her in an open bridle, I've never driven without blinders before, but I had read a lot about it a while back and figured if I was going to try it, it needed to be from day one. A friend and I went out and took everything slowly, from leading her with someone dragging the tire behind her, to the end of the session having her calmly driving down the track and making turns. I was quite proud of her, she had a couple of moments of raising her head and eyeing that thing following her, but then decided it must be okay and took everything quite in stride.

I also purchased my first cart this weekend. It's an older Meadowbrook. The seller did not know the maker, and I haven't scowered it yet to see if I can find a name. It is in dire need of a paint job, but other than that is in fine condition. Wheels rotate straight and smooth, shafts feel even. There is a small tear on the back of the seat, but other than that, all it needs is paint to look good as new. Not a bad find for a draft cart in my area, as they are quite few and far between.

River's still got quite some chunk of time with the tire and other joys before she'll be ready to hitch up to the cart, but I'm quite excited to be getting my ducks in a row.

Southern Grace 04-30-2013 11:25 AM

Also... since it has to be repainted to go anywhere in public, I'm taking suggestions on colors. I would love if I could strip it down and just varnish the wood. Go with the natural wood coloring and paint the metal parts a glossy black, but that may not be an option. We'll see when I start sanding if I'm going to be able to get all of the paint off. So if I can't pull that off, I have no idea what color I'd like best. The upholstery and dash are black, but everything else can change color, so I'm taking any and all suggestions, as well as tips and hints on the stripping and repaint process, as I don't want to risk the integrity of the vehicle if sanding is not advisable.

littrella 05-04-2013 06:45 PM

awsome! lucky you!!! I always thought red & black look good on a cart

Ashleysmardigrasgirl 05-04-2013 08:15 PM

I believe that is a road cart as the meadowbrooks have the fenders and rear entry to the best of my knowledge. Beautiful find though!

greentree 05-04-2013 08:33 PM

Yes, technically it is a road cart, but it is defined by the attachment of the shafts to the axle.

It is really pretty! I love the black and yellow, but with draft horses, brighter is better. The hubs should be the same color as the rest of the metal. It looks like it WAS solid yellow, and they painted the black over it.

River looks great!! Debbie Bell says so.


Southern Grace 05-05-2013 12:05 AM

Yeah, I took a few looks at that cart and thought it looked a heck of a lot like a Show cart, but I'd never actually looked into the difference, so I wasn't sure what made each, I was hinging on the fenders, but nice to know it is the shafts, as I love how the shafts turn down to the axle. And I'd agree, looks like it was solid yellow, and someone took cheap black paint and just painted over parts of the yellow, no priming or anything, so the black is chipping off everywhere. But I think solid yellow is going to be a bit too "screaming" for my taste.

I doubt I'll ever show her in more than local classes, really, I was just looking for something smaller than a carriage to tool around with, but people like to stare at the horse and cart, and I'd be embarrassed to roll around in something with that paint job.

Ashleysmardigrasgirl 05-05-2013 12:40 AM

Thanks greentree, I thought it had to do with how you got in (behind or over the shafts) haha.

Looks like it's in great condition, what a find! Do you have any idea what color(s) you're going to paint it?

michaelvanessa 05-05-2013 08:02 AM

long reining with tyre.
hiya i think your horse is ready by looking at your picture.
you are long lineing in an open bridle and your horse seems very calm in deed.
it looks like you have done a good job with your horse.
you horse seems to trust you and hows he progressing.
i like your new cart and i would like to see you driveing him drive him in a blinkerd bridle at first so he can get the feel of the shafts.
and hwen your going well you can all ways put him to in an open bridle and walk at his head and do some intaval training in walk and woah so you can guage that he is 100%.
many thanks for shareing your pictures.

Southern Grace 05-05-2013 10:51 AM

MV- thanks, she really has a good head about things. I had looked a lot into blinders/open and I want her to work well in both, as you never know when something is going to go wrong and you need to use the other (she'll be a carriage horse, so mainly blindered, as there's a lot going on to distract her in an open bridle). From what I've heard, it's usually easier to start them open, and then transition to blinders, than visa-versa.

I can pull the cart up behind her, as if it were hooked, and just lead her while I pull the cart, but she has no respect for the shafts. When I asked her to turn, she just bends right into the shafts, which tips the cart right over (I used a smaller, dinky metal cart, I'd rather pay to replace that if she panics than the new one). I'm thinking about getting some wooden poles and strapping them to her, where shafts would run, so she learns she needs to keep her body straight in a turn, but does anyone else have any suggestions?

greentree 05-05-2013 11:45 AM

Use some pvc pipe polestied into the tugs on your harness with a bungie or some hay string, so they stay in, but are not fixed (they need to come out in case of a major panic, but not FALL out), and you don't want someone walking beside her all the time to hold them, although you can start out that way.

You could also build them with two elbows, and hold them level with one hand.

She will figure out how to turn in the shafts on her own, as long as there is no panic when she hits them. She will need enough width in the the shafts to bend her body.
How tall is she? and how tall are the wheels on your cart? I had a road cart for a 16.1 H horse, and the wheels were 50" tall. Somewhere on the internet, there is a chart with suggestions on horse/cart size. Maybe ADS, or CAA website.


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