Help! I can't get my carriage to sit right on my horse!
Hi there :-) I'm new to this forum, and also fairly new to carriage driving, having only been doing it for about eight months. I seem to have problems getting carts to fit my horse correctly and I figure I must be doing something wrong...
I have a 14.2hh gypsy cob who is quite chunky. I got a simple exercise vehicle with him but it's not right on him as the shafts are too long etc. so I've been looking for another exercise type cart to carry on with.
I picked one up the other day which should for 14-15.2 horses, and was previously used on a 15.1 hackney. I saw a photo of him in it and the cart was level and looked really nice, with the end of the shaft at his shoulder etc. However, when I put my horse in it, it sat totally wrong on him :?
With the tugs on the lowest hole, the cart still sat tipping backward, with the shafts pointing upward, but I don't understand why as he is smaller than the horse it was used on before when it sat level? I made some holes in the tug straps to lower the tug and it sits better on him, but the tugs are quite low in order for it to be level. Is it ok for the tug to sit quite low?
The shafts are too long but they adjust so I've pulled him back so he's closer to the carriage, and the shaft comes just beyond his shoulder (not a long way, but a little) although they are quite wide apart around him and I wonder if they should sit closer to his sides/shoulders.
I'm mostly confused because I would imagine that on a bigger horse the carriage would tip back as the shafts would be higher, and on a narrower horse the shafts would be a lot wider, but on the 15.1 it sat really nicely and on my 14.2 it tips back :?. Does anyone have any suggestions why that might be happening? What am I doing wrong?!
Also, the loops to wrap the britching through on the shafts are on the inside, which is a little odd as on my other they are on the outside which I thought would make more sense so they don't risk poking the horse.
Thanks for any hints! I'm utterly baffled! :-)
Can you take some photos? I might be able to make better suggestions if I could see you hitched up.You are right, I would expect a smaller horse to no have the shafts be higher. It is ok to have the tugs on the lowers hole, but you made an even lower hole, and that is not to good, But I would have to see it.
Bottom line, love to help, but need photos.
I have had similar problems, so I understand!!!!
We were looking at a beautiful Harwood gig, in lovely condition, although it needed a paint job. I could not get it right on my horses. I don't think you are doing anything wrong. 3 inches is 3 inches. If you don't have that much play in your harness, then it won't level up. Perhaps their harness hung the shafts differently.
Most of my footman loops are on the inside of the shaft, but they always seem to be in the wrong spot(usually too far back) and I have to move them!! I have one old carriage with them underneath the shaft.
Best wishes with the new cart! Can we see pictures?
Funny, I have never seen footman's loops on the inside of the shafts.
All of mine are on the bottom of the shafts.
OP they are usually easy to move.
Thanks everyone, I will try and get some photos as soon as I can....currently one of the shafts won't go back in so I'll have to fiddle with it so can't hitch him up currently.
A bit of a daft question maybe, but the tug stops are always on the outside of the shaft, yes?
Yes, Tug stops are always on the outside of the shafts.
Could you have the shafts on backwards (opposite sides)if they are removable shafts?
OP, not all footman loops are on the outside, depending on the manufacturer of your cart, where you are, etc. they can be either on the inside or outside.
I have a nice village cart that the footman loops are on the inside. If you are comfortable with them there, then there really is not a reason for you to have to move them. It is what each person likes.
And welcome...picture's would be very helpful.
OP don't confuse Footman's loops, (what your holdback straps go through as they wrap around the shafts) with Tug stops (a knobby metal piece that helps stop the cart, sometimes used instead of breeching on minis and fine harness).
Apparently Footman's loops can be inside of shafts, I personally have never seen them there and would move them to the bottom of the shafts. I would not want anything poking into my horses side.
Tug stops, Never on the inside, always on the outside.
OP if you wish a photo of what my footman loops look like just let me know. We have never had a problem with ours "poking" my draft mare, but then again, my shafts were specifically made for a larger draft and they aren't where they would as they are more back toward the breeching.
Enjoy driving, be safe, ensure your driving horse is safe and secure, have someone who is knowledgeable with you to help you along, and always remember to smile!
hiya mogiebug if you could supply pictures that would be great and help solve your problems.
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