Cart Safety - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 48 Old 03-02-2020, 07:32 AM Thread Starter
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Cart Safety

Is there such a thing as some sort of automatic break away that would release a horse if a cart was in an accident or the horse bolted? Particularly if the occupant was thrown from the cart?


I'm assuming probably not but decided to ask those familiar and experienced in driving.


Hillclimb competitors on motorcycles have a kill cord attached to them that shuts down the engine if they happen to be thrown off the motorcycles. That's what got me to wondering about horse drawn carts.
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post #2 of 48 Old 03-02-2020, 07:52 AM
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Not as far as I know!

The horse is attached to the shafts with leather straps through metal hooks, to break free would involve being able to release both these straps. .

If, somehow there was a 'quick release' on the metal on the shafts then chances are they could come free as the horse pulled.
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post #3 of 48 Old 03-02-2020, 09:04 AM
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Nope! Some carts have an "emergency" brake, but that is really only used for going downhill so the breeching doesn't put all the weight of the carriage onto the horse. That's about all the safety that most carts have built in.
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post #4 of 48 Old 03-02-2020, 09:32 AM Thread Starter
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Are simple one horse carts ever attached using a single tree?
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post #5 of 48 Old 03-02-2020, 09:42 AM Thread Starter
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Found this. Ever see this setup?


single tree.jpg




Edit: What are the back loops?
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post #6 of 48 Old 03-02-2020, 09:46 AM
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Nope! I know from first hand experience. I called it The Big Splat. Horse went left, I went right and got dumped out. He went around twice on his own still pulling the easy exit Ö ooops, meant easy entry, and stopped. We havenít driven since, and that was going on 4 years ago, but I think this summer I might finally get back into it.

Lessons learned Ö have a wedge seat if driving alone. And I was glad I was wearing my helmet and that I had my phone on me because I ended up breaking my leg falling 32Ē onto sand, mustíve been the angle. And thank goodness I always lock the arena gate.

Quote:
Are simple one horse carts ever attached using a single tree?
Usually always in my experience. I think my friendís marathon carriage has a singletree. My easyexit cart does.
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post #7 of 48 Old 03-02-2020, 09:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hondo View Post
Found this. Ever see this setup?


Attachment 1005593




Edit: What are the back loops?
Footmans loops. You run your holdback strap through that, and wrap those back around the shaft.
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post #8 of 48 Old 03-02-2020, 10:14 AM Thread Starter
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CaliforniaDreaming What brand is your easyexit?


Hmm, so even if the single tree had an emergency release the holdback straps would still be attached and pulling?


I'm thinking of a setup similar to this but for one horse. I have plans to only walk.




forecart.jpg
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post #9 of 48 Old 03-02-2020, 10:33 AM
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CaliforniaDreaming What brand is your easyexit?


Hmm, so even if the single tree had an emergency release the holdback straps would still be attached and pulling?


I'm thinking of a setup similar to this but for one horse. I have plans to only walk.




Attachment 1005595

Kingston brand. Itís basically the typical cheapish easy entry cart on the market. I just upgraded to better wheels and stuff. I couldnít really afford a Frey or Wagner at the time (still canít, really).

Yep, pretty much. I know that some marathon single trees have loops instead of hooks where you can put quick release buckles on the end of the traces instead of putting the slots over the singletree hook (but thatís mainly for ease of hitching up rather than safety or breakaway ability). The holdbacks will keep the cart attached to the breeching.

Never driven a Forecart myself, but I know they have shafts for singles.
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post #10 of 48 Old 03-02-2020, 12:02 PM
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Quote:
"Hmm, so even if the single tree had an emergency release the holdback straps would still be attached and pulling?


I'm thinking of a setup similar to this but for one horse. I have plans to only walk."



Hondo, while a lot of people use forecarts for recreational driving, they are basically intended as a means to attach modern agricultural implements with a team or single. The great drawback of using a forecart is that the balance of the vehicle is stablized by the weight of the implement. Without an implement as a counterweight, the weight across the horse's back can be tremendous.

If you are putting your toe in the driving water to test it, you might want to do some considerable research. I know how tenaciously you seek out information and understanding a bit about the mechanics of driving equipment will put you in a much safer place when selecting those first pieces of equipment. You can go to the Carriage Association of America, www.caaonline.com and visit their bookstore (I even have a book there called "Understanding Harness"), or The American Driving Society (don't know their addy). Even your question about an emergency release shows you're thinking ahead about safety. The ADS site may list driving clubs in your area that offer introduction-to-driving clinics.

A lot of how-to books put the horse (training) before the cart (understanding the equipment) and I feel that may perhaps lead to less than optimal decisions when selecting vehicle and harness, which need to compliment each other. Needless to say, one of the best ways to avoid trouble is having a horse that is comfortable in its work environment.
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