Sleigh shafts - The Horse Forum
  • 3 Post By wildfilly1012
  • 3 Post By greentree
  • 4 Post By LoriF
  • 3 Post By wildfilly1012
  • 2 Post By SueC
  • 1 Post By dogpatch
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post #1 of 6 Old 01-22-2019, 10:17 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2019
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Sleigh shafts

I inherited a sleigh. It has Shetland pony sized shafts on it. They are 56" in length. I was wondering if it's possible to switch it to cob sized shafts, or is it better left alone?
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post #2 of 6 Old 01-22-2019, 05:06 PM
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That is darling!!

The bigger problem (than the shaft width and length) is the angle of draft. The shafts are attached at pony height, and if you hitch a taller animal to it, the horse or pony is going to pull the front of the sleigh off the ground.

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post #3 of 6 Old 01-22-2019, 08:00 PM
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Looks like you'll have to get a pony now.

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post #4 of 6 Old 01-28-2019, 06:17 AM Thread Starter
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Ya, I have come to that conclusion lol. I don't want to have to change the skis and the shafts. Looks like I'll have to go to the Topeka sale in March!
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post #5 of 6 Old 02-10-2019, 02:59 AM
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Originally Posted by LoriF View Post
Looks like you'll have to get a pony now.
Or a donkey.

Or a goat!

See also here:
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post #6 of 6 Old 02-10-2019, 12:14 PM
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I believe your little sleigh is modern, and perhaps the maker didn't quite plan for perfect drafT anyway. If memory serves you should be able to draw an imaginary line along the traces, through the singletree, and have it reach the ground at the back of the runners. So aside from the height of the horse, you have options as to singletree height according to the design of the shafts. There are perfectly straight shafts, which would be the lowest singletree height. Sleigh shafts typically have a low heel (bend) at the back, for a slightly elevated singletree. There is an "S Bend heel that raises the draft higher yet, and finally a buggy style single bend heel shaft that would raise the draft (traces) to nearly horizontal. Also, how close you hitch to the sleigh will affect the draft. Getting the draft right will impact how the sleigh runs, and also make easier work for the horse.

Your other concern is width at the back of the shafts.
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