riding a horse while pulling a cart - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 13 Old 09-24-2020, 01:47 PM Thread Starter
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riding a horse while pulling a cart

Hopefully horse tack and equipment is the correct sub-forum.


I'm wondering if anyone, anywhere, ever rides a horse while pulling a small cart. Have came up with nothing on the net using a variation of search titles.


I'm just thinking of a small cart with a light load and riding as normal in a saddle. The rigging shouldn't be all that complicated I wouldn't think if the load was very light but too much for the horse to carry on it's back along with rider.


Thanks for any info.

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post #2 of 13 Old 09-24-2020, 01:59 PM
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I'd imagine it wouldn't be too different that those that skijor - I've ridden my horse while pulling my siblings on a sled behind.

I'm not sure how the rigging would be created, and I know very little about normal rigging, but I would bet that rings of some sort could be attached to the latigo on either side. I bet you could even get into custom leather work to get something made up a different way - again, I have no idea!

Following, because I'm interested in what you decide - as long as you can minimize disaster in the event of an emergency, I don't see a reason why not to try.
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post #3 of 13 Old 09-24-2020, 02:21 PM
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The British royalty has a carriage that a rider sits on the off lead horse.

In countries where horses and burros pull carts, there is frequently a rider on the horse or burrow, leaving more room in the cart or wagon for goods.

People who still use horses for farming tend to hop on one of the horses on the way home. Whether they are pulling an implement or not. It's more comfortable.
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post #4 of 13 Old 09-24-2020, 02:26 PM
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If you search for Kings Troop Royal Horse Artillery, they also pull while riding.


ETA: https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/art...wich-Park.html
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Last edited by Caledonian; 09-24-2020 at 02:31 PM.
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post #5 of 13 Old 09-24-2020, 03:07 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the pics! Pretty cool.


But I was actually thinking of something not quite so elaborate.


I was musing along the lines of riding 7 miles into town for groceries and mail and returning with same with one horse. Too much to carry on the horse for bulk and perhaps weight, but then I remembered pictures of American Indians riding while dragging two poles with cargo, so I thought, why couldn't this be done with a light bicycle type cart. Searched but nothing found.


Sounds like a good project to keep me outta the bars at night! :)jk

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post #6 of 13 Old 09-25-2020, 02:56 AM
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When a horse is pulling and being ridden the harness is usually anbreast plate rather than a collar and the traces fix to the cart rather than the cart having shafts.

Looking at pictures of the Kings Troop with the horses harnessed in teams, there does appear to be a short pole from the gun carriage to the first pair. There needs to be some form of brake for the cart to stop it running into the horse.
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post #7 of 13 Old 09-25-2020, 09:09 AM Thread Starter
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Good tip. I guess the design could include poles to the breeching strap for brakes and traces for pulling. I'm surprised no one seems to have done what I'm thinking of. It seems it would be useful for some applications.
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post #8 of 13 Old 09-25-2020, 09:23 AM Thread Starter
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The brake poles could be attached to the cart via a pivot with bearings similar to the head of the fork on a bicycle. That way if the horse suddenly pivoted to the side the poles would not impact against his hip. That would leave the hips free to swing side to side also.


There is an old bicycle out back that was here when I moved and I have a welder and some spare metal. Only thing in the way is time and initiative since I already have a saddle breeching setup. Would need traces and a chest strap also I reckon.
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post #9 of 13 Old 09-25-2020, 10:44 AM
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If I'm not mistaken Hondo you don't want the hips to swing side to side...nor for the horse to bend in the middle but turn as a "log" unit otherwise the horse truly could become entangled in harness and conveyance being pulled.
Horses truly trained to pull move left or right by crossing over their feet and legs, not bending in the middle.

What you describe wanting to do is today still used here and around the world in military funerals.
From single horse to many horses...
It is also done in pomp and circumstance royal engagements in many countries overseas with best known and seen being Great Britain {England} with the Queens Guard and their exquisite horses on parade.

From a fine harness with breast collar appearance to heavy harness with collar and hames style it will totally depend upon what it is you design, buy, find or think your horse will be successful in pulling around.
All those harnesses will have breeching {butt straps} and must have traces...
Gas pedal {traces} and brakes {breeching} are integral parts of moving a movable conveyance safely.
Whether you use driving shafts {single pull}, a pole {often for team} or if you get into 4-inhand or more then it gets more complicated how short or long the "tree" is needed to attach horse{s} to to pull straight and even.
Even if you not use the tree, you need to fashion something for the traces aka tugs to hook to or no go..

I drove a team but also could drive them singly...they still moved as a log and crossed over not bent in the middle...if I went to yield them from the ground...they moved as a log appearance with no bend to the shoulder, rib or hip.
We could do a incredible yield/half-pass across a ring...
These were trained pulling horses though so this was their job, they did well.
We could pull anything from a plow to a trolley car {think Disney Parks}...
We did exhibitions with them along with some competition stuff.
It was difficult for the horses to plow a field cause plowing horses are taught to walk in the furrow special and my team did not quite understand it...my plowed field never had straight rows, but it was fun to try.


But a driven horse should never bend in the middle when hitched, only cross-over and side-pass or yield to remain safe from entanglement...
Riding horses do not always understand the sudden restriction felt when they only know to move their ribcage to turn/bend and suddenly they can not....serious driving technique needs accomplished and taught for all participants to be safe.
Watch some of the videos of the Budweiser horses pulling their wagon and notice how they step over never bend whether it is the full hitch or just the 2 closest to the wagon...especially watch the wreck and tangling, the extrication of each animal and the team literally walked away unscathed but hitch pole destroyed because one horse got tangled in a strap come loose...enormous catastrophe it could of been.

Enjoy your project in progress.
...
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post #10 of 13 Old 09-25-2020, 02:54 PM
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I suppose the shafts could be short and fix to the breaching straps thus not interfering with the rider's legs.

Certainly they should never be high enough to go anywhere near the horse's hips.
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