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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The paint is Hope my 4 year old mare. 34.5" I was just wondering if anyone saw anything I could have missed, since I am new to this. Do you think she'd be a good cart horse. The black is my 31.5 gelding, Duey. sorry about the dirt they decided to have a roll or two before I took their pictures, the weather is springlike here, so lots of mud in places.
 

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Oh my goodness!! They are just TO cute... And furry. I am not an expert at all at judging horses confo, but IMO, they seem to have pretty good conformation, besides being a little toed in on the front hooves. And yes, she looks like a pretty good cart prospect.
 

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They're very cute! However, if you don't mind me mentioning it- I believe your minis need a bit of a diet. They are both atleast 20 pounds overweight. I know that a bit of it is winter fuzz, but they definately have very excessive fat. As a fellow mini owner, I know its really hard to keep the weight off of them, especially in the winter- but extra weight is hard on miniatures joints and it can cause cushings, laminitis, and founder- all deadly diseases.

Now on to comformation. I like Hope. Her back is nice and short, and she has fair bone. I dont like how her neck ties into her withers and her withers seem a bit muttony, but this may just be because of her weight. Her legs to toe out but not terribly. Her back isn't as straight and well formed as I'd like, but that shortness is a good quality. Without the big belly, I also think that she might have a bit of a shallow heart girth, which may affect stamina. Developing a topline will help her a lot. All in all, sure. I think she could pull a cart. Whether she'll enjoy it or not is the question! Just get her in shape before you try anything strenuous. Her height is great for carting.

Duey- this guy has a few more faults. He has almost no defined chest and I dont like how his neck ties in to either the chest or the withers. How old is he? He's butt high. If he's Hopes age or younger that might go away, but otherwise it is counted as a fault as it makes him carry himself more on the forehand. Good front legs, and a very cute face!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Ok Thank you. I appreciate the input and actually have started to cut back on their calories. Thanks for the critic too. I noticed he isn't by any means close to being a "perfect" mini. He is Just a pasture mate for Hope. He'll be 2 the end of March. So he is a little young to critic I know, I just wanted to see what people had to say. Hope is 4, we'll start her when she's 5 for the cart. People say Duey looks like he has down syndrome.
 

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Only 2? Ah, then he has lots of growing to do! I was assuming that he was an adult. At two, theres still plenty of a chance for him to fill out. Many two year olds look very funky because 14-26 months tends to be their big growing time. Heck, my mare Sour looked worse than he did at that age and she's actually a quite lovely horse now!

I'm glad that you're going slow with Hope. A lot of people assume that since pulling a cart isn't as stressful on the back, that younger horses can do it- but they don't realize that it still puts a lot of stress on OTHER bones and muscles. I'mr waiting until my mare is well developed as well. She is 34" and will be four years old this April, and I plan to lightly start her with a cart this spring and summer.

Ofcourse, you can do prep work now! Sour has been trained to lunge lightly at a walk and trot, is learning to canter, wears all of her driving gear, wears a bridle, and is learning to ground drive. It makes things much easier later on!
 

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Hope looks a tad up hill to me might just be the pic, her front legs look straight to me.

I don't like Duey's shoulder, he is bum high which is normal for a two year old and I think he is slightly toed out on the front legs.

I might be completely wrong as I am used to looking at Shetlands conformation not miniatures and these are just my opinions.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Ok I am hoping he does fill out some, like I said before I just wanted others opions even if he is young.
We have put the harness on her last week to fit her and get her used to wearing it. She seems fine with it, even tried a bit of ground driving, and she took it really well, but the cart will wait until next year. I know she needs conditioning badly so when the weather gets a bit better, we'll be hitting the corral for some conditioning and ground driving.
I agree I got to help train some Miniatures to cart this past summer and it it a lot less stressful on horse and handler to take it slow. One of the mini's they had was rushed into it and it ended up with an upset cart and an injury to the poor little guy.
 

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Yeah, I just hate seeing horses that are rushed and ruined. Glad to hear that she took it so well!

My girl is very sensative so I've had a hard time getting her to accept pressure as a cue to turn with the bit- but we're getting there!
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks, yeah I still have a lot to learn but I know enough not to rush things. Hope is very good she has a soft mouth for the bit, you barely have to apply any pressure for her to turn.
 

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They're very cute! However, if you don't mind me mentioning it- I believe your minis need a bit of a diet. They are both atleast 20 pounds overweight. I know that a bit of it is winter fuzz, but they definately have very excessive fat. As a fellow mini owner, I know its really hard to keep the weight off of them, especially in the winter- but extra weight is hard on miniatures joints and it can cause cushings, laminitis, and founder- all deadly diseases.

Now on to comformation. I like Hope. Her back is nice and short, and she has fair bone. I dont like how her neck ties into her withers and her withers seem a bit muttony, but this may just be because of her weight. Her legs to toe out but not terribly. Her back isn't as straight and well formed as I'd like, but that shortness is a good quality. Without the big belly, I also think that she might have a bit of a shallow heart girth, which may affect stamina. Developing a topline will help her a lot. All in all, sure. I think she could pull a cart. Whether she'll enjoy it or not is the question! Just get her in shape before you try anything strenuous. Her height is great for carting.

Duey- this guy has a few more faults. He has almost no defined chest and I dont like how his neck ties in to either the chest or the withers. How old is he? He's butt high. If he's Hopes age or younger that might go away, but otherwise it is counted as a fault as it makes him carry himself more on the forehand. Good front legs, and a very cute face!
I agree with Endiku here on most but I do believe Duey is a little toed out on the front. Hope is slightly toe out on the front and is toed out on the back. I do not see anything here that would drop either one of these from being a cart horse, but wait until they are at least 3 before hooking them. I know the filly is older but the gelding needs at least another year. I typically start mine at 3, but we do light driving when we do drive. Once or twice a week at 15-20 minutes intervals on flat ground. We do ground drive for MILES though. I definitely get my walks in for the day with new driving horses.

Duey being butt high will most likely go away as he ages and grows. My 3 y/o is slightly butt high right now but his front is coming to match quickly. His chest will fill out with age and proper work.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I wasn't really planning on ever hooking Duey up. He is more just a pasture pet and fun to have around. Good to know, I like hearing about how different people train. I definitely wasn't going to start heavily driving Hope.
 
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