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Hello everyone!
First off, I apologize if my question has already been answered in previous forums. I have done my best to search the internet for answers and haven’t found a specific answer as for what style of driving harness I should purchase for the carts and horse I am driving.
First, the horse I am driving is a 17hh quarter horse. He is a well built and stocky but not quite as beefy as a draft horse. I am looking for a harness that can be used on two different carts. One is a two wheel meadow brook cart and the other is a heavier four wheeled vis a vis carriage. In the research I have done it looks like most people would use a breast strap to pull the meadow brook and a full collar for the vis a vis. This is due to the meadow brook shafts being in line with his body versus the larger carriage shafts that angle down towards his hocks. My main goal is to find a harness that places the horses comfort above all else but I think purchasing two separate harnesses for the two different carts is pricey and impractical. Is there one style (breast strap, full collar, euro collar) that would work well for both of these carts? Additionally, is it possible to switch these parts out on a main harness. For example I would have one bridle, saddle and breeching strap but a breast strap and a collar that can be interchanged out of that set depending on the job. I hope I have been clear and concise enough to define what exactly I am asking. I appreciate any and all response and just ask you keep in mind I am still learning.
Thank you!
 

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We used collar style for both. It was a long time before I got a breast strap for a single.
The harness can be adjusted for the shafts.
 

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The information you have is correct. You can read why in a booklet published by The Carriage Assn. of America (authored by me), called "Understanding Harness" www.caaonline.com. A breast collar with the Vis a Vis will pull down heavily across the top of the neck via the neckstrap, and can cause pain and injury. A carriage type neck collar on the meadowbrook will pull the bottom of the collar up into the horse's throat and place concentrated pressure where the traces attach to the hames (draft people have a way around this but imo it's not optimal for carriage driving). You can buy a breast collar carriage harness with buckle-in traces, and a neck collar with hames equipped with "short tugs" into which your traces can buckle. So you don't have two different harnesses, just two different collar setups. Someone will try to sell you on "Euro collars" but they are just glorified versions of breast collars.
 

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Yep. Never owned harness for a light horse. Only drafts. The harness had adjustments depending on what you were pulling. We used ours for logging and farm equipment as well.

If your harness is not set up for making those adjustments then what dogpatch replied makes sense.
 
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