Is the Chick's catalog "Tough - 1" harness completely awful ? New to the driving world but know enough from other disciplines not to buy cheap tack. All I'm looking for is an entry level harness to break my pony in and see if we both like the sport enough to invest in better stuff later. Would love to find quality used pony harness but haven't had any luck. (Anyone selling - pm me). They also sell just the blinkered bridle, same brand, would that be good idea to work her in thru the early stages or will regular bridle suffice ? How early should she get accustomed to the blinkers ? Appreciate the advice !
Yes, it looks pretty much completely awful. I would not spend a dime on it.
I would invest in quality used tack rather than try to low-buck it with something like this or the stuff from India that you'll find on ebay. Have you tried putting a want ad on carriage driving classifieds on FB or on the CD-L mailing list?
What size pony is she? What kind of vehicle do you have- or envision getting?
The straps are thin, not supportive- hard on skin/hair likely weak and break/tear easily. The hardware alone should be costing more than that whole harness does- so I have serious doubts about the strength of any buckle or ring used. The saddle is super narrow and wouldn't support a cart comfortably- but if you were using a 4 wheel vehicle- well then the breastplate (and it's a stretch to even call it a "plate" because it's about as wide as a thong...) would be so hard on the shoulders. I think a pony would learn to hate driving in very short order.
Also the overcheck bridle is not the type of bridle most people want- although it's usually removable... you might want a sidecheck (I'm saying it's not all or nothing- you may want a check- just not an overcheck- so you'd want to shop for a bridle that would be set up for that option)