We have a small county that is rather rural. I mean we thought it was big time when we got a stop light and a burger King attached to the Chevron station. Anyhow one of the benifits of a small group is that feeling of family. Four years ago we started a 4-H driving group to get kids a taste of driving. Well the thing took a mind of it own. From the first year of 3 kids driving ponies and horses to now with kids with horses, ponies, mules in singles and pairs. The problem was we were low on harness, carts, and especially seasoned beginer ponies. Then fate struck.
I ran onto a gentleman who had fallen in love with the shetland hackney pony crosses. He had well over 30 head. Three were broke to drive, some were halter broke and most unhandled. I said he loved them not how to take care of them. He wanted to thin the herd drastically. He gelded the stallion a very well bred and nice moving hackney, and wanted to gift 10 to 15 head of youngsters to the 4-H program. We took 11 and of those 6 will make it to the fair this year with their kid trainers. Four were weanlings and are halter broke waiting and growing.
I was so proud of those 6 little bay ponies driving the ring heads up and moving like the hackney ponies they are. There has been some problems with getting kicked and stepped on but in the end the ponies have blossomed even more so have the kids.
Now for the problem, we are short 2 sets of single harness for the ponies of one family. The economy has tanked in this area like many others. The mother is working steady the father is a construction worker and works as often as he has projects. They have 3 girls in the driving with the new ponies. They have carts that dad built but only one harness. They have managed to get all 3 ponies broke with the one harness but to show at fair we need 3 at the same time. The other leader and I had parts and pieces to patch a safe but ugly harness together to get them started. So if any of you know of a couple of safe but not expensive harnesses that could be obtained by the first of August for these girls please let me know. These are good people working hard and trying to do right by their kids. The girls are 14, and twins that are 11. They work for a local farmer in exchange for a place to keep the ponies and hay to keep them fed. They also mow lawns to buy much of their own clothing and the like. Mom and dad are doing their best and would likely shoot me if they knew of this request. Please PM me if you know of any harness that will fit some 500 lb ish shetland hackney ponies. Safe is important but beyond that we are not picky. I can't promise you loads of money but I will promise hand written and sincere thank you notes with pictures of the harness on the ponies with the girls on the lines.
Cute ponies and nice story! Sorry I can't help -- I almost regret not buying a really nice used small pony harness I saw at the tack store a few months ago - it was very cheap and affordable but wouldn't fit my 40" pony. Hope they get what they need!
Thank you to you all for all the offers. I have tries to respond to all the messages. As of now with the the help that has been offered I think we will be able to get all the ponies and kids outfitted.
I am always amazed at the generosity of the driving people. Thank you all! LF