Naughty pony tried to do a 180. Would have been fine, had the "Heavy duty" spoked, solid rubber tire not smashed in as easy as bending a wire hanger.
I always felt like i could trust these things. They feel very sturdy and look heavy duty in person. I know the pic makes it look a bit wimpy, but it is the tougher spoked tire, not the cheap junk ones. Or so i thought, i'll call it a cheap piece of junk now!
Now the seat fell off because the driver, while falling out of it, caught their thumb on the arm rest and the wood brackets on either side of the leaf spring totally cracked in half, 3 of the 4 to be exact. This is an amish made oak cart, it is not that old, nor that used, it was $800 something new. I bought it because i didnt want the cheap "junk" but couldnt afford something high dollar, nor needed fancy...
If you read my other post of looking at getting a 4 wheel vehicle, i guess my cart must have been listening that i didnt like it and took revenge. $##%#
(Dont worry, Driver, Passenger, and Pony are all fine. Passenger did land on their head, thank goodness for helmets! Naughty pony stopped dead just a few feet after driver fell off and stood like a statue while i ran the 100 yards to get to him. Driver has a jammed thumb, but mostly a bruised ego... I told him he was so fat he broke my cart, No, he's not fat...)
So, expensive vehicle here i come. I'll never deal with "affordable yet not that cheap" again.
Last edited by butlerfamilyzoo; Apr. 4, 2010 at 10:37 PM.
wow, that's an impressive wreck! Very glad no-one was hurt!
Thanks for sharing!
PS -- I've seen a mini do a similar maneuvre in a very similar cart, and it had nothing like that kind of damage. In fact, no damage at all, except to driver's ego. I'm having a hard time imagining what forces would have caused the cart to splinter that way -- was the pony going very fast?
Pony was cantering, laughing driver was paying attention to the laughing, bouncing passenger and not giving pony 110% attention, pony took advantage... Driver had it coming and has been lectured, but is now so scared, i dont know if i'll ever get him to drive again.
He had just started to canter with him, only straight lines. Pony is a good boy (normally), but he's a pony and knew exactly what he was going to do, he just didnt count on the cart falling to bits.
Driver was sitting on the inside of the turn, the most weight was on the inside, and it wasnt THAT sharp of a turn, i dont think it would have flipped with the weight on the inside. How on earth the outside tire smashed in, i dont know. If i hadnt of seen it happen, i dont think i would have believed it. It was like watching it in slow motion. Pony started to turn, cart dropped to the ground on the left, passenger popped out, Driver slid down the seat, caught his thumb, and poof, Driver and seat flip off the side, pony stops dead with sheepish look on his face...
I'll never own another cart like this, and i'll never recommend one to anyone, i dont care who made it and how heavy duty they claim. What if you were doing cones and it did this? And i do play with cones at home, i've done turns like this! Maybe with a little more finess...
I'm of the opinion that this ought to be somewhere as a sticky to serve to remind folks what can so easily go wrong with a poorly manufactured vehicle that's wholly inappropriately constructed.
By the way though, it's not the tyres that were the problem.
I've posted so often on this forum about the problem with axles on this sort of exercise vehicle. They're not designed to withstand the sort of force that they do when put behind a horse. They break!
Having said that the whole construction on that one is poor quality. I'm gob-smacked at the fixings! Amazes me that someone has seen fit to allow you and your horses life to depend on a few wood screws and bolts!
I'd be inclined to suggest you go back to the manufacturer and check if they've got public liability or product indemnity insurance.... not necessarily to do anything about it... just to scare the sh** out of them and make them realise that you really shouldn't manufacture and sell crap!
What a wreck! I'm glad there wasn't a ditch around and that you're all ok.
I was going to buy a cart just like that one, but with wooden wheels. I don't know if it would have made any difference. I spoke to someone who owns a carriage shop and she steered me away from that design, citing safety. I didn't understand it then, but I do now, and I thank Claudette for her candor.
Don;t count out a 2 wheel cart in favor of a 4 wheel vehicle as being more safe. They can and do turn over. You must consider the turning radius of one--marathon carriages have 5th wheels to allow the front wheels to turn more than 90 degrees. One can turn a carriage like this in less than its length. The wagons and pretty buggies don;t always have that sort of arrangement. A friend had a spring wagon years ago that took almost a football field to turn around.
And YIP--wooden wheels I doubt would have caused a situation like this. One of the manuvers I was trained in early on involves pivoting with a wheel planted in a 3 ft circle. Thin wood wheels do this better than pneumatic tires.
I would like to request that you change the title of the thread. In your first post you said the tires had no air, so they are not pnuematic. Air tires had no influence in the problem.
My suggestion would be to use somthing about "Cursed Wire Spoke Wheels#*@#!!" as a title. Still attention getting, and more in the direction of the true problem in wheels. Looking at the photos, hubs are on the axles. Wire spokes failed. Even with much heavier wire spokes than bicycle tires, they CAN'T withstand the forces of the cart in motion. They tried hard, but were not up to the strain, especially sideways strain like a 180*.
Also very sorry the Driver was thrown, which had to add to the problem. Again, construction was not up to the weight of momentum forces of sideways. Glad he was not seriously hurt.
If helmet took a whack, it needs replacing. The inside probably used up the protection with the impact. If helmet is needed again for an impact, protection is greatly lessened or gone. Be sure to check manufacture date inside the helmet. Helmet is ONLY recommended to use for 5years from that date, then replaced again. Plastics deteriorate, so makers say only good for 5 years, unless helmet takes an impact, when it should be replaced.
Approved Safety helmets ALL require a manufacture date inside, when that helmet was made. Lots of OLD helmets for sale, beyond their age dates while still new in the box. You do NOT want one of them to be protecting you or your family in an accident. Get a good fit, snug and comfortable so you find them easy to wear. We like the Dial Fit suspension insides, really comfortable.
Cartfall covered motorcycle wheels, a different class of wheel. Motorcycle wheels are TRUE pnuematic tires, they contain air in most cases. They seem to manage the strain pretty well, both forward and sideways on the carts.
Sorry Goodhors, i'll change the title. I was told these were "pneumatic" tires, i did not know that meant they must have air, i thought that was just the name for a spoked tire. These are solid rubber, so there is no air.
We were just looking at replacing the tires with motorcyle tires, if you read my "moving up to 4 wheels" thread and the issues with this cart feeling like it's tipping back. Too bad we didnt fix that asap. I'm not sure that the wood seat brackets would have survived a sideways twist like this regardless of different tires.
These were sold to me as "heavy duty," and i've sure seen worse on a cart, so i thought i was getting a better quality tire. Yes, your photos show absolutely 100% heavy duty! We have learned our lesson here. I hope others learn from our mistake!
Helmet was only 3 weeks old and has been tossed. We are religious about helmets (well my husband isnt because he claims nothing fits him right and gives him headaches, it is a battle i can not win even after 10yrs of nagging and threats, though after CKD's accident he is at least LOOKING at buying a helmet). But for myself and my son, helmets are a MUST, and we actually replace them every 2yrs because they live in the heat and that deteriorates them even quicker.
I have tracked down the manufacturer and have put in a compaint. I purchased it from a dealer, so i dont know if anything will come of my complaint, but at least maybe seeing the pics of this wreck will make them think twice before constructing similar carts in the future.
PA, where the State motto is: "If it makes sense, we don't do it!".
In my opinion it's grossly overpriced at $800!
I agree! What a hunk of junk.... I'm glad everyone is okay--that, in itself is a minor miracle!
Do you still have all of it? I'd hold onto it and I hope to see you on the Judge Judy or Judge Pirro's court show....
Really, do you think just admonishing them will stop them from continuing to make or sell those carts??? Think again. Unless they are held accountable for that junk they will continue to make them and, unfortunately, there will be people who will buy them! Personally, I would want my money back.... You could use $800. towards a new vehicle, right??? I'd be taking these people to small claims court if they didn't refund my money--pronto!
Just to expand on what others went on to further explain or said.
Pneumatic tyres in themselves aren't a problem at all. I personally don't like the look of them and would ordinarily advise folks to get traditional cab tyre and particularly if they're on a limited budget and intend to do any showing at all or if it's for a small pony. (too much drag off road!)
However I make carriages with them and my own carriages have easily interchangeable wheels and I've used nothing but pneumatics when I've driven for the past couple of months and because of the condition of the ground over here right now.
However mine are really good wheel axles and hubs. This is the one I've using most of the time now and I've also got a 2 wheeler with very wide pneumatic tyres on car axles and hubs that is virtually the same:
There's absolutely no comparison between say what your vehicle was and mine or even the good quality exercise vehicle that Cartfall illustrated. That one is a genuine everyday vehicle and altogether better quality construction and well manufactured and engineered. It's designed and built as a horse drawn vehicle for every day use and that's what I'm confident Cartfall will be able to do with it.
The main thing wrong with yours aside from the weak axles and wire spokes was the fact that it's just VERY flimsy fittings. You've some cheap wood and cheap wood screws and bolts just fixing on to a very very simple metal spring and at points whereby if there's any twist or pressure at all something has got to give and at the weakest point. That's not going to be the metal spring but rather it will twist purely because of the way it's fixed with 2 bolts central and direct into the wood and with the wood cambered down then it's that which will inevitably break. There's your stress point! It actually would have been better with block suspension rather than those ineffective springs.
I've put a couple of postings about choosing vehicles in the sticky FAQ's at the top of the driving threads. Have a read there and particularly 2 wheels versus 4 wheels. Trust me, accidents with 4 wheels are easier for novices! Particularly if the driver doesn't know how to do a 180 degree turn on the haunches with a carriage pivot. Also there's a lot more work for a small pony with 4 wheels. I don't remember the size of your pony but personally speaking I'd not recommend 4 wheels for anything 12.2 or less.
The best advice you can have though is to do some detailed research and talk to as many genuinely experienced competent proven drivers (I don't just mean time served!). If you can be clear about what you will eventually want to do then all the better and if you're a little uncertain now then it's entirely possible to buy a vehicle that will adapt as multi-purpose and even multi-size.... though of course you pay for the privilege. If the cost of new frightens the pants of you then seriously consider buying 2nd hand from a reputable source.
Best to save as much as you can and be prepared to invest in a minimum of $2,000 in a 2 wheeler or $4,000 for a 4 wheeler. You most likely would get something easily within that range and with some left over, particularly if you buy second hand but don't let your budget restrict you or force you into making a poor buying decision. I'm sure that Cartfall can tell you what the basic exercise vehicle on pneumatics cost. Here that would be well within what I've suggested. But you'd not be able to use it for showing.
Learn from the mistake of this experience.
However I alluded that the tyres weren't the cause of the problem in my first posting and if you really want to learn then you have to consider a lot more than the carriage you buy. It was this that smacked me between the eyes when I first read your posting.
Driver had it coming and has been lectured, but is now so scared, i dont know if i'll ever get him to drive again.
So .... Other advice..... novice drivers should not be cantering without strict supervision of an experienced driver.
Were you giving a lesson?!? Or allowing someone to "have a go" and perpetuating and passing on lack of knowledge and experience?
Yes I know that's a killer question!
Consider it carefully!
A driver shouldn't be cantering at all until they know how to have a balanced seat (yes in driving!), how to manoevre and keep the balance of the vehicle and the wheels on the ground and how to do tight turns to avoid a tip up. You need to know that when you do a particularly tight turn say at an obstacle then you should put weight on the side of the turn. But the reason why the carriage failed is not because of that. It's because of the construction. I also don't know the weights of your driver and passengers. But truthfully 2 people in that? With just a pony??!!!! With that vehicle!??? I hope they were very small and lightweight adults!
Though I seem to recall you may have posted previously about this vehicle and the fact that even with one person in it that it was tipped back and unbalanced.
I'm actually thinking that in the circumstances that you're VERY lucky the vehicle failed because otherwise you both could have had the pony hit the deck and be seriously injured.
No apologies for considering the pony rather than the driver and passenger.
Equines tend to lack choice and their opinions too often aren't taken into consideration when owners decide to do something not in their interests! Do remember that to the pony it makes no difference if you damage or hurt it due to intent or ignorance!
When there's 2 on the vehicle and there's a novice driver under instruction then the person who is experienced has to be able to take the reins and to take control whenever it's necessary. If a novice isn't listening to what they're being told to do ("being lectured?") or doesn't understand what they should and shouldn't do then the competent person takes over. End of!
So the driver is now scared... I don't blame him. They've had a very hard lesson. Sounds to me like they've been put into a situation where they thought they were just having some fun with a pony and found out the hard way that what they were doing was an intrinsically high risk activity with poor equipment and inadequate supervision.
They've had a lucky escape. So has the pony!
Now I act as an independent witness over here and for the likes of insurance claims and court cases and I assess such as the vehicle for operational suitability, training and competence of drivers, quality of supervision, training and suitability of horses, harness suitability and fit.
In my opinion from what I've read the root cause here was driver error. If the driver isn't experienced and competent and is a novice "having a go" or under supervision then the owner or person supervising is the root cause.
Carriage construction is only the secondary contributory factor.
The fact that the carriage failed actually was a good thing when everything is properly considered.
So my opinion may well surprise those regulars who know that I always curse the use of wire spoked tyres. The title of the thread is wrong. It should be titled "Driving gone wrong" or "Preventable accident"
Yes thomas you are correct. It was MY fault, and i'm very thankful no one was hurt. I drove mostly as a kid. I'm coming back into and had a few lessons with this pony's trainer before he came home. "I" feel confident, i work figures, road drive, walk/trot/canter, etc... I know it's different, but i'm also 3rd level dressage and i feel that has helped with my feel on the reins and to judge the balance of the pony, so i had a slight advantage there.
My husband could probably manage a training level dressage test but it wouldnt be pretty. I have been helping him from the ground to learn how to drive, he ground drove first. No, we can not both be on the cart for this pony, so i was not there to grab the reins. I was, however, yelling for him to slow down and pay attention just before pony turned, and may have caused pony to turn as he heard me and turned right to me. My husband has been doing figures and this was his third time cantering, but i've only let him do straight lines in his canter. Technically, he was not supposed to be cantering at all as my son was on board, but pony is a "go-go" type and broke into an easy canter on his own so my husband went with it.
So no, it was not two adults, it was an adult and a kid. Adult was looking at kid, kid looking at adult, both bouncing and laughing, adult was not focused on pony, pony turned, cart fell apart, riders fell out.
We have learned from our mistake. I'm not jumping into buying a new vehicle at all, i've been searching before this one broke as to what we should be getting. I do not show, would love to, but do not feel qualified to do so. We just pleasure drive in the yard and take a little walk/jog around town. Yard and roads are flat, maybe a slight incline here and there, but it is nothing difficult for pony. He is 37" tall btw, so yes, a 4 wheel cart is probably out, though i have found a marathon cart that says it could go with a single mini by a very reputable company. I dont know that i'll go that route, i dont know that i need to invest 4k in something to pleasure drive with. These are all questions still going around in my head, but i'm 100% looking at construction now, i was only looking for better wheels and a seat that wouldnt give me a tipped back feeling as this one did before.
We have a great lack of good instructors in the US that might actually live near you. Unfortunately, we are not a small country like yours where you can find everything you want not too far away. This pony's trainer was 4hrs from me, that isnt really a trip you make often for lessons. We did it a couple times and that is all i could do. Now, we do start lessons today actually with Muffy Seaton and i'm really excited to pick her brain. But even she is almost a 2hr drive for us one way. So this will not be something i can schedule in that often due to work schedules. I know she has several minis though and can help me out with carts/carriages and such. I'm going to her because i really want to learn how to drive a team. Just a dream of mine. That is not something i would take on without serious professional help.
We are all very lucky in this wreck. I'll leave the title as is, yes, there was driver error, and my error for letting driver do what he did. But as most the women here can understand, men dont tend to listen to their wives with both ears... Unbelievably lucky that pony came out of it un-injured and no trauma. What i want people to see of this accident is a very popular cart style in the US that is available everywhere and how it wont hold up to a fairly minor, typical naughty pony scenario.
I will not state the maker of the cart until i hear back from them. I do not want to pull their business through the mud if they will make an effort to rectify the situation. However, i did not buy the cart direct from the maker and have found that this cart could have been bought for $425 plus $125 shipping. So it was marked up quite a bit and sold to me.
Another admonition is shown to be accurate...No Wire Wheels when driving. Wire wheels are not designed to deal with lateral stress, they break.
My big Kuhnle marathon carriage had pneumatic tires (BF Goodrich Silvertown 32" & 34" tires made for antique cars). Couldn't compete with them, had to put on the solids for shows, but the pneumatics worked great everywhere else.
The cart's seat sure didn't look all that solidly built/designed.
We all have had a tumble out of a cart or carriage at some time. Anyone who has never tipped over or had some sort of wreck is prevaricating big time!!!
Learn from it, but don;t beat yourself up. These things happen. The cart was obviously inferior in construction. Just be glad all were okay.
My name says it all--I have had some horrific tumbles. Almost lost my mare Looker, Zanzer's mama due my own stupidity. Today I try to always be safe and still things will jump out and get ya.
So good luck and I hope hubby drives again. There was a time I wanted to drive so badly but would hyperventilate everytime I got in the cart. This was after a really really bad wreck. Sometimes it just takes getting back in back in back in.
butlerfamilyzoo -- sorry that this happened to your family. Despite the ego bruising, you were willing to share, with great photo illustration, the kind of mistake that casual drivers make all the time when choosing a vehicle. It's the kind of lesson that we all hope others can learn in some other way than living it!
I am thrilled that your husband, son, and pony are all safe!
I also admire you guts in showing what happened.
I have driven for years and once I got a wooden wheeled cart, I never looked back. However, I have had to simply do my mule imitation when it comes to getting another cart. There is so much junk out there!
You've given me great ammunition ... and I really appreciate it! I now have proof of why I'm so cautious about carts and harness.
You CAN find good quality used carts. Every cart I've owned has been used from viceroys to my "bum around" trail carts. Keep your ear to the ground and you'll find something great to drive. Just don't get impatient.
Again, thank you for posting this ... it may help prevent this from happening to others.
The other female in my husband's life has four legs
I looked at a Pacific mini cart today and LOVED it. Talk about well made! Such a difference! It made my broken piece of junk look like it was dragged out of the garbage dump.
However, i had a lesson driving my first team today in a marathon carriage (i do not recall the maker) and really liked the feel of it. I MUCH preferred it to a cart. Of course, i dont know that i could find a mini marathon cart light enough for a large single mini. Supposedly a puddle jumper can, but they run up in the 4-5k range and i just dont know if i want to fork that out to drive around town.
I'm not jumping into anything. I did get to look at several carts/carriages today in person and got a good idea of what i want. There is the Perry GA auction coming up in May. Maybe i can find a good mini vehicle there.
Now, what i would LOVE, since i had a blast driving a team today, i need to find myself another bay roan large mini and get myself a nice marathon carriage and MAYBE get myself confident enough to compete.
Off to hunt down a bay roan mini. Might take me a couple years...
I'm perfectly fine posting this post and getting beat up over the error of the humans involved. However, i still think this is a much needed lesson to all the newbies that get on here looking for CHEAP and end up with garbage. I know, i was one of them! If i had seen pics like this, i wouldnt have touched a cart like this with a 20ft pole! So for the safety of the humans/ponies involved, please dont purchase vehicles like this!