The Chronicle of the Horse
MagazineNewsHorse SportsHorse CareCOTH StoreVoicesThe Chronicle UntackedDirectoriesMarketplaceDates & Results
 
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 24
  1. #1
    mrrosey Guest

    Default Choosing a cart

    I'm new to the forum and would like some thoughts concerning choosing a cart. I have driven a quarter horse and a pacer 20 years ago. I always drove a medowbrook back then. In the past 20 years I drove many mini's in pleasure carts.

    A month ago I started driving a 8 year old 13.1 h hackney. I am using a sulky type Jerald cart but would like to purchase a cart for pleasure driving. Most of my driving will be off road on gravel and grass. We do a lot of trail driving with our mini's.

    I want a cart that fits two adults COMFORTABLY. I want to maximize my horse's comfort as well. The choices since I last purchased my medowbrook (sold years ago) have really increased. I think i want a metal cart. Also would like thoughts on the type of wheels.

    The main use will be pleasure driving. I am not planning to take this horse to a show. There are many brands out there. I am hoping you can help me narrow the search.



  2. #2

    Default

    Celine has a selection of pony carts:

    http://www.carriagedrivingessentials...ategory_id=138

    For starters the Metal Easy Entry Cart (page 2) is cheap! And works perfectly for what you are doing. I have had one for 10 years (I think everyone has had one)and it's in the same condition as it was when I bought it, despite having been left outside. Any welder can do modifications. They are LIGHT!! The tires/wheels are great for offroading. It will fit in the back of your truck, shafts are removable so you can literally take it just about anywhere. But it is nothing fancy, not for shows. And when you are ready for something more you won't regret the money you spent because they are so worth the low price. And you can sell one of these on craigslist or trade with someone & it's easy to do because of the price- not like trying to sell a higher priced vehicle.



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun. 28, 2003
    Posts
    4,411

    Default

    Well, a lot of people call them "death traps" but I LOVE LOVE LOVE my meadowbrook style marathon/training cart
    It is rear entry with flip up seat for access, seats two very comfortably, large wooden wheels roll over anything (just about)
    My knees are a disaster but I can still get into this cart - a lot of other 2-wheels I couldnt climb into - too high a step

    for metal carts - you start with the basic "frontier EZ entry" metal pipe cart
    these can be great for starters as long as you are definitely going to be conservative in your XC driving. IMO they are particularly better for minis and ponies. When you get into horse sizes, the bulk and weight of the horse can overwhelm the weight of the metal construction and - in a pinch - they are more likely to fail on you as the horse can cause the metal (particularly shafts) to just pretzel
    [Ask me how I know this - haha]
    Those carts run about$800 now

    Most of the Amish type wooden road carts run between $1000 and $2500 if you arent getting all the fancy stuff

    from what I have seen - metal carts suitable for CDE marathon are going to start more like $3000 and they can be quite large and heavy. The Pacific Cart has a great reputation www.pacificcarriage.com
    , but we moved one for a friend and it takes up more room in the trailer than my cart
    Ahonen is another maker http://www.ahonen.com/traveler.htm
    as well as Hardwick www.hardwickhideout.com/

    another alternative is the jerald runabout
    it is designed like the EX entry but the wood construction is a lot sturdier than the lighter weight metal
    (I have seen these but not owned one)

    http://www.jeraldsulky.com/SearchResults.asp?Cat=28

    You have to sit down with yourself and be honest about what you really want the cart to do for you - THEN
    you can find one to fit the job

    Best of luck searching



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug. 18, 2009
    Location
    Apex, NC
    Posts
    285

    Default

    First let me say we own two metal easy entry carts. I owned another metal training cart years ago.

    However, many of these carts are produced cheaply. We went over our two current carts with a "fine tooth comb" before committing to them.

    They have dirt bike style wheels and can go most places. They are solidly constructed with decent welds and good quality materials.

    We managed to wreck our cob-sized easy entry cart over Thanksgiving. One of the shafts got warped. However, it was easy to fix. Almost any welder or machine shop can handle them ... without costing you a fortune.

    I do think these carts are good "starter" carts and training carts. However, the quality varies wildly. Be sure you look over them carefully before buying ... and look at a number of different manufacturers and styles before buying.
    The other female in my husband's life has four legs



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov. 29, 2005
    Posts
    2,625

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Drive NJ View Post
    another alternative is the jerald runabout
    it is designed like the EX entry but the wood construction is a lot sturdier than the lighter weight metal
    (I have seen these but not owned one)

    http://www.jeraldsulky.com/SearchResults.asp?Cat=28
    I have this exact cart with the cover. I really enjoy it for short drives on the wide cart paths. It's easy to lift in and out of the bed of the truck. Eventually I will have wooden wheels put on it. As it is though, it's very balanced and probably one of the best easy entry carts made on the market. I've had others- including the $400 all metal one.

    Should I get a bit more serious with driving however- an upgrade to a better suited cart would be a must. I have a fairly experienced cart horse but I would not use this cart on a beginning driving horse, for any considerable duration of driving, or on rough track.

    If you are buying used- be very careful and look over every inch of the cart. The cheapo metal cart that I initially bought I ended up damaging in a stupid mistake on my part (NOT during driving but moving in storage). The frame bent way too easily and we just 'straightened' it back out. Years later I can now wish I could go back in time to slap myself in the head for such brain loss. (bad... very bad)



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul. 11, 2004
    Posts
    6,993

    Default

    Do not buy one of the "pipe" carts (Frontier and such). They're terrible things.

    I bought one and spent the extra money for wood wheels for safety. You said you wanted to do off road...those terrible wire wheels are not suitable for any side loading, they bend and then break. This is why wire wheeled vehicles are only allowed on the very lowest level in driving competitions...it's not snobbery, it's safety. I had to add extensions on the seat mount to move it far enough back to balance the cart in the tugs. Not good or safe.

    Better a used cart/carriage than a new pipe cart.

    Your 13.1 Hackney is a tough little guy. One of the Smuckers-type easy entry wood cart with wood wheels would last forever and not weigh very much. I had one for my 13.1 hand Fjord...rode great and was solid. Sold it when I sold her (she didn't enjoy driving). This sort of cart: http://www.nikkisponyexpress.com/EASYENTRYADDONS.html

    I like Meadowbrooks....i like their design....BUT, they're not a safe cart. You've got to get in from the back after flipping up the passenger seat. You can't get out in an emergency unless the passenger gets out first (tough when drama's going on). They tend to also be heavy carts. They are neat carts though...but only for a very dependable horse, not a good training cart.

    A very lightweight 4-wheeler may be easier on your Hackney...no weight on their back, only the weight of the shafts on the back. There are light ones and you can easily have brakes on it making going downhill much easier on your horse.

    The cheapest may not be your best buy. Take someone with you when you look at them.
    "Sic Gorgiamus Allos Subjectatos Nunc"



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct. 15, 2010
    Location
    North Carolina
    Posts
    807

    Default

    I am so glad this topic came up. I will be breaking my filly and hope to drive her while waiting for her to grow up. She's two this spring and I'm starting ground driving.
    I've driven off and on throughout my 45 years, since I was 4 years old but not much. I've not ever trained one to pull a cart but I've trained many to ground drive, long- line and I've driven trained horses in various types of carts/carriages but only single horse.
    I also would someday like to have a team with this filly and her matched, medicine hat mother.
    Both are very calm, quiet, she will be about 15.2, stout, about 1200lbs.
    I would like something that can hilltop with a hunt.



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr. 6, 2006
    Location
    Plainview, MN
    Posts
    3,579

    Default

    The cart that you break a horse in should be light enough to not intimidate them and easily manouverable if they do anything stupid. To me the ideal breaking cart is a jog cart. A jog cart is unlikely to be the vehicle you will drive your finished horse in, except for exercise. If you have never hooked a horse for the first time, no matter how experienced you are, get a driving trainer to help you please!



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul. 11, 2004
    Posts
    6,993

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Doctracy View Post
    I also would someday like to have a team with this filly and her matched, medicine hat mother.
    Both are very calm, quiet, she will be about 15.2, stout, about 1200lbs. I would like something that can hilltop with a hunt.
    I'd suggest a meadowbrook for hilltopping. Their geometry is such that their weight is carried low, so they're stable. Your girls will certainly be able to pull them.

    Things to include ifyou'd like to hilltop.

    -Brush Guards/Cow Catchers on the shafts...these push any trees away from the cart thereby not allowing a tree to go between the shaft/body of the cart and the wheel (thus preventing a dramatic stop)

    -Fenders for your cart...They protect a lot of mud etc. from hitting you when "doing" mud.

    -Wheel Guards...basically horizontal slats on the fender supports...they keep hands/clothing from getting near the wheels. If you're bringing along beginners or it's going to be rough, these are a great safety item (look nice too!).

    -Flush Hubs...less to catch the trees as you go by.

    -Whip Holder..face it, you need a secure place to put the whip for all the times you won't be carrying it when you drive.

    -Foots Pads/Stops...short-legged people often can't reach the floor or front of the body to brace themselves during rough going...not secure. There are adjustable footrests that give them this security (it's why marathon carriages have the angled floor for the whip/gator to put their feet against...security)

    Have Fun!

    This is my Shire in his meadowbrook cantering away.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Deacon.jpg 
Views:	57 
Size:	36.2 KB 
ID:	31639  
    "Sic Gorgiamus Allos Subjectatos Nunc"



  10. #10
    mrrosey Guest

    Default

    Thanks for all the input, I have used easy entry and medowbrooks. My easy entry carts are 15+ years old and have logged 100+ miles with mini's.

    I was hoping to get some thoughts on comparing carts such as Pacific, Bellcrown, Hardwick, Bennington, Weber, Frey, or others. I think I want a metal cart and am sure that I do not want a medowbrook.



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jul. 11, 2004
    Posts
    6,993

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by mrrosey View Post
    I was hoping to get some thoughts on comparing carts such as Pacific, Bellcrown, Hardwick, Bennington, Weber, Frey, or others. I think I want a metal cart and am sure that I do not want a medowbrook.
    Well, why didn't you ask this initially?

    Bennington and Kuhnle make the best metal carts, hands down. They're expensive but great. I had a Kuhnle Dressage Gig cart, all metal (except for some trim), adjustable shafts, disc brakes and a really lovely cart.
    "Sic Gorgiamus Allos Subjectatos Nunc"



  12. #12
    Join Date
    Oct. 15, 2010
    Location
    North Carolina
    Posts
    807

    Default

    Great information! Yes I'm short and never thought about that with cart selection!
    I have a couple of highly skilled welders who owe my husband money each year. Is this something that I could ask for? And, I'm short, 5'1", never thought of that being a factor!
    I'm getting really excited. There is a trainer nearby that I will use when I'm ready to hook-up and start driving but I'd like to do a lot of the ground work my self. Any books or DVDs available? These are quiet, quiet mare mares, not at all prone to spooks or bolts. The mother is a fox hunter. I love the looks of the Meadowbrooks! Do they come in a width for a team hitch? I do worry about the back entry, though.
    Quote Originally Posted by Trakehner View Post
    I'd suggest a meadowbrook for hilltopping. Their geometry is such that their weight is carried low, so they're stable. Your girls will certainly be able to pull them.

    Things to include ifyou'd like to hilltop.

    -Brush Guards/Cow Catchers on the shafts...these push any trees away from the cart thereby not allowing a tree to go between the shaft/body of the cart and the wheel (thus preventing a dramatic stop)

    -Fenders for your cart...They protect a lot of mud etc. from hitting you when "doing" mud.

    -Wheel Guards...basically horizontal slats on the fender supports...they keep hands/clothing from getting near the wheels. If you're bringing along beginners or it's going to be rough, these are a great safety item (look nice too!).

    -Flush Hubs...less to catch the trees as you go by.

    -Whip Holder..face it, you need a secure place to put the whip for all the times you won't be carrying it when you drive.

    -Foots Pads/Stops...short-legged people often can't reach the floor or front of the body to brace themselves during rough going...not secure. There are adjustable footrests that give them this security (it's why marathon carriages have the angled floor for the whip/gator to put their feet against...security)

    Have Fun!

    This is my Shire in his meadowbrook cantering away.



  13. #13
    Join Date
    Oct. 15, 2010
    Location
    North Carolina
    Posts
    807

    Default

    Would a Jerald be suitable for hilltopping after breaking? I think I prefer the side entry.
    I'll probably get an easy entry unless I could have one of my welfare make one to break with. I'll be using paved roads, canal roads and the paddock for most breaking work. What about the brake system? I remember as a kid some of those cheap carts having no brakes.
    How do I determine the shaft length and width that I need?
    Also, I'm looking at harnesses. Any tips on harnesses? I think I'd prefer leather if the price isn't too outrageous.



  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jul. 11, 2004
    Posts
    6,993

    Default

    Would a Jerald be suitable for hilltopping after breaking?

    No, they'd be dangerous due to the wire wheels...these are very weak. Wire wheels are good for bikes/motorcycles and baby buggies...they are not meant for side loads....take a wire wheel, put the rim on a peice of wood and step on the hub...it bends very nicely...wire wheels are strong for loads put directly down the spoke and to the hub, but weak for side loading Wire is also very cheap vs. wood wheels. I had a Frontier pipe cart once, I paid as much for the wood wheels as I did the entire cart body/shafts. Save your money and buy a real cart.

    I think I prefer the side entry. I'll probably get an easy entry unless I could have one of my welfare make one to break with.

    Side entry is much better for training/newer horses and ease of getting in and even better, out! The wood easy entry's are great...no wire wheels.

    I'll be using paved roads, canal roads and the paddock for most breaking work. What about the brake system? I remember as a kid some of those cheap carts having no brakes.

    Most carts don't have brakes. The theory is you put on the brakes and there is more pressure being applied to the saddle. I had brakes on a village cart and my dressage gig. The village cart could hold 4 people so could be pretty heavy for a horse to stop when going down a decent hill. For a 2 person cart, it can limit you in competition where braking can let the horse go faster downhill...but they're uncommon.

    How do I determine the shaft length and width that I need?

    Pull up the American Driving Society website...they have the chart as to horse length, height etc. for shafts, height of wheels etc....don't forget shaft width...wide barreled horse has a different need than a skinny guy.

    Also, I'm looking at harnesses. Any tips on harnesses? I think I'd prefer leather if the price isn't too outrageous.

    Leather is very pretty, especially russet, but over time I've decided I prefer the betathane stuff. It's tough, very light, you can hose it off on the horse, doesn't go moldy/green and it's very strong. I like Camptown Harness and Zilco.
    "Sic Gorgiamus Allos Subjectatos Nunc"



  15. #15
    Join Date
    Oct. 15, 2010
    Location
    North Carolina
    Posts
    807

    Default

    This is all so helpful and is showing me that I really need even more information. That last post, trakenher, was just a gem!
    Is there a really good book with some of this stuff in it? I'm beginning to realize that people that have let me drive their horses and ponies were not very knowledgable themselves.
    I have found a trainer nearby but haven't interviewed them yet.
    If that doesn't work out, I know there is an FEI driver whoe went to the World Games this fall from Scottsdale. I have no idea if they would help me. I'm not interested in sending my horses for training but would like to lesson with someone who really knows their stuff.
    Books, DVDs, websites?



  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jun. 28, 2003
    Posts
    4,411

    Default

    http://www.americandrivingsociety.or...c_trainers.pdf

    The above is a link to the ADS pacific region - trainers

    Drew Callahan in AZ is someone I know and have some respect for his driving/training skill

    as far as bookz and videos - check the collection in Driving Essentials
    http://www.drivingessentials.com/

    dvd's for nice basics the Mary Ruth Marks or the Robin Cuffey are good starters

    Also Robin Cuffey's book

    I thnk that DE has the most complete listing of Driving books and video around

    best of luck



  17. #17
    Join Date
    Oct. 15, 2010
    Location
    North Carolina
    Posts
    807

    Default

    Thank you very much! Off to buy books and videos. Trying to keep my computer from going to Craigs list. Too many adorable minis with carts coming as packages these days. Must not buy another animal!



  18. #18
    Join Date
    Oct. 15, 2010
    Location
    North Carolina
    Posts
    807

    Default

    How is the driving dressage book? I can't remember the exact name? Does it have basic training, safety, how to drive stuff?



  19. #19
    Join Date
    Nov. 9, 2005
    Location
    uk
    Posts
    15,278

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by harryi View Post
    hmm,doubt for the same thing,I cannt remember clearly
    read this link by thomas who was banned through no fault of his own

    http://www.chronofhorse.com/forum/sh...ad.php?t=99673



  20. #20
    Join Date
    Oct. 15, 2010
    Location
    North Carolina
    Posts
    807

    Default

    I love the nice utility cart Thomas shows. Unfortunately, I can't get ahold of him.
    My husband would like plans for a cart like this. We have two, very fine welders that owe us money and we often barter for things that we'd like made. If I can buy an axel, wheels and have plans, they could easily build one just like this, adjustable seat, adjustable shafts, mud flaps, brush guards and anything else I could desire.
    Does anyone have some working plans for a metal cart like this? For a full sized, 15.2, heavy horse? Also, where should I buy an axel and wheels/what size?



Similar Threads

  1. choosing a type of cart
    By wooleymom in forum Driving
    Replies: 17
    Last Post: Jul. 10, 2012, 11:13 PM
  2. Help choosing a stallion
    By watertownrider in forum Sport Horse Breeding
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: Apr. 26, 2012, 10:32 AM
  3. Choosing right hay
    By MsSteno in forum Horse Care
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: Jun. 7, 2010, 05:44 PM
  4. Choosing the Right Hay
    By irkenequine in forum Horse Care
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: Jan. 3, 2010, 01:42 AM
  5. Help! Choosing A Bit...
    By spmoonie in forum Dressage
    Replies: 13
    Last Post: Jun. 22, 2008, 01:29 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
randomness