OK, what weight should i be shooting for when looking for a marathon carriage for a 14h welsh cob? I'm getting so frustrated.
I found one i REALLY like, it's local, gives me all the options i want, it's "horse" size, but from where i found it at other places they say best suited for 14-15.2h... However, it weighs 600lbs. Does this sound right or too heavy for marathon? Seems like a lot of weight when we add a couple adults on there too for a 14h pony, even though she may be a beefy, big boned 14h. The seller says it's way too heavy, yet when i start looking at other new marathon carriages, i'm looking at 500-600lbs. So maybe we arent too far off base. I know if i'm using this vehicle for dressage, it might be a bit heavy, but i dont think i'm going to hamper her movement too much on level/good footing, she's a power house. I just worry more so for marathon and driving the trails/hills at home.
Does anyone have suggestions of brands/models that can convert single to pairs (no pair right now, but i'm looking), and be "pretty" enough to not look totally retarded at welsh shows (i'm not going for presentation pretty, but maybe something i can slap some lamps on to dress us up a little). It doesnt have to be the "ideal" marathon vehicle, i've been looking at some older Eagles, Flyers, and similar. I am looking to only do training or prelim, i do not have the time, funds, etc to probably ever outgrow this vehicle... So think entry level that can last me forever... I have to buy this used, i'm looking to stay under 4k, i'm in no hurry, but when i find something for sale, i want an idea of if it's something i should pursue, or kick out of the running due to weight or some other issue you guys think i need to steer clear of.
Even though it may not be a perfect parallel, since a horse has 4 legs doing the work and I have 2, I like to think in terms of how much I can handle. I weigh 190, and my wheelbarrow that weighs 90 lb seems like it's very easy to push around, even up steep hills for some distance. put 100 lb in it and it gets harder but still not bad. A full load of wet concrete and it's all I can handle. (but that weighs a whole lot more than I do) If the horse weighs 1000 lb, A 600 lb carriage for him is not much more than me pushing the empty wheelbarrow, add a couple people to the carriage and you'd be up to the wheelbarrow with a moderate load. I think it's fine. How easy is it for one person to push another around in a wheel chair who weighs the same as they do? a half ton horse pulling a half ton carriage might be similar.
We don't have a marathon carriage and haven't researched them but I can tell you from years of volunteering as a hazard judge that your Flyer or Eagle is not going to make you happy in competition. Center of gravity is different, suspension is different and (I think) turning radius is different from what is being commonly used now and while you are driving training and prelim, you may well be in an advanced hazard doing training gates.
The 600 lb small horse vehicle you are considering is heavy for competition. Our BO bought a horse glinkowski for training only thinking it would be comparable to driving her pony kunhle with two adults up. Turns out the Glinkowski is too much for the 14 H Morgan pony.
Her Kunhle is a 140 (I think) which is supposed to be the kilos. Translated into pounds its between 300 and 350. I think it is really more like 400 minimum. You are talking 200 more pounds than that.
I'd recommend you keep looking.
Keep your eyes open for a Dartmore Merlin or Pacific or something.
Also be careful of going too light. They just aren't strong enough to do the job.
Thanks for the info on the flyers/eagle types. I think you are right, they just aren't going to handle like I want it too. So I'm figuring I need to stay in the 300-400lb range? I knew I didn't want light, but finding that happy medium seems to be tough, and then hearing what they "say" the weight is compared to a much heavier actual weight, this is so frustrating. I like the Pacifics, I'll search for the dartmore Merlin.
I think part of the equation is how forward thinking your horse is and how fit they are.
Just for comparison sake.....
I have a friend with a 15.1 hand Arab/Percheron cross. She is a pretty sturdy mare, most people think she is a Section D Cob. She is not a slug but not the most forward either. She drives her in a 400ish# carriage and does fine. She drove her to my Glinkowski Marathon 100 that is closer to 500# and felt like she struggled a bit.
I have a 16.1 hand Hanoverian that is very forward and with my 500+# carriage I sometimes feel like a ribbon fluttering on the back of a bonnet.
Just my very humble .02, but I think 600# is too much for your horse.
Kanoe Godby www.dyrkgodby.com See, I was raised by wolves and am really behind the 8-ball on diplomatic issue resolution.
We try to figure 60% LOADED weight of vehicle and passengers, of the horse's body weight. So you have a lot more leeway with a 1500 pound horse, than with a 900 pound pony.
We had to figure this weight thing when we did a Tandem, wheeler is doing all the work in Hazards. He was a big, stout horse, but you don't want to kill off his energy just pulling dead weight. And muscular grooms, will weigh more, even skinny.
You can say "two people" but they could each weigh almost 200 pounds for a 400 pound addition, or just over 100 pounds, for a 200 pound addition, to the total vehicle weight. Big jump from basic 600 pounds, to 800 or 1000 pounds of pulled load. And I would say any stout 14H animal would be overloaded if they were not pulling on a flat road. Load is way more than 60% of his weight.
As Drive NJ said, going too light can also get you in trouble. They bounce badly, flip more easily because of the leverage factor of people above the weight of axles. Taller folks, higher driver seat, gives more leverage above. builder/buyer can sacrifice weight for strength, carriage gets literally "pulled apart" by the force of the animal.
I really feel bad for you, strength or weight is a hard choice. And the better ones are hard to find, more expensive because of a proven record of success.
Husband says you should take pony and hitch him to as many vehicles as possible to educate yourself. Does it track well, how does it handle in turns, can you see where you are going? What suits one person fine, is an object of hatred to another driver. Some brands are said to be noisy, which can drive some folks crazy. Would you buy a car with no test drive? Too many variables between brand names, how they are used, to say "This is the BEST one."
Totally agree that Flyer types are NOT what you want to use in Marathon except at the very lowest level, slow speeds. Competitions have changed a lot since they were developed. You might want to check under Dartmoor spelling. I think they were named after the ponies.
Thanks for the help! I know the cart i had for her weighed over 400lbs, she scared me with it, even with my husband on it, i had that "ribbon floating in the breeze" feeling. She may be small, but she is FORWARD and a power house. She's pretty fit right now, we are riding 3-4 days a week doing arena work plus 4 miles or more out in the woods, then 1-2 days a week of long reining work. Her rear end is a rock.
I'm looking for her match to have a pair, i found a young one in WA, but the hauling bill with gas prices as they are would cost me more than the pony!!!! I'm trying to keep that "pair" idea in mind when shopping as well, i know i dont want to end up too light with two power houses pulling it, and i sure hope to not have to buy something again later, my husband will murder me. I get death looks over spending 4k on something... But i reasoned with him, i only have that $$ because i sold a pony and all my dressage tack to get more involved in driving!
I would really like to try out several carriages, that sounds ideal, but would feel bad to show up somewhere just to "try" something, i in no way can afford a new model from a dealer. I'm very close to driving mecca here, but i dont know anyone aside from a few lessons at Muffy's, i've gotten quite a bit of advice from her. I want to start volunteering at the local driving events so i can meet people, but i still have a 2yr old human kid which limits my activity.
Muffy had recommended the flyer as an all around type of vehicle, but yes, i agree after looking at them closer and comparing, it's just not looking like what i would want long term. Thanks for the tips!
Hmmm, well maybe the best would be to stay with a cart for now (i dont plan on doing any marathon stuff for the next year anyway) get a matching pony, and then invest in a heavier marathon carriage after that.
I really hate the feel/handle of a cart. Sigh. But i did wonder if a 400lb carriage would be too light for a pair of 14h cobs, i see the pairs vehicles weighing more. I think i like the Pacific Dartmoor the best of what i've found out there, and it weighs 330. Two cobs would kill it i think.
Which i could probably buy the local carriage i like if i HAD my pair now, but i hate to see it sitting around, it may take me forever to find the matching chestnut with bright flaxen mane and tail that has similar movement (and i'm picky, it MUST match or i dont want it ). Then add on time for training as i doubt i'll luck out and find something already driving, which means it's probably smart to have a cart around for a while to begin with...
bfz, check out this Bobcat. They are an imported carriage that was old in the UK under the name of Porsche. They are made in Poland and are a generic marathon carriage in the sense they can be named whatever the company selling wants to name them.
I owned one under the name of Porsche. It is in most of my albums on CDEs. Great little carriage that fit my light framed ARabs really well. I got the pony size and it went about 325 pounds without the shafts. My little framed Arabians had no problem on marathon.
I was looking at the bobcat, it's something I could save up for and afford new if I have enough patience. But I wish it had a double seat on the box, not just the bucket seat. I drive with my son a lot, he's a bit young to stay on the back of one like this with the curved padded fender. Some of the other models offer a double seat, at least big enough for him, probably not another adult up there when it comes to the pony size carriages, but might be something I can add on as an extra option... I have not ran across a bobcat used yet, but I've got a ton of websites bookmarked and watching the CD-L like a hawk. I know of a reasonably priced bellcrown carriage in FL that is suitable, it's just kinda blah...
The one I really wanted was an old Warco that converted from a presentation vehicle with rear groom seat, a marathon step, or a wagonette. That's hard to top, and I don't think I'll find something similar in a lighter vehicle.
I think the days of the "conversion vehilce are long gone. Everything is much more specialized in design now.
Except for using a marathon vehicle at pleasure shows - there really is no reason to try to "dress it up" with groom seats, panels etc UNTIL you get up to Advanced. Looks to me like people in the Training and Prelim have just accepted the look of the marathon vehicle for all phases
You just want to make sure that YOUR own driving position allows for good posture when driving dressage.
If you have no idea when you will be getting the second horse, which probably won't be trained to drive. I would shop for a 4-wheeler now, suitable for the single you have. You have said you plan to be very picky and may be a long time shopping to find the match to your animal.
If and when you finally locate the other horse, it probably will need quite a bit of training to get solid as a single, before putting it in the Pair. You can move from cart with 2-wheels as a starter vehicle, to the single 4-wheeler, get lots of time in on it. Going from 2 wheels to 4 wheels is not done until horse is pretty GOOD at obedience, driving out, well controlled. All of which will take time to develop.
I can see you getting quite a bit of use from a single animal 4-wheel vehicle, before you even need to think of getting a Pair vehicle. Could be a couple years or more! You don't plan to show much, so having a pretty vehicle should not be a big factor. Having comfortable seats for husband and child, that is a big consideration when going pleasure driving down the road. Seems like you said child is quite small, so a good seatback is quite important. I would NOT leave him sitting in the back end with no adult to keep him contained. Not enough strength to hold himself in the vehicle if horse acts up. He might even fall asleep, and I AM TELLING YOU, kid is REALLY hard to hold and drive at the same time in a 2-wheel cart!! Nothing to hold them on the seat, protect them from the open wheel, SCARY even with the BEST, fail-safe horse ahead of me!! Only did that drive-out ONCE, my arm felt 2ft longer on one side!
As you are looking at marathon type vehicles, check that front seat. Can a centered seat be lifted off, replaced with a bench type seat? Just a cut plywood board screwed to the carriage itself for sitting on, with an iron rail around the sides and back to keep body parts inside. You could put a wedge on one side for yourself, small cushion for a passenger to ride beside you. Save the single seat for when you get around to compete later on.
Those old Warco Wagonettes were cute, but only suitable now for lower levels, slower speeds. Not going to hold up well if you bang into stuff, they are lightweight compared to marathon vehicles, even if the poundage is the same.
Good thoughts/ideas goodhors. Yes, its not much fun when the kid falls asleep on the cart, which he does on a regular basis actually. Thankfully, my present carts keep him in and i can lock his leg down by putting my thigh over it without being too uncomfortable, though i will admit, i've gotten really good at driving one handed. He mostly goes out with my mini who i really trust, only with my cob when my husband comes along with. Trust her, but i'm borrowing a friends cheaper metal easy entry for her at the moment, and i dont really trust the cart to hold up if pony decided to have a "moment." I've really just been ground driving her because i dont feel comfortable with that cart. I sold the big heavy cart back in Oct, i could buy it back, but i hated it.
I do think i'll keep looking for something suitable for a single horse. I WOULD like it "pretty" enough for welsh shows, i dont show much, but want to take her to a couple a year. I think that is what appealed to me about the Warco conversion, that it could cover both worlds, maybe not brilliantly, but not be hideous like taking something like the bobcat marathon carriage into the welsh ring would be...
I really do not drive down the road at all anymore. I moved my horses from my small town where i could drive all the roads, to a boarding facility on a dead end road off a very busy street. However, i have 560 acres of perfect driving trails right behind the barn... I REALLY want a pretty pheaton for welsh shows, but i cant really see it bouncing down the trail. I think a marathon carriage would be the better option for long term, and goodhors is right, i'm sure that single vehicle would get used for training for many years, for now, and later when i finally, hopefully, find the match to put together a pretty pair. Oh to have the money and the space to buy 3 or 4 different vehicles to do it all!
Thanks guys, you've helped me narrow down what i'm looking for!
This thread is leading me to some random thoughts:
1 - we saw an interesting child seat solution at the Grainger Carriage Museum this summer (NYState)
it was a small platform with inward curving supports between the bottom and the top
It was made so 2 adults could sit on a carriage seat - put this thing between then (the curved supports would allow their thighs to fit into the support)
and then the child sits on top of the platform
kind of like this:
2 Just a thought to make an open carriage seat more secure for a young child is to attach a stadium seat cushion
something like this?? http://www.target.com/gp/detail.html...t_adv_XSG10001
It could give a little more protection from sliding thru more open cart seats
The stadium seat would have been great on my last mini cart! I wish i would have thought of that then! Thankfully the kid grew and i didnt have to worry too much about him slipping out between the seat and back, but when he fell asleep it was a pain. What i did when he was real little was bungy a Bumbo seat onto the cart seat. http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/...KL._AA400_.jpg
It supported him really well and he couldnt fall out of it, but in an emergency, i could easily get him out. Unfortunately, he outgrew it. Worked great on the golf cart too!
My new mini cart only has 3" between seat and back, the biggest problem we have is him slipping down, but i use some of that perforated rubber cabinet stuff and that helps. New cart rides rougher than all get out though, so he gets bounced out of place eventually and i have to keep adjusting him. The bouncing kinda helps keep him awake though, and thankfully he loves it and begs for us to hit more holes... Boys...
I'll have to keep the stadium seat in mind if i end up with something he can slip out of. He's recently had a growth spurt and i dont think i'll have too much issue from here on out, but would be nice when i get 5min from the barn and he falls asleep on me!
Now that i had convinced myself away from a Flyer/Eagle type, someone put an eagle for sale on the CD-L... And of course, i had to go back to the website and see all the extra pieces i could buy for it and then have my lightweight "conversion" vehicle i kinda liked in the first place... GRRRR...
I still think a marathon vehicle would be the smartest for my needs, but so tacky for the welsh shows.
I have had 2 flyers and 1 eagle. They are a really, really nice pleasure vehicle. Ride is very smooth. You could probably get away with training level cd in one. You might reconsider it. That is a very good price on the CD-L one. Shipping cost would be a problem.
But they are coming to NC on Sunday 49'er, and i could pick it up from there... So aside from my gas (which is rather ridiculous at the moment) it would ship relatively cheaply...
Thus, i am considering it... But i'm not 100% sure. I'm waiting for pictures. It's biggest flaw is that it's got a burgundy body, which the cart i sold in the fall was also burgundy, and it looked crappy with my bright chestnut... But i guess if it drives me too crazy, i can always get it repainted. Bonus, it's got natural shafts and wheels, so it wouldnt be TOO burgundy...