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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan. 11, 2008
    Windsor SC till Aug

    Default driving tandem questions

    So i was just curious. What's the difference for the harness for a tandem? Can you convert a single harness into a tandem? Is there anything additional needed for the carriage, or is there a specific carriage set up for tandem driving?

    Any website links with more info on it that anyone can recommend?

    I'm kinda looking at a grey welsh cob mare that is the same height/build and a match in movement as my current chestnut girl... And i thought, well hmmm... I dont really want to buy a new carriage for pairs, i dont have the room for it all... But could i set up my current stuff for a tandem? I would ABSOLUTELY get lessons before throwing them together of course, but just wondering what i needed to do it, if i were to buy the other mare.

    The bonus about her is that all my existing stuff will fit her to drive her single, but it might be fun to drive a tandem one day, or it might scare the crap out of me too...

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan. 5, 2007


    Having recently done this need front traces about 24 inches longer, some roger rings for the wheeler bridle, a set of lloonngg reins, and terrets for the wheeler traces.

    In order to do this when I had help, and motivation, I used a length of rope with snaps on each end hooked to my traces, and old snaps off of lead ropes that died clipped onto my terrets for the leader lines.

    The lead horse needs to be comfotable with quite a bit of contact, because those longer lines are heavy, and you need to have good contact for steering. That leader also needs to know voice commands really well.

    You wil also need to run those leader traces through trace carriers.

    Be sure you have a confident helper, and they should have a whip to help the leader understand for a few times...

    Good Luck!! It is a LOT of fun!!


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan. 11, 2008
    Windsor SC till Aug


    I wonder it if would help to RIDE tandem before hitching them to drive? I've got some of Clay Maier's DVDs on long reining, always thought his tandem riding looked kinda interesting. It would at least put me on the steady horse i know and trust and let me be a lot closer to the front one that needs to figure out the heavier contact and being out there so far.

    The "new" mare (i havent bought her yet, i'm still waiting for gosh darn video... Word of wisdom to those people who are selling horses... Dont leave your buyers waiting forever for videos/more pics!!!!!) She isnt driving yet, so she would be learning to drive single for quite a while before i attempted this. She's technically for my son... But since i had to sell my mini to get him a better suited pony, i can at least get a lot of play time with it myself right?!

    At least it seems pretty do-able with my existing harness! Even if i need to rig some things to try it out before i spend the money on the "real" pieces.

    But it does look fun... And scary... lol

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug. 17, 2006

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun. 28, 2003


    PJ Crowley at Kendalwood Farm is a tandem driver and can answer your questions and/or show you

    Lois S and Cindy V own Charming Creek Farm in Berks County. They have often brought in Clay Maier for clinics. You might contact them to see if he is coming anytime in the near future

    Good luck. THe harness conversion is probably the easiest part of tandem

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb. 28, 2008


    I've been interested in tandem as well.

    My 31 yr old retiree I broke to drive a while back. He's just barely pasture sound but sure does still want to get out and go for walks on a routine basis. I've been toying with the idea of tandem driving just to get the old man out and walking once or twice a week and let him still feel like he has a job. He's old, been.there.and.done.that, bravest most steady horse I'll ever have the honor of knowing, only horse I'd ever give the esteemed title of 'bombproof' too (I've shot guns, archery and gone flyfishing off of his back), and can't trot more than a hundred yards before he's tired

    I have a friend who has done tandem and random and she's willing to come help us out.

    Its a long way off but I was actually considering seeing about getting an easily convertible tandem harness when I go to order a synthetic.

    I found this photo and it looks doable:
    Worry is the biggest enemy of the present... it’s like using your imagination to create things you don’t want.
    An adorable photography book, makes a perfect gift.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar. 7, 2011


    I am playfully entertaining the idea of getting 2 minis tandemned up together next spring. So this is such valueable information and right up my alley!! My mare and the barn owner's gelding aren't exactly a perfect match, the gelding is a little taller and more forward, but just to play in the arena and try something very new and different, this could be a lot of fun.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov. 3, 2008
    Berks County, PA

    Default riding tandem...

    thanks Drive NJ for the kinds words...we do indeed have Clay here for clinics, although we don't have one definitely scheduled at the moment. Last one we held, decided to give tandem riding a try. My friend Meredith practiced in NC before the clinic, and I practiced here in PA. We hada blast doing a little dual demo for Clay during the clinic. We are still waiting to hear if Clay would like us to go on the road with him for his shows lol! I was riding my sister's 14yo Friesian gelding, Rein, and driving 5yo Turbo Friesian, Tjeert (who already knew how to drive, although not in any kind of pair) I will say that I found it DIFFICULT! What Clay does in his show is amazing. The handling of the lines was probably the most difficult. After the clinic I stopped tandem riding, as I was not sure it was the best thing for the younger horse, who is being prepared to drive and compete in a pair. We had a lot of fun trying it though, and it is not as easy as Clay makes it look!
    btw here are Tjeert's brothers at the Laurels last month...

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