Those are totally unrelated issues. We are looking for a forecart and I was wondering if there was another maker than Pioneer's, one that would be closer to MD.
My question about STB is as follow: we have a foster STB who has raced 125 times! (and believe it or not is pretty sound). He is a pleasant and cooperative gelding and we were told that he has been driven for pleasure, since I had incorrect information from that group before I do not take it for granted. He is good riding but before thinking of putting him to a pleasure cart, I am treating him as if he had never been driven for pleasure.
At the moment we are lunging and ground driving. He has a 'stop dead whoa' and will even back on the lunge with a distant command, a very good boy. This is where I'm at. I am hoping for suggestions, things to look for, potential difficulties, etc..
Thank you in advance!
I can tell you from experience that most Standardbreds are super just going down the road, no retraining needed. I have taken real wingnuts on the track down the road and they are entirely different, albeit a bit lookey at sights such as farm yards. Put the harness on, loose overcheck (many have no concept of balance without one, so you use it so the head is at a normal height), hook him and go around the yard. Did that with Mr Fussy, who was nuts on the track, and next day, just took him out down the road, no problems except his hatred for dogs. He just walked and jogged very slowly down the road and we had a nice 6 mile drive every day.
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And almost all of them can be just hooked and driven without incindent. In fact, most aren't too looky as the track is a pretty busy exciting place. Since they are jogged long miles daily, unless the horse is a nutcase (and trust me, with what you are saying he's not) they are used to just "jogging along.
It seems like the Mules and Moore store in SC or NC? carries their own special forecart. One that supposedly will balance and still take be able to hook the extras on it, like the snow blade, etc... I saw them at the Perry GA carriage auction last year, but i cant say that i actually looked at them, and i havent seen the pioneer in person, so i couldnt have compared anyway. I think that is the only different "forecart" out there aside from pioneer, and it may well be made by pioneer but to their specifications. They used to have a website if you google them.
125 times is not that unusual for a Standardbred, considering they are often raced on a weekly basis.
He most likely has never been driven for pleasure, but should be very used to jogging, as it would have been his daily routine for years. Because of that, there really shouldn't be much problem in getting him hitched up and going.
He, however, might know how many miles he has gone and when he is supposed to quit jogging though!