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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb. 21, 2009
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    1,857

    Default help with beginner hitching

    OK stupid question from a long time horse person but beginner driver. I began actually driving (in the cart) ,my rescue pony Chester this week . (did ground work, ground drove, etc and he took to it like a duck to water....he acts like likely had been driven before) no fear of the cart at all, no spooks,. nothing. But I have two cart, harness questions . (don't flame my driving ignorance please) It is a pony size racing sulky (because it is really light weight and I could afford it at fifty bucks on Craigslist)
    1) the shafts are sliding forward in the shaft holders when I go down a little slope .Can I weld two little D rings to the shafts for he shaft holders to go through to hold the shafts from going forward?
    2) the ends of the shafts poke poor Chester in the neck when he turns making him reluctant to turn, so how far forward on the shafts can I place the shaft holders or should I get them heated and bent outward some or just teach him to sidepass more and bend less?
    Last edited by Patty Stiller; Aug. 1, 2012 at 04:38 PM.
    Patty Stiller CNBBT,CNBF,CLS, CE
    Natural Balance Certified Lameness Specialist ,instructor.
    www.hoofcareonline.com



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar. 6, 2009
    Posts
    8,812

    Default Shaft holders will 'help' with both situations ~

    You can order shaft holders ~ leather holders that fit on the end of the shaft and hold the shafts back in place ( like a camera lense attached to the camera with a string idea) ~ thus avoiding the down hill slide as well as the poking in the neck while turning ~

    LaSalle in RI
    R.E. Fennell's in Lexington
    * just make sure to tell them it is for pony harness & driving ~
    Bennett's in Mo.
    Zu Zu Bailey " IT"S A WONDERFUL LIFE !"



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec. 27, 2006
    Location
    Western NY
    Posts
    1,754

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Patty Stiller View Post
    OKkkstupid question from a long time horeperson but beginner dirver. I began actually driving (in the cart) ,my rescue pony Chester this week . (did ground work, ground drove, etc and he took to it like a duck to water....he acts like likely had been driven before) no fear of the cart at all, no spooks,. nothing. But I have two cart, harness questions . (don't flame my driving ignorance please) It is a pony size racing sulky (because it is really light weight and I could afford it at fifty bucks on Craigslist)
    1) the shafts are sliding forward in the shaft holders when I go down a little slope .Can I weld two little D rings to the shafts for he shaft holders to go through to hold the shafts from going forward?

    It sounds like there is no breeching. You need to add a loop to each shaft and make sure you have breeching (the strap that goes around the ponies hindquarters and then attaches to the shafts) on the harness. This is the brakes that stop the cart from hitting the pony. Correctly adjusted the sliding you describe should be minimal.

    2) the ends of the shafts poke poor Chester in the neck when he turns making him reluctant to turn, so how far forward on the shafts can I place the shaft holders or should I get them heated and bent outward some or just teach him to sidepass more and bend less?

    from the decription he is too far back in the shafts and/or they are adjusted too high. See about getting trace extenders if you can't adjust you traces and possibly lower the adjustment on the saddle.

    Here are several pictures of pretty well adjusted harness so you can see correct shaft placement and how the breeching is adjusted.

    http://www.eastauroradrivingsociety.org/Photos.html


    (Note: I am on the page with the roan pony or ponies)

    Christa



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb. 21, 2009
    Posts
    1,857

    Default

    There is a breeching on the harness, with long straps attached at on the front ends of the breeching but since there were no rings anywhere on the shafts of the sulky I just buckled the long breeching straps around the girth to hold the breeching in place...duh. I will get some ring welded on the shafts. THANKS.

    And what about the shafts poking him in the neck? He is only 40" tall and the shafts sit level at the moment and just make contact with his lower neck as he turns. Can I set the shaft so the shaft holders are nearly at the end but add some welded on rings to place the shaft holders through to prevent them from slipping out?
    Patty Stiller CNBBT,CNBF,CLS, CE
    Natural Balance Certified Lameness Specialist ,instructor.
    www.hoofcareonline.com



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb. 21, 2009
    Posts
    1,857

    Default

    Now I see the photos.. where to place the shafts, THANKS. (or rather Chester thanks you...
    Patty Stiller CNBBT,CNBF,CLS, CE
    Natural Balance Certified Lameness Specialist ,instructor.
    www.hoofcareonline.com



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr. 6, 2006
    Location
    Plainview, MN
    Posts
    3,568

    Default

    You need shaft stops/tug stops (same thing) http://www.fennells.com/store/produc...rt+Accessories
    http://www.drivingessentials.com/carriage_hardware.php

    If you are going to use breeching you need to add footman loops onto the shafts http://www.drivingessentials.com/carriage_hardware.php
    However these types of carts are not designed to be used with breeching (also they are not deigned for hillwork).

    If the shafts are poking the horse/pony in the neck you likely have the animal hooked too deep and the tugs (what you are calling the "shaft holders") are adjusted too high. This is also dnagerous as you can get your rein caught on the shaft tip which can scare an animal and make steering difficult. The tip of the shaft should be no farther forward than the point of the shoulder, and heigh wise should be right around the point of the shoulder, not up by the animals neck.

    Here is a photo of a Shetland Roadster Pony showing how a pony looks hooked to a bike/sulky http://www.srfminis.com/images/hileeextreme.jpg Google Shetland Roadster or Hackney Roadster for more pics of ponies hooked to this type of cart.



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun. 28, 2003
    Posts
    4,384

    Default

    Not sure where you are, but if you are anywhere near a local driving club, you can contact them and more than likely somebody can stop by and help you adjust everything. We love to get new drivers "hooked" on the sport!

    Try www.americandrivingsociety.org and look for local clubs.

    Welcome and enjoy!

    check out www.regencymini.com it has a good pictorial of harnessing and hitching go to mini driving 101

    it shows the position on the shafts for a tugstop or holdback

    there is also a harness part that is like a cup that fits on the end of the shaft and has a strap back to the saddle (on each side) - called a thimble - it will prevent the cart from going to far forward - its downside is that it pulls on the saddle to work so the horse feels it at his girth
    Breeching around his butt gives him a much better and stonger brakes system

    picture of the "thimbles
    http://www.ebay.com/itm/Mini-Horse-B...-/380258196504
    Last edited by Drive NJ; Aug. 2, 2012 at 12:58 PM.



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb. 21, 2009
    Posts
    1,857

    Default

    THANKS EVERYONE .
    If the shafts are poking the horse/pony in the neck you likely have the animal hooked too deep and the tugs (what you are calling the "shaft holders") are adjusted too high.
    Yep I figured that out yesterday and fixed that.
    This is also dangerous as you can get your rein caught on the shaft tip which can scare an animal and make steering difficult. The tip of the shaft should be no farther forward than the point of the shoulder, and heigh wise should be right around the point of the shoulder, not up by the animals neck.
    Already happened the first day once, luckily Chester is a little champ standing there looking back at me like I am really stupid as I fixed it. Now that I moved the Chester more forward in the shafts and they are set lower it should not happen again . The photos on the posted links helped me a lot in seeing where stuff should be .

    Then what I did was weld two D rings on the shafts in the right place for the breeching straps to fit Chester (because Chester is very small for this sulky) With the traces adjusted correctly the next drive went well. I set everything so the ends of the shafts just reach the point of his shoulder and the breeching is now keeping them there so they do not slide forward. And the traces are keeping them from sliding back (out of the tugs) so I think I finally have it right. I have it pretty good now . I discovered there is a small local driving club and I am got in contact with them. Very nice bunch of people with everything from minis to drafts and mules. Already have offers for free help.
    Patty Stiller CNBBT,CNBF,CLS, CE
    Natural Balance Certified Lameness Specialist ,instructor.
    www.hoofcareonline.com



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb. 21, 2009
    Posts
    1,857

    Default

    PS we certainly do not look like a show team as this rig is very cobbled together with craigalist parts and on a budget, but I will get pictures when someone is handy to snap one. Chester looks more like a UK pony, short and fat(ish), here is what he likes to do best ... and what his feet looked like when I got him two years ago as a free rescue project :
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

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    Patty Stiller CNBBT,CNBF,CLS, CE
    Natural Balance Certified Lameness Specialist ,instructor.
    www.hoofcareonline.com



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct. 18, 2008
    Location
    Deschapelles, Haiti
    Posts
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    Default

    Give Chester a few scritches from me! I'm glad to hear he took well to driving.
    HAS provides hospital care to 340,000 people in Haiti's Artibonite Valley 24/7/365/earthquake/cholera/whatever.
    www.hashaiti.org blog:http://hashaiti.org/blog



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb. 21, 2009
    Posts
    1,857

    Default

    I will do that! I drove him today out down the highway shoulder into the trailer park where I live , around there and back. He was un-phased by anything, cars, trucks etc. Of course I had already ground driven him in long lines around town a couple of times,abd ponied him in traffic with my mare too to be sure he was Ok with traffic. He took to everything like he had done it before, so likely he was already a driving pony in the past somewhere. What a little champ.
    The bigger gravel bothers his feet a little so I may put some little plastic shoes on his front feet, 'miniature "clogs" just cut out of thick pads and either glued or nailed up with 4 tiny race horse nails. I think he will move right out then on anything.
    Patty Stiller CNBBT,CNBF,CLS, CE
    Natural Balance Certified Lameness Specialist ,instructor.
    www.hoofcareonline.com



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