Long time coth lurker, finally diving in. I have been a driving groom for about 3 years now, and I just started taking lessons on a pair. Im hoping to purchase a pony and cart of my own in the next 6 -12 months. Im wondering what the odds are that I could get a decent driving large pony/hony ,decent cart, and harness for under 5k? Am I being to unrealistic? I wouldnt mind something older(10-15) that wouldn’t mind having a greenish driver. I of course have some great professionals helping me but I would really value the help of coth.
I also trailer my bosses wheelers(he drives a 4) in my 2 horse WB Gooseneck trailer, it’s a sooner straight load with a dressing room. I was looking for a solution to trailer a cart and pony with out needing to trade in my trailer, which I dearly love. Would the “L” bracket looking attachments for carts work for a large pony cart?
I don't think you are being too unrealistic in your price, though I do believe that a driving animal should bring a lot more money than they really do...They have to be a saint to be able to drive, yet they go for pennies and no body seems to want to pay, but thats another story
I think you could get a very basic cart, decent harness and perhaps a half decent animal for the $5,000, maybe not win any huge shows with them, but you never know!! I also must agreee that 10-15 is pretty much prime years- one of my guys is 16 this year and he's just starting to work/show really well
I'm not too sure what you can do with your trailer, but I have seen people make a bracket on the back of the trailer, or tow another small trailer (depending on where you live) behind the ramp. I don't know if that is a possibility for you...
I would think you could find some quite nice harness and vehicle and a NICE pony for that kind of money. You may want to shop out-of-State, because folks are darn cheap in the Midwest and they WILL NOT PAY what Eastern folks will for stuff.
You probably should find the animal first, large, small, gender you like, rugged or refined body, then shop for equipment to fit THAT animal. Better to find the GOOD minded animal, in a size you like, than to try buying an animal with a brain to fit the equipment. Sometimes you can find a package deal, animal with tack and vehicle that already fits him.
Check out the sticky notes in this forum. Cartfall had posted about a large frame gate that she added to her trailer. Gate swung open, out of the way of back door, with cart on it. Looked to be a really nice arrangement for going places. She drives Arabs, so they are not tiny, vehicle is not small either, but managable in situations to get everything loaded and go places. You might need to PM, she isn't always reading the forums, not sure her photos will work, they were Webshots which is gone now. But she might have posted the name of her frame gate maker, so you could look at HIS website for photos of the system. Would give you some ideas of "possible" in hauling carts.
I have a friend who did the platform into two trailer hitch receivers on the back of his trailer and it hauled his wooden cart nicely. He did have to remove the platform to load and unload the equines. Two hitch receivers removed any wobble of the platform in hauling.
If you want to keep your trailer and go play, you get creative!! We did some "very interesting things" with our trailer when we needed to haul two carriages and two horse. One set of friends called us "Gypsies", while another said it was more "Beverly Hillbillies", with everything tied on back there!!
Thanks for the replies! I com from the h/j world, so yes anything over 15 is considered old. My current horse is 17 and is still doing the 3' hunters just fine, so i understand that age isnt everything. What i ment was im not expecting to get a fancy 6yo that is broke enough to teach me the ropes. I know i need something been there done that might need some maitence. Im not looking to show, just enjoy the sport. I have looked at what cartfall has posted, but couldnt pull up her website...? When I go to the club drives as a groom i see all kinds of trailer arangements, some even have the shafts through trailer windows, im suprrised people dont think they are gun territs some times What about martins action? would that be worth going to,or would looking online for a used cart and harness be cheaper?
I'd join the CD-L mailing list (and it's a high volume list- so get the digest) and start taking notes on what is offered for sale (or check the archives online) and also post your own wanted ad. You might just find that package that goodhors mentioned. The problem with driving is that when you get a new horse- or switch from single to pair etc... you can't just take all your original stuff with you- so a lot of people are forced to "clean house" when they switch things up and sell the old stuff to help pay for the new.
Here is a link to the page and I'm taking you in through the back door of the classifieds- and the only ad they are currently running (this does not represent the for sale ads that have gone through the listserve) which happens to be in VA.
Yes, you can certainly get a pony, cart and harness for under $5,000 BUT be patient and take your time looking!
I bought my pony 4 years ago for $2,500. He came with a meadowbrook and a decent leather harness. There were some things about the harness (the saddle didn't have a tree, and the blinkers were a bit floppy and rubbed his eyelashes) I didn't like so I got a new one pretty quickly, but the cart I had re-done just recently and it is nice enough to do local shows in!
Martin's is great but I would say go the first time just to see what's out there and don't buy anything until you have the pony you want to fit it too! How big of a pony are you looking for? I often get people who contact me about a pony they are selling.
Feel free to email me and I'd be happy to help you on your pony search! Anytime I can help get one more driver started it's a good thing for our sport!
Even though you're VA, I would check out PA, OH or IN. Even with shipping (~$700 from VA to IN, guess how I know ) I can think of a few ponies that would come in under $2500. The Morgan and DHH sales in Ashland, OH this spring or the Haflinger sale later in the year have lots of horses/ponies that drive. I'm not sure if they have a harness/equipment sale with these, but they may have.
I would recommend, hands down, visiting Ohio during the Mt. Hope Horse and Carriage Auction. They have one in the spring and again in the fall. It's up in Amish country in the sticks, but you can preview the online auction list about a week before the sale. There is everything and anything in the sale. From full drafts who work farm machinery to Dutch Harness horses, crossbreds, morgans, hackneys, and ponies ponies ponies galore! I was happy that I already purchased my pair of ponies before I attended the auction last spring, else I would have come home with about 4 more (and probably one very perturbed husband). I had to sit on my hands to prevent myself from bidding.
There are consignors from all over, even as far as New York. But if you have a good eye for horseflesh, you can most certainly come away with a very broke pony from the Amish. Yes, you have to be discerning. But there are some absolute GEMS they run through the sale. And they are indeed "USING ponies" with good manners and road miles. Yeah, like on the country roads with trucks passing them.
The auction has a very informal feel, you can wander about the stalls, chat with the owners and pull the ponies out for examinations. There is a large outdoor "ring" where you can sit on the side of the hill and watch the Amish kids hitch up their ponies and drive around all day long. It's a three ring-circus, seeing the minis and ponies darting here and there inbetween the larger horses and pairs all driving in the same ring. I have to hand it to the Amish kids, they really know their stuff!
I'm still beating myself up for not bringing home a lovely 12'2 paint gelding that had the most gorgeous extension and really used himself correctly. He was a stunner and could have gone right into the pleasure ring as soon as you brought him home.
So if you are confident to weed through the ponies, and know exactly what you are looking for in conformation and gaits, then don't turn down an Amish-bred. I will be returning to the auction again when I am looking for my next project pony. Then again auctions don't scare me much, I'm a veterinarian, so I can vet out any prospects that catch my eye, verifiy their age, and go on with it. I'm new to the driving world, but not new to the horse world, so I know how I want my driving prospect to move.
All in all it's a great weekend at the auction. And the sheer volume of carts, wagons and harnesses that move through there in one day will make your head spin!
I bought a harness (beta) and an well made EZ entry road cart for about $1700 total, brand new from Country Carriages in Tryon. Sold the road cart about two years later for what I had put into it. Be patient and you can find what you are looking for.
Thanks all! I did just join the CD-L list. And im not at all interested in rushing in to purchasing, and having my own rig that im confortable driving long distances. I would be looking all over for a great pony when the time is right.
My wonderful boss has been giving me lessons but with the weather and schedual they are quite sparatic. With my work schedual im off the entire summer, are there any p/t working student possitions that open for driving? I would like to be on a regular lesson schedual of once a week.