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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep. 25, 2012

    Default Will my ponies be able to drive as a team?

    I have a large mini who stands at about 38 inches. I was recently given a small shetland cross that stands at 42 inches. Will eventually they be able to work as a team, or is their height difference too great.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct. 5, 2011


    I would have to say it depends on how they move. Do they have a similar stride length? They need to be able to work together to make a good pair. You dont want them "fighting" all the time, always having to hold one back and push one on, which is very difficult to do in a pair (ask me how I know )
    My ponies are about an inch different but they have the same movment, stride length etc so they make a great pair - though it was hard getting them there (one always worked single so it took him while to "relax" and let the other guy help out).
    Saying that, 4 inches is a huge difference and I would think that they would move quite differently than each other...I personally wouldnt want more than 2 maybe 3 inch difference in my ponies but I'm sure others will have some good (if not better) advice than me

  3. #3
    gothedistance is offline AERC Decade Team - 2000-2010 Premium Member
    Join Date
    Jan. 12, 2004
    No. VA


    Drive them as a tandem. Put the larger pony as the wheel.

    4" in large horses tends to be iffy at best; in ponies, and especially minis and small ponies, it is a HUGE difference. So my answer would be no, not even if their strides matched because the bigger would "out-step" the smaller.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct. 5, 2011


    I agree with gothedistance. A tandem would be a great idea. There is a mini team around us that has a large difference in size and they drive as a tandem and look great!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb. 16, 2003
    MI USA


    Quote Originally Posted by gothedistance View Post
    So my answer would be no, not even if their strides matched because the bigger would "out-step" the smaller.
    GTD, is that a slip of the keyboard? For me, when strides "match" that means the same length of step, front and hind. Similar overstep on each stride. If one "out-steps" the other, then they don't have matching strides.

    I will agree with everyone, that the ponies have to cover the same amount of ground on each stride. We usually walked them ground driving, loose lines, beside each other to try out "matching strides" when we first started doing Pairs. With the original member, any new animal had to match her, and it was NOT easy. We looked at over 40 animals, gave up on color matching! They couldn't keep up with her relaxed walk, let alone her "marching" walk. Never did get to trot. We gave up hunting. Then husband just stumbled across a match at a barn he was working in. Didn't even see it go, she was lame with a cut leg, which was the only reason she was for sale. They didn't want to mess with bandaging her, wound was 3 days old, uncared for. He bought her anyway, right size and color, then we fixed up her leg, got her going. She matched the original horse in gaits about 99%, but if pushed hard, the original horse could leave her in a ridden walking race. Funny enough, the new horse matched well in color but only had 2 stockings instead of four, both had wide blaze faces. Just "one of those things" where we got lucky. There couldn't have been another horse in the State that would have matched the original as well in stride and color, except her dam who was NOT for sale. And the old dam was EVEN FASTER, bigger strided.

    Husband has developed a better eye now, can tell if a horse strides well enough to match our present horses to be a candidate for our Team of four. They do take a bit to learn to work together smoothly. But being close to stride sizes to start with, it doesn't take much for them to look well together. They are horses, not ponies though.

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