New to driving and have a question. Looking to purchase a Meadowbrook type cart, basic 2 seater, 2 wheeled cart How and in what do you move it from place to place? How big of a trailer do you use or will they generally fit in a truck bed, do/should you always remove the shafts? How do you transport it and your horse at the same time? Any other helpful info is appreciated. Thanks
With our meadowbrook (pony sized) we could do 2 options:
1: We have a 2 + 1 horse trailer. Pony could go in a stall in the back and the carriage could go in the front box stall of the trailer. We wrapped the shafts (I used polos or you could use pool noodles, just cut a slit down the side and put it over the shaft) and placed the shafts up on the gate and tied the carriage and shafts down with tie downs - so there was no movment of the carriage. We liked this option best as if it rained we didn't have to worry about the carriage getting wet/dirty. You have to be careful where you tie it down so you don't get any scratches though. We have done this for years (with a painted meadowbrook so any scratch would show) without any damage to the carriage.
2: You could put the carriage in the back of a pick up truck. Ours fit easily between the wheel wells. We made a wooden "rack" that was just sligtly higher than the cab of the truck. The shafts again were wrapped and then placed on the rack (so they went above the roof of the truck). This way the carriage wouldn't rub the roof of the truck. The shafts were strapped down to the rack and the rest of the carriage as well was strapped down in the bed of the truck. We only did this if our trailer was full of ponies, but it worked well.
I have a 3 horse slant. Love my LQ with built in generator or I would look for a 2+1. My horse goes in 1st and then the cart goes behind with the shafts tied up to the ceiling over the horse. I have even had a mini under the shafts in the middle stall in a pen that I made
I just brought my new road cart home. Had to drive just over 200kms from where I got it to where I have my gelding, and originally I'd planned to have a friend help me and use her truck and enclosed utility trailer, but she bailed on me last second. I ended up using a long box pickup truck with one of those steel grates in the front of the bed, just behind the cab. Wrapped the shafts in a couple towels and strapped them to the steel so they were above the roof but not resting on it. It sat in the bed, just behind the gooseneck hitch, with the tailgate open. We strapped it in super tight, no room for any sort of movement, and blocked the wheels as an extra precaution. Attached a stall guard to the back where the tailgate would close as a final safety measure as we had to take it over the dreaded Malahat (large hill/small mountain with lots of steep parts and a lot of really bad drivers), and my beautiful baby made the trip safely! It only took two people to load and unload (one in the bed to guide the shafts into place, and one on the ground to carefully roll the wheels off the bed, onto the bumper, and then onto the ground).
My cart is cob sized (for my 14.1hh percheron/morgan) and my vaulting coach (who helped me move it) does the same thing with her draft's cart with no issues.
If you haul your cart often in the back of the truck, you will probably want to go to a trailer that will hold both horse and cart. It just gets to be a pain, having to unhitch to unload the cart. As mentioned, you can also leave the cart inside the trailer, so it is protected from weather when away from home.
If you have a flatbed truck, it is much easier to unload the cart off the side of the truck, no need for unhitching with some ramps. And adding a winch to the whole package, can CERTAINLY make getting your cart up on the bed MUCH easier, using a flatbed or regular box on your truck.
Those small pieces of fleecy nylon with a ring on each end are GREAT for tying down the vehicle and not leaving marks. You can use rachet straps and get a very secure hold on the vehicle. I will advise NOT USING any kind of bungee straps. They are not very strong, hooks straighten out or break off pretty easily. We know SEVERAL people who used bungee cords to tie in carts on the truck bed, only to have the cart FLY OFF THE TRUCK further on down the road. One cart did an actual somersault over the horse trailer to land on the road behind, owner watched it happen!!
Depending on wheel size, having blocks to lift the tires is helpful, with dog collars using BUCKLES, not plastic snaps, to tie the tailgate shut on the cart in the bed. You get the extra couple inches needed at the top for width of wheels, but bottom of tailgate is not interfering with the trailer jack in turns or driving. We hauled our Road Cart with the 56" wheels that way, kept wheels behind the truck wheel wells for secure ride. We just made a wood crossbar behind the cab to hold the shafts up off the truck roof, fit into the bed stake pockets. Worked quite well with our draft horse length shafts. The crossbar just popped on or off. We put the anchor rings for rachets into the center holes of truck box, they had rubber between plates, so you could tighten the rings down in the holes hard. Again, easy in or out of the truck bed pockets, left no mark on the truck, but REALLY held well for using the rachet straps.
You can work with what you have now, see how it does after you use it this way for a bit. Heck, you may not like the cart, want to get a different vehicle with more driving experience! My husband modified our Road Cart in at least a dozen ways, the first couple years we had it, then changed more things when we got a MUCH larger horse to drive. It might well be our "third cart" if we had just purchased instead. So don't get super attached to your vehicle without using it more than a few miles! Some stuff you can change to like your cart better, but other stuff isn't worth going to so much trouble, when you can buy a different cart and just enjoy it straight away.
Soft, clean western string cinches can make good tie-down wrappers to anchor the rachets hooks into, not scratch or ding up the paint.
One thing we have learned, is to tie the axles down if possible, and also to anchor somewhere ABOVE the springs when tying things down. You want a little compression of the springs, so they don't JUMP while traveling, get the whole vehicle dribbling itself like a ball. We have put in anchor rings for that so we don't have to hook onto painted places or take the chance of rub marks. Each vehicle is different, so you have to evaluate what you have to work with. Newer vehicles tend to have stiffer springs, so they bounce harder than older, worn springs on older vehicles. That "crisp or cushy ride" choice we make.
Since we only have a 2 horse side by side bumper pull, we had to get a second trailer for the carts. We load up both MB's onto a 10' flat bed ATV trailer. So, every where we go, we use 2 trucks, 2 trailers, and have 2 horses & 2 carts. Not the most convenient, especially when my horse-trailer truck isn't available.
However, I am super super against the idea of putting the horse in the trailer first, then the cart in the back. I see this ALLLLLLLlll the time, at every even I go to, and I just think - God forbid they ever get into an accident. You will lose your horse because you cannot get him out, since the cart is in the way.
In my opinion, keeping "worst case scenarios" in mind is important, and making sure you have a quick escape for your horse is far superior. Who cares about the cart. That can be replaced. However, in an accident- imagine, your truck & trailer jackknifed, down on a ravine, perhaps on fire - your horse will die because you wanted the cart sticking out the back.
Someday (soon??) I hope to get a new truck. My new truck decision will be made on the basis of what size trailer I need to haul 1 horse and 1 meadowbrook totally by myself. I do want to be able to haul alone if I can, but I will be sure to get the right size trailer, so my 13' long MB can go IN THE BACK and the horse will be near the door. Knowing what size trailer will be ideal, will help me figure out what size truck to get as a replacement for my current vehicle.
And, when we go out in pairs, we will still be able to fall back to the 2 trucks/2 trailer thing.
Chewie, the new trailer SHOULD be purchased with enough room for a 4-wheel vehicle in mind. Hate to say this, but after going thru the 2-wheel vehicle stage with a young or new-to-driving horse, that changing to 4-wheels is LUXURY. The ride is MUCH better, and less of a load on the horse's back. The winch does the hard part, pulling vehicle into trailer or truck, you just steer it!
We put the horses in the front of the trailer because they get a better ride between the truck axles and trailer axles. Kind of like being in a "hammock", suspended with a much better feel. Riding over the axles is harder, they feel everything. There is a full size person door they could get outside with in that section with carriage in the rear. But it would take some work to remove the divider for second horse before he could exit.
And while you should think about "worst case" stuff, I need to haul long distances, want my horses to arrive feeling good, not worn out in the trailer. Guess if I can't drive well enough to not fall off the road edge, I will have to suffer for it! Locally, the horses who have been in tipped over trailers going off the road, have done best if LEFT INSIDE, and the trailer righted back onto the wheels. THEN horses are unloaded on their own feet, injuries dealt with. Sounds heartless, but the horses come out better. These were trailers with dividers, mostly 2H, straight loads. MOST Emergency responders DO NOT know how to pull horses that are down, don't have Vets to give tranqs fast, so they injure horses badly when they try to remove them from a trailer. Some of those had to be put down from dragging injuries.
Guess if I can't drive well enough to not fall off the road edge, I will have to suffer for it!
It isn't necessarily about how well you drive, but about how hard (and where) the other guy hits you.
Don't know if you recall about 5 years ago, hearing a story of a double decker filled with over 50 Belgians coming from an auction to Canada for slaughter. The trailer overturned in an accident in Wadsworth, IL, and all these young horses (mostly 1-2 year olds, and a few older, non Belgian horses) were pulled out on their sides. No way was that trailer going to be righted. (http://www.horsegroomingsupplies.com...ie-168743.html) That happened about 25 min from my house. Made national news.
Awful to think of, but it can happen. And it's one thing if the horse has an out through a side door in a pinch, but otherwise, I wouldn't want my horses trapped behind a cart - let alone a heavier 4 wheel carriage.
I simply suppose that if I get a trailer big enough to house a 13' MB and a horse, it will be given that a 4 wheel marathon with removable/positionable shafts/pole will fit instead.
Of course, all of the above are well out of sight at this point, but it's nice to think along the "well, I may need this some day" lines
Actually, after helping a friend move her full horse size marathon carriage through some sand in an arena the other day, I realized that I do not have the physical strength to move a marathon carriage around the way my boarding barn is set up, so that pretty much squashed any thoughts of getting one for Chewbacca.
Don't know how you people do it with those bigger carriages! Yikes.
I do think a small pony single/mini pairs (4's) marathon may be in my future some day, but that's about as large a 4 wheel as I will be planning to get.
If you haul your cart often in the back of the truck, you will probably want to go to a trailer that will hold both horse and cart. It just gets to be a pain, having to unhitch to unload the cart.
I can jack-knife my truck (6ft bed) and 2 horse BP trailer to a nice 90 degree angle so that I can stick my ramps on the bed of the truck to offload the road cart You just have to be real careful and have someone watching between the bumper of the truck and the front of the trailer! I also remove the tailgate when the cart is in the bed of the truck.
Of course not all truck/trailers might be able to do this! My other setup if I'm using the gooseneck trailer is to use our other truck with 16ft flatbed to haul the cart on.