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Shaft Length

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  • Shaft Length

    I think I asked this before but I can't find it. How do I determine the length of shaft that I need for my horse.

    He is a narrow pony/ horse between 14.1 and 14.2 He wears a size 69-70 blanket.

    I have searched on the web and it looks like he should have 72, but I just want the advice of actual people.

    Also what length whip should I have? Both for ground driving, long lining and driving.
    https://fearlessriderreturns.blogspot.com/

  • #2
    Shaft should reach the point of horse's shoulder when harnessed - measure from swingletree to there.
    IME, pony-sized shafts are in the 60" range.

    The whip for driving should have a lash that can reach horse's shoulder (whip replaces your leg), same length s/b used for ground-driving as you walk where you would be seated in your vehicle.
    *friend of bar.ka*RIP all my lovely boys, gone too soon:
    Steppin' Out 1988-2004
    Hey Vern! 1982-2009, Cash's Bay Threat 1994-2009
    Sam(Jaybee Altair) 1994-2015

    Comment


    • #3
      The general rule is 18" from rump to singletree with straight shafts at point of shoulder and closed/marathon shafts in their loops, give or take 6" depending on stride of equine and cut of the vehicle. If you measure point of shoulder to buttock and add 18" you should be in the neighborhood. Whip length will be determined by your distance whennseated in the cart. I like one with a lash and a good bow (semi-rigid part between the shaft and lash) and regardless of type you should be able to touch the shoulders. The shaft shouldn't be so long that it hits the saddle and you should not have to stretch your arm to touch the horse's shoulder. You'll want a longer whip for ground driving/long lining since you are typically much further from the horse than you will be in the cart, but I do use my driving whip on the ground as I haven't gotten a second nice whip yet and the cheap lunge whip annoys me too much to bother using anymore. It measures 78" with a 18" lash and would probably be fine for long lining a pony vs the bigger ones I end up making do using it with!

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      • #4
        Cert you might want to edit the whip words, because using shaft instead of stick can be confusing in a discussion about shaft length of a vehicle!

        I was always taught it was whip stick and lash, with the bow between them on older whips. As with all horse related terminology, the names used can depend on local terms, who you learned from. At times it is like speaking two languages on the same topic, in trying to be specific! Probably why some parts have a double name, like tug loops, short tugs and long tugs on hames. All are tugs, but without the second part name, you have no clue which tugs they are.

        We seem to like drop lash, long stick whips best. For us, they reach the horse well, may be able to touch them easier that short lashed whips. It does take practice to be able to touch exactly where you plan, to get the result you want. We add lash length to a regular long stick driving whip for ground driving and long lining. You want to be able to touch that horse anywhere on the circle or as you follow them. We never walk directly behind when ground driving, you can't see what the horse is doing with their head and how much the reins are affecting their mouth. Off to one side works much better for us, especially with tall horses. The inexpensive black and white driving whips are pretty light, much easier to use for long times than the labeled "lunge whips" that are top heavy, have way too short of a lash to EVER reach the horse out on the lines, If you can't touch horse with the whip lash out there, he has no clue you are not happy, can ignore you easily. Have to say yelling is not really helpful then.

        If you plan to compete, check the ADS Rule Book for the correct distance allowed between horse rump and vehicle. It is listed for CDEs, not sure about Pleasure Driving section. Some folks got called out on it at Safety check at a CDE we attended. Way too close to the horse. They had to change their setting or could not continue to Dressage.

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        • #5
          goodhors Interesting about where you ground drive from.

          I've only done this with 52" pony & 34" mini, so seeing what their heads are doing was never a problem when I put myself a bit farther back from where I'd be seated in a cart.

          Hopeless you may find this helpful (tons of info to scroll through, but it is the ADS Rulebook, so...)

          https://americandrivingsociety.org/P...12418%20v3.pdf

          Page PD7, section 207.2 addresses the whip
          *friend of bar.ka*RIP all my lovely boys, gone too soon:
          Steppin' Out 1988-2004
          Hey Vern! 1982-2009, Cash's Bay Threat 1994-2009
          Sam(Jaybee Altair) 1994-2015

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by 2DogsFarm View Post
            Shaft should reach the point of horse's shoulder when harnessed - measure from swingletree to there.
            IME, pony-sized shafts are in the 60" range.

            The whip for driving should have a lash that can reach horse's shoulder (whip replaces your leg), same length s/b used for ground-driving as you walk where you would be seated in your vehicle.
            I have been seeing this thread and wondered.
            I am curious about some here, but my information is now a good 50 years old.
            I am sure this is a stupid question for those that know about driving.
            When studying for our instructor certification, we did some driving.
            For most of us it was very basic, just so we had an idea of what driving was.
            I seem to remember being told the shaft should be a bit past the point of the shoulder standing there.
            As the horse moved, the shaft tended to ride a little behind where it would be when standing.
            As I understood, one reason was so when a horse was trotting and turning, the shaft was supposed to be where, if for some reason the horse may walk into it, it was the shaft, not the point it would find there.

            Seems that every one I saw standing there, hitched between shafts, had that little bit sicking out in front of that point.
            Some shaft points even had little balls on them, best I remember, on some small carts?
            Guess that today things are different?

            Comment


            • #7
              goodhors I can see how that would get confusing! It doesn't help that I apparently failed to make paragraphs in my response.

              Bluey it particularly depends if you have flat ground yo harness on. When the traces are engaged and the horse is in draft the shaft tips should be about level with the point if shoulder, which means when the horse is not in draft and the breeching is engaged the tips will be slightly past. Yhere should not be a huge change in position, however. If there is the system of traces (pull) and holdbacks (brake) is not properly adjusted.

              Now you also have enclosed marathon shafts which terminate at the saddle (surcingle, belly band) to allow greater shoulder freedom and less chance of catching on something through a turn. They do require special pads called shaft shields to prevent rubbing and poking on the horse's sides.
              Last edited by CERT; Oct. 31, 2018, 11:41 PM. Reason: Typos, bah! I need to proofread better

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by CERT View Post
                goodhors I can see how that would get confusing! It doesn't help that I apparently failed to make paragraphs in my response.

                Bluey Blueyit particularly depends if you have flat ground yo harness on. When the traces are engaged and the horse is in draft the shaft tips should be about level with the point if shoulder, which means when the horse is not in draft and the breeching is engaged the tips will be slightly past. Yhere should not be a huge change in position, however. If there is the system of traces (pull) and holdbacks (brake) is not properly adjusted.

                Now you also have enclos3d marathon shafts which terminate at the saddle (surcingle, belly band) to allow greater shoulder freedom and less chance of catching on something through a turn. They do require special pads called shaft shields to prevent rubbing and poking on the horse's sides.
                I had been wondering.
                That is probably what we were taught, but I was not sure I got or heard that right.

                Thank you for your answer, that makes sense.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Cert said it the way I would have Bluey. Traces tight, shaft tips even with point-of-shoulder. Standing still, vehicle may move tips slightly further ahead of shoulder point before breeching engages to stop forward movement. There can be adjustment differences for casual driving versus pleasure showing or CDE driving where precision counts more. Too tight of setting during long casual driving times can rub horse, cause sores. Yet you will want "a snug fit" breeching setting for precision turns in games or hazards of a CDE. The horse only wears that type fit a short time, should not get any sores unless it is really too tight.

                  You never want breeching so loose horse gets stopped, THEN vehicle rolls up behind to slap him in the rump! A surprise like that could cause a runaway, and breeching will hit him again as you continue to try to stop! Very bad thing to happen.

                  The balls Bluey mentions on shaft tips could be tip protection pieces. I have never seen ball shaped ones, yet most older vehicles do have a form of cover to prevent wood wear on shaft ends when they get layed down on the ground. I have seen end covers in brass, silver metals, steel both plain and painted. Most are kind of cone shaped caps, but round covers are a possibility I just have not seen. These tip caps are all on long , wooden shafted vehicles, not modern competition vehicles.

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