• Welcome to the Chronicle Forums.
    Please complete your profile. The forums and the rest of www.chronofhorse.com has single sign-in, so your log in information for one will automatically work for the other. Disclaimer: The opinions expressed here are the views of the individual and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of The Chronicle of the Horse.



Forum rules and no-advertising policy

As a participant on this forum, it is your responsibility to know and follow our rules. Please read this message in its entirety.

Board Rules

1. You’re responsible for what you say.
As outlined in Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, The Chronicle of the Horse and its affiliates, as well Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd., the developers of vBulletin, are not legally responsible for statements made in the forums.

This is a public forum viewed by a wide spectrum of people, so please be mindful of what you say and who might be reading it—details of personal disputes are likely better handled privately. While posters are legally responsible for their statements, the moderators may in their discretion remove or edit posts that violate these rules. Users have the ability to modify or delete their own messages after posting, but administrators generally will not delete posts, threads or accounts upon request.

Outright inflammatory, vulgar, harassing, malicious or otherwise inappropriate statements and criminal charges unsubstantiated by a reputable news source or legal documentation will not be tolerated and will be dealt with at the discretion of the moderators.

2. Conversations in horse-related forums should be horse-related.
The forums are a wonderful source of information and support for members of the horse community. While it’s understandably tempting to share information or search for input on other topics upon which members might have a similar level of knowledge, members must maintain the focus on horses.

3. Keep conversations productive, on topic and civil.
Discussion and disagreement are inevitable and encouraged; personal insults, diatribes and sniping comments are unproductive and unacceptable. Whether a subject is light-hearted or serious, keep posts focused on the current topic and of general interest to other participants of that thread. Utilize the private message feature or personal email where appropriate to address side topics or personal issues not related to the topic at large.

4. No advertising in the discussion forums.
Posts in the discussion forums directly or indirectly advertising horses, jobs, items or services for sale or wanted will be removed at the discretion of the moderators. Use of the private messaging feature or email addresses obtained through users’ profiles for unsolicited advertising is not permitted.

Company representatives may participate in discussions and answer questions about their products or services, or suggest their products on recent threads if they fulfill the criteria of a query. False "testimonials" provided by company affiliates posing as general consumers are not appropriate, and self-promotion of sales, ad campaigns, etc. through the discussion forums is not allowed.

Paid advertising is available on our classifieds site and through the purchase of banner ads. The tightly monitored Giveaways forum permits free listings of genuinely free horses and items available or wanted (on a limited basis). Items offered for trade are not allowed.

Advertising Policy Specifics
When in doubt of whether something you want to post constitutes advertising, please contact a moderator privately in advance for further clarification. Refer to the following points for general guidelines:

Horses – Only general discussion about the buying, leasing, selling and pricing of horses is permitted. If the post contains, or links to, the type of specific information typically found in a sales or wanted ad, and it’s related to a horse for sale, regardless of who’s selling it, it doesn’t belong in the discussion forums.

Stallions – Board members may ask for suggestions on breeding stallion recommendations. Stallion owners may reply to such queries by suggesting their own stallions, only if their horse fits the specific criteria of the original poster. Excessive promotion of a stallion by its owner or related parties is not permitted and will be addressed at the discretion of the moderators.

Services – Members may use the forums to ask for general recommendations of trainers, barns, shippers, farriers, etc., and other members may answer those requests by suggesting themselves or their company, if their services fulfill the specific criteria of the original post. Members may not solicit other members for business if it is not in response to a direct, genuine query.

Products – While members may ask for general opinions and suggestions on equipment, trailers, trucks, etc., they may not list the specific attributes for which they are in the market, as such posts serve as wanted ads.

Event Announcements – Members may post one notification of an upcoming event that may be of interest to fellow members, if the original poster does not benefit financially from the event. Such threads may not be “bumped” excessively. Premium members may post their own notices in the Event Announcements forum.

Charities/Rescues – Announcements for charitable or fundraising events can only be made for 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organizations. Special exceptions may be made, at the moderators’ discretion and direction, for board-related events or fundraising activities in extraordinary circumstances.

Occasional posts regarding horses available for adoption through IRS-registered horse rescue or placement programs are permitted in the appropriate forums, but these threads may be limited at the discretion of the moderators. Individuals may not advertise or make announcements for horses in need of rescue, placement or adoption unless the horse is available through a recognized rescue or placement agency or government-run entity or the thread fits the criteria for and is located in the Giveaways forum.

5. Do not post copyrighted photographs unless you have purchased that photo and have permission to do so.

6. Respect other members.
As members are often passionate about their beliefs and intentions can easily be misinterpreted in this type of environment, try to explore or resolve the inevitable disagreements that arise in the course of threads calmly and rationally.

If you see a post that you feel violates the rules of the board, please click the “alert” button (exclamation point inside of a triangle) in the bottom left corner of the post, which will alert ONLY the moderators to the post in question. They will then take whatever action, or no action, as deemed appropriate for the situation at their discretion. Do not air grievances regarding other posters or the moderators in the discussion forums.

Please be advised that adding another user to your “Ignore” list via your User Control Panel can be a useful tactic, which blocks posts and private messages by members whose commentary you’d rather avoid reading.

7. We have the right to reproduce statements made in the forums.
The Chronicle of the Horse may copy, quote, link to or otherwise reproduce posts, or portions of posts, in print or online for advertising or editorial purposes, if attributed to their original authors, and by posting in this forum, you hereby grant to The Chronicle of the Horse a perpetual, non-exclusive license under copyright and other rights, to do so.

8. We reserve the right to enforce and amend the rules.
The moderators may delete, edit, move or close any post or thread at any time, or refrain from doing any of the foregoing, in their discretion, and may suspend or revoke a user’s membership privileges at any time to maintain adherence to the rules and the general spirit of the forum. These rules may be amended at any time to address the current needs of the board.

Please see our full Terms of Service and Privacy Policy for more information.

Thanks for being a part of the COTH forums!

(Revised 1/26/16)
See more
See less

Carriage weight - marathon carriage suggestions?

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Carriage weight - marathon carriage suggestions?

    OK, what weight should i be shooting for when looking for a marathon carriage for a 14h welsh cob? I'm getting so frustrated.

    I found one i REALLY like, it's local, gives me all the options i want, it's "horse" size, but from where i found it at other places they say best suited for 14-15.2h... However, it weighs 600lbs. Does this sound right or too heavy for marathon? Seems like a lot of weight when we add a couple adults on there too for a 14h pony, even though she may be a beefy, big boned 14h. The seller says it's way too heavy, yet when i start looking at other new marathon carriages, i'm looking at 500-600lbs. So maybe we arent too far off base. I know if i'm using this vehicle for dressage, it might be a bit heavy, but i dont think i'm going to hamper her movement too much on level/good footing, she's a power house. I just worry more so for marathon and driving the trails/hills at home.

    Does anyone have suggestions of brands/models that can convert single to pairs (no pair right now, but i'm looking), and be "pretty" enough to not look totally retarded at welsh shows (i'm not going for presentation pretty, but maybe something i can slap some lamps on to dress us up a little). It doesnt have to be the "ideal" marathon vehicle, i've been looking at some older Eagles, Flyers, and similar. I am looking to only do training or prelim, i do not have the time, funds, etc to probably ever outgrow this vehicle... So think entry level that can last me forever... I have to buy this used, i'm looking to stay under 4k, i'm in no hurry, but when i find something for sale, i want an idea of if it's something i should pursue, or kick out of the running due to weight or some other issue you guys think i need to steer clear of.

    Thanks everyone!
    Your Horse's Home On The Road!

  • #2
    Even though it may not be a perfect parallel, since a horse has 4 legs doing the work and I have 2, I like to think in terms of how much I can handle. I weigh 190, and my wheelbarrow that weighs 90 lb seems like it's very easy to push around, even up steep hills for some distance. put 100 lb in it and it gets harder but still not bad. A full load of wet concrete and it's all I can handle. (but that weighs a whole lot more than I do) If the horse weighs 1000 lb, A 600 lb carriage for him is not much more than me pushing the empty wheelbarrow, add a couple people to the carriage and you'd be up to the wheelbarrow with a moderate load. I think it's fine. How easy is it for one person to push another around in a wheel chair who weighs the same as they do? a half ton horse pulling a half ton carriage might be similar.


    • #3
      We don't have a marathon carriage and haven't researched them but I can tell you from years of volunteering as a hazard judge that your Flyer or Eagle is not going to make you happy in competition. Center of gravity is different, suspension is different and (I think) turning radius is different from what is being commonly used now and while you are driving training and prelim, you may well be in an advanced hazard doing training gates.

      The 600 lb small horse vehicle you are considering is heavy for competition. Our BO bought a horse glinkowski for training only thinking it would be comparable to driving her pony kunhle with two adults up. Turns out the Glinkowski is too much for the 14 H Morgan pony.

      Her Kunhle is a 140 (I think) which is supposed to be the kilos. Translated into pounds its between 300 and 350. I think it is really more like 400 minimum. You are talking 200 more pounds than that.

      I'd recommend you keep looking.

      Keep your eyes open for a Dartmore Merlin or Pacific or something.

      Also be careful of going too light. They just aren't strong enough to do the job.


      • Original Poster

        Thanks for the info on the flyers/eagle types. I think you are right, they just aren't going to handle like I want it too. So I'm figuring I need to stay in the 300-400lb range? I knew I didn't want light, but finding that happy medium seems to be tough, and then hearing what they "say" the weight is compared to a much heavier actual weight, this is so frustrating. I like the Pacifics, I'll search for the dartmore Merlin.

        Your Horse's Home On The Road!


        • #5
          I think part of the equation is how forward thinking your horse is and how fit they are.

          Just for comparison sake.....

          I have a friend with a 15.1 hand Arab/Percheron cross. She is a pretty sturdy mare, most people think she is a Section D Cob. She is not a slug but not the most forward either. She drives her in a 400ish# carriage and does fine. She drove her to my Glinkowski Marathon 100 that is closer to 500# and felt like she struggled a bit.

          I have a 16.1 hand Hanoverian that is very forward and with my 500+# carriage I sometimes feel like a ribbon fluttering on the back of a bonnet.

          Just my very humble .02, but I think 600# is too much for your horse.
          Kanoe Godby
          See, I was raised by wolves and am really behind the 8-ball on diplomatic issue resolution.


          • #6
            We try to figure 60% LOADED weight of vehicle and passengers, of the horse's body weight. So you have a lot more leeway with a 1500 pound horse, than with a 900 pound pony.

            We had to figure this weight thing when we did a Tandem, wheeler is doing all the work in Hazards. He was a big, stout horse, but you don't want to kill off his energy just pulling dead weight. And muscular grooms, will weigh more, even skinny.

            You can say "two people" but they could each weigh almost 200 pounds for a 400 pound addition, or just over 100 pounds, for a 200 pound addition, to the total vehicle weight. Big jump from basic 600 pounds, to 800 or 1000 pounds of pulled load. And I would say any stout 14H animal would be overloaded if they were not pulling on a flat road. Load is way more than 60% of his weight.

            As Drive NJ said, going too light can also get you in trouble. They bounce badly, flip more easily because of the leverage factor of people above the weight of axles. Taller folks, higher driver seat, gives more leverage above. builder/buyer can sacrifice weight for strength, carriage gets literally "pulled apart" by the force of the animal.

            I really feel bad for you, strength or weight is a hard choice. And the better ones are hard to find, more expensive because of a proven record of success.

            Husband says you should take pony and hitch him to as many vehicles as possible to educate yourself. Does it track well, how does it handle in turns, can you see where you are going? What suits one person fine, is an object of hatred to another driver. Some brands are said to be noisy, which can drive some folks crazy. Would you buy a car with no test drive? Too many variables between brand names, how they are used, to say "This is the BEST one."

            Totally agree that Flyer types are NOT what you want to use in Marathon except at the very lowest level, slow speeds. Competitions have changed a lot since they were developed. You might want to check under Dartmoor spelling. I think they were named after the ponies.


            • Original Poster

              Thanks for the help! I know the cart i had for her weighed over 400lbs, she scared me with it, even with my husband on it, i had that "ribbon floating in the breeze" feeling. She may be small, but she is FORWARD and a power house. She's pretty fit right now, we are riding 3-4 days a week doing arena work plus 4 miles or more out in the woods, then 1-2 days a week of long reining work. Her rear end is a rock.

              I'm looking for her match to have a pair, i found a young one in WA, but the hauling bill with gas prices as they are would cost me more than the pony!!!! I'm trying to keep that "pair" idea in mind when shopping as well, i know i dont want to end up too light with two power houses pulling it, and i sure hope to not have to buy something again later, my husband will murder me. I get death looks over spending 4k on something... But i reasoned with him, i only have that $$ because i sold a pony and all my dressage tack to get more involved in driving!

              I would really like to try out several carriages, that sounds ideal, but would feel bad to show up somewhere just to "try" something, i in no way can afford a new model from a dealer. I'm very close to driving mecca here, but i dont know anyone aside from a few lessons at Muffy's, i've gotten quite a bit of advice from her. I want to start volunteering at the local driving events so i can meet people, but i still have a 2yr old human kid which limits my activity.

              Muffy had recommended the flyer as an all around type of vehicle, but yes, i agree after looking at them closer and comparing, it's just not looking like what i would want long term. Thanks for the tips!

              The search continues!
              Your Horse's Home On The Road!


              • #8
                It will be very difficult to find a marathon vehicle for single and pair as far as weight goes. You will have to chose one or the other, I think.


                • #9
                  Originally posted by 49'er View Post
                  It will be very difficult to find a marathon vehicle for single and pair as far as weight goes. You will have to chose one or the other, I think.
                  Agree! I had intended to mention that.
                  Kanoe Godby
                  See, I was raised by wolves and am really behind the 8-ball on diplomatic issue resolution.


                  • Original Poster

                    Hmmm, well maybe the best would be to stay with a cart for now (i dont plan on doing any marathon stuff for the next year anyway) get a matching pony, and then invest in a heavier marathon carriage after that.

                    I really hate the feel/handle of a cart. Sigh. But i did wonder if a 400lb carriage would be too light for a pair of 14h cobs, i see the pairs vehicles weighing more. I think i like the Pacific Dartmoor the best of what i've found out there, and it weighs 330. Two cobs would kill it i think.

                    Which i could probably buy the local carriage i like if i HAD my pair now, but i hate to see it sitting around, it may take me forever to find the matching chestnut with bright flaxen mane and tail that has similar movement (and i'm picky, it MUST match or i dont want it ). Then add on time for training as i doubt i'll luck out and find something already driving, which means it's probably smart to have a cart around for a while to begin with...

                    Decisions decisions! Thanks for the help!
                    Your Horse's Home On The Road!


                    • #11
                      bfz, check out this Bobcat. They are an imported carriage that was old in the UK under the name of Porsche. They are made in Poland and are a generic marathon carriage in the sense they can be named whatever the company selling wants to name them.

                      I owned one under the name of Porsche. It is in most of my albums on CDEs. Great little carriage that fit my light framed ARabs really well. I got the pony size and it went about 325 pounds without the shafts. My little framed Arabians had no problem on marathon.


                      I don;t know if you are going with new or used. But if you can find one of these used, jump on it.

                      Good luck.


                      • Original Poster

                        I was looking at the bobcat, it's something I could save up for and afford new if I have enough patience. But I wish it had a double seat on the box, not just the bucket seat. I drive with my son a lot, he's a bit young to stay on the back of one like this with the curved padded fender. Some of the other models offer a double seat, at least big enough for him, probably not another adult up there when it comes to the pony size carriages, but might be something I can add on as an extra option... I have not ran across a bobcat used yet, but I've got a ton of websites bookmarked and watching the CD-L like a hawk. I know of a reasonably priced bellcrown carriage in FL that is suitable, it's just kinda blah...

                        The one I really wanted was an old Warco that converted from a presentation vehicle with rear groom seat, a marathon step, or a wagonette. That's hard to top, and I don't think I'll find something similar in a lighter vehicle.
                        Your Horse's Home On The Road!


                        • #13
                          I think the days of the "conversion vehilce are long gone. Everything is much more specialized in design now.

                          Except for using a marathon vehicle at pleasure shows - there really is no reason to try to "dress it up" with groom seats, panels etc UNTIL you get up to Advanced. Looks to me like people in the Training and Prelim have just accepted the look of the marathon vehicle for all phases

                          You just want to make sure that YOUR own driving position allows for good posture when driving dressage.


                          • #14
                            If you have no idea when you will be getting the second horse, which probably won't be trained to drive. I would shop for a 4-wheeler now, suitable for the single you have. You have said you plan to be very picky and may be a long time shopping to find the match to your animal.

                            If and when you finally locate the other horse, it probably will need quite a bit of training to get solid as a single, before putting it in the Pair. You can move from cart with 2-wheels as a starter vehicle, to the single 4-wheeler, get lots of time in on it. Going from 2 wheels to 4 wheels is not done until horse is pretty GOOD at obedience, driving out, well controlled. All of which will take time to develop.

                            I can see you getting quite a bit of use from a single animal 4-wheel vehicle, before you even need to think of getting a Pair vehicle. Could be a couple years or more! You don't plan to show much, so having a pretty vehicle should not be a big factor. Having comfortable seats for husband and child, that is a big consideration when going pleasure driving down the road. Seems like you said child is quite small, so a good seatback is quite important. I would NOT leave him sitting in the back end with no adult to keep him contained. Not enough strength to hold himself in the vehicle if horse acts up. He might even fall asleep, and I AM TELLING YOU, kid is REALLY hard to hold and drive at the same time in a 2-wheel cart!! Nothing to hold them on the seat, protect them from the open wheel, SCARY even with the BEST, fail-safe horse ahead of me!! Only did that drive-out ONCE, my arm felt 2ft longer on one side!

                            As you are looking at marathon type vehicles, check that front seat. Can a centered seat be lifted off, replaced with a bench type seat? Just a cut plywood board screwed to the carriage itself for sitting on, with an iron rail around the sides and back to keep body parts inside. You could put a wedge on one side for yourself, small cushion for a passenger to ride beside you. Save the single seat for when you get around to compete later on.

                            Those old Warco Wagonettes were cute, but only suitable now for lower levels, slower speeds. Not going to hold up well if you bang into stuff, they are lightweight compared to marathon vehicles, even if the poundage is the same.


                            • #15
                              BFZ, my first marathon carriage was a Warco and was truly a lead sled.

                              My 800 pound mare was pulling a 510 pound carriage with two people around 300 pounds--brought it up to her weight. Poor girl!!!

                              Well made but heavy most Warcos in my experience.


                              • Original Poster

                                Good thoughts/ideas goodhors. Yes, its not much fun when the kid falls asleep on the cart, which he does on a regular basis actually. Thankfully, my present carts keep him in and i can lock his leg down by putting my thigh over it without being too uncomfortable, though i will admit, i've gotten really good at driving one handed. He mostly goes out with my mini who i really trust, only with my cob when my husband comes along with. Trust her, but i'm borrowing a friends cheaper metal easy entry for her at the moment, and i dont really trust the cart to hold up if pony decided to have a "moment." I've really just been ground driving her because i dont feel comfortable with that cart. I sold the big heavy cart back in Oct, i could buy it back, but i hated it.

                                I do think i'll keep looking for something suitable for a single horse. I WOULD like it "pretty" enough for welsh shows, i dont show much, but want to take her to a couple a year. I think that is what appealed to me about the Warco conversion, that it could cover both worlds, maybe not brilliantly, but not be hideous like taking something like the bobcat marathon carriage into the welsh ring would be...

                                I really do not drive down the road at all anymore. I moved my horses from my small town where i could drive all the roads, to a boarding facility on a dead end road off a very busy street. However, i have 560 acres of perfect driving trails right behind the barn... I REALLY want a pretty pheaton for welsh shows, but i cant really see it bouncing down the trail. I think a marathon carriage would be the better option for long term, and goodhors is right, i'm sure that single vehicle would get used for training for many years, for now, and later when i finally, hopefully, find the match to put together a pretty pair. Oh to have the money and the space to buy 3 or 4 different vehicles to do it all!

                                Thanks guys, you've helped me narrow down what i'm looking for!
                                Your Horse's Home On The Road!


                                • #17
                                  This thread is leading me to some random thoughts:

                                  1 - we saw an interesting child seat solution at the Grainger Carriage Museum this summer (NYState)
                                  it was a small platform with inward curving supports between the bottom and the top
                                  It was made so 2 adults could sit on a carriage seat - put this thing between then (the curved supports would allow their thighs to fit into the support)
                                  and then the child sits on top of the platform
                                  kind of like this:
                                  ) (

                                  2 Just a thought to make an open carriage seat more secure for a young child is to attach a stadium seat cushion
                                  something like this??
                                  It could give a little more protection from sliding thru more open cart seats


                                  • Original Poster

                                    The stadium seat would have been great on my last mini cart! I wish i would have thought of that then! Thankfully the kid grew and i didnt have to worry too much about him slipping out between the seat and back, but when he fell asleep it was a pain. What i did when he was real little was bungy a Bumbo seat onto the cart seat.
                                    It supported him really well and he couldnt fall out of it, but in an emergency, i could easily get him out. Unfortunately, he outgrew it. Worked great on the golf cart too!

                                    My new mini cart only has 3" between seat and back, the biggest problem we have is him slipping down, but i use some of that perforated rubber cabinet stuff and that helps. New cart rides rougher than all get out though, so he gets bounced out of place eventually and i have to keep adjusting him. The bouncing kinda helps keep him awake though, and thankfully he loves it and begs for us to hit more holes... Boys...

                                    I'll have to keep the stadium seat in mind if i end up with something he can slip out of. He's recently had a growth spurt and i dont think i'll have too much issue from here on out, but would be nice when i get 5min from the barn and he falls asleep on me!

                                    Now that i had convinced myself away from a Flyer/Eagle type, someone put an eagle for sale on the CD-L... And of course, i had to go back to the website and see all the extra pieces i could buy for it and then have my lightweight "conversion" vehicle i kinda liked in the first place... GRRRR...

                                    I still think a marathon vehicle would be the smartest for my needs, but so tacky for the welsh shows.
                                    Your Horse's Home On The Road!


                                    • #19
                                      I have had 2 flyers and 1 eagle. They are a really, really nice pleasure vehicle. Ride is very smooth. You could probably get away with training level cd in one. You might reconsider it. That is a very good price on the CD-L one. Shipping cost would be a problem.


                                      • Original Poster

                                        But they are coming to NC on Sunday 49'er, and i could pick it up from there... So aside from my gas (which is rather ridiculous at the moment) it would ship relatively cheaply...

                                        Thus, i am considering it... But i'm not 100% sure. I'm waiting for pictures. It's biggest flaw is that it's got a burgundy body, which the cart i sold in the fall was also burgundy, and it looked crappy with my bright chestnut... But i guess if it drives me too crazy, i can always get it repainted. Bonus, it's got natural shafts and wheels, so it wouldnt be TOO burgundy...

                                        Your Horse's Home On The Road!