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Christmas Present to me... cart # 3 ?

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  • Christmas Present to me... cart # 3 ?

    What do you guys think of this cart? http://www.carolinacarriagesuperstor...carts.html#top

    Hopefully that link takes you right to the one...but if not they're calling it Horse Size Meadowbrook 2408107 about two-thirds of the way down the carts/wagons page on the left side.

    What do you think about the black wheels? Is the black a personal preference thing, or is there some color rules I don't know about that make black undesirable? (or just uncool?)

    Also, what characteristics should I be looking for, or what problems should I be on the lookout for if I go see the cart? I know carts should be balanced so there is very little weight on the shafts...wheels should be in good shape, that sorta stuff...but it's been a long tine since I drove and I'm still very new

    Don't worry, no plans to actually hitch the horse just yet, although he has some driving experience.
    Last edited by fivesocks; Dec. 21, 2011, 03:21 PM.

  • #2
    That is not a Meadowbrook. It's an easy entry road cart.
    Looks to me like a home-made cart, suspension looks way too light to my liking and I'm not a big fan of the narrow narrow wheels.
    I would keep looking. You can find nicer carts in your price range, slightly used...


    • #3
      I am going to go with "just a cart". Neither a Meadowbrook or an Easy Entry type, even if others think it is. Just shafts, wheels, seat and foot basket.

      Basics on a Meadowbrook mean it has a back entrance, split seats, fenders on the wheels. Seat down between the shafts, with seatbacks, so cart has a low center of gravity over rougher ground. Hard to see ahead of the horse while driving.

      Easy entry means that somehow the vehicle is "easily entered" in front of the wheel. This usually means that shaft is below the foot area or stops at the dashboard. This is so you are not having to hoist leg high to get over the shaft for entry. Has a step or double step for putting your foot on, climbing on to get up into the body.

      Road carts are seated higher than the horse in most cases. You can easily see over your horse, look where you are going. Come in a variety of styles, but tend to be a bit harder to enter. Usually entered from the back, often by stepping over the seat, as you would do with that black wheeled model. Helps to be nimble and long legged! Some folks enter from in front of the wheel, but you have to step up over the shaft, horse needs to stand WELL, while doing that. They would have a seatback, which might fold down for easier entry.

      Price is pretty cheap, but that black wheeled cart doesn't have much to offer in comfort. Just the fact that it appears new, so wood should be dependable. You won't see many natural finish carts with black wheels, but I wouldn't let paint stop me if I liked it. We have a dark wheeled phaeton with a natural body. Original color scheme, so we just refinished it the same when we had it redone. Black is EASILY touched up if you wanted to show one day. I would REALLY miss having a backrest, and not like not being able to see in front of my horse, so this would NOT be a cart I would choose for THOSE reasons first. You can get picky on other stuff too, but I would quit looking at it after those two reasons.


      • #4
        5socks? what are your driving goals? That might give us more to go on for what to look for and such?
        Everyday? Showing? kind of horse? and what ever you can think of. It actually took me almost 3 years of research and searching to find the proper show cart and I had a fairly large budget and no distance limit.


        • #5
          Yeah, i'm not a fan because it's hard to get in and no back rest... So like goodhors, without even looking at the further issues with it, i wouldnt look any further.

          Ask on the CD-L for some specifics that you want in a cart and see what people write you about. Lots of driving people in your area.
          Your Horse's Home On The Road!


          • #6
            The first thing I noticed was that the seat is not adjustable to balance the thing. Now, I have *owned* a fixed-seat vehicle, and was able to get it balanced by moving the horse a little farther back in the shafts than one would prefer - but I would not care to do it again. I'd pass because of that.
            "The standard you walk by is the standard you accept."--Lt. Gen. David Morrison, Austalian Army Chief


            • #7
              Another cart question for a newbie

              I have a 14 -3 coming into 3 yr old haflinger that just got back from driving training. I am new to driving and so is my horse (I know not a good idea; however, it is already done). My question to you is what kind of cart should I get. The trainer got me a black synthetic harness with a collar, as that is what he was trained in. I believe it is a work harness, as it has the chains. I want to pleasure drive around farm areas and bring one or two people. He wanted to order me a bicycle wheel cart; however, I really did not want one of those.
              I have been reading your posts and enjoy your collective wisdom. Any advice will be welcomed.


              • #8
                That is a very strange cart. Unless you're used to getting 8's & 9's for your dismount on the uneven parallel bars, getting out or in of that cart is going to be a real challenge.

                The seat back is WAY too low...no support if the horse does a spook forward. I much prefer flush hubs on a cart, less chance of hanging up on an obstacle (e.g. tree, fenceposts etc.).

                I like a little protection for my passengers from wheels and spokes, especially if I'm carrying someone not familiar with driving.

                I suggest you keep looking or decide you're going to spend a little more money to get a more well-rounded driving vehicle.

                Good luck.
                "Sic Gorgiamus Allos Subjectatos Nunc"


                • #9
                  Originally posted by JackieandOllie View Post
                  My question to you is what kind of cart should I get. The trainer got me a black synthetic harness with a collar, as that is what he was trained in. I believe it is a work harness, as it has the chains. I want to pleasure drive around farm areas and bring one or two people. He wanted to order me a bicycle wheel cart; however, I really did not want one of those. I have been reading your posts and enjoy your collective wisdom. Any advice will be welcomed.
                  Holy Cow...chains on the traces and a collar to go with a pipe cart....gack!

                  For the pleasure driving you want to do don't bother with a collar, go for a breast collar. They're cheap, easier to fit, simple and are not overkill. No "Pipe cart", they're terrible, not sturdy and tend to be horribly balanced. Mini owners may like pipe carts due to the size of their small guys, a "real" horse doesn't need that sort of vehicle.

                  Ditch the collar, get a breast collar with buckle in traces (they attach to the breast collar with buckles vs. the sewn in types permanently attached with no adjustment except where they attach to the swingletree.

                  Talk to your local driving club (they're everywhere) and get a mentor to help you fit things together. A nice used wood cart with flush hubs...you'll only be taking one passenger along (e.g. easy entry type cart). No carriages/buggies/4-wheel vehicles until both of you have more experience (safety).

                  Talk to your local people, they'll really be a great resource.
                  "Sic Gorgiamus Allos Subjectatos Nunc"


                  • Original Poster

                    Thanks for all the tips everyone! I love COTH! I guess I was intrigued by the cute black wheels, but they have a few meadowbrook carts at the place, so I will switch my focus to those since you all brought up some negatives about the first one.

                    War Admiral, how do I tell if a seat is adjustable to balance the thing?

                    China Doll, I want to just drive around the farm and some roads and trails for fun. The horse is primarily my riding horse. He is very huntery...carries his head and neck relatively low, does really well in the hacks but well educated under saddle, understands being on the bit, roundness etc. Probably no driving showing unless I got with a trainer, but I still want a cart that makes me look at least somewhat legit In case I ever go out in public to driving trails or anything.

                    What about this one http://carolinacarriagesuperstore.com/carts.html#top
                    It is called Horse Meadowbrook side entry 2408143...6th one down on the left on the cart/wagon page. The seat has a back rest and sits up a little higher.


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by fivesocks View Post
                      War Admiral, how do I tell if a seat is adjustable to balance the thing?
                      Here, take a look at this country road cart for an example (the top one). See how the seat is on top of the two straight black metal tracks? You can adjust that seat by sliding it forward or back on the tracks until the cart is fully in balance (meaning, if you get into it while someone is holding the shafts in driving position, once you're in it there is no weight on the shafts either upwards or downwards).

                      A 2-wheeled cart can bring an ungodly amount of weight down on the horse's back if it's not in balance - and even if it *is* in balance, it will slam up and down on the horse to some extent when going over rough ground. So it's really important to *start* with a cart that's well-balanced, and try to minimize the bounce.
                      "The standard you walk by is the standard you accept."--Lt. Gen. David Morrison, Austalian Army Chief


                      • #12
                        Their "custom show cart" is kinda cute and says it has an adjustable seat...

                        A "real" meadowbrook can not typically have adjustable seats due to the fact they flip up for rear entry, at least not the one's i've seen. If you cant move the seat to get balance, sometimes you can move the wheel axle forward or back. So it depends on the cart's construction.

                        Carts should be made for a small range of sizes (like 14-15h, 13-14h, etc...), part of the reason for that is that yes, the shafts and wheels will be sized appropriately, but a good carriage maker will have made it to balance for that sized animal.

                        I would save your pennies and buy a used "good brand" or buy new from a good maker. The country carriages usa road carts are very popular and not priced too terribly bad, but this also means you can often find them used too, and probably easily done in your area... Email Claudette at Country Carriages, 80% of what she has in her store she doesnt have on her website... She may very well know of one of her road carts available used too.

                        Again, if you arent a member, join the CD-L email list: http://www.carriagedriving.net/index.php?m=c&inc=31

                        It's a good source of information from many well known drivers on there, but many people use it just for a classifieds option. Post what you are looking for and people will write to you with what they have. You should have no problem finding what you are looking for in the NC/SC/VA area. It's full of drivers.
                        Your Horse's Home On The Road!


                        • Original Poster

                          Cart # 3

                          Came across this on CL. The photos make it look crooked but I'm hoping the ground is just uneven. And the price is negotiable

                          So here is my next question. The man said he thinks the shafts are about 84 inches long. I saw where 80 inches is the recommended length for a 16 hander. If you guys think this cart is NOT total garbage...then is there any chance this would be ok for my 16 hand guy. FWIW he does have a longish back and neck, and has a big step. But I guess that shaft length would impact the cart's balance?


                          At least it has a back rest and flush hubs!


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by fivesocks View Post

                            At least it has a back rest and flush hubs!
                            I would say this is an Easy Entry type, see how you can get in from ahead of the wheel? Guess I would want to see what is holding shafts onto cart body, how the axle is fastened on. THICK strapwork? Could be the way the photos were taken, just doesn't give the good impression of maker knowing what they were doing.

                            Doesn't give wheel size, so it might be tall seated or short, down behind the rump.

                            If I thought I would purchase this cart, I would take the horse along to size him to the cart. Shaft ends should stop at point of shoulder for the horse. Take a horse helper to head him while looking at details, fitting cart on him if he is broke to drive. You will want to extend hind leg back as far as possible, see if he might hit the basket at full extension, with shafts fitted correctly. If horse is not drivable, he could stand beside the cart while you compare him to shafts, extend the leg.

                            Some designs of basket work with some horses, not with others of a similar size. Our horses, old and now, had huge extensions, so they would hit when other horses didn't. Some vehicles, not this one, allow a lot of hind extension so horse can be hitched closer to the body, still never hit.

                            Flush hubs are GOOD!


                            • #15
                              I will agree with GH on this cart
                              You want to lokk particularly at HOW the shafts are attached to the cart body. If that is not strong and sturdy then you are risking a meltdown - most likely when its least convenient

                              Im guessing that the wheels are 42-44
                              possibly as tall as 46 but doubtful

                              Here's my reasoning. The cart does not look that long from dash to seat and yet there is still room for the step in front of the wheel

                              In the horse sized easy entry carts of this type that we have seen (with 46-48 inch wheels) either there is no room to enter in front of the wheel OR the space between the seat and the dash looks very long. In order to accomodate the wheel and a step, the space would have to be at least 30 inches. There used to be a draft horse driver on this board who had one of these carts. My impression of that cart always was how long it looked from seat to dash

                              Anotehr thing you need to know is how long your shafts need to be from swingletree to tip. A typical length for horses is about 78 inches
                              Check the chart on the ADS website
                              (see this link)


                              For an approximation of dimensions for a traditional styled cart and your horse size.

                              If this craigslist vehicle is nearby it could be worth a look. If not get them to give you wheel size and shaft length and a picture of the shaft connection before you make any more commitments


                              • Original Poster

                                Thanks goodhors and Drive NJ! I will request pics of the axle and shaft connections and specific measurements. And speaking of measurements...

                                I agree that the wheels look smaller. Is that necessarily a bad thing, or that just indicates that the driver probably sits lower?

                                Goodhors, if you think this vehicle does not allow for much hind leg extension, then perhaps it is ok if the shafts are slightly longer than normal for a 16 hand horse, because that will provide a little more room for hind leg extension??? (however, I'm not completely confident in the guy's measurement of 84" because even he didn't seem 100% certain in his measurement and he may have been measuring from the dash to the tip, rather than the singletree to tips, so that would add a few inches eh??)


                                • #17
                                  Just my impression - but the picture of the cart looking down the shafts toward the cart body - those shafts do appear long so the 84 measurement may be correct

                                  the effect of having small wheels on a tall horse will make the shafts tilt upward from the cart (and seat) to the attachement on the horse at the saddle tugs

                                  Sometimes this will put a lot of weight onto the shafts and hence the saddle - so it could be more uncomfortable for the horse to pull

                                  Mostly what I find is that it tilts the seat back so you are constantly leaning forward to balance yourself
                                  - gets tiring
                                  If you lean back onto the seat back
                                  1-you feel like you are falling backwards - and
                                  2- it puts more upward on the shaft tips and pulls the girth up under the horses belly - so
                                  3- you will feel a lot more "bounce" of the cart - too much "floating"

                                  The other problem with sitting too low (low wheels) is that all you look at is the horses butt - cant see around to see where you are going

                                  This is a chronic problem with the metal/wire wheel EZ entry carts

                                  If you go wee this cart
                                  you want to know how high the shafts will be to sit in the tugs of your harness saddle
                                  Hold the shafts at that height and have someone sit in the cart
                                  You can feel how heavy (or not) it is
                                  and you can feel how it leans (or not)

                                  If you have not yet got a harness - you can approximate the tug height by measuring from the ground to half way up the horses side at the girth


                                  • Original Poster

                                    The CL cart has 46" wheels and the seller said the shafts are 90". That seems awfully long. The search continues.


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by fivesocks View Post
                                      The CL cart has 46" wheels and the seller said the shafts are 90". That seems awfully long. The search continues.
                                      I'll eat my hat if those shafts are 90". If this cart is close by, I'd go take a look and bring a measuring tape.
                                      "The standard you walk by is the standard you accept."--Lt. Gen. David Morrison, Austalian Army Chief


                                      • Original Poster

                                        War Admiral, don't say that...you give me a glimmer of hope that the cart might work and I'm going to be tempted to go see it. It would be a 4 hr drive though. Worth it?

                                        Just to be clear, the shafts are measured from the tip to the singletree right?

                                        ETA I looked back at the CL photos and did a bit of unscientific measuring with paper up against my computer screen....the wheel diameter does seem to be exactly half the length of the shafts. So if they are 46" that puts the shafts at about 90.
                                        Last edited by fivesocks; Dec. 24, 2011, 12:16 AM.