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choosing a type of cart

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  • choosing a type of cart

    Hi everyone! I am relatively new to driving. I taught my old horse to drive, took a couple of lessons, etc. The old horse has since passed on and a few years have passed. I have a beautiful new horse who is currently showing as a hunter with my daughter. He is level headed and I think would benefit from driving with me! I have a harness that will fit and a meadowbrook I can block up and probably use to begin with. Of course I daydream of a beautiful new cart just for the new horse. He does not have flashy, formal, hackney type movement, rather flashy toe pointing movement and he is over 17 hands. I am not complaining, believe me, but I would like to do pleasure shows, drives, driven dressage, and when you take a road cart and add spindle seat, paint, extra large wheels, etc. the price goes up and up! You folks who have shown, do you think this horse would just be too tall to really look elegant? Should I just wait and get a pony, shelve the idea of driving this horse? If I ended up with a painted cart, would that look best with a black horse? I have made myself crazy thinking about all this, would really appreciate opinions on style!

  • #2
    Must see pictures to really give an opinion on style and movement of horse.
    Maybe a natural wood country gig? Dog Cart??
    The painted carts are for a more formal turnout not to say they wouldn't work with your horse.

    It took me 3 years to find just the right cart for my horse.

    Comment


    • #3
      Not sure where you live but I have seen some nice painted new road carts draft size which at 17h sounds feasible go for under 1500.00 at auction in my area

      Comment

      • Original Poster

        #4
        http://sphotos.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-...67524819_n.jpg

        This is the intended victim. I hope the pic shows up as I have had to ask my son for assistance! The meadowbrook I have was too low for my 16.2 hand old horse and it would be really low for this one. To me, a country type cart would be good. I like the meadowbrook but have a hard time seeing over the horse. I did one arena driving trial with the old guy and knocked over every single cone! IF I accomplish all I want to with this horse, I would LOVE to really look the part and have something that suits him. I enjoy the idea of putting together the outfits, etc, but I am frozen about the perfect cart for the new horse. In a perfect world where I could spend all the money, I would be fine! I would have one of everything and a carriage barn to boot! I'm sure everyone knows what I mean. I want to have something to aim towards and appreciate any help.

        Comment


        • #5
          (if money was no object this you be the cart!)
          http://carriageassociation.files.wor...age-dogs-2.jpg

          What I'll say about this cart though is it did NOT look like a comfortable ride... it looked like your lower back would get as much or more of a workout than you would if you were just riding the horse. Watching a lot of these restored fancy carts last weekend- they are beautiful to look at- but some don't look as if the ride is as nice as some of the more modern or basic designs.

          disclaimer: I am not a professional turnout designer... I just play one in my dreams.

          Comment


          • #6
            OP - If you were me, you would leave the big horse to be a hunter; maybe do some dressage work w/ him. And you would then go buy yourself a trained pony and bring everything down in scale. I never liked not being able to see over my horse; that was an important consideration when I was cart shopping. I had a 4-wheel made when maresy was settled in her driving career, and i could see quite nicely over her 15'2" butt. The 4-wheels are so nice to drive, easier on you and the horse...

            Beware the type of cart that Plainandtall posted. They are properly shown w/ a higher stepping hackney/friesian type of horse, and more importantly they can tip fairly easily.
            We don't get less brave; we get a bigger sense of self-preservation........

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            • Original Poster

              #7
              This is something I have seriously worried about. The wheels would have to be so big and the whole thing would look ugly. If the cart were built above the wheels, it would be "tippy". Is that a Dennet (spelling?) gig in the photo? Would a woman drive that type of vehicle? The whole effect is absolutely fabulous, but I think the horse is more high stepping and I think that is what goes with that type of vehicle. I had my harness on my horse and thought it was just a hair snug on him. We are down to one horse and one boarder and I like it that way, I am getting older. I'm sure a pony would be easier to drive in the end, but they can be management work too! This has been my "circular" train of thought, and I am going no where. Still, I miss driving. By the by...I mentioned this scheme to our hunter trainer and she was horrified! (It never hurt the old horse!)

              Comment


              • #8
                Could you use a wood wheeled Jerald/Houghton cart? They are pretty reasonable and a 96" shaft will fit a big horse. They fit my 17.2 mare.
                Visit my Spoonflower shop

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by red mares View Post
                  Could you use a wood wheeled Jerald/Houghton cart? They are pretty reasonable and a 96" shaft will fit a big horse. They fit my 17.2 mare.
                  Last time I checked Jerald just made rubber wheeled bicycle type carts and that was recently more so for breed shows and not Pleasure Driving shows. I couldn't find any info on Houghton so I wasn't sure if they are still around.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by China Doll View Post
                    Last time I checked Jerald just made rubber wheeled bicycle type carts and that was recently more so for breed shows and not Pleasure Driving shows. I couldn't find any info on Houghton so I wasn't sure if they are still around.
                    Seems like the two combined, because Jerald bought Houghton out. I would call and ask about the wooden wheels if you are interested in that kind of vehicle. Regardless of the shaft length, they do sit low. I would not want one for any kind of a tall horse that I drove.

                    We also have tall horses and it is NO FUN sitting low behind them, can't see where you are going, looking out sideways gives you a very stiff neck.

                    Ours are all but one, between 16.3-17.1h, go between 1400-1500 pounds in fit condition. We use a roadcart for first starting, and raised the bench seat and basket high enough to see where we are headed. Adding a wedge seat, raises the driver up a bit more, gives good body position for driving comfort. This is a plain, simple roadcart, Amish built, not greatly expensive. Terrific starter type vehicle, painted because it was easier to touchup for chips. Something to consider with traditional 2-wheel carts, is that most of them are MUCH wider than 4-wheel vehicles to give better stability.

                    The vehicle Plainandtall posted, is a lovely vehicle, antique and BUILT to stay upright. This means the wheels and axles are HEAVY, weight is down low, with body suspended. Of course you can tip over any cart, but that is usually Driver error on the antiques. Some exceptions would be the freakishly tall carts, Cocking Cart, some designs of Tandem Carts, too much high weight, which is why their drivers were considered to be highly skilled to drive such things. Antique builders had an excellent grasp of form and function with regard to vehicles staying upright, what was not proportional or dangerous in the job vehicle would be doing. Driven wrongly, even the best vehicle can be tipped over.

                    Not having a total side view of the antique, I am going to say it looks like a Battlesdon Cart we used to own. Those same curved panels under the siderail, curved wood fenders with lamp brackets. I can't remember about the Ladies step in front. It was a HEAVY built vehicle, made for road driving, which never felt the least tippy, even with 4 people riding in it. Came from England, makers name on the hubs. We got it at Martin's Auction, on the advice of Tom Ryder. We used it with our first Tandem, WAY back in the day, in Dressage and Cones for CDE. That wheeler was pretty spent at the end of the Cones round on the hills!! But she was really game, danced with the load to make vehicle look easy, because husband scored in the 30's doing Tandem Dressage back then!! That was the last year the Tandem Leader was usable, so we sold the vehicle on. Odd catagory of vehicle, listed under Ladies Dogcarts in one of our books. Not commonly seen anywhere. Looks like Sterling is having great fun driving it. Though the lady beside him would be more "correct" as the Whip on a Ladies vehicle. Our horses were not high steppers, but still were correct types when we turned the vehicle out with Country style attire. We still did well in Turnout Classes under the STRICT checking of CAA Judges. You can tweak things quite a bit, with clothes, harness styles, in looking correct to a vehicle. Always is the details! It was dark green with lime green striping when we had it. Sounds bizarre, but I came to REALLY LIKE the combination. Would have it again on a vehicle.

                    OP, there are a lot of vehicles out there for a taller horse. Draft size might work for him. Our shafts are Draft size on our Roadcart, wood wheels are the lighter type, but at about the tallest size they make. Again, it has a WIDE axle for those tall wheels, good stability on roads or rougher ground. You are NOT REQUIRED to go quickly over rough ground. Bigger wheels do bridge ruts, so may have an easier ride than a smaller wheeled cart.

                    If you like your horse now, he proves to be quiet for driving, I see no reason to buy a pony to add to your daily work load. I am NOT looking forward to when I am too old to harness a tall horse, so we have to go to a pony.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by China Doll View Post
                      Last time I checked Jerald just made rubber wheeled bicycle type carts and that was recently more so for breed shows and not Pleasure Driving shows. I couldn't find any info on Houghton so I wasn't sure if they are still around.
                      Jerald makes wood wheels for their carts, they are not standard, but are available. I don't know the rules well enough for pleasure driving shows to be able say "Jerald type carts with wooden wheels are not allowed"

                      From others I've talked too, the wood wheels add around 3" of height which makes a big difference. I still have wires, and don't mind them at all, even behind a big horse.

                      Considering that a usefull cart of that type can often be found for around $500, with another $300 for wood wheels, it is still pretty economical option. There is also a quarter horse version with a raised axle. I've never priced them, I think they look goofy, but that is another option.
                      Visit my Spoonflower shop

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Another thing to consider is that certain vehicles 'require' a collar harness to be correct. Fit and balance are huge for a horse to be comfortable pushing. Even in shows I see carts bouncing on the back pad, not only looks bad but hard on the horse.
                        I finally bought a Sprint from Columbus Carriage, around $3000 depending on add on's but beautifully made and now comes in colors. Also has the adjustable seat for just right balance and the shafts can be rotated to widen or narrow at the bend. (no I'm not a dealer).

                        Comment

                        • Original Poster

                          #13
                          Goodhors, I think you are closest to understanding where I want to be. I like the traditional look, something I could do pleasure shows with. My horse, especially being black, has no stamina for anything else! Forget the gates, I would just get lost I assure you! I am happy to hear that you show tall horses successfully. My horse does not move like a beautiful hackney horse and so I think I must avoid formal vehicles that would look best with that type of horse. Currently I am favoring some type of "country road cart". Maybe painted to jazz it up a bit. My harness has a lot of patent leather on it and white metal, and I was thinking that would be nice with a painted cart. Unfortunately, it seems smallish on my boy, so I may have to start over. I could punch some more holes here and there, but the balance is off. So I start from the beginning. I so LOVE the Sprint, for everyday use, training, dressage, that would be my first choice! That type of suspension must be superior. But even gussied up, they are not traditional. Well, first things first, I will use my too small harness and start his training. See how it goes. I guess no one vehicle will do all the jobs perfectly. This is not an inexpensive sport. I want to drive around, but I want to drive around in STYLE and have you folks who know what you are doing think- "She's got it right!"

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by red mares View Post
                            Jerald makes wood wheels for their carts, they are not standard, but are available. I don't know the rules well enough for pleasure driving shows to be able say "Jerald type carts with wooden wheels are not allowed"

                            From others I've talked too, the wood wheels add around 3" of height which makes a big difference. I still have wires, and don't mind them at all, even behind a big horse.

                            Considering that a usefull cart of that type can often be found for around $500, with another $300 for wood wheels, it is still pretty economical option. There is also a quarter horse version with a raised axle. I've never priced them, I think they look goofy, but that is another option.
                            Putting wooden wheels on a job cart isn't raelly going to gain her any thing for height. It might be a 20" wheel where she is needing probably a 52" wheel. Totally different setup for carriage driving like her meadowbrook.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Its jog cart, not job cart. And if it has a basket it is a basket cart. Basket carts have 24" or 26" wire spoke wheels or 30" wooden wheels. I have driven jog carts and basket carts behind horses 17-18 hands (Dutch Harness Horses and 2 exceptionally large Saddlebreds).

                              Not saying this is the right type of cart for the OP, but for the purpose they are built for (training and exercising horses in an arena and on jog paths, showing at breed shows, and being easily transportable) nothing surpasses them.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Another idea -

                                My trainer started me out with a 4 wheeled carriage and perhaps that is why I think that they are much easier to deal with than a 2 wheeled cart.

                                Here is a 17 hand high holsteiner hooked to it. I can easily see over her. This sort of older carriage is so sturdy that it is great for rough roads. I will show in it until I think that I am being marked down for it.


                                http://www.flickr.com/photos/5046827...n/photostream/

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  yes i know it is a jog cart just hit a wrong button. sorry She is talking about a meadowbrook and larger wooden wheel carts so she is going to be in a much larger wheel size that the 30". She also mentioned driven dressage and the jog carts that Jerald makes would not be suitable. Breed shows are different than carriage driving pleasure shows and if your cart was not level it would be an issue at that type of show.
                                  Last edited by China Doll; Jul. 10, 2012, 04:13 PM. Reason: added

                                  Comment

                                  • Original Poster

                                    #18
                                    Zwarte your nice mare and rig look great together! Size wise she does not look out of place at all. I am sure that carriage goes for a pretty penny and in a perfect world I say "YES! I'll take one!" but probably I will start out with a 2 wheeler. I may try and go to the fall Martins auction and snoop around. Although, my experience with buying used (old) stuff is not that good. If it all has to be restored, that is very expensive. The right thing will come along, I know. I thank all of you for your input, you all have sound, valid ideas! It does make me happy to be behind a tail, driving. There is something peaceful about it, you know what I mean!

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