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What size (range) pony for this cart?

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  • What size (range) pony for this cart?

    Hi. I learned to drive in my late teens and had the good fortune during my college years to work at a Morgan farm where I learned to drive a pair. I competed my pony single and a pair of Morgans at carriage shows. I even started a few at that time.

    Finances, marriage, work and children have kept me from driving for more than fifteen years, but I'm considering returning to the sport. I'm planning on a pony because just the thought of my current riding horse in harness gives me nightmares. Anyway, this governess cart caught my eye, and I'm interested in some (expert?) opinions about for what size pony it would work well. It would not be my everyday driving/training vehicle; I would use it for showing.

    shafts 60" long(entire shaft)
    front width of shaft 18" back...28"
    ground to axle..19 and a quarter
    hub to hub (outside of hubs) 57 and a half
    inside hub to hub...41
    ground to shaft (mid shaft, because of curved shaft) 28"

    Thanks for any input!
  • Original Poster

    The measurement she gave me for ground to shaft when the cart was level as it should be when riding in it was 28". Now, she said it was mid-shaft, and when I look at the photo it appears that the shafts curve gently up before curving down at the ends. I would estimate that it might be 29 or 30 inches, but no more than that, where the tugs would be.



    • #3
      you're looking about 11hh-12hh. depending on the horse.


      • Original Poster

        Thanks for the input, guys!

        Do you think I'd be able to get away with 11 hands? 11.2? I'm looking at an American Shetland yearling who stands about 42" right now. His sire was about 11.1 hands and his dam a bit larger, maybe ll.3. He's well-bodied and going to be a solid fellow, not super refined as some American Shetlands are.

        Silly to "put the cart before the" pony. But this little cart is so dear!

        Can any minor adjustments be made on a governess cart if it's not quite "level and balanced"?
        Last edited by cmdrcltr; Aug. 23, 2009, 09:03 PM. Reason: added text


        • Original Poster

          Thanks, again. Therein lies the reason for not putting the cart before the pony, I suppose.

          I do find it interesting how some ponies/horses, for whatever reason, don't fit in the "mold". My driving pony was a 12.3 hand sec. B Welsh, and if I tried to drive him in a 60" shaft on a two wheeled cart he'd hit the cart with his hind legs. I had a very nice road cart for him with 72" shafts, and it looked great. Now he did pull a borrowed 4 wheel cart and a pony buckboard on a couple of occassions. Both those had 66 inch shafts and he did just fine. I probably could have gotten away with 66 inches on the road cart, but at the time I was told they came standard at 60, 72, and 80. Live and learn, I guess, but I sure had fun driving him!

          I'll have to really think about it. The Welsh will always have my heart thanks to my first boy, but my good friend breeds American Shetlands, (several have won at Shetland nationals), and she's offered me a very good deal on this colt.

          Thanks again!