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Saddle Chariot?

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  • #41
    Simon, some of the comments you credited Thomas with, were mine. He reused them in his reply.

    The original poster asked for opinions on the vehicle. We all contributed our personal opinion, with secondary comments for the opinions we had. OP now has a variety of opinions to read thru, make choices with.

    Any vehicle created has those who love it, those who hate it, others who are on the fence, but willing to learn why others have such opinions or decided the way they did. Those fence sitters may take the chance to use or try the vehicle under discussion if it is available. Certainly I belive that many would go to watch a demo, myself included, but it may not change their thinking.

    There are other vehicles that I don't care for, but they work perfectly for folks who use their horses differently than I do. Other vehicles which have poor balance, not really safe designs, can be hard on a horse in certain uses, still quite popular with many people. If they ask for my opinion I will give it, but certainly not force them to change.

    Chariot technology is really not new, started way back when they used chariots to conquer ancient Egypt. Then it was the most advanced war technology available. Chariot design has inherent problems, sitting or standing, with constant balance changes against horse/harness being key among them. There is a REASON why carriages CHANGED as we learned more, advanced in design. The only chariots being used much anymore are on the chariot racing circut out west. They are used with pairs of horses, usually quarter mile or less. Homemande to a standard of rules, for the competition. Very limited circut.

    If someone wants to get one of these Saddle Chariots, fine. Just let them purchase it knowing there are major differences from any other kind of carriages available, 2 or 4 wheeled. Also let them be informed of the possible problems with departing from traditional driving harness, no blinkers and no bit. Every horse is not the ponies shown in the tapes. You are not the driver, trainer, demonstrating in the video. They may be VERY good, way beyond your skill levels. All children are not equal with a pony.
    Just because you love your horse/pony, doesn't mean they won't react badly, in a stress situation, even with many driving miles on them . You may be able to muscle a very small equine, like those shown in video, prevent a problem. Larger ponies and horses will just laugh at your attempts and keep going. Do you drop the vehicle and hope to find them later? I have not heard of much success with bitless bridles out driving, over long usage time. Bitless, loose contact with reins may prevent ripping on his mouth, but also prevents steady contact to give equine confidence from driver.

    Again, there are always new, radical designs, ideas coming forward. They make a big splash, then poorer ones disappear. A person is entitled to make and sell a product, as are people entitled to critisize it. Works both ways. The potential user makes their choices. The unsuccessful designs are only used for a short time, get sold on, junked out.

    My opinions are mine, derived from my past experiences, information I have learned. Those opinions were what I posted. Yep, they happen to run along the same lines as Thomas. Watching the videos didn't change my opinions, though I don't consider myself rigidly closed to new ideas. I am always trying to learn more.. Just that these photos, videos, testimonials don't do it. Certainly would be willing to watch a live demo for better details.


    • #42
      bitless driving bridle

      Hey....can't stay away! Ahhhh well. Don't think this would fit anywhere so even though is off subject of Saddlechariot, decided to post here.
      Like Goodhorse had said from experience I have noticed that horses whom were seasoned carriage horses seemed to do okay with a bitless bridle for a time but preferred back to the bit eventually.
      Now, as Thomas 1 asked me of my carriage driving experience, I have pitiful little and have never shown as an adult. I do drive a Percheron, Percheron/Andalusian cross, and ancient Minature horse regularly on the roads and fields here. The mini goes in a bit not because he needs one, but seems to prefer it and as he does not venture out for long and I'd prefer him NOT to eat the lush grass, the bit works fine.....he's happy and has a soft mouth and really picks up the bit. Is his only form of "dressage" expression as he is quite inclined and so I think the bit just polishes the experience of driving for him. He is always happy to go out for a drive and very friendly with me upon returning home.
      The Percheron is five and goes in a straight headstall with English jumping cavesson noseband. He's never had a bit in his mouth. He's my off road riding and driving horse and we just go and go. He's very attentive and I've never had to pull on him to stop a bolt. Like the bitless option for him so I can let him eat without getting out of the cart if we go out for half the day or more. The PErch/Andalusian really needed some stop because he had so much athletic energy when he started with a cart as a 3 year old youngster before he could be backed. He has very big movement and just now at seven years is less explosive in the canter and becoming very contained. He goes in a german LG bitless bridle and depending on where we are driving, I sometimes attach the short shanks to the wheel piece. I would HIGHLY recommend this bridle to anyone wanting to drive bitless. I would HIGHLY recommend staying away from a cross under bitless bridle and using caution when selecting more of a sidepull variety. It is one thing to ride in a soft sidepull....another thing to drive in one when the action of it does not in any way directly correspond to driving.......just pointing it out as the English hack noseband really is a sidepull and works great with the 1,750 lb, very fit and energetic Percheron.

      All these horses drive open without side or overcheck.

      Glad the Saddlechariot creator responded to this thread. Wonder where has Thomas 1 gone? I read his posts for a long time before I actually joined to write in....he writes a lot USUALLY. Thomas 1, where are you? Enjoying your horses, I hope. Thanks.


      • #43
        Originally posted by goodhors View Post
        A friend in the UK has seen it in action. She is quite knowledgable about carriages and equines. Her opinion was that the vehicle is just garbage. Poorly designed, very hard on the small animals because it is not ever balanced. Terrible ride, poorly constructed, not going to hold up as pictured, riding about in fields. Lots of jerking to move it about. Total waste of money to buy.
        Goodhorse, I didn't respond to this because it is anonymous, third party criticism.

        Thomas 1 chose to use it in his comments on Lancaster University and the workmanship in my saddlechariots. He also added specific statements of his own which I have refuted. I detailed these in my previous post and I have given names of vets, engineers, skilled craftsmen and carriage drivers and horsemen. You give me one anonymous "witness" so there isn't really much I can say. However Lancaster University very specifically looked at the strength and it is designed, not just for mucking about on fields but to be seriously hammered flat out cross country. That is why I went to professional engineers. My vet and numerous others will accept that the balance is at least as good as any two wheeler. The ride is brilliant, I have beginners cantering in minutes cross country.

        Of your latest comments, if you read my site you would see the section on chariot history from Sumer and Akkad onwards. I understand where the chariot came from and I know where the saddlechariot is going, two very different things.

        I emphasise throughout my site that this is not carriage driving, why do you need to remind people of something I spend most of my time saying.

        You say I am not the driver/trainer demonstrating in the video..who is?
        Apart from Chris Cook and Sam with the mountainboard, and Chris Cook is a real horseman (so is Sam), it is mostly friends and family, me, my daughters, my niece and nephew. My wife trained Henry and a number of horse experts including Lucinda McAlpine have commented how much Henry enjoys his driving. One of the people in the videos has Cerebral palsy.

        You would like to see it, I will try to get over and demonstrate as I am always happy to show the saddlechariot to anyone.

        And thanks a bunch Kearleydk, you may have meant well but telling everyone I drove a green animal I had never met before into the ring at the Caspian Show rather contradicts your kind attempt to convince people I am not an idiot, but then it does prove I don't assume everyone has a driving animal. I work most of the time with green animals, and put a 4 year old Parelli trained animal in a saddlechariot within an hour. But then the lunatic fringes can train their animals to accept new things


        • #44
          Simon, maybe the posts need more careful reading before responding. I say exactly what I mean, no trick wording. I may phrase it badly sometimes, like the below comments. I meant the YOU's as in anyperson who could be reading, might want to drive like the video. Not meant as Simon-the-person is not the driver. Could be Michael Freund-World Champion with the reins, hired for the video. Kids could be top rated Pony Club grads. No one can tell driver knowledge or skills by looking at the video. A person with good skills can make ANYTHING look simple and easy to do. I will be more careful on my phrasing.

          "You are not the driver, trainer, demonstrating in the video. They may be VERY good, way beyond your skill levels. All children are not equal with a pony."

          Just because someone sees a video showing an equine doing something, doesn't mean VIEWER should try that exact same thing. Viewer don't know how things went to get the pictures or what happened AFTER the camera was off.

          I used my friend's comments because I trust her opinion. She is the only person I know in the UK who has seen a saddlechariot driven, in person. She is very knowledgable about both equines and vehicles. Again opinion of one I trust, you can take it or leave it.

          I refer to driving because that is what most folks here on this forum have experience with, access to, knowledge of. Comparisons are unavoidable, because regular carriage driving, working horses both light and heavy, are the basic starting point here in the USA for our knowledge.

          "Of your latest comments, if you read my site you would see the section on chariot history from Sumer and Akkad onwards. I understand where the chariot came from and I know where the saddlechariot is going, two very different things.

          I emphasise throughout my site that this is not carriage driving, why do you need to remind people of something I spend most of my time saying."

          Sorry, very few folks will completely read everything on a site, including myself. Not enough time or interest in those tiny details. Simon may know all the site information inside and out. Forum readers here, probably won't. My reasons are to cover those details a casual reader may not understand, round out a flat opinion. Allows them to get a bigger picture to make a better choice.

          Too many folks checking in here for information who don't know much or anything about driving a horse, design of good driving vehicles. I SURE DON'T want them going off to tie a vehicle behind their unbroke or only saddle broke horse, to injure themselves or others. Huge difference in how tiny ponies, large ponies and horses react to things, like rein pull, blinkers or lack of them. I try to make that clear, so they THINK first. I am constantly amazed at how folks will take information from a forum stranger, watch a video, then go off to put it into action!!

          I am done with this discussion. My words are getting pretty twisted with each reply. Readers will do as they choose with the information available. My goal is just to make sure they see both sides, understand possible poor consequences of their actions, choices.


          • Original Poster

            Since I started this discussion I feel compelled to post a thought or two on the resulting remarks it has generated. I thanked a few posters for their thoughts earlier in the thread hoping it would come to a close, but it didn't.

            Not long ago there was a thread on whether or not posters who were only interested in pleasure or recreational driving were welcome here. There were a great many posts decrying that statement. There were comments that "any" type of driving, no matter what kind of equipment, horse, harness, or driver is involved is welcome to be discussed. There were comments about cobbled together harnesses and "questionable" vehicles having been used somewhere along the line, all with a positive spin. It was the general consensus that we could talk about our driving interests without worrying that someone would get snarky about it................Really????

            While I appreciate the "warnings" as to what to take into consideration regarding this vehicle, my interest in it has not been thwarted, if anything, now I want to learn MORE about it. It is not a "traditional" driving vehicle, and those of you who insist upon judging it by those standards are never going to like it, and that's OK. The SC is designed for people like myself that are only interested in driving for recreational purposes, who want to go through the woodsy trails and fields and up and down the many hills surrounding me with the least chance of having a wreck and getting my pony or myself injured.

            If I have read one comment about how driving is SO much more dangerous than riding a horse, I have read 1000. But when someone tries to design a driving vehicle to make the recreational aspect of the sport more safe, he gets all kinds of flak about it. I don't get it. I don't think it is wrong for Simon to endeavor to build a driving vehicle that is safer for the driver as well as the horse in the context in which it is meant to be used. He said himself that he has tweaked it before and probably will continue to do so, as would any inventor that is designing a product that has never been used before.

            I, for one, will continue to seek an opportunity to try one out, to study my pony's comfort with it, her reaction to it, to see how comfortable and efficient it is for me to use, and to judge for myself if it is something in which I will invest my money. I find it interesting that other than "the friend" in the UK, the people who have actually used it see it very favorably, while the naysayers have only gotten as close to it as a computer monitor.

            Have a great driving day
            Last edited by DIYdriver; Aug. 9, 2007, 05:19 PM.


            • #46
              Goodhors, I appreciate you don't like being corrected, but I am afraid further clarification is necessary. You state
              Just because someone sees a video showing an equine doing something, doesn't mean VIEWER should try that exact same thing. Viewer don't know how things went to get the pictures or what happened AFTER the camera was off.
              True, but it is true of every activity, equestrian or not. The sky is above us. I can make endless statements of the completely obvious which apply to every website but what is the point. A criticism that applies to every website is not terribly useful or relevant.
              Secondly I said

              I emphasise throughout my site that this is not carriage driving, why do you need to remind people of something I spend most of my time saying."

              you reply
              Sorry, very few folks will completely read everything on a site, including myself. Not enough time or interest in those tiny details.

              The tiny detail that so few people will notice is the SECOND sentence on the entire site. Hardly well concealed small print.

              Anonymous sorces are difficult to refute, at least Thomas 1 has the decency to say who he is. It is just a pity he has never seen the saddlechariot which is why he makes the untrue statements he does.


              • #47
                I thought I have seen in draft horse magazine, big saddlecharoit looks little different, both look almost same.

                Any saddlecharoit in USA America?


                • #48
                  The Saddlechariot basically fits from 7 to 17hh but I can make it fit bigger or smaller. I've got one on a 17hh Clydesdale and another on a 15.2hh Clydesdale X. And of course at the other end I've fitted a number of Falabellas and miniatures, shetlands, welsh, dartmoor, exmoor, highland, standardbred and the smartest so far, a Gelderlander for the Household Cavalry to play with, but I stuck to Henry when I was teaching them to jump saddlechariots.
                  This is the Clydesdale X with me
                  and with his owner Alison who is a bit shorter.
                  I am trying to sort out the US end but exporting isn't simple when your fellow countrymen are making damaging and untrue statements on the web. I hope to get over very soon to show you all what the saddlechariot actually is and what it does. Which is to allow you to have serious fun safely.


                  • #49

                    Simon, You would be welcome at my farm and I would be happy to lend you horses.

                    The place to go would be Equine Affair. No place else showcases so much stuff equine to such a large crowd IMO.

                    You can Google Equine affair to learn more.

                    Importing stuff can be challenging unless your name is Walmart and you are importing from China. My friendly Florida Dept of Revenue tried to make me pay sales tax on a whole container load of carriages because I helped the importer clear customs.



                    • #50
                      Count us in also...

                      Simon, if you decide to visit Florida and stop at Dick's Farm please include myself and my Daughter, Sam, in your plans.

                      Sam has a number of driving and riding ponies and horses available to you and I would like to offer my services to help Dick organize and put on a number of demonstrations of your vehicle here in Florida. Dick, maybe we could put together a presentation/demonstration of the Chariot in conjunction with a tail gate lunch and trail drive in Goethe Forest.... I also have access to a couple of very nice farms right in Ocala we could use for presentations probably with the full support of STRIDE....

                      *Charter Member-Blue Tarp State Driving Clique*
                      "You can't always get what you want, but if you try, you just might find you get what you need" Mick Jagger


                      • #51
                        Hey that's really kind and I will take you up on it as soon as I can. Sorry I haven't responded sooner but just had a really relaxing family holiday in Ireland, just outside Dungarvan. Really beautiful and for 10 days i didn't look at a horse, pony donkey or mule, just mucked around on the beautiful beaches all day.
                        Will pm you both to make some plans.
                        Again, many thanks


                        • #52

                          I notice this thread has some 1800 views. Simon, that in itself is something to be proud of. Got a whole bunch of little grey cells popping in a whole bunch of heads.


                          • #53
                            LAURA De
                            **Don't underestimate the POWER OF PURPLE!**


                            • #54
                              When I saw this resurrected I came out of the lurkdom for the first time in ... forever. Made me realize how much I miss Don's voice on this forum!

                              With the economy clamping down, I've not even considered new equipment in over a year. Rescued a couple of horses, but not looking to buy anything except stuff that wears out. It's fun to read about new things, however, and to be reminded of "old things" that I'd forgotten about.


                              • #55
                                Dale, it has has been a long time!!! I too was surprised to see Don and Dick posting--they are too long lost friends. Haven;t seen Ridesahaffie in a good while as well.

                                I know I lurk more than I post anymore. Not much going on this site for a long time. I prefer driving my horses to much computer times.

                                Threads that really get the blood popping just don;t seem to come around much anymore.

                                To keep this in thread--I looked at the site and am not really sure what this thing is-- is it like a Segway or is there an actual saddle attached?

                                Dale--by the way, how is your fay pony--Luna something? Forgive me, but CRS is so apparent in my life these days!


                                • #56
                                  The harness is unusual as well. Though several times I have read that it has no crupper, at least two videos show something that looks like a crupper to me. In one video the horse is wearing what looks like a neoprene sleezy as a collar. Altogether some out-of-the-box thinking.

                                  Fairy Luna is doing very well indeed, working better and better both in the school and as a driving pony. She's very thoughtful and seldom reacts negatively to anything. Thank you for asking!

                                  I wonder where Dick and Karen and Don and everyone have gone?



                                  • #57
                                    Originally posted by MySparrow View Post

                                    Fairy Luna is doing very well indeed, working better and better both in the school and as a driving pony. She's very thoughtful and seldom reacts negatively to anything. Thank you for asking!

                                    I wonder where Dick and Karen and Don and everyone have gone?

                                    Glad to hear Fairy Luna is developing well. Funny how fast time flies, she was just a poor, wretched thing you felt sorry for as you rescued her. Now she is a working girl, fun to have around.

                                    I think missing folks have other things keeping them busy. Real life does that sometimes. Last time Don posted, Sammy was aiming for her college in the fall. Had driven very well, but now had to work on other goals. RAH is/was busy with family things. And Dick just kind of quit posting much. Maybe he is finishing his wonderful church/barn or having a lot to do at the Nursery.

                                    Dale, I know you also are busy, perhaps moving again? Kind of a rainy day here, so had extra time to post for me.

                                    Sometimes reading on here, just seems like we have covered all the basics, every way possible. No great new directions to go in, for long and involved threads.

                                    Nice to hear from you Dale. Stop in again.


                                    • #58
                                      As this is an old thread that did not have any active discussion on the topic, we're going to close it to further updates. Company representatives are welcome to post on threads pertaining to their products in response to direct questions or statements made, but unsolicited updates cross the line into self-promotion, which violates our no-advertising policy.

                                      We've removed some posts as a result.

                                      Mod 1