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What type of cart do I need?

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  • What type of cart do I need?

    I recently adopted an ex-harness Standardbred and would like to purchase a cart to drive in for pleasure, not competition at this point. I have plenty of experience long lining and horse experience but never have had a cart. I think I'll use groomed trails, flat farm fields around my house and that's all I know of now.

    What type of cart should I look into? I found what I think is a nice used Meadowbrook, would that work? Someone on FB told me not to use wooden wheels on trails but someone else said no bike tires because they weren't heavy duty enough.

    If you know of good websites etc, for me to read and learn more about carts, let me know.
    Last edited by horsehobby; Dec. 6, 2017, 03:01 PM.

  • #2
    Meadowbrooks are a bit clunky. It depends on the trails. I see all kinds of wheels on trails. It also depends on your budget. I think something like a Frey Sprint are use friendly. They are easy to get in and out of and very stable.

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    • #3
      This is mini-sized, but they are available everywhere in horse sizes:

      http://frontierequestrian.com/produc...er-equestrian/

      The wheels shown are better than the ones with more & thinner spokes for driving outside an arena.
      Less likely to collapse.

      I agree with China Doll - a Meadowbrook is a pretty cart, but having to collapse a seat to enter or exit the cart is a safety hazard IMO.
      *friend of bar.ka*RIP all my lovely boys, gone too soon:
      Steppin' Out 1988-2004
      Hey Vern! 1982-2009, Cash's Bay Threat 1994-2009
      Sam(Jaybee Altair) 1994-2015

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      • #4
        I don't have a problem getting in and out of a meadowbrook, but they aren't really ideal for trail driving, too many ways to catch stuff on them with the fenders sticking out. If you do end up with a meadowbrook you can unbolt the fenders and make it less bulky looking and easier to maneuver.

        Wooden wheels are fine on trails - think about what the roads were like when wooden wheels were used. Muddy, rutted and uneven. Just make sure they are solid and tight. Also, larger diameter wheels make for a smoother ride as they just roll over smaller bumps and ruts, and the carriage is easier to pull.

        Another thing to look for is the height of the seat. You want to sit high enough to see over the horse, but not so high you feel unstable. Here is a chart from the American Driving Society (ADS) to give you an idea of the measurements to look for. The main measurements you need to check fit are shaft tip to swingletree and height of the shafts when they are level. Wheel size is shown in the chart, but that will vary widely depending on the type or design of the cart. A road cart or meadowbrook will have larger wheels while something like a Frey Sprint cart uses a smaller diameter for the same size cart.

        http://americandrivingsociety.org/Me...gVehicles.aspx

        Also, if you have never actually driven before, please find someone in your area that can help out and check adjustments. Another point is with the Standardbred, were they trained for carriage driving after racing or were they only trained for racing? If they haven't been driven outside racing they might need time and training to adjust to the breeching and heavier cart.

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        • Original Poster

          #5
          China Doll - Thanks, I'm willing to pay for something nice if it's going to work for me, but don't need anything fancy just to have fancy. I was hoping to stay under $1000, so probably used. I don't know enough yet to know what to really watch out for though.


          2DogsFarm - that looks interesting, thanks for the link.

          Christa P - thanks for the link, I'll definitely check it out. I have joined the local and pretty active driving club and they put on several educational event each year so looking forward to those. The gelding was used on a driving clinic this past summer so he has some off track experience but I'm sure pleasure driving will be a bit different for him. He's been great riding so far but doesn't like standing still, which we are working on. I appreciate your advice and certainly want this all to be a success.

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          • #6
            These folks ought to be able to assist:
            https://www.facebook.com/JeraldSulkyCo/
            http://jeraldsulky.com/

            Edited to add, they have a catalog that lists a Runabout General purpose cart for road and trail, http://jeraldsulky.com/wp-content/up...g-v2017A-1.pdf

            If they don't have what you need, they probably could tell you what other sources to check.
            Last edited by sdlbredfan; Dec. 6, 2017, 09:37 PM.
            Jeanie
            RIP Sasha, best dog ever, pictured shortly before she died, Death either by euthanasia or natural causes is only the end of the animal inhabiting its body; I believe the spirit lives on.

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