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Self-made Miniature Horse Pack Saddle


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#1 Northwolf

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Posted 03 January 2018 - 08:01 AM

I'm not sure if I'm in the right topic...

 

As asked in this thread http://www.miniature...rail-companion/ how to use shetlands or other miniature horses as a pack animal on trails, I wanted to share my self-made pack saddle idea with you. 

 

First, I think there are a lot of possibilities packing some stuff on a miniature horses back. It might have companies who sell pack saddles especially for minis. My first pack saddle was a kind of a goat pack saddle, but it doesn't fit well.

 

The goat saddle: 

20140725_155015.jpg

It looked pretty good with the goat saddle (the company made this saddle in a customized version for miniature horses), but he had pressure points after using it 2-3 times. 

 

So we considered how to build a saddle on our own that fits really perfect. It should be good enough for my mini (32") to carry up to 20 pounds on an alpine route (2015, we did a longer hiking over the swiss alps down to Italy). 

 

We got inspiration by the swiss army pack saddle, who is fully adjustable and can be customized to almost all types of horses. This is an important benefit when you make longer hikes, because horses can lose some weight during the hike.

 

My husband made a fully adjustable wooden saddle tree after measuring the back of my pony. 

 

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(this is the saddle tree without pads)

 

Then, I made pads for the 4 bearing surfaces. I used foam material and wool case. 

 

20150801_152602.jpg

 

Later, I improved the breeching by adding a crupper. There was never a front harness necessary, even when we had to climb. 

 

20150821_154151.jpg

 

The saddlebags are normal saddlebags made for riders. I just customized them a little bit.


Edited by Northwolf, 03 January 2018 - 08:03 AM.

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#2 Northwolf

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Posted 03 January 2018 - 08:03 AM

20150827_121129.jpg

 

On the tour (7 days, 200 km, highest mountain we passed was 2500 m), my pony was one of the rare horses without saddle pressure points. 

 

20160521_123904.jpg

 

On year later, we did a longer hike again with the saddle, and it was proven again.

 

20160623_080658.jpg

 

IMG-20160626-WA0026.jpg

(he always was the smallest horse of the group, but not the slowest )


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#3 Marsha Cassada

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Posted 03 January 2018 - 12:42 PM

Very ingenious!  I am very surprised it didn't require a breast collar.  Did you do your own leatherwork?

It shows a great understanding of packing, too.  What a great group photo!


Edited by Marsha Cassada, 03 January 2018 - 12:57 PM.

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#4 Northwolf

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Posted 04 January 2018 - 08:40 AM

Thanks Marsha :) Yes, I did my own leatherwork, but I worked with screws, no sewing.

Breastcollars are often only for a historical purpose, as an example the army pack saddle always had a breastcollar that a horse can be hitched to a cart or pull material like trees. Most of the horses, a workshop leader told me, don't need the breastcollar if the saddle fits well. In the opposite, the breeching is very important in high mountains. We always had short breaks before going downhill to tighten the breechings. And loosen the breeching again as soon as the downhill path ended. So I tightened and loosed the breeching many, many times a day. Thats why the breeching belt is half-opened all the time.


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#5 GoldenTree

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Posted 07 January 2018 - 12:24 AM

Thank you for sharing! I'm a goat packer myself who recently fell in love with mini's, so much so that I brought a filly home yesterday. I have hope that my filly will enjoy trails enough to fit her with a saddle someday. 


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Today we play in the arena, someday I hope to climb mountains together. 

 

http://www.goldentreepackgoats.com





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