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Cayuse

Shaft and traces question/advice

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My otter sled has shafts that are curved and end at the shaft carrier. I think they are called euro shafts but I probably am wrong on that. Anyway, my traces are fairly tight and I am afraid that they may be too restrictive. However, if I loosen them to the next trace slot I have a lot of play and when Peanut starts off it is a bit jolty because when he is standing relaxed, the breast collar is slackened.

As soon as he feels the slack tighten, he jumps into it or pops up and gets nervous. Once going he is OK. I am using a curved breastcollar and there is a picture posted on the driving thread of him in it, taken yesterday, for reference.

So my question is, how tight is too tight on the traces? I can shortened the shaft length slightly, would that help?

He is better this year than the couple of times I had him in his winter harness and the sled last year. But he is having "moments", he crow hopped today, then settled down. He just seems a bit flustered by it all, but that's the nature of the beast 😄.

He is!trying to tell me something is not!quite right, but I am not "getting it".

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wish i could help, but no experience with sleds.

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Hey I took a look at your picture and also got on Patty's Pony Place to watch her video on the otter sled shafts. I've got a few ideas but I'm not a pro by any means.

 

The one thing I notice is that your breast collar doesn't have swinging traces. So they don't pivot from the breast collar they are fixed to the collar and come straight off. This setup works well for a cart with a straight line of draft such as and EE cart but not so well for a cart with a low line of draft. It torques the breast collar making the top edge of the collar bite into the horses chest as they start to pull.

 

I think the slackening in the breast collar that you are seeing if you lengthen the traces is due to the low line of draft and the fixed traces as well.

 

If you can, maybe try him in a regular collar or a breast collar that has swinging/pivoting traces and see if it makes a difference. I wish I was so much closer to where you are. I'd be happy to lend you a swinging trace euro collar to try.

 

Best of luck. I hate when you've got a problem that you can't quite figure out. I had a fit problem with my sulky and finally came to the conclusion, after I tried it on Candace, that it just doesn't fit Clementine. I fought that thing forever!

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I think I got the problem solved. I went back to the old breast collar and hubby adusted the shafts. The darn shafts are really difficult to get even as they telescope in and also turn side to side so if you loosen the nuts, you loose the angle that they are set at and it's just a nuisance. I would never buy another vehicle with this kind of shafts....I guess I am hard core "old school".

I also don't like the shaft carriers you have to use with them, there are no wrap straps, they buckle down. I find that there is a lot of pinching if they are not just right, plus I have to crawl under the mini to get to the buckles And wrapping seems to give a more customized fit. That's my rant for the day.

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MC I did not see your post as I was writing mine at the time! He seems happier with the traces shortened a wee bit. I dunno exactly what hubby did to the shafts, I think one was twisted a little and he fiddled with it, that helped too. I had him once or twice since and he was good, steadier as he started off. I might look into a different breast collar, but so far so good, and its padded to the max, too.

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