2nd Cart Conundrums

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Feb 10, 2012
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I know there are soooo many 'what cart' threads, but please indulge me.

I currently have two carts. One is a knock about cart and the other is a wooden wheeled cart, see pics below.

You cant see all the knockabout but you get the idea. The knockabout cart now has shorter shafts, replaced slat and a singletree btw, the pic is from the first time my guy was put to, the adjustments were made before driving him

My original plan was to get the wooden cart and once it arrived and my pony had been trained to harness (hate the word broken) then I would sell the knockabout and just use the wooden one all the time, to that end I bought both wooden and pneumatic wheels to make it versatile in different footing/situations.

However, the wood cart has turned out to be a rather lovely cart that I just can't imagine taking into the bush etc etc.


You would think my problem would be solved by just keeping the knockabout, but it really is not suitable because;

For one, the basket is SHALLOW meaning that my knees are around my chin in it and I am only 5ft 3. It looks very unflattering and is uncomfortable. Secondly for what it is, it is seriously heavy. The gauge of pipe used is really thick and a bit excessive TBH. Thirdly there is no suspension, not even some token springs under the seat, it rides rough on anything except perfectly mowed,levelled grass. It has no seat back, and I think I tend to lean forward to compensate rather than sitting straight and just slightly in front of where the rest would be.


What I am looking for is that my second cart would be my daily 'go-to' that would do anything from bush trail driving, to informal driving club days, driving about on roads,paddocks etc. Everything really. Not keen on pneumatic wheels so much...

I am not made of money, so would sell my knockabout (would probably get $400 ish) to put toward my new cart and save for the importing costs of course. Bellcrown carts are not an option, the US shipping costs bumps them over the 2K mark then I need to get it from the US to Aust. Eeeeep.

I have been considering a Hyperbike and still may go there, but having the option of taking passengers is probably important as although my horse is green now and it will be months and months of regular driving before I remotely dream of taking my toddler and preschool aged children with me, it is a consideration for the future.


Other thoughts have been a metal shaft, wooden EE from SPF, but not getting any wheels with it and instead purchasing these steel ones from Kingstons

I would opt for the upgraded suspension with the heavy duty eliptical springs.

http://www.kingston-...&cat=HORSE CART


This cart from Kingstons, but the suspension is lacking and the track-width is narrower. Price is cheap to reflect this. Hmm wonder about taking out springs under the seat and adding a half-eliptical somehow? My husband works metal and timber...

http://www.kingston-...&cat=HORSE CART


Or Or....

Suggestions? What am I missing?
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Gary is great to work with...I LOVE my trail cart...I did get both steel and pneumatic wheels... I use 26" wheels and they fit my 33.75" mare perfectly. I added a seat drop to the cart...and there is a dash and under-seat basket as an option...I THINK... I just bought one of the under seat storage bags from Kingston Saddlery, it works perfectly. He also said last time I spoke with him, that he is considering marathon shafts, so if you would like them, it might be an option as well.
ahah! Thanks Sue, I knew I must be missing something. Hmm more stuff to ponder.

How do you find the ride comfort when you have the steel wheels on?

You said you have 26" wheels, I just looked on the site and it lists the 20" for mini size. So up-sizing didn't change the shaft height too much for your girl I take it? Did the three inches extra ride height make much of a difference for seating position?

Sorry for the 20 questions ;)
http://www.alpinemanufacturing.com/page4.asp?ID=1 This is a very nice cart; the c springs give a very comfortable ride (much nicer than plain little coil springs...I have both kinds & much prefer the c springs... It's not as good as having the springs under the cart itself to cushion the bumps for the horse but for driver comfort it would be a huge improvement over no springs at all. Wooden wheels are available for this cart. I love my alpine cart & will be buying another when I have the $$$ to spare.
Everyone keeps telling me that C-springs give a much better ride, perhaps it would if they were tiny little coil spring? but the springs on the Trail cart are quite substantial; and having driven in my friend's Pacific trail cart with C-springs, I will take my coils any day.

Yes, I opted for the larger wheels, and am sorry...my wheels are 24", not the 26`as previously stated. I find they fit her quite well. I also had the shafts wider at the tugs than he usually makes them, as my Super V breast collar and buckle in traces are a bit bulky, and didn't want them binding or catching on the shafts.

As we are training level, I used the pneumatics, thinking it would be easier, but next time will use the steel wheels, as the wider wheel was actually harder to pull through a VERY muddy portion of the marathon; and yes, one does have a bit more "bump" with the steel wheels because of the solid tire...but unless you go to something like the Smart cart...they will be a fact of life.


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Sue, the pacific training cart has much heavier springs than the alpine cart I posted the link for. I would expect the pacific cart springs to be much harder and have less give to them. The alpine cart is a very soft ride, much nicer than any coil spring cart I've ridden in--and that covers a variety of carts and a variety of coil springs. No idea how any of those compare to a g&s but most definitely the Alpine is different from a pacific training cart.
Forgot--Sue, can you tell me the width of your shafts at their narrowest point? I'm doing my own little survey of shaft widths

And am curious about yours. Thanks!
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The shafts are a tad under 20" at the narrowest part, then they "flare" a bit, which I like, as they don't get in her way as she bends. I think he usually makes them around 17".
LOVE the photos, Sue. Thanks for sharing. Your mare is similarly built to my guy.

Ahh Alpine, hadn't even thought of those either. I knew starting a thread would be useful.

The more ideas I have to play with, the better
regarding the c springs on the Alpine....I have an Alpine Mini with steel wheels w/rubber and the c springs and a Frontier easy entry with the same wheels and the coil springs.....I can't tell a whole lot of difference......may a bit better with the Alpine.....the Frontier seems a bit stiffer overall.
Well, a little late in the updating, but I have decided on a hyperbike. I have spoken to Bob (Graham Carriage Works) and am busy saving now. I hope to have the balance early in the new year. I can't wait to try it.

I am just driving my show cart (wooden wheeled beauty from Silver Penny Farm) at the moment until such times as a HB is here, I have put the pneumatic wheels on my SPF cart so my pinstripes don't get messed up on the wood wheels but it still feels like a crime to be driving it around for kicks. I think it is utterly gorgeous and too good to drive often.

I wonder though, is it excessive to have three carts for one pony?
Wooden EE from SPF....?

A LITTLE late...lol..Better late than never...I think you will have a ball with the Hyperbike..From what I understand,the carts from Kingston are made in China..Maybe not worth the trouble,especially when you add to the shipping..I'm thinking Hyperbike myself..After Isaac is trained enough,and on my 60th birthday..LOL..Never too late to have fun..
sounds like a mighty fine 60th present to yourself!

I am sure Isaac will be ready for hyperbike fun in no time

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