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Abby P

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Here are some pics from today of Rowan all hitched. Overall it seems good and the cart feels balanced. My main concern is the shafts - they are a bit too long for him. I can't lengthen the traces any more or he'll be too far from the cart (also, this is lengthened one hole from where they were before and it didn't make a noticeable difference in where he is in the shafts). It's certainly functional the way it is but I'd love to hear any recommendations for fine-tuning and if you see any other issues in the harness adjustment.

Would there be any reason not to just lop a couple of inches off the fronts of the shafts with a hacksaw?

I do feel like he might be happier with gig-style shafts to give him a little more shoulder freedom.

Advice welcome, thanks!
 

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Dragon Hill

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You said there isn't a noticeable difference, but pulling there would be more (as opposed to just standing there). Are you on the last hole on your traces? I'm not sure what you mean about being too far from the cart. It looks like you could go out a hole without a problem. You should be able to stand between him and the seat and in your picture it doesn't look like there is room to do that? If you lengthen your traces you will have to find your balance again, but adjusting the seat might be enough. I had some difficulty balancing my Hyperbike, but so worth it.
You have a nice harness on a very handsome boy there. There are others with more experience here and I'm sure some of them will respond.
 

Abby P

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With the seat back folded up, I definitely can stand between him and the cart, even with the traces one hole shorter than this. I'm a little reluctant to move him too far up I guess because he does kick in harness! It's improving and I've also ordered a kick strap but not sure if he'd be able to reach me if he moved up too much.

The weird thing is that it seemed that lengthening this one hole didn't change his position in the shafts much if at all, even though I also tightened the breeching. I don't think the breeching should be any tighter. I do have one more hole I could go out, so I can definitely try that. Maybe if it does shift him forward then I'd also be able to scoot the seat forward a bit.

I have been really happy with my harness so far (Chimacum). Still working some kinks out with the boy (it seems that a few basic steps might have been skipped in his training, and he's only 5) but he drives really nicely for the most part and is so much fun to have around.
 

Dragon Hill

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I thought that looked like a harness from Chimacum. I love mine, as does my mare. I'm very fortunate to have my mare.
 

MindySchroder

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Oh boy! Balancing the Hyperbike is a lifetime achievement 😁 I am STILL working on mine and I've had it for 3 years.

And you can absolutely cut a few inches off the shafts at the horse end. I ended up cutting the gig end of my Hyperbike shafts off as they caused me so many issues. I totally HATE them!! LOL! That equaled about 6 inches of shaft my hubby cut off for me.

Photo below before we cut the shafts:
IMG_9042.jpg
After we cut the shafts! To be honest I would like to trim another 2" or so off my shafts. I just need to get a new set of the shaft cover ends. I super glued these ones on because they kept popping off.
IMG_3678.jpg

The other thing I would do is scoot your saddle BACK off your pony's withers and then bring your hip straps forward a bit by shortening your back strap. Once you do this you may need a longer neck strap connector which is super easy I can get that to you!

Below is a photo of where I like the saddle to sit and the hip straps to drape:
IMG_2139 2.jpg

Things are looking really good! Of course your cart and pony will tell you when you have things dialed in just right. Ensuring you have zero bounce in your shafts is the tell all for having the bike balanced. However do be aware that the balance can change from one drive to the next. LOL!
 

Abby P

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Thanks Mindy! The saddle does seem to be off the withers when I am looking at it in person - I think his white patch makes it deceiving, but the withers are right under where the neck connector strap is in the pics. It is possible the connector is a little short and contributing to the saddle wanting to ride forward. And I also think he might be growing a little bit because his withers seem to have disappeared all of a sudden and his butt is high! But it's hard to tell under the yeti hair. I may get him a shaped girth as well because the saddle does tend to ride forward - right now the crupper is QUITE snug and it seems to hold it in balance OK (at the spot it is now) but I might be able to scoot it back further if the girth wasn't also pulling it forward - he has quite a defined and forward girth groove. I will lengthen the crupper one hole (that's all I've got) and tighten the back strap one hole to at least reposition the hip strap. It also seems that the location of the bend in the shafts is such that it can push the saddle forward if it runs into the shaft loops but hopefully getting him as far forward as I can and snugging everything up enough will prevent that.

It's great to know I can just cut the shafts - I didn't see any reason not to but wanted to make sure! Last time I drove him there was no bounce in the shafts and the balance felt really good but that was before I lengthened the traces so I'll have to see how it is with them lengthened. Probably totally messed up! 🙃
 

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