Does this cart fit?

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WhyMinis

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I put Rambo to the smaller ez entry cart tonight. The shafts are shorter and narrower, shoot the whole cart is smaller. I wanted to get some opinions on whether this cart fits him and if I need to make any harness adjustments. My daughter snapped these just as we started driving so he is still adjusting to the narrower shafts and not having as much room to bend. The footmans loop is too far forward on the shafts and I could not attach the breeching straps through it. I am not sure what to do about it but that is why the tugs look like they are holding the cart back... (they are in one picture as it is a very slight downhill grade).









Don't be too hard on my driving form... I'm still learning and learning that I have a lot to learn.

 

MInx

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I don't know as we haven't driven in years, and haven't gotten our cart yet for BUddy..BUT that said I want to say what a beautiful picture he makes..and looks like he's a good mover too...
 

WhyMinis

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Thank you, Minx. This is the first time I have seen him as I am always driving. I do like the way he looks in the last picture after he had settled down a bit. It's been so hot that I haven't done much for the last two weeks.
 

ClickMini

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Thanks for sharing your pics! I think it looks pretty good, though I am sure you will get some good feedback from MiniHGal and HobbyHorse23 and Margo C-T. I like the lift you are getting in the last photo, though he is gaping his mouth showing a little discomfort. But you guys look great to me!
 

Margo_C-T

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The fit of the cart to the horse looks pretty good-shaft tips are at about the right place in relation to the point of the shoulder, and there appears to be adequate space between the horse's buttocks and the front of the basket(don't want your horse hitting his hocks on the basket in a big trot, but neither do you want a BIG distance between the front of the cart and the horse's behind!)
Is that a Frontier, or a "clone" ? On the Frontier, with the standard 48" shafts, the holdback loop IS(or at least, was-my Frontier is several years old!)placed too far forward on the shafts--unless you have extra-long holdback straps on your breeching,you may indeed not be able to use them). Solution is to have a welder weld new loops on, in the proper location on the shafts. You are right about it looking as if the tugs are"holding the cart back", in the last photo-and you definitely don't want that, because in truth, the tugs, even with wrap straps, or even tug stops, CAN'T be depended upon to brake the cart, so it is a genuine safety issue, at least when driving out in the 'real world', as opposed to a flat show ring.

As for the harness-the breast collar looks a bit short(isn't coming back far enough "around" the chest), and might need to be adjusted just a bit higher on the chest-otherwise, as far as can been seen in the pictures, it looks OK. One suggestion on your position in the cart-it is much more secure to place at least one of your feet forward; you are well-'braced', should the horse stop abruptly, or jump forward abruptly(it can, and does, happen, even with the best-trained horses!), so as to maintain your position on the seat, and your grip on the reins.

Happy driving!! And good for you, wearing your helmet!!
 

Kim Rule

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Margo, I think I got a bit of an education just reading your response!!! It looked good to me, but you were able to voice some details that I was unaware of!

In order to make it so my hold back straps fit on my cart, I put some heavy duty clips on them. They were easy to take off and put on, and they held very securely. When I had my new hold back loop put on the cart, I could get rid of the clips.

Whyminis, where did you get that great ear covering??? I used to have one for my big horse, and I would love one for Bilbo (though I'm sure he wouldn't love it!
) I had to clip his ears for a show, and it would be nice to cover them up when I drive.

Kim R.
 

hobbyhorse23

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ClickMini said:
Thanks for sharing your pics! I think it looks pretty good, though I am sure you will get some good feedback from MiniHGal and HobbyHorse23 and Margo C-T. I like the lift you are getting in the last photo, though he is gaping his mouth showing a little discomfort. But you guys look great to me!
Okay, NOW I'm flattered.
As it is, for once I don't have too much to say! LOL. Margo nailed the things I was seeing (the breastcollar being too short around, the thing with the footman's loop that you already knew about, and your awkward leg position in the cart) and ClickMini caught your horse's unhappiness with the bit in that last shot. You plan to do ADS with this horse, correct? I might suggest (if you don't do it already) that you do a lot of suppling exercises with him where you get him to reach for the bit and the ground. There's a lot of tension in his topline right now and he's resisting the bit. Even in the second and fourth photos where he's not so inverted, he's still not reaching through his topline to your hands as he should be. He needs to forget about that new cart and pay attention to his mama!
And there's nothing like a lot of gentle give and take on one side and then the other during straight-line work to refocus them and get them to round up.

Each time he gives to the bit and rounds at the poll, immediately give a little back to him in the lines and let him move forward into that space you've created for him. You're getting him to lengthen that topline and reach down first, then eventually you can bring him back into your hands by using more impulsion. A training level horse should demonstrate submission to the bit and willingness to always be reaching for it, reaching for that contact. When they ask you for a free walk he'd better know how to lengthen his frame and lower his head! I would love to see pictures of this horse at the end of a workout instead of the beginning because it looks like you're doing a really good job with him. Chances are these photos are a bad example showing how he goes when he's tense and distracted, not how he normally moves. You're doing too good a job with everything else to not be a good driver too.


As for the turnout: That's a very nice horse, and the picture of horse, cart, harness, and you is very pleasant. As a perfectionist on details I see little that is not perfectly correct in these photos. Your breeching is where it should be, blinders are good, everything is neat and tidy. Good job! If that were my breastcollar, I would probably go ahead and use a loop to connect that neckstrap to the waterhook as is done in breed shows. My reasoning being that with this particular harness, that strap is so thin that you are likely to sore your horse with it directly on his neck like that. And with his proportions it does sort of "chop up" his front end visually. Ideally with this boy you would get a double-strap breastcollar that matches your breeching, probably a contoured one so you could raise it up a little higher without cutting off his wind.

I would be interested to see a shot of your horse in the shafts taken from the driver's seat, or some other angle where we can see how much room there is on either side of the horse. It is important that they not be toooo narrow- the horse does still need room to bend as you noted. All in all- great job!

Can't wait to see more pix.


Leia

Edited to add: Oh, I also meant to say "Kudos!" on the helmet! Good for you.
 
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WhyMinis

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Thank you all!! I will try to get someone to take pictures after the next workout and see if it makes a difference. Rambo and I are going down to Catalyst Driving Center next week to take a lesson with Shelly. I am looking forward to it but I haven't had much of a chance to work with him since my first lesson two weeks ago. That one was with Shelly's Morgan.

My foot position... I was very uncomfortable in the smaller cart as my feet don't seem to fit ANYWHERE in it and I keep wanting to sit back further. I guess I am just spoiled by the larger one and will have to work on getting my feet back up where they should be.

Breast Collar - Where should the breast collar come? I would love to order a new one but am not sure where to measure.

Kim, I crocheted his ear cap. I can make you one if you like. Let me know, I would have to know what color you wanted and I would have to get measurements from you. I am changing the design and using net material for the ears though I think. It will work better for the gnats and no seeums.
 

WhyMinis

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Leia,

This is a shot of him from head on so you can see the distance between the shafts.



Thanks for all of your help and Margo's too. Margo, I do believe it is a Frontier cart.

Kim, what kind of clips did you use for the breeching?
 

Kim Rule

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Let me know what kind of measurements you want...Bilbo's color is red, but our stable colors are burgundy, black and silver. Bilbo is a black horse...

I used heavy duty brass clips. They were wide enough at the bottom to accomodate the hold back straps, and the tongue in the clips snapped on tightly to the loop. The clips were big enough to snap on easily and securely to the loops. If I could locate them, I'd send you a picture of them, but you should see our garage just now!!!


Kim R.
 

rabbitsfizz

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You know the more I look at it the more I think both the harness and the cart are just a little bit too small for this horse. IMO the horse should be slightly further forward in the shafts, but the shafts are, as has been said, more or less in the right place. They (the shafts) are also slightly too low and putting to much pressure on the saddle but, I think to make them higher is going to tip the cart back. The breast collar is definitely too low, and seems too small also, and I am worried by the fact that the traces do not seem to be taking any of the strain. I would also look at another bit, maybe a plain bar?? He's a nice boy and seems to look as if he is trying to enjoy himself. I'm sorry I must have missed the original thread, was the other cart much too big?? Some of these carts can be adjusted- blocks under the axle or even bigger wheels, much less expensive than a new cart!!
 

WhyMinis

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Rabbitsfizz,

I will put him to the larger cart and get pictures today if I can persuade my daughter out into the heat with the camera. The last picture I posted, he is standing still so there is not draft on the traces and in the last picture I originally posted, we are on a slight downhill grade and the tugs are all that is keeping the cart back. Although the other pictures aren't clear, I believe the traces are tighter.

One thing I have noticed is that the breast collar shifts from side to side as we are trotting. Is that because it is not long enough?

One of the reasons I posted this was because with this cart I have trouble getting the shafts to float in the tugs on Rambo. I hadn't noticed it before but with Rambo, I really felt like I needed to sit back further. That said, with the larger cart even I know that the shafts are a bit too long and come forward past the point of his shoulder.
 

Margo_C-T

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Couple of things, right quick before I go out to do the AM chores-in the new photo, the breast collar is definitely too LOW on the horse's chest, needs to be adjusted to ride higher(just where the neck "rises" out of the chest). It also appears to me that the browband of the bridle is too short-which creates a serious issue of comfort for the horse,putting constant, and very aggrievating pressure, on the back/sides of their ears. I share the concern about the super narrow wither/neck strap-honestly, the entire harness is too 'light'(narrow straps,etc.)for my preference.I don't see the 'entire' harness as being too small for the horse-but have found that there are some makers who don't seem to be too skillful as proportions, making some parts that fit, and other parts, of the same harness, that are either too large OR too small! Did you send in measurements for the harness? If so, they should replace the disproportionate parts!

The breast collar moving back and forth is not a good thing; means the horse isn't really 'in draught'-i.e., actually moving the cart forward with the traces. The horse should NOT draw the cart with the tugs loops,but with the traces! The shafts "could" be slightly higher(correctly,straight shafts should be level or sloped very slightly UPWARD from cart attachment to horse), but look OK in their present position; HOWEVER, I would suggest checking the balance of the cart. With Frontiers, the seat position is adjustable, forward/back, to aid in obtaining a proper balance....have someone stand between the shafts, holding them at the point where they will properly rest in the tug loops. Then, the usual driver gets into the cart, sitting at a normal position. The weight on the shafts should 'lessen' to very little, if the cart is properly balanced. Generally(there is much more to this; am just giving a sort of 'thumbnail' here...), if the seat is adjusted further back, the weight on the shafts in the tugs will be less. When seated in the cart, YOU can also alter the balance, just by whether you sit/lean forward, or back, to some degree. It does look a bit, in the pictures, as if there is too much weight in the tugs, but this might be adjusted by balancing the cart.

Hope this helps some-gotta go feed, will check back later!
 

whitney

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Thank you for posting your pictures.

My spin on them is, it appears you have too much contact (which is evident in his rigid head, neck and back, gaping mouth and short stride. Simply lighten up your hands and all this with disappear.

If this is a green horse you want to use the lightest contact to maintain control. Encourage forward movement (long and low), with lots of half halts. When he gets all of his parts working properly and consistently thats when you work on collection.
 

WhyMinis

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Thanks Whitney,

Believe it or not, the only way I could lighten up on contact with Rambo would be to drop his head entirely and in one of the pictures I had unintentionally done just that. I am going to work on getting him to accept it more. Of all the pictures Lexi took there is only one where it looks like his mouth is gaping. He chews on the bit quite a bit when we are doing anything new and I believe I will try a different bit and see if it makes a difference.

As I told Margo, I will also get pictures of him in his normal cart at the end of our workout instead of the beginning. He very much prefers the larger cart, probably as much because of the room between the shafts as the balance.
 

MiniHGal

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Yes, two of the main problems with the Frontiers are visible in these pictures...awkward balance and footman loops too far forward. For the first problem, the seat can be adjusted backwards a lot more, which will help. Even though the shafts seem to be at the proper angle(just above level in most of the shots), it is evident the cart isn't balanced, as I see your wrap straps are fairly loose in the last photo--which means the cart should be floating just a little, whereas in that photo, the tug loop is obviously carrying a fair bit of weight.

Footman loops...if possible, have a welder weld them on at the appropriate place, it is hard to get long enough straps to reach that far, esp. if you want it to look good(ie that would be a temp solution).

Going by the last picture, yes, the breastcollar should be raised up, it seems a mite low. It is also sitting oddly; I'm not sure why, but couldn't tell you without seeing it in person. Also, the traces look like they are sitting on top of the holdback straps(breeching), they should go between the top and bottom parts of the holdback straps. That way they are caught(no drooping), but the line of draft isn't interrupted and they can move freely.

Ok, so I just kind of added on to what Margo and Leia and everyone said. LOL.

Hmm, for his mouth, I don't think you are holding too tight, I think it is the bit that he is uncomfortable with. When you put any pressure on his mouth, does he gape or raise his head? If so, I would think it may be the bit that is pinching or poking him, depending on your definition of 'any pressure'. What do you have him in? He may prefer a mullen mouth or a 'no-pinch' curved snaffle. Sometimes their mouths are too small for the cheaper 'training' bits that usually come with the harness.

You'll want to teach him to give his head down when you ask, regardless of how much or little pressure you have(ie: he shouldn't evade the bit when you apply pressure). Then you can raise him up without locking his back up, as he is doing in the fourth pic.
 

hobbyhorse23

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Hehe, Minihgal, gotta get here sooner then that these days! LOL.

WhyMinis said:
One thing I have noticed is that the breast collar shifts from side to side as we are trotting.  Is that because it is not long enough?
This may be because it is sitting too low. In that last picture you posted there is no question that it is too low and is sitting on the point of his shoulder- my guess (since I'm not sure exactly what you mean when you say it "shifts from side to side") is that it may be bouncing with the motion of the horse's shoulders because it is too low and too loose due to the tugs taking a lot of the weight of the cart and the traces therefore not coming into play as much as they should. Try rebalancing the cart first, then shorten your tugs slightly and raise the collar a notch or two and see if it makes any difference.

I am NOT an expert on shaft fit and am well aware from harnessing my own boy that a single shot of the horse standing in cart can be misleading, but FROM THAT SHOT it looks like the shafts may be too narrow for him.



I'm basing my commentary on the fact that it looks like the shafts are nearly touching his belly. Your horse has to have room to arch his entire body into a turn, complete with swinging the ribcage out and allowing his hind leg to swing under. If your boy is well enough trained to know he should be doing that, he could very well simply be upset by being hitched to something narrow enough to prevent him from using his body like he knows he should. Other comments from that picture- I agree with Minihgal. The traces should be run through the holdback straps (dumb though that can seem on some harnesses. My traces never drooped even when I was backing up because they were very stiff, but they sure broke the keepers on my holdback straps! The line of draft wasn't even and all it did was prevent the breeching from working correctly. ::grumble:: Oh well. I digress.) Your wrap straps themselves should be a little tighter anyway so that the cart can't suddenly "flip up" and jerk your horse's underbelly if something happens, and it is traditional that the driver sit on the right. Hint, hint. LOL I prefer the center, but the left is a no-no in any case.


Can't wait to see the new pictures and some shots of him with the other cart. I think I must have missed that thread too....

Leia
 

rabbitsfizz

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The more I look the more I think most of the problem is that the cart is a bit too small and so is parts of the harness- That really is not a brilliant harness, sorry!!! I know exactly what you mean by the breast collar shifting back and forth, part of this is because it is too small, part is possibly because you either do not have a proper swingle tree or it is not moving freely if you do- a lot of these little "easy" carts have only a "pretend" swingletree, and I really do think a good one, moving freely is a must. It will then do all the shifting that the collar id at present doing.
 

willowoodstables

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Ditto on what all the others mentioned...one thing I would do is hold the loose end of the lines up..not sitting in the basket. If they do "fall" out of the basket they may tangle in the wheels. I use a shoe string poked through the ends (make holes if necessary) and create a little loop for your baby finger. Voila, nice neat safe way to hold the end of the lines.

Looks good!!

Kim
 

WhyMinis

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I started another thread with the larger cart and harness adjustments. Other than the breast collar, I'd be interested in hearing comments.
 

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