Finally got to hitch my "new" cart to my "new" mini.

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Dragon Hill

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Jun 25, 2020
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South Carolina
I finally got the chance to hitch my "new " cart to Deja Blue, or DJ. I was afraid the cart and harness was going to be too big for him, so I am very happy it seems to fit. I took the risers off it when I got it, replaced all the bearings on the wheels, and put washers between the wheels and axle stops. It didn't really have axle stops, the axle just tapered. One of the bearings was jammed on the taper when I got it. The washers will keep that from happening again. I added lynch pins to the single tree so the traces can't slip off. I'm planning on replacing the single tree, maybe even the shafts.
I got DJ last year, he's a stallion that was already trained to pull a cart. I never saw him do so, but saw videos. This was the first time I hitched him and I ground drove him behind the cart after ground driving him. I was doing all this alone. He stood still for all my adjustments and fiddling around. He walked and trotted for me and was easy to stop, but didn't stay stopped without a few reminders. Yes, I left the overcheck on, as loose as it could go. He loves grass, even dead grass, a little too much. I don't know his age or what he was called before I got him, but he's got two blue eyes so his named fits and also honors a friend who passed and a great stallion who passed.
So what do you think? I need to adjust the britchen a little, but he's so hairy I can't tell if the breast strap is right. I don't like that the saddle seems a little tippy and too far forward, but the girth isn't too tight and isn't too far forward. Maybe I'll make a hole and loosen the back strap a little. Any suggestions are welcomed.DJcart1.jpgDJcart3.jpg
I'd move the saddle back a bit so it isn't on his withers. You might need a longer girth to do so - you want the saddle to sit as flat as possible for him. You could also remove the pad if you needed a bit more length for the girth. The breeching does need to drop just a bit. I'd also run your traces through the loop of the holdback strap so it has a straight line to the single tree with no interference.
Ok, I worked with him again, made some adjustments, and had help this time so I got in the cart after ground driving him from behind the cart. My husband helped me, by following to begin with, and then he took a few pictures. 360 it might take me a little while to post some pictures. DJ did wonderful. We need some work to become a team, which is something I've been working on. He's really a gentle soul, and I think that was overly taking advantage of in his interaction with humans before I got him. So he came to me not wanting to be touched.
I bought the cart and harness off of Facebook. But the lady I bought them from bought them new from Carolina Carriage Superstore in Greer, SC. I think they both are supposed to be Amish made. I was afraid they would be too big for him, but it looks like they are ok.
Thank you everyone for the compliments on DJ. I hope one day he will like me as much as I like him.
Ok, here are two pictures--first one, I'm walking behind, second one, we are walking slightly up hill (in case it matters). The adjustments were made before this session,IMG_3845.JPGIMG_3882c.jpg
I adjusted the breast collar one hole higher, the breeching one hole lower, I still need to loosen the girth (one hole down on each side just seemed so loose I chickened out). For next time I'm taking the overcheck off, and my footman loops/holdbacks need to come forward. I'm hoping if my holdback straps are forward I will be able to put the traces through them and that will take care of my strange line of draft? I didn't take care of that adjustment because my help came before I finished getting ready and I didn't want to make him wait any longer. Again, thank you in advance for any suggestions and thank you for your patience.
I like that cart! You guys are going to have so much fun in that thing. I wish I had a cart with suspension like that.
The only thing I don't like about it is how heavy it is. It seems twice as heavy as my old Jerald EE. But I didn't want to hook DJ to my Hyperbike without knowing if he was safe enough. Plus I wanted to be able to take a passenger. Yes, the suspension is really nice. Even the flat ground on my place isn't very flat, so I needed it.