Frontier Equestrian Carts

Discussion in 'Driving Miniature Horses' started by HomesteadFox, Dec 30, 2018.

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  1. Dec 30, 2018 #1

    HomesteadFox

    HomesteadFox

    HomesteadFox

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    Does anyone have a cart from Frontier? I am looking at the easy entry style carts for trail and pleasure driving. They seem really well priced for new ones with brakes too.
     
  2. Dec 30, 2018 #2

    MindySchroder

    MindySchroder

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    Be aware that brakes on a two wheeled vehicle isn't a good idea. Unless you can move the seat backward while driving and applying the brake all at the same time and keep the balance correct the act of applying the brake puts an immense amount of pressure on the pony's back. Barb Lee has shared quite a bit about this on Facebook. She is a wealth of information and incredibly knowledgeable. She said that the amount of weight that can press on the pony can actually bring it to it's knees. Brakes also add quite a bit of weight to the two wheeled vehicle making balancing and just plain pulling it difficult for the little guys.

    Years ago I had a metal easy entry cart from Frontier and it was a just fine little cart. It did not have brakes and was just the very basic EE.

    Kingston Saddlery has a very nice easy entry cart and they just came out with the C spring for the seat which give you a bit better ride. None of the cheaper easy entry carts have a very good suspension system. Something to think about if you do end up with one is to upgrade to a suspension kit from Patty's Pony Place. That's what I did with my Kingston Saddlery cart. My cart is the miniature horse cart with 53" long curved shafts and the upgraded motorcycle wheels. As pictured I have the suspension kit from Patty's Pony Place and a set of adjustable footman's loops as well. Often the less expensive easy entry carts have the footman's loops in the wrong spot on the shafts.

    skytrottingincart(2).jpg

    There is another option in the Hyperbike. They are lightweight and can be taken apart for travel. Every horse I've hitched to it loves it! It's a very comfortable ride for me as well and doesn't even need a suspension kit! And the footmans loops are in the correct spot on the shafts :) They cost a bit more and are made for only one driver but they are wonderful! This is a photo of my friend Rachel driving my mare Sky in the Hyperbike. I was driving my green broke gelding in my Kingston cart when I took this photo.
    IMG_2101 copy.jpg

    There are lots of options out there, though some are quite costly. But many are affordable! Another easy entry cart that I really like is made by Silver Penny Farms. They have a wooden easy entry with big wheels that is a lovely ride. These carts have a better suspension than the plain metal EE's do. Do be aware that the wooden carts will weigh a bit more than the metal carts do and knowing exactly how much weight your mini is pulling is very important! Here is a picture of my mare pulling one of our old Silver Penny Carts.
    momandskytrotting.jpg
    Hopefully that's not too much information that you didn't ask for! LOL!

    Good luck in your cart search!
     
  3. Dec 30, 2018 #3

    MajorClementine

    MajorClementine

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    I have the Frontier mini marathon wagonette and really like it.

    I also have a Kingston EE cart that I have used for 6 years and it's still going strong. Plus they have a better single tree and better wheels now than they had 6 years ago.
     
  4. Jan 2, 2019 #4

    HomesteadFox

    HomesteadFox

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    Good to know about the brakes! I hadn't thought of that. We have a lot of hills here so I was just hoping to help with downhill inclines.
    I really, really want a hyperbike! But, I am nervous to get one without trying first. I am going to the National Drive this year, and hoping I can find somebody that maybe would let me try it out. I have a 34" mini and am getting a 39" donkey today so the hyperbike would be easy to switch out for the both of them. I am also training my big pony (13.3) to drive and I really don't have anywhere to put all this equipment!
     
  5. Jan 2, 2019 #5

    HomesteadFox

    HomesteadFox

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    I am thinking for now I'm going to go with a Kingston cart. I do like the Silver Penny carts, and plan to get one for my big pony. But the Kingstons look like they would be decent trail carts with the solid rubber tires. And a good price. Would you recommend the curved shafts? I was considering the straight only due to adjust-ability , that way I could use it for the mini and donkey for the time being. But if they are lesser quality I will go with the curved.
     
  6. Jan 10, 2019 #6

    MindySchroder

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    I do recommend the curved shafts as they are much easier to adjust for different sized horses as well as balance the vehicle.

    I'll give an example here. This pony is 40" tall and is using the same cart I have except she has the lighter wheels and she has straight shafts. The problem she contacted me with was the ends of her shafts bounce when her pony trots. This is a balance issue and is caused by the fact that the front of the cart is not level because in order for the shafts to reach the shaft loops she has to have a bit of an angle. I suggested lowering the shaft loops and moving her seat forward, but her seat is all the way forward. She did lower the shaft loops all the way but the bouncing didn't stop.
    straightshafts.jpg

    In the photo below I have my Kingston cart hitched to my 41 1/2" pony. So he is actually taller than her pony. BUT I have the curved shafts so they keep the front of the cart more level and then curve up to the shafts. This allows me to use this same cart with my mini mare who is 37" tall and my pony who is 41 1/2" tall It would fit a little bigger pony as well and would adjust for a mini as small as 34" tall. The curved shafts are the reason I can use this cart with the different sized ponies.
    mikeyincart.jpg
    Hopefully that helps!
     
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  7. Jan 12, 2019 #7

    HomesteadFox

    HomesteadFox

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    T

    Thank you Mindy! Your blog has helped tons. I decided I will order the Kingston cart, that way I have a vehicle to go to the National Drive this spring at least. It may be next month before I get it but I will post photos when I do. I'm sure I'll need a little help adjusting. I'm still searching for a harness in my budget.
     
  8. Jan 12, 2019 #8

    MindySchroder

    MindySchroder

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    Oh that's exciting!!! I am only a teeny tiny bit jealous that you will get to go to the National Drive ;)

    May I make a suggestion for your Kingston cart? The footmans loops are in the wrong place on the shafts. Patty's Pony Place make the coolest sliding footmans loops!! I highly suggest ordering a set from her as soon as you can because I know they are busy over there :) Believe me you will thank me for that!!! They will help your hitching process SO MUCH.
     
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  9. Jan 12, 2019 #9

    HomesteadFox

    HomesteadFox

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    I live about an hour and a half from it, so luckily I can run home if I need to. I think I'm going alone for the most part so it makes me feel better being so close.
     
  10. Jan 19, 2019 at 11:14 AM #10

    Patty's Pony Place

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    My input on the Kingston carts. We have worked with several of these carts with our bolt on suspension, which dramatically changes the ride, and performance of the carts. We have also supplied our shaft bases to replace the commonly, too narrow ones that come with the appropriate size cart for the height of horse. The curved shaft tips on ours, and indeed, the ones that Kingston supplies, do not in fact do anything to make it easier to balance a cart - what they in fact do, is allow you to use a cart that is actually too small for the horse you want to put into it, by, and only by, allowing the shaft base to drop down, which it needs to do if the pony is too big for the cart's built in adjustment. The narrow shaft base on the Kingston, and many other makes of cart, are the reason our upgraded shaft sets are so popular, as even when one has the right size cart for the horse, the shafts are tight on them, and the wider shaft base gives them more room - and that increases the overall safety of the scene, as many horses panic easily with the tight shafts. I could easily promote our carts as the optimum cart - but some things to consider are as follows, and there are lots of photos one can find to reference these things. First - is there adjustability built into the construction of the cart. Does it have bicycle wheels - they are inferior. How does the person fit into it? Are their knees jacked up, or do they look comfortable? We would never use wood on the floorpan, nor front of cart. Look at the angle of the front of the floor pan - is it nicely angled, or is it straight up and down? Are the shafts tight on the horse? How heavy is it? Weight alone is not the senior element to cart design regarding ease of pulling. To address width of wheel track - base truth is that a wider wheel track is better for stability of a cart than a narrower one, but once one gets "really wide", there is another truth being missed about that. It is called "bump steer", and this involves simple physics. When one wheel of a cart (any cart) hits, say, a rock - but the other wheel does not, the one that hits the rock "stops" forward motion. The other wheel is able to continue to move forward. What then happens, is that forward motion, with the other wheel stopped by the rock, swings the shaft tip end of the cart to the side of the stopped wheel, which tries to push the horse over to that same side - bumps him. I have seen a video on YouTube of a gal going over a "rock bridge" with a wide wheel track cart, and the poor little horse gets bumped left and right, back and forth, every single time a wheel hits one of the rocks! So, bottom line to this, there are superior designs, and there are cart designers that consider every single detail involved - and there are LOTS of details!
     
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  11. Jan 19, 2019 at 11:53 AM #11

    MajorClementine

    MajorClementine

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    Hey Patty, quick question, why would you not use wood on the floorpan of your cart? I can see not using a sheet of plywood but are you also including heavy wood slats when you say you wouldn't use wood?

    I've checked out your carts and they are beautiful. Very well thought out for safety, comfort and beauty.
     
  12. Jan 20, 2019 at 1:00 PM #12

    Peggy Porter

    Peggy Porter

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    [QUOTE="HomesteadFox, post: 1628014, member: 46217"
    I really, really want a hyperbike! But, I am nervous to get one without trying first. I am going to the National Drive this year, and hoping I can find somebody that maybe would let me try it out. I have a 34" mini and am getting a 39" donkey today so the hyperbike would be easy to switch out for the both of them. I am also training my big pony (13.3) to drive and I really don't have anywhere to put all this equipment![/QUOTE]

    I am planning to be at the Spring Fling in May with my hyperbike(s). I’m not sure if I’m bringing one or both of my boys, so not sure which carts/carriages I’ll be bringing (I have 6!) You would be more than welcome to try my bike.
     
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