Discussion in 'Driving Miniature Horses' started by secuono, Aug 5, 2017.
My 2 minis are 36in. Might grow a hair.
Are there tips on how to pick out it all??
Figure out which harness you want to invest in. Remember it's an investment more than expense so go with the highest quality harness you can afford. Ozark has very nice harness for beginners. I used mine for several years before upgrading to a Comfy Fit. Once you find the harness you want you should be able to find how to measure for that harness on the harness maker/seller website. If not you should call and ask them what measurements you need to take. You can also let them know the ages of your minis and that there is still a little possible growth so they can make the harness to be adjusted a little larger should you need it. Most harness shops are happy to chat with you to get your harness just right.
I just got my comfy fit and I had sent in all the required measurements and when it arrived not only was it the correct size but it was already adjusted to fit my mini! I only had to make minor adjustments. I also called to talk to them and got quick release tug loops since my tugs have loop ends instead of straight ends, I also got quick release traces for safety sake.
My first harness from Ozark was also a good harness. It's what I trained Clementine in and it lasted us for years. It's leather and still in great shape. Clem just had a little growth spurt between 4-5 year old and filled out. So it's a bit small on her now but works in a pinch if I need it to.
Good luck on your search. I'm sure many more will chime in with the harnesses they love.
Are there basic single driving harness sets without all the headgear included?
I bought a mini harness from Big Dees Harness a couple of years ago and would recommend it if you just want a training harness. It is not fancy, but the leather was decent but it comes with a bridle. It is super adjustable, it fits my 32 inch mini and 34 inch mini and I would say it would accommodate a 36 inch mini easily. I bought it as a starter harness but stuck with it as I can't find anything I like better that fits my two. The bridle isn't the greatest, but the harness is only $135 and it sounds like you don't need a bridle?
Their return policy is good too if you find it isn't what you need.
My harness is Big Dee. I have used it for 15 years. At that tine, the bridle was super. It is still the best bridle I have owned. You can just buy a headstall if you don't want blinders or checks.
Yeah, mine will go in just their halter. No blinders, bits or checks.
Side question, is the breeching part needed?
I see some don't come with them, so then I wonder what it's purpose is?
Yes, we are just piddling around. No shows or heavy use.
Ordered a harness! Hope it fits!
Good luck with that tangle of straps and buckles when it arrives!You cannot safely drive in just a halter. The bit is your communication with your horse.
breeching is important for most driving. The showring likes to minimize harness for looks, but for real driving breeching is pretty important.
A bit is not the only means of communication nor does it ensure any amount of safety. If it were, no one would ride tack free or bit free ever.
I have seem some wonderful halter only driving.
Is breeching for backing up??
I'm simply not finding a reason why it was invented. I assume it's for backing up.
They had it in stock when I ordered, then got an email that it is not and no clue when it will be available again. =/
Ordered a different one. Reviews were good on it.
The breeching is to hold the cart back when you are stopping or doing hills. It is sort of like passive brakes, so the cart does not run forward possibly hitting the rump. The breeching attaches to the shafts of the cart, one one each side, with straps called "holdback straps". There are usually little loops on the shafts that the holdbacks run through. I believe they are called "footman's loops".
Breeching is not usually used in the showring but If you are doing anything other than driving on completely flat terrain it is a good idea to have it.
Ahh, okay. Thanks!
Glad I got one with breaching then! Nothing but hills here.
Ugh, auto correct. Breeching***
Sorry, thought I went back and fixed it, but I guess it auto corrected it yet again...
Secuono, you may want to find someone near you that is an experienced driver to help you before trying it all on your own. Every piece of the harness is there for a reason. It's not safe for you or your horse to leave a piece off. The photo you posted of the harness you ordered does not have a breeching. It looks like a show ring harness.
You may be right that your horse will drive in a halter but a halter was never intended for clear communications with the horse like a bridle. Most are loose around the nose and can slide off with a little rubbing from an itchy horse. It's a terrible thing to see a horse hitched to a cart with nothing on its head careening around the countryside!
I would strongly urge you to learn as much as you can before hitching up your horse. Knowledge leads to safety!
Breeching is in the second pic on the website and listed as to what is included.
I have a few concerns here. Please don't take offence as all of us here try to help and offer advice where we can.
I am concerned that you are trying to train a horse to drive bitless yet don't seem to have an understanding of basic driving equipment. This may sound harsh but a driving wreck, even with a mini, can be a disaster for yourself, your horse, and bystanders.
The breeching is your braking system. It keeps the cart from crashing into your horse when going down hill or stopping. Unless your vehicle is equipped with brakes you need a breeching. Even then, it's good to have. If that cart runs into the back of your horse your looking at a train wreck.
Please be sure you understand all the equipment and how it fits and functions. I've seen some great bit less driving horses but only ever from very experienced drivers.
If you post questions and pics of your harness on the horse when you get it there are several people here who can advise you on the fit.
Welcome and good luck!
It'll be a long time before I get a cart, and not just because they are so expensive. So I have time to learn what everything is, what size and type of cart, shaft type and length, wheels and all.
Life has been nuts here with electrical and plumbing issues, so haven't had much time to properly start research much of anything yet.
Ground Driving the pinto was to see if it was even possible and something we could work towards. After discovering she was willing and understanding me, I got excited with the possibility of a new adventure with them and jumped all in. That doesn't mean I'll do it blindly or not research it first.
I learn best from trial n error, learning as I go. But I'll get help when we get stuck or I end up in over my head, like I did with the gelding. I don't have much interest in killing or injuring myself or the horses. So if things start going wayward, I'll back off and seek assistance.
The harness that you ordered is the same one I have. I have two of them actually, one for each mini. They are serving me well for the driving I do, which right now is just for fun. I hope the harness works out for you.
I think everyone here just wants you to be safe. The above posters (not me) have lots of knowledge and are very generous with it. Don't hesitate to ask questions if you need to. They have helped me figure out quite a few things along the way. And I have had quite a few thing to figure out, lol.
When you do start ground driving you can also drive our "Driving Hours" thread. We record ground driving and driving hours
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