Help with my hook up

Discussion in 'Driving Miniature Horses' started by KLJcowgirl, Jun 9, 2017.

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  1. Jun 9, 2017 #1

    KLJcowgirl

    KLJcowgirl

    KLJcowgirl

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    Hello all!

    So, I felt good about how Miss May was driving this year and decided she was indeed ready to be hitched to our new cart. And for the record, she has been an absolute angel! [​IMG]

    I've hooked horses up before, but that was years ago, and just a few times. I think I've got everything in the right place, I'm just not sure I've actually got it done up right. But, if you would, please tell me where I'm wrong.

    The first time I hooked her up, I could NOT figure out the breeching, and it was way to loose. The shafts kept coming forward and she kept bumping her face on them. This is how I did them up yesterday and cart stayed in place! YAY!

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Now this ^^^ is the saddle my uncle sent me with the cart. I'm using it because I think my other one may be a little to small for little Miss right now. It fit her when I bought it haha but she's a bit pudgier this year. I have a couple questions regarding the difference between the two. My other saddle has got tugs with a strap that attach to another strap on the girth, and this one has two leather straps with a buckle that attach to a dee ring on the girth... I had no idea how to use those. Hopefully you can see what I've done and can critique/scold me there haha.

    My other question is are the shafts ok like this? My other tugs only lower enough to leave the shafts slightly tipped up, but this one leaves them fairly even. It almost felt like the ride was better with the shafts tipped up a bit, but I want it to be comfortable for HER and not ME.

    Anyways, don't hold back, I won't feel bad.

    Thank you!
     
  2. Jun 9, 2017 #2

    Cayuse

    Cayuse

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    I might lower the breast collar a wee bit so it is more on her chest. It looks as if it might interfere with her neck when she starts to pull. My husband wraps the breeching holdback and runs the end of the strap under one of the wraps and this tightens everything up so the holdbacks don't loosen. It looks like you may have done this, I can't tell for sure. I hate doing the breeching holdbacks, I can never get them right and I need to get snaps so I can leave them on the cart.

    I can't tell if the shafts need to come up or not, lol. In the first picture it looks pretty good and in the second picture it looks a little low. I am going through this with Peanut right now as I bought him a new little harness. Mine looked a tad low, but when I raised the tugs one hole I could tell he felt the difference and I am not sure if he didn't like it or he just had to feel it out. He is a fussy old man sometimes and doesn't like any kind of changes. There is so much to learn with driving, every time I go out it seems like I have two more questions than the time before. I am lucky to have one mini who is able to teach me as I go.

    She looks very nice harnessed up!
     
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  3. Jun 9, 2017 #3

    Al B

    Al B

    Al B

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    IMHO

    Too far back in the shafts. Move the horse forward about 4"-6".

    Tugs need to raise 1 hole

    Breeching is about 2"-3" too low

    Krupper strap is too tight

    Thats all I can see.

    Good luck
     
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  4. Jun 9, 2017 #4

    KLJcowgirl

    KLJcowgirl

    KLJcowgirl

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    Thank you for the fresh eyes!!! I'll try lowering the breast collar, it seemed really low another hole down, but I do have an inexperienced eye.

    I wondered about the breeching... that's as high as it will go, I'll put more holes in it tonight to bring it up.

    As far as the crupper strap, would loosening the actual crupper help with that? That is as long as the strap will go. I'll see if my other harness has a longer strap there. She is quite long herself.

    I'll move her forward on the shafts too. If I do that will the little loops to hold the breeching be to far back?
     
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  5. Jun 9, 2017 #5

    Marsha Cassada

    Marsha Cassada

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    Using the footman loop, you don't need to wrap the breeching straps so many times. That will give you more length.

    Pretty girl and very patient!
     
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  6. Jun 9, 2017 #6

    Al B

    Al B

    Al B

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    If the krupper strap is too tight the horse cannot round out his back and bring his rear up under himself for impulsion. Any way you can make it a bit longer will help.
     
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  7. Jun 11, 2017 #7

    Cayuse

    Cayuse

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    I think you could try loosening the two crupper buckles to get a bit of length, I have done that when switching harnesses from Peanut to Cappy and could not get the bigger buckle undone. It seemed to work fine and also kept the breeching in the position it needed to be.
     
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  8. Jun 12, 2017 #8

    KLJcowgirl

    KLJcowgirl

    KLJcowgirl

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    I didn't take pictures of the next time I harnessed, oops! The wind started blowing like crazy and I just wanted to get her put away ha.

    Ok so I do have a longer crupper strap, I put that on and I do think it worked better. I put two more holes in my breeching and pulled it up, but it looked like it still sat in the same place on her butt. Maybe it's too small. I'll look at the breeching on my other harness as well.

    Also pulled up the tugs, I do think that works better.

    Marsha, she is a huge pill, until she is harnessed up. She is really a very patient girl and has been excellent to learn with. It's also been kind of hard too, because she doesn't really tell me when something is wrong, she's just been taking everything in stride. I'll play some more with wrapping the breeching and see what I can do.

    Another question. Should I not be sitting in the cart until I get everything tweaked just right? I really don't want it to be uncomfortable for her.
     
  9. Jun 12, 2017 #9

    Marsha Cassada

    Marsha Cassada

    Marsha Cassada

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    Keeping one's weight over the axle of the cart is the key. She should be fine to work while you are tweaking. You are smart to take pictures when tweaking; everything looks different from the side than it does from behind. It's been informative for me to have someone drive my horse as I walk along beside. Easier to evaluate how everything fits.
     
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  10. Jun 13, 2017 #10

    jventresca

    jventresca

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    I think you did a pretty good job of adjusting your harness as shown in your pictures. One thing about minis and their harnesses - there's not much room for changes. Any little thing you tweak makes a big difference.

    Re: the length of the backstrap. You could move the saddle back a bit, allowing your horse's front legs to move unimpeded. That would make the backstrap looser. It will also change where the hip strap hangs, thus changing the breeching.

    Re: moving the horse forward in the shafts. With the type of breastcollar you have there's not going to be a small adjustment you can make. That's why buckle in traces are handy. Be cautious about having the tugs too close to the ends of the shafts.

    I prefer the tugs that have a buckle down strap and overgirth to the wrap strap type you're using in your photos. It's easy to get the wrapstrap too tight and cause it to rub against the girth. With the "open" tugs and buckle down strap the shafts will "float" keeping the horse from getting jarred on uneven ground. Most CDE folks use the open tug style. The wrapstrap is more common in the breed ring and harness racing.

    In my opinion you have a lovely horse and look like you're doing all the right things to give her a good driving experience. Enjoy!
     
  11. Jun 13, 2017 #11

    KLJcowgirl

    KLJcowgirl

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    ^^^ Very informative! I have noticed the huge changes tweaking makes. It takes me ages to get her hooked up haha, I'm sure it will get faster ;)

    I too like that buckle down strap tug (that's on my other saddle) to this one mostly because I'm not really sure what I'm doing with this one! But she also seemed to move better in the other one... Maybe I'll post pics and see if it really is to small for her or if I don't know what I'm talking about.
     
  12. Jun 13, 2017 #12

    jeanniecogan

    jeanniecogan

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    i remember when i got Charlie, i was constantly tweeking the harness and finally realized it was because he was still growing.

    last fall i had the great experience ofnot having to tweek, this spring also. so tweek away and soon you will be having the fun of not tweeking. hehehe
     
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  13. Jun 14, 2017 #13

    jventresca

    jventresca

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    I hate to tell you this but the tweaking is NEVER over! I just switched out a longer hip strap for the one I was using so the breeching would be 1/4 inch lower. Got to the show (hilly showgrounds) and my poor horse had the breeching sliding too low on his butt! We slalomed down so he was okay, thankfully. So now it's back to the shorter hip strap.

    P.S. leather stretches!
     
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  14. Jun 18, 2017 #14

    paintponylvr

    paintponylvr

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    Believe it or not, bio and beta thane both stretch as well! The better quality harness you have, the less you will find it stretches, but you will eventually still get some stretch when/if it is stressed. The single layers will stretch before layered/sewn straps will.

    I've also found that I was tweaking harness on mine - due to the fact that they get hairy in fall/winter and I would have to loosen straps somewhere, we'd do a trace clip & would have to do another tweak to tighten. If they gained or lost weight - you are again tweaking.

    But the take heart - tweaking encourages you to learn what's best for your horse AND also confers that you are a caring horsewoman.
     
  15. Jun 18, 2017 #15

    jeanniecogan

    jeanniecogan

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    the great thing about tweeking is that you really get to know your harness and how it should fit. if i only had a picture o what my breeching used to look like when wrapped and what it looks like now. i was so proud of how neat my harness looked when it was done being hitched. it's like practice, practice, practice.hehehehe
     
  16. Jun 26, 2017 #16

    jventresca

    jventresca

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    I used to have a website with how to harness and hitch your horse. These are some of the pictures from that site. These photos show how to attach the breeching straps in the traditional manner.

    image001.jpg image002.jpg image003.jpg image004.jpg

    The photos below show how to attach the breeching for CDE driving taught to me by Lisa Singer, a World Class driver of pairs. Lisa represented the USA at World competitions in Europe many times. She likes this method because if you have an accident there isn't as much pressure on the breeching buckle so you can get it free.

    image001.jpg image002.jpg image003.jpg image006.jpg image005.jpg image004.jpg image008.jpg image007.jpg

    Ya'all like the pink vet wrap? Only way to make the straps visible!
     
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  17. Jun 26, 2017 #17

    Cayuse

    Cayuse

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    Jaye, are you going through the footman's loop on #5? My screen is small and I can't make it out.

    I have a devilish time with holdbacks. The second way looks easier to adjust to me, maybe I will try it out.

    I do like the pink ?
     
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  18. Jun 28, 2017 #18

    KLJcowgirl

    KLJcowgirl

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    Yes I do love the pink shafts! If you look closely, the ends of my shafts are wrapped in sparkly black vet wrap, one side is missing a cap and that was the quick fix till I can remember to get one! And wonderful visuals! I'll have to experiment with that second one. I think I get how to wrap it like the first one, just can't make it work for me (I end up doing a couple extra wraps). Hopefully that will come with practice.

    Sorry, I've been a bit MIA here, I usually get on when it's slow at work, and thankfully it's picked up a bit.

    I'm almost embarrassed to post this pic, because quite honestly, I can't tell if it's an improvement haha, but I won't learn if I don't ask.

    This is after the last drive I did, it was the day after Flag Day (ugh, wasn't able to get out at all last week [​IMG] )... so I broke out the hair chalk and decorated her haha. It was actually one of the best drives we've had. She was really throwing herself into it and collecting absolutely beautifully. She is also figuring out how to position herself to slow/whoa or go downhill. So maybe my adjustments were improvements.

    I'm not sure I'm happy with the shafts, I feel like they're too far back now, but again, I'm still learning. I'm also thinking I either need to punch holes in my hold back straps, or move the footman's loop. I just can't get it where I want without a million wraps.

    Ok... here I go with the pic (holds breath)

    [​IMG]

    I am wondering too, do I need that stop I see up by your tugs JV? Or am I good the way it is? Also, I still don't know if I'm using that other stupid leather strap on the girth right haha [​IMG] I tried to keep it loose enough that the shafts still could wiggle. Does it go in front or behind of the tugs?

    Aaaaaand just for fun, a patriotic bum. [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
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  19. Jun 29, 2017 #19

    Cayuse

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    She looks great!

    The strap that comes off the girth is what we call around here a "wrap strap". I can try and explain how to wrap the shaft but I might not make sense without a visual, lol. Bring the strap up and wrap it over the shaft in BACK of the tug/shaft carrier. Then cross it over and wrap it once around the FRONT of the tugs, pull it down and then buckle. This will help keep the cart's shafts from slipping forward or backward in the tugs.

    Maybe Jaye would have some pictures she could share ☺ as my explanation is a clear as mud!

    I would move the cart slightly forward, but some might disagree with that.

    Its funny how a little adjustment here and there can affect their performance, I have a new little harness and have been fiddling with the traces. I had them a little too short, a little too long and just yesterday found the "just right" spot. Peanut will let me know when things are even slightly off.
     
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  20. Jun 29, 2017 #20

    KLJcowgirl

    KLJcowgirl

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    It kind of sounds like those wrap straps work kind of like I had them in the first post I made. I do think you description made sense. So that would negate the need for a tug stop on the shafts then is what I'm gathering.

    Yeah... I felt the shafts were a bit far back that go round. Oh well, I'll find the sweet spot.

    I am also struggling a little with my traces. One way they seem to short, but the next hole down seems too long. ^^^ This picture I felt they were too long. I think I need an in between hole haha
     
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