How to Make a Miniature Pony Harness

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hobbyhorse23

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What are "lazy straps" and the "buck straps" you say in several photos you used to slow down one mare? I'd love to see pictures of how you do the haystring traces as that's a solution I hadn't considered to extending my current traces for use with a sled or drag. I'd just been using plain old haystring but a braided version sounds stronger and nicer.

Leia
 
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paintponylvr

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What are "lazy straps" and the "buck straps" you say in several photos you used to slow down one mare? I'd love to see pictures of how you do the haystring traces as that's a solution I hadn't considered to extending my current traces for use with a sled or drag. I'd just been using plain old haystring but a braided version sounds stronger and nicer.

Leia

Lazy straps are trace carriers at the back of a Farm type harness. Attach to the breeching and the traces run thru them. Can see them well right here - BellBit on the left side mare the wider strap loop hanging down from breeching ring (w/ the trace & chain running thru it). Here's another shot - Bell and here - Bit. Keeps the traces from dropping too low around the hocks - which can allow them to step over the traces. Well, with the Shetlands either I don't have it adjusted correctly or it just isn't possible to keep it high enuf to keep them from stepping over the traces sometimes. All of mine are learning to lift their leg and step back over the trace w/o freaking out, LOL.

The buckstrap is again used in farming horses. I don't know if pleasure or CDE trainers use it at all... BUT IT DOES work. It's to slow a speedy horse in a pair down - allowing the slower, timid horse to also work at pulling - keeping the load even. I found it works better than trying to speed up the slower horse (weather done by voice or whip cues, encouraging the slower one just makes the harder pulling beast pull faster/harder too - negating what you've accomplished with the slower moving one to begin with). The "strap" hooks up in many ways... But you hook it to the bit of the harder/faster horse - weather on one side or to the halter (farm horses are generally always worked w/ a halter under their bridles) or thru the check rings like either an over check or side check, or just a loop rein to either side of the bit. Then that is hooked to a line with a ring (single line) that then ties off to the front of the implement/vehicle you are driving. If the horse "overpulls" - he is checked by the bridle but not by your driving lines... It works wonders. I don't have a good pic of that, though... Obviously you saw the pic w/ Bell & Bit pulling our chainlink drag w/ two seperate singletrees last summer (BIG GRIN).

The load pulled better w/ the proper evener I purchased (w/ singletrees the same size attached at the right spot for balance on the evener itself). But the buckstrap worked. There are good pics in the "Farming with Horses" book by Steve Bowers - where he also discusses what it is used for along w/ MANY ways to even out your pairs, hold your driving lines and to handle pairs & 4 up hitches... Very informative book, they have a website but it doesn't show the pics of the buckstrap in use. Hmnmn, not finding it in images either on line... I'll see if I can get another pic for you but won't be today...
 

hobbyhorse23

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Neat! I'll have to look for that book as it sounds like it would feed my interest in learning more about farm work. I looked at every one of your pictures, just couldn't figure out where the "buck strap" was.
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CDE drivers call a lazy strap a "trace carrier," and a "buck(ing) strap" is another name for a kickstrap which runs from one shaft over the rear to the other shaft and holds the rump down when the horse attempts to buck or kick. All the different names used for each part are enough to drive me nuts normally but in this case it's like a whole 'nother language and culture instead. Fun!

BTW, with something being drawn from ground-level I don't think you could get the lazy straps low enough to do any good without breaking the line of draught. When I tried it I used bailing twine to extend the traces a ridiculous amount then allowed the trace carriers to break the line because by the time he stepped forward enough to come back into draught they'd come straight again without any risk of the singletree hitting his hind legs.

Leia
 

Tremor

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Oh, I was so interested in making my own harness, as my mom used to make leather gun cases. She has the know-how and the material to make a harness. Does anybody know of any sort of knowledgeable links to show how to make a harness? Its not like it'd be hard.

Thanks!
 
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RhineStone

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The challenge with making your own harness would be making it comfortable for the horse. There are a couple of books carried by carriage vendors, and even though I would love to make my own just to tweak it, I am skeptical that I would have the finesse to create the soft and strong at the same time and to include the features made on quality harnesses, like well formed saddle padding and shaped crowns.

Myrna
 
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Katiean

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I guess I have been harnessing my horse all wrong for years now.
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:wacko Here I have been putting the harness on my horses back and it belongs on his neck. Go figure!
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MajorClementine

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Dang and to think I just bought a harness.... crap! I could have just made my own with leftover quilting material!
 

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