Quantcast

Ideas for SPEED HARNESSING

Miniature Horse Talk Forums

Help Support Miniature Horse Talk Forums:

whitney

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 3, 2004
Messages
2,310
Reaction score
8
Location
Michigan
I only have time to school one horse after work each night, BUT if I could figure out how to get that darn harness on quicker I might be able to sqeeze in another horse.

ANY IDEAS would be GREATLY APPRECIATED.

I know harness racing people having something called a quick hitch but I have NO IDEA what this is......
 
Last edited by a moderator:

COTTONGRASSFARMS

Active Member
Joined
Jun 1, 2007
Messages
26
Reaction score
0
I only have time to school one horse after work each night, BUT if I could figure out how to get that darn harness on quicker I might be able to sqeeze in another horse.

ANY IDEAS would be GREATLY APPRECIATED.
Have your harness laid in your bag in the order that you will need to put things on. When ready to harness lay out your harness on a fence rail in the order that you need it. This helps me tremendously. I can harness and hitch in about 3 mins or less after everything is laid out. Laying out takes no time because you already had it neat and in order in your bag
Also a horse that stands still helps
After harnessing I double check everything . Sometimes I do it on autopilot and can't remember if I hooked all things, so it's just a habit to double check.

Good Luck

Kim
 

whitney

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 3, 2004
Messages
2,310
Reaction score
8
Location
Michigan
Cotton thats a WONDERFUL idea. I have a large horse round pen panel that shuts off my arena from the barn the barn sliding door goes in front of it so it is actually INSIDE the barn I could lay my harness over that with a sheet cover.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

hobbyhorse23

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 27, 2004
Messages
7,805
Reaction score
35
Location
Lakeport, CA
I'm probably the LAST one to give advice about this as it takes fussy me forever to get harnessed and hitched but I've found two things that speed me up incredibly.

1) Harnessing for show with French Tugs and no breeching: with the exception of getting that darn martingale on, even I can get a horse harnessed and hitched in under five minutes!
I mean it's buckle the girth and crupper, pull the breastcollar on over the head, bridle the horse, attach traces to singletree and buckle one little overgirth strap and you're off!
I find that amazing.

2) When using my carriage harnesses, boy is it quicker with open tugs than with wrap straps! It reduces all that wrapping and snugging and buckling and double-checking down to one quick buckle (I leave the other side buckled all the time).

I guess the only other "trick" I use is leaving the neckstraps buckled on my breastcollars. I turn the collar upside down and pull it over the head just like a neck collar so all I have to do is right it and tuck the traces up out of the way. I can't imagine how much longer it would take me if I had to do up those double-buckles all the time.
One thing I will never skimp on is taking the time to run my hand under the girth, breastcollar, crownpiece, etc. to make sure nothing is pinching or uncomfortable for the horse. I also stretch out his forelegs before we get going to free any trapped hair or skin.

When I unharness I leave the crupper buckled (lifting the saddle back towards the crupper then dragging the whole assembly down and off over the tail) so that it maintains its shape better in the harness bag.

Leia

Edited to add: The "Quick Hitch" stuff from harness racing is an assembly whereby the shafts actually click directly into an attachment on the harness saddle, no traces required. Very cool, but probably not a good idea for a little horse hauling more than its own weight!
 
Last edited by a moderator:

susanne

dB
Joined
Nov 30, 2002
Messages
5,285
Reaction score
313
Location
To your left
Since I'm still new to driving, I'm very conscious of the time I take getting my horse harnessed, and since I am chronologically challenged to begin with, I try in all areas of life to set myself up for good time management. It doesn't always work, hehe, but this is one area where it really does help...

Like Cotton, I also use the trick of setting out the harness on the fence prior to harnessing. Even if it's not in sequence, it still helps to see everything laid out.

This trick is a big DUHH that Leia pointed out to us: Mingus used to resist taking the bit, but it was because I wasn't undoing the chin strap. Once we did, it was easier for him to open his mouth to take the bit, and now he is fine with it and bridling is much, much easier.

I like to braid his forelock just to keep it from getting caught up in the browband and winker stays. I don't bother with a rubber band, as the braid will stay long enough for this purpose. I also like to fuss with his ears as little as possible, since the klutzier I am, the less patient he is, so I try to get it right the first time.

One of the biggest time wasters is questioning or rethinking things I already know -- like which hole to use for various buckles. If the buckle doesn't crease the strap, you might mark it to make it obvious, especially if you're using the same harness on different horses.

I keep one side of the shoulder hanger attached to the breast collar and bring it over the shoulder and neck. For now this works best for me, but I can see in time switching to Leia's method of placing the entire assembly over the head.

I place traces and driving lines safely out of the way and where I want them in the first place -- no undoing or rerunning traces under tugs, breeching, etc. I find it extremely annoying to have to redo things I should have had correct in the first place.

By far the biggest consumer of time for me is getting the holdback straps just right. as I'm still dinking (technical term, you know...) with the footman's loops and wrapping the straps around the shafts and how this affects the tightness of the breeching, etc.

This seems to differ every time we harness and hitch, which drives me nuts. I can see the wisdom of keeping the holdback straps on the shafts and then just attaching them to the breeching, but I haven't quite managed that yet.

Other than that, I think we get a bit speedier every time we harness, and Mingus gives me fewer dirty, impatient looks. The good news is that if he's impatient, it's because he really enjoys driving and wants to get going -- enough already!
 
Last edited by a moderator:

SWA

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 30, 2002
Messages
2,283
Reaction score
1
Perhaps look into converting your harness to a "Quick Hitch" setup? THey sell the shackles for the harness saddle, as well as the shackles for the shafts at "Big D's". Here is their website: http://www.bigdweb.com/ Click on the "Race Equipment" tag on their website. Also, for converting your harness, usually any leather/tack repair shop could do it for you. Our local saddle shop did all ours for about $10.00 per harness. (Back when we used to race...it's been a while though, so that may have gone up along with just about everything else these days.)


Once cart shafts & harness are converted to the "Quick Hitch" shackles , it only takes a matter of just a few seconds to go from the Cross Ties to Hitched and Going!
Not something I would do to "Show Equipment", but it's great for workout training and/or trail drive or "just for fun" equipment....and racing equipement too, of course.


EDITED TO ADD:

Here is the link for the Harness shackles (Pair): http://www.bigdweb.com/detail.aspx?id=11075

Here is the link for the shaft shackles (Pair): http://www.bigdweb.com/detail.aspx?id=15236

Hope this helps.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

SWA

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 30, 2002
Messages
2,283
Reaction score
1
ADDING TO NOTE: Also, with the quick hitch setup, you would not need the rear breeching, nor the breast traces. In place of the breast traces, you would need a "Buxton" though. All in all though, with the quick hitch setup, it literally only takes just a matter of a few seconds and you are off enjoying your drive!


And after your work out & cool down, it's just as quick, that you are unhitched and done. (Except for maybe giving your horse a good rub down, HUGS, and stuff like that, LOL!)

Hope this helps.
 

Marsha Cassada

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 20, 2005
Messages
8,243
Reaction score
4,638
Location
Southwest Oklahoma
I have a quick hitch I use with my sulky. I have had it attached to my ez entry cart before, but it is not really suitable, so I use it exclusively with the sulky. I love it for quick runs for excercise as I can be on the road in less than 5 minutes. Here is a picture of it. You can see the thimbles dangling in front of the hitches. The shackles are bolted to the shafts and snap into the hitches on the saddle.

 

susanne

dB
Joined
Nov 30, 2002
Messages
5,285
Reaction score
313
Location
To your left
Throw the breeching part in the trash can........
Harness racing aside, that will never happen with me...even if I entered a breed show driving class, I'd almost certainly keep it. But then, that's one reason I love ADS.

Tanya, Big D's racing pages are very interesting! I love the disk wheels!
 

SWA

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 30, 2002
Messages
2,283
Reaction score
1
Tanya, Big D's racing pages are very interesting! I love the disk wheels!
The fun thing about those wheel disks, is if you get the clear ones, you can paint them all kinds of fun colors! I painted mine with Red/White/Blue Glitter Paint for parade fun.
They get dirty from "road use" though, so I have to repaint them every year, to keep them looking "fresh".


I have a quick hitch I use with my sulky. I have had it attached to my ez entry cart before, but it is not really suitable, so I use it exclusively with the sulky. I love it for quick runs for excercise as I can be on the road in less than 5 minutes. Here is a picture of it. You can see the thimbles dangling in front of the hitches. The shackles are bolted to the shafts and snap into the hitches on the saddle.
Yes, a very important point too Marsha.
For this set up, you would need a cart that has shafts that taper/angle inward to the horse like on most roadster/sulky type carts, as opposed to the straight shafts on most easy entry type carts.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

whitney

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 3, 2004
Messages
2,310
Reaction score
8
Location
Michigan
You GUYS are WONDERFUL almost TOO MUCH information! I do the breastcollar over the head (learned that at a driving clinic), I also leave my breeching straps attached to the cart (thanks Ginia).

I won't leave the breeching off as all my horses are in training and I like them to FEEL the whole experience.

I wonder if the quick hitch would work with a hyperbike? Thanks for the picture Marsha!

Susanne I will be braiding forelocks up tonite, and marking my holes I have 1 harness for 3 horses.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

hobbyhorse23

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 27, 2004
Messages
7,805
Reaction score
35
Location
Lakeport, CA
Bob does custom-make shafts and I've seen one that came in close by the saddle as you'd need them to for that. You'd have to talk to him!

Leia
 

SWA

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 30, 2002
Messages
2,283
Reaction score
1
I wonder if the quick hitch would work with a hyperbike?
I believe so. I remember Bob asking me about the Quick Hitch shackles for cart shafts a couple months ago, so he might even carry them now as well, or hopefully maybe "soon", if he doesn't already.
 

dannigirl

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 1, 2004
Messages
1,316
Reaction score
55
Location
Southern Illinois
I don't know about all the stuff like quick hitches and stuff. I can have a horse in a cart in less than 5 min. We do pony and cart rides and kids tend to be impatient. The thing I do is keep everything together--either in a harness bag or a plastic box from walmart. I also carry a large dog collar to put on because I don't like to have the horse "free" for even the second that it takes to open his halter and put it around the neck like many people do. Next, is to do it exactly the same every time. That way, it gets to be habit and you don't forget anything and waste time redoing. Granted, it took me a bit to get to this point, but now, just about anyone that works with me can hitch nearly as fast.

Angie
 

susanne

dB
Joined
Nov 30, 2002
Messages
5,285
Reaction score
313
Location
To your left
I also carry a large dog collar to put on because I don't like to have the horse "free" for even the second that it takes to open his halter and put it around the neck like many people do.
I'm with you on this one. Even though our driving horse has more common sense than we have, it unnerves me to have him unhaltered even for a second. And as I always say, paranoia has served me well!

Another option is a buckle nose halter. You can keep it on until ready to go (if it is light enough) or punch an extra hole in the halter's crown strap so you can undo the nose and tighten the crown until it is the equivalent of a dog collar. Just be careful...the shape of a horse's neck make it easy to pull the halter or dog collar off over his head once the gullet strap is not in play.

Tanya brought up an important point: no matter how rushed we are, I alwaysmake a point of finishing on a good note, then we take the time to scratch and rub as I unhalter him, tell him what a good boy he's been, and give him a reward before releasing him to go roll.
 

dannigirl

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 1, 2004
Messages
1,316
Reaction score
55
Location
Southern Illinois
Just be careful...the shape of a horse's neck make it easy to pull the halter or dog collar off over his head once the gullet strap is not in play.

Yea, I know they can slip out--had it done in the barn. We NEVER walk away from them when they are in a dog collar. I am always afraid something may spook them and they could break their neck. I am so picky about my geldings that I get teased about them being better cared for than my husband.


Tanya brought up an important point: no matter how rushed we are, I alwaysmake a point of finishing on a good note, then we take the time to scratch and rub as I unhalter him, tell him what a good boy he's been, and give him a reward before releasing him to go roll.

A small treat and some loving always comes with the halter being put back on.



 
 

whitney

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 3, 2004
Messages
2,310
Reaction score
8
Location
Michigan
Am I understanding this, with a quick hitch setup you don't need britching or traces? OK this sounds TOO good to be true!
 

hobbyhorse23

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 27, 2004
Messages
7,805
Reaction score
35
Location
Lakeport, CA
Think about it Whitney- no breeching and no traces means the horse is pulling from the saddle again. Hmmm.....
I think it would definitely be fun to try and great for straight line trotting with a light load on a flat smooth surface (which is what it was created for, after all) but I'm not at all sure how comfortable it would be for the horse on hilly bumpy cross-country drives or anything with fast turns/stops. Definitely fun to consider though!

Leia

P.S.- Quick Hitches are also meant to attach high up on the horse's back from what I've seen of Standardbreds, which means you'd have to use it with something like a race bike or sulky that is meant to slope sharply uphill to the horse.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Latest posts

Top