Making them earn their keep...haha (Faux farm work questions)

Discussion in 'Driving Miniature Horses' started by susanne, Nov 22, 2012.

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  1. Nov 22, 2012 #1

    susanne

    susanne

    susanne

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    Even if our farm is but a faux farm, there is always plenty of work to be done, and now that we've bought a big, macho chainsaw, we'll have a ton of firewood to haul to the woodpile.

    You know where I'm going with this...I want to make use of our resident horsepower.

    In the future we'll get a forecart, but for now my plan is to buy a utility/calf/ice fishing sled, which should haul easily over the grass. My concern is how to hold it back off of his hind legs when we stop. The loads will be light and the terrain is level and fairly smooth, but I want to keep this safe and fun for all of us. I've considered an extra rope with which I could hold back the sled, and I've thought of using the EE as a forecart to which I would attach the sled, but that does make a rather long load for tight spaces.

    Any thoughts on this? Also, others have mentioned using these sleds -- any suggestions on good, rugged sleds?

    .
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 22, 2012
  2. Nov 22, 2012 #2

    Shari

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    Have you gone to the Draft pulls and such? They are a great place to get ideas from.

    With Maggie, She has dragged scaled down Logs, also use a sled(a big plastic one from Toys r Us) used like a stone boat, bringing things like, bags of shavings to the shed. Most of the time I had a mini sized draft single tree, so her legs wouldn't be tangled up on turning.

    For not having things run into them, that takes some planning. I just made sure she stopped on the flat or her facing up a slight hill. Never stopped with her facing down hill. No problems doing that.. ;O)
     
  3. Nov 22, 2012 #3

    studiowvw

    studiowvw

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    They don't actually slide that well, I doubt on grass it would ever keep sliding. I have one which I pull myself, usually full of manure from the goats/sheep!!! Heavy! I prefer to use a plastic toboggan type sled, but they wear out and don't have high sides. They do slide better on all surfaces.

    The heavy-duty sled cost about $105 2 or 3 years ago. Very strong material, but a heavy sled.

    Thinking of trying it as a sled on snow with horsepower (Lacey). There are molded-in places to attach a hitch. (For a small tractor or ATV.)

    I'm going to try to have shafts made and put on a singletree too. This may never happen.
     
  4. Nov 22, 2012 #4

    susanne

    susanne

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    I'll check out ToysRUs (not tomorrow, LOL) for an inexpensive toboggan/sled. A real utility sled would entail additional shipping charges, as the local stores (at least the ones I've checked so far) would have to special order them. I'd rather try it first with something inexpensive than sink in a chunk of money and find that it doesn't work well.

    I also plan to try hauling bundles of brush and light branches, but we'll save that for later.
     
  5. Nov 22, 2012 #5

    Matthijs

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    Have you thought of buying or using some old ski's? You could probably just nail some to an old pallet. Do not forget the single tree [​IMG] And yes I doubt too that you would have to worry about brakes, certainly if you are on relatively flat land. You could think of an anchor like they use for dog sleds, but I think those are mainly uses to stop the dogs, not the sled.

    And as a last thought look at your angle of draft. Your regular breast collars are not made for the low angle work, a full collar with hames is, that would also allow more weight to be pulled, that results in more friction when stopping so again less risk of the sled running up to the horse.

    Just some thoughts....
     
  6. Nov 22, 2012 #6

    susanne

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    We have the single tree, but the angle of draft is definitely something to consider. Hmmm...

    Great idea with the skis and pallet -- we have the pallets and surely I can find an old pair of skis.

    .
     
  7. Nov 22, 2012 #7

    Matthijs

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    Yeah should be easy and cheap, if you have no choice and a relatively light load you could always run the traces through the tugs so the downward pressure is on the saddle and not the neck strap. Then extending the traces would also help to reduce downward pressure [​IMG]
     
  8. Nov 22, 2012 #8

    paintponylvr

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    when I was working with a draft horse trainer, we used a drag similar to a pallet - had steel "slides" bolted/riveted to the bottom of the pallet. Had a hook to hook either a single or multiple style tree to. for our Shetlands, we used a double tree and they pulled it together with me on it - over sand, dirt/clay, gravel & grass. At a local plow day - they pulled it thru plowed dirt and corn stalks w/ my girl freiends' grand daughters riding it while I ground drove them from the side. This was still when we had the breast collar s that I made from braided hay string... They did ok.

    [​IMG]

    They actually started by pulling a "ski" - a board with a piece of steel to make it easy slide and also to hook too.

    [​IMG]

    They pull "logs" that drag on the ground. They have done it with both the breast collar harness and with the collar and hame harness. they have pulled a "real" drag made from both chainlink gate and a piecie of panel from our fencing (cattle panel that started out 52" tall and 16' long). They've done this single and as pairs w/o a tongue.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    You could consider a small wagon. TSC carries a "gorilla" wagon - can carry up to 600 lbs. It has a handle that comes off and I bet a set of shaft could easily be attached at that point.
     
  9. Nov 23, 2012 #9

    susanne

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    Thanks, Paula! I'm now studying your photos...I'll check out the gorilla carts.
     
  10. Nov 25, 2012 #10

    studiowvw

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    I was using (i.e. pulling it myself) the black work sled today -- 3 loads of spoiled hay to cover the garlic patch.

    So here are some pics of it, showing the load-carrying ability and also the molded sections where they have allowed for the attachment of a hitch. It's tough plastic as it's intended to be pulled by a snowmobile or an ATV to haul wood or whatever. I think it would stand up for years as a mini horse sled.

    A long bolt would run through the two holes of each hitch mount. The bolt would also run through whatever piece is used for the hitch attachment.

    Not hard to design a shaft solution - a welder could make something with a singletree and slots for the breeching holdbacks.

    Attaching the shafts directly to the bolts would mean a long horizontal setup (horse in shafts + sled) which would have a large turning radius!!! In shallow snow or on grass this might not be a problem as the sled would probably pivot. The bottom is a series of lengthwise grooves.

    The alternative would be to have a set of shafts that pivots on the hitch attachment - more complicated.

    As I said previously, on grass and dirt the sled doesn't slide well. A stoneboat or log-pulling harness setup would work fine. On snow or ice, it slides better, so shafts and breeching would be required.

    It cost just over $100 several years ago.

    Otter sled.jpg

    sled 2.jpg

    sled for hitch.jpg
     
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  11. Nov 25, 2012 #11

    horsenarounnd

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    The most recent issue of Rural Heritage magazine has an extensive article with pictures about a family that uses their minis for doing a lot of the work around their mini-farm.

    A few years ago we were asked if we might be able to do something with our mini at a Cut-your-own Christmas tree farm. I made up a simple forecart on skis and used it to pull a plastic sled with the tree on it after the customers cut the tree. We would pull the tree out of the plantation for them and they would get a picture of it. They in turn gave the plantation owners their name and address, and got a notice the next year when the trees were ready. I made my fore cart out of a small pallet and attached skis to it. I then made shafts from a junked section of garage door track, light weight metal with a curve in it. The whole thing actually was pretty cute. but unfortunatly I don't have any pictures of it anymore. We did get some good publicity from it though, a TV crew came out and we were on the Sunday evening news!
     
  12. Nov 30, 2012 #12

    Katiean

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    I have a set of shafts that would work great on that sled. Where do you get a sled like that?

    Oh, and I made a single tree out of a scrap shelf suport section. It is around 22-24" and I used screw eye bolts to hang it and attach the traces to.
     
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  13. Nov 30, 2012 #13

    studiowvw

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    Hi Katiean - I got it at the local hardware store. Brand name is Otter and it comes in different sizes.

    They are intended for fishing, picking up calves (I guess), hunting, wood transport - behind snowmobiles and ATVs. So they are tough material.

    I think an excellent buy for the $105 price I paid.

    Hope that helps you know where to start looking!
     
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  14. Dec 4, 2012 #14

    paintponylvr

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    Studiowvw -

    I LOVE that! That may be an area/location thing as I haven't been able to find anything like it locally. Haven't had the chance to look online yet. I'd use that all day long both single and pairs.

    I WANT ONE.
     
  15. Dec 4, 2012 #15

    studiowvw

    studiowvw

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    http://www.otteroutdoors.com/

    this is the website for the Otter company.

    It is a very useful sled and comes in different sizes. My friend has a smaller one for cleaning stalls - smaller=you can't fill it so full that you can't pull it, haha

    I've been thinking about making shafts for snow use. I have some old wood shafts and some other parts - easy enough to make the shaft set but have not quite figured out how to attach shaft set to sled.
     
  16. Dec 4, 2012 #16

    susanne

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    That is exactly the type sled that I have wanted. Unfortunately, there is no ice fishing anywhere near us and little snow, so buying one of these would involve special order and shipping -- adding tremendously to the cost. I'm going to save your link, though...perhaps when we need something else we could ship several things together.

    Sears carries the Gorilla wagons for a very reasonable cost, so we may get one of those...we could then cross over gravel and rough ground as well as the smooth grass.
     
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