Measuring my horse - how to get an accurate measure and other questions

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Sheryl

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Hi Again, I am the person who has the rescued "pony" bought at auction, of unclear background (story is that he is a reject from a local Shetland breeder, but who knows). I have posted here a few times about him because this is such a knowledgable group of drivers - appreciate the help extended even though my equine is not a mini.

Anyway, I had measured him when he was at my friends house over the winter and got 11.3H. She measured him and thought it was closer to 11.2, but, he was quite green to handling and could be a bit antsy at that time. Yesterday, I had a helper with me while measuring for a harness, and much to my surprise his measurements fit into the rough guidelines given for a "B" mini or "small pony" rather then medium pony where I thought it might be based on height. So, I decided to remeasure his height, and I got 45" this time, or 11.1. His feet were recently trimmed, but that cannot explain a 2" difference!

Yesterdays measurements were taken with him standing on concrete and he was squared up - since we have come that far in his training. At this point, I no longer trust my ability to get an accurate measurement,
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but what my real question is - what difference does it make? Well, I guess it is important for picking a cart, so would love some tips on how to accurately measure and ensure I got it right. We measured twice yesterday, moved him around and squared him up again, just to be sure and still got 45" .

I don't have his papers so there is no way I am showing him or anything, but I might like to do arena driving trials or even combined driving once he is a bit more seasoned. I have had no luck searching the internet to find out where his height fits into the current rules. I believe he is considered a small pony, but I wasn't sure if we needs a navigator based on his height.

As far as carts, his measurements tell me to be a bit more sensitive to weight and size then you might be for a pony as he is smaller then I realized.

I am having alot of fun training this pony. He is so smart and bold and has come so far. He is much "hotter" then I am used to in a horse, so we are just going slow and building a foundation. He has been put to cart in a very enclosed setting, but right now I am doing hours and miles of ground driving on the street, on trails, whatever I can think of, so he can see the world. I am so impressed with his little brain, very curious and even though he is very sensitive and a bit hot, he has so far behaved like a trusting sensible pony - nothing stupid. He used to be nervous about unloading from a trailer, but one 5 minute session and i have him quietly backing out (I know, nobody teaches small horses to back out, but I am primarily a rider of big equines, and I am fussy about my horses and trailering, must be able to ride in anykind of trailer, so backing out is important). I just think he is smart and so eager to learn and work. I love that attitude. He is also a little imp and full of silly antics so he keeps the hubby entertained too. As he says, he is a horse that wants to act like a dog and our dog is nearly as big as a horse, they seem to have a lot in common.

Long lining/ground driving has been soo much more fun then i thought it would be. I spent some serious time watching a real trainer to long lining a giant hunter/jumper type horse and it kind of clicked in my mind how to do this. I must be doing okay because my pony is so light on the rein, his steering is getting awesome and he seems to love doing it. What more could I ask?

As much as i like him, I am a little bit wondering if i should have bought a registered AMHR/ASPC so I could try shows and a few other things... as well as be small enough to buy a hyperbike!!! I think my pony is just big enough to sort of miss out on the mini fun.

In the meantime, I am going to keep working him as he is going to be an awesome driving pony - for me, or if I decide to go the mini route, for someone else. Anyway, with this poiny I see that i would mostly recreational and trail drive.

I was wondering if I can talk to someone who actually owns the TrailBoss cart. Very reputable company, and while I know brakes on a 2 wheel cart are controversial, I live in a neighborhood fraught with a series of small-medium hills and I can see a little braking really helping/assisting with the downhills especially with the mini/small pony trying to hold back. Anyway, I never see that cart mentioned on forums and just wondering if anybody out there owns one that might be willing to share their experiences with me. I am not quite ready to buy but I need to make the decision to committ to finishing this pony soon and am reaching the point where I need proper gear.... so I need to buy a cart later this summer to keep things going.

I have researched harnesses and sadly haven't found a bargain used so also need to decide to committ the money to new. I am not that fussy, but I know I will be happier wtih a medium to good quality harness - fit, comfort, looks etc. I prefer biothane have been looking at the comfy fit, camptown harness or the betabi harness from country carriages. I want something with a tree. All of those harnesses are $$ but have a good reputation I think. So, if I do decide to buy a new harness and year from now decide i want to go mini instead, will those "name brands" hold their value at all? I would hate to spend $700++ on a harness and have to resell it a year later for $250 or something.

Right now, I am ground driving with a homemade training rig. It is safe and works, but is ugly and isn't really suitable for doing more then long lining.

Okay, finally... maybe because I am a western rider and am around all these gamers and stuff... but WHERE IS DA BLING on a driving setup??? Now, I don't mean anything crazy, but he is a dark bay/brown horse and would look smashing with a little bit of "jewelry", I like some of the driving bridles that have the metal studs on them. I can't be the only one that would like to see at least a little gilt and flash!

The picture isn't the most flattering, but it is a good conformation type shot. He was learning that he could stand tied all by himself for awhile...

Thanks again for taking the time to read and advising me! I lurk here pretty regularly even though i don't post alot.
 

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