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Katiean

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Ok, I finally got everything needed for my harness. My boy is built so odd that I had to do a couple of things to get it to fit. I am using a samller girth as he was too thin for the one that came with my harness. I also had to add a back saddle pad. I do have some questions.

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First, What good is the breaching???

Second, I am having problems with the tugs. What is that strap that is hanging down to his knees? What is it used for and what did I do wrong?

Oh and this is what he was hitched to. Next time he gets to pull 2 bales at a time.

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We are going to take the handle off so he is closer to the hay. I may even sit on top of the hay.
 
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studiowvw

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Hello - he doesn't look like he's built odd - looks cute. A friend of mine has one like him. Harness might have been built odd


Looks like for safety you should try to get someone to come and help you out when you are starting out.

This is very basic information and you need more input!!! Keep you and your little guy safe or it won't be any fun and you could have a wreck.

The breeching and the tugs are for when you are using shafts (you're just using the traces, no wooden or metal shafts).

The breeching or britchen is the "brakes" - you attach the hold back straps around the shafts and it stops the cart from running up and ramming him in the back legs.

There is nothing to stop this now!

You sitting on the wagon will work as long as he doesn't run away and dump you off. Then you would have a big wreck. No offense


The strap hanging down by his knees should run through a centre keeper on the belly band -- at least it looks like the overgirth (?). It might be wrap straps, which would wrap around the shafts and keep them from bouncing around up and down. Without shafts, you don't need them unless maybe to keep the traces from dropping to the ground (?)

The tug loops would hold the shafts along his sides. The overgirth keeps the tug loops from bouncing (wrap straps or other straps).

I think with your current harness setup and no cart with shafts, you should only be dragging something like a tire or a sled which would accustom him to pulling. Hope you have done some driving with reins only, also desensitization to sounds and sights (dragging things along behind and beside him).

I am no expert, but I have done some iffy things in my time. This looks iffy.

Good luck!
 

studiowvw

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Hello again - I was just stirring the soup and picturing what could go wrong with your setup.

I think it's a good thing to look at what you're doing and picture the WORST CASE scenario! Then do what you can to avoid it.

I write this because I had a mini several years ago. He was a bolter by nature and habit - I was trying to work around that and going for my driving dream
in spite of it.

I hitched him like you have but to a small drag with small wheels - seemed like a good idea at the time (famous last words!)

He was in the round pen. I was leading him around by the halter and line - that was fine till he decided to bolt. Round and round the pen he went, me standing open mouthed in the centre! The little drag went bouncing and smashing around the pen behind him. The centrifugal force was awesome!!! Finally it broke in pieces and finally he stopped. I decided he was not a good option to continue driving training.

If doing this again, I would not use a drag with wheels. I would use a drag or a tire with some weight to it.

THEN I would have a rope from the whippletree through the tire so that if I let the rope go, the tire would COME FREE in about 3 seconds.

Now to picture your worst case scenario...

Your little guy goes forward. He stops. The wagon doesn't stop and hits him in the back legs. He jumps forward in shock. The wagon follows. He stops, the wagon hits him even harder. He takes off running (sooner or later). He now is running with a lightweight wagon bouncing along behind him. The centrifugal force when he swings around is awesome. Hopefully it doesn't hit anything it can kill or damage! Like you, your kids or your car.

Finally something breaks, such as the wagon or the harness. Or he smashes into a wall or a fence!

Probably your mini has a good temperament and you can't picture this happening. However, he's still a horse.

We all make mistakes and errors in judgment. That's how we acquire good judgment!

No need to make the basic mistakes if you do some research or get some help!

I hope you will not take offense to my story. It is only meant to help you as you had asked.

Wilma
 

Minimor

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I am not sure how you mean it when you ask what good is the breeching--do you mean what is it for, or do you mean what good is it the way it is fixed on him?

Are those actual hold back straps that you have fastened to the girth? If so you can use those as normal if you drive with shafts.

As for the rest--I think your collar is too big. It looms to be covering his point of shoulder...and that can cause major issues--right down to nerve damage and permanent shoulder injury. The collar should not cover the point of shoulder. In turn, the oversize collar is making the traces attach too low--that buckle thing hanging from the saddle should be up higher on his sides.

I am not sure what the strap is that hangs down to his knees--I asked my mom who used to drive draft horse's and she had no idea--she said you have some odd sort of set up there, and it is very poorly fitted.

That is a very dangerous rig you have hitched him to--a disaster waiting to happen!!
 
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Katiean

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What I mean when I ask what the breaching is for is in the Draft harness. I have pleasure harnesses and have driven for a ton of years. I just have never driven with a draft harness. The reason I asked about the breaching was I have even seen horses that are doing skid work with one on. There is no chance of the wagon hitting him as there is a slight hill that he goes up to the barn. He is unhooked by the barn and taken back to the truck. We unload the hay and take the wagon back to the truck by hand. And Repeat. The strap that is hanging down to his knees comes off of a buckle off of the hames. One side has a buckle and one side is just a strap. Also from the same buckle it seems to buckle to the harness back where the shaft loops would be buckled. We are not using shaft loops. We are not using shaft wraps. The girth is just a smooth girth.

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Also, this horse DOES NOT BOLT. Nothing spooks him. Infact, he doesn't like to work for more than 10 mins or so. He hates to trot or, well, he would rather walk no matter what.
 

Katiean

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Ok, I have done some more research. This buckle that I don't know what to do with seems to be for a pairs harness. I guess I still have to get some parts for the harness to work right for moving hay. I do have shaft loops and a girth with wraps for the EE cart.
 

Performancemini

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I'm sorry Katiean-I just had to respond (someone else probably would). No one can say a horse does or will not bolt. We have a very well trained-exposed to tons and tons of places and things gelding who is now going on 21 years old. He had never bolted and we would say he was practically bomb-proof; notice we say "practically"; but at 16 years of age he finally decided something was worth the effort of bolting-or luckily, trying to bolt. Turned out fine thank goodness. Anyway-point is- ANY horse Can bolt-they may just be the personality type that is less prone to spook easily. It sounds like your fellow is-which is a great plus.
 

studiowvw

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If it's half a team harness, then the team would be hitched to a pole and from there the breeching would act as the brake to stop the vehicle from running up on their back legs.

If you have no pole or shafts to connect the team or single to the vehicle, then you should use a sled or a stoneboat instead of a wheeled wagon.

I don't believe any horse will not bolt ever
What if a wasp stung him?

For safety you should not be using this setup as shown.
 

paintponylvr

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Well, you are right that you have straps that I don't and that I have straps you don't on our harness(s). I'm thinking that your harness is a carriage style harness - tho I still can't figure out that extra strap you're asking about.

Looks like Minimor already covered that the collar and hames appear to be to big for your little guy.

I have no idea how that strap would be used for a pair with a collar set up - seems to be missing a buckle or in the case of a work harness - a snap (very heavy duty even on the mini/small pony harnesses). Also, I was very confused with how the breeching is hooked up on your harness - it appears to be too tight for one thing since he's standing at rest... It looks like a "side backer" harness in the large draft size - but yet, it's "off". So I went out to the Comfyfit Harness site to see if I could figure out the straps...

Wish that the site could blow up the pics. None of the pairs pics showed collar/hame use but only the shaped breast collars. The breeching seems to be similar to yours - can't quite see how it's attached near the bellyband/girth. Also, it looks like there is a strap similar to what you have pictured - but it's pictured seperately and I couldn't get a good view of any of the pairs to see where/how it is ued or attached.

Guess this would be a crazy question - can't the company you purchased this from correct it and give you help (directly) or if this is done from a distance - send you a diagram of how it all goes together properly? Does this company not care if you remain a customer or not?

*****

The type of work harness I use has "extra" parts if it's meant to be used single with a cart with shafts vs single with a drag or non-wheeled farm implement with no shafts. There are parts that I can remove if I'm actually hooking single to a cart - those straps would be in the way and just "more" to get things hooked up on (but if you want to be more confused - in the show ring they are often left on - I don't understand why. I saw it both at AMHR Nationals 2 weeks ago & in pictures of Draft singles w/ the "big boys". It simply could be because it kept those parts handy and didn't allow them to get lost or mixed up when they then moved from single to pairs, 4's & 6's).

For safety, all wheeled vehicles should have either a tongue (for pairs) or shafts (for single) to be able to stop such a vehicle. You can probably get a set of shafts for your little wagon - then use it all you want to pull hay or passengers. That is a GREAT way to put your little man to work! Of course, it sounds like you already know this, so 'nuff said.

Most of the Draft Horse books I have, have excellant and easy to understand/match up the harness for the different types and applications (there are A LOT more than I EVER REALIZED - pretty fantastic!). Sorry to say that it won't be much help in this case as it's different harness. Some of the harness I've purchased has actually come with a diagram showing how/where to attach various straps when first putting it all together (along w/ the NAMES OF THE PARTS) & recommendations on how to adjust the various straps (reminders that if you loosen or tighten this strap - you also have to make to opposite adjustment to this other one, etc). Trust me, that was totally COOL!

***Edited to fix weird spacing***
 
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