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Active Member
Mar 25, 2004
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Upstate NY
Well, the little man's been officially driving for about 2 months now, and let me tell you, he loves it! Took him to my farrier's farm today to drive with several other people (Duncan's first driving "field trip") and he was AWESOME! We even got comments that he was better behaved than the seasoned CDE horses there! Went through the obstacle/cones course (Duncan says: No sweat!
) and did some cross-country too (Wow, mom, this is cool!
). Hoping to aim this boy towards a CDE next summer. What do you think?

Long lining before hitching:


Standing STILL (what a good boy


Some action shots:


(More in next post...)
Another trotting shot...


We have a passenger!



Cones course...


A view from the cart...


And just for fun, thought you all might like to see how far Duncan's come since I got him last April, nearly wild as a little deer
. These are his pictures from just before I brought him home last year....



That's all for now. Thanks for looking!
Okay, I lied! I have to add one more!

This is a shot of most of the drivers who were there today:


Okay, now I'm REALLY done, I promise!
Nice harness, NICE horse! He looks like he already gives to the bit very nicely and has a great natural frame. How tall is he? And how old?

I like your harness very much, but if I may suggest some corrections....I would raise the breeching a little bit and put your saddle further forward. Right now you have it in the middle of his back and that's not good for his spine or for allowing him to round up correctly when he collects. The breastcollar also appears to be a little high in the front (close to his windpipe) and from the left side in almost every shot appears to be a little short for him. I get the feeling maybe your harness shifts around a bit when he's wearing it?
Because some shots it looks fine, and in others the breeching is too low or the breastcollar too short. But it's a really nice looking harness, I love the teardrop.

Hmm, looking again I'd say this may be one of those harnesses that would actually benefit from a false martingale (instead of it being mainly for looks). The breastcollar is in the right spot for his shoulder, it just keeps popping up right in the middle. A false martingale would take care of that.

Duncan is adorable, I really like him. And he's got a great on-the-bit walk.


P.S.- Does your cart have a singletree? I can't tell from these pix, but if it doesn't that would explain the shifting of the breastcollar.
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He looks very relaxed and comfortable--always a good thing in a green driving horse! Good job, I think he looks great!

Hobbyhorse, what is a false martingale? Any pics?
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A false martingale is a strap that connects from the bottom of the center of the breastcollar and goes to the cinch. Usually it is just for looks and is adjusted fairly loosely since a driving cinch is not pulled as tight as a riding cinch and you don't want it creeping up towards the horse's elbows. But on some harnesses, like most Deep V styles, you adjust it just tight enough that it prevents the breastcollar from rising up in the middle. Your breastcollar does have to have a connection for one, but I bet any leatherworker or harness maker could add one to a regular collar.

Look up Dr. Pam's recent threads on the new Ozark Mtn. Carriage harness. The Deep V collar pictured on the palomino has one, and the 1st edition pictured on the other thread with the chestnut mare has an attachment for one if I remember right.

My goodness Nikki, he looks amazing and so do you! Hows the Kinder devil?
Great job your guys!!! I enjoyed your pics very much! Keep up the good work I'm excited for you both!!
Thanks for the compliments! To answer some questions...Duncan is 7 years old, and 37", and unregistered (yet another poster child for unregistered minis
). The harness is a Smuckers Synthetic Pleasure Harness, and yes, the cart has a singletree. I've been debating on what to do with the breastplate, as it looks too high in the current holes, but if I put it down one hole it slips below the points of his shoulder when there's any significant draft on the traces. I'm actually thinking about getting a different breastplate for when he starts doing heavier work. The saddle is a different story entirely; he's shaped so roundly that if I have the girth adjusted correctly it slips waaaaay back. The pictures are of girth adjusted 1 hole tighter than it should be, and it STILL slips back some...go figure. I've been using a western spur strap to attach the neckstrap of the breastplate to the saddle, and that helps a little bit. Tightening the girth up like a riding saddle doesn't help much either...just makes him go
. Any suggestions on that one would be appreciated!

I would appreciate any more pointers, as I usually work him alone!



PS-Deb, Kinder's doing well. Still quite the stinker!

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