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What type of cart ?

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Elizabeth Pannill

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I have a well trained driving gelding and I am taking lessons from a well known ( big horse trainer ) who has a lot of experience driving and competing in driving events.

I have an easy entry cart but would like to upgrade to a cart without bicycle wheels and one that if I could use to compete in ( possible pleasure classes but also dressage driving and maybe CDE )

She suggested a Meadowbrook . Where is the best place to order one ? I am open to other suggestions for carts that would be acceptable for a variety of competitions .

Thanks

Elizabeth in Texas
 

ClickMini

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I have two different types of carts for show and CDE, although I believe my CDE cart would suffice quite nicely for country pleasure driving classes. I have a patent dash that I swap out with the bar rail when I want to dress it up.

Here are some photos:

My Jerald show cart, purchased from Estate Horse Supply (http://www.horsecarts.com):



And my Pacific Smart Cart. I bought it direct from Pacific, because it was close enough for me to drive to and pick it up myself. There are dealers throughout the states, so look for one local to you. http://www.pacificcarriage.com

 

hobbyhorse23

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Elizabeth, I wrote an article on this exact question for the next issue of Miniature World Showcase! I'm glad to see there's interest in the subject.


I wouldn't recommend a Meadowbrook as they're usually the heaviest of the mini carts available and are often hard to balance. Instead you might try a Silver Penny Farm show cart (Amy's had one of those, too! *LOL*) which looks very similar and is eminently suitable for Pleasure Driving shows, dressage and CDE's. A Graber or Jerald cart with wooden wheels is also classy and appropriate for the events you're interested in. Those are the most versatile models I'm aware of, there are of course others like the Bellcrown and Pacific that are a little less perfect for turnout classes at Pleasure Driving shows but are otherwise excellent and are better for CDE's.

Leia
 

targetsmom

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Well, I didn't know Leia was doing the article, so I didn't wait when I had the same question! I have an easy entry cart myself and have just bought a Graber show cart with open wheels (rubber tires) that can have wooden wheels substituted. I also ordered a show cart with wooden wheels from A Silver Penny Farm, but it has not arrived yet! It is the mini show cart on http://www.ccfdriving.atfreeweb.com/. I figure I am set for the show ring and carriage driving without having to change wheels, but can easily add the wooden wheels to the Graber if we decide we want to take a second mini to an ADS show or CDE.
 

MiLo Minis

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I have a Graber show cart with both wire and wooden wheels. Grabers are similiar to Jerald's but weigh a lot less and are a lot less money. I use it for breed ring shows and turnout, dressage and cones for CDE's/Trials/Pleasure shows. I use my easy entry wooden wheeled cart for pleasure driving and cross country.
 

ClickMini

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Yes, I have also owned the Silver Penney Farm cart and it was pretty suitable for the training level of CDE, and was pretty enough to go into a country pleasure class at a show. I do feel that CDE work was pretty hard on it. The wheels are very narrow also, which makes it just a bit more difficult to get through deeper footing. Here are Ally and I at a CDE with this cart:



Photo by Leia Gibson

If a person is looking for a "cross-over" vehicle, and had enough funds, I would actually reccomend the Pacific, tricked out with the patent dash and curved backrest, over the Silver Penney. It is a classy looking vehicle, and is much more durable. Also very comfortable, and balanced so well for the horse. Here is another shot of the Pacific, with the dash on:





In all of the photos with the Pacific, Ally has her CDE harness on. She also has a fine harness for breed ring work. Ron Whiteman used the Pacific last year at Oregon Gold, and I think some other shows as well. He did very well, even with the non-traditional show cart.

I am pretty sure you can get an open-wheeled Graber from Prime Design. http://www.primedesigntack.com/

I must say that I have had excellent customer service from all of the vendors mentioned on this thread.
 

Minimor

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The basket on that Silver Penny cart looks extremely small, as in no leg room! My mom with her bad knee would never be able to ride in that (not that she could even get into it). I don't have knee problems but I am tall & rather long legged, so basket size is something I pay attention to.

We have the Smart Cart and it is the most comfortable cart I've even ridden in--overall I love that cart!
 

hobbyhorse23

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Ya know, I am just not a fan of the Pacific for A-sized minis. I didn't like it when it first came out and I still don't. It's just...clunky...with a smaller horse. It looks good with Ally and other larger minis and they have no trouble pulling it but it's a bit tougher for the little guys. Just my opinion!

Also while I'd need to go talk to Breanna (Minihgal) or others who have attended the Pleasure Driving shows we lack in this area, I suspect from what I've seen with big horses that any metal cart is going to be considered more of a "marathon" vehicle and get you knocked in turnout classes. The Pacific as Amy has it outfitted would probably have the least trouble that way, but a wooden cart is still going to look nicer.

I think those of you who have gone the open-wheeled Graber route have gotten the best deal. As MiLo said they are lighter, cheaper, and the most versatile type of cart I've seen as they can do breed ring, Pleasure Driving shows, and CDE all. You can even use the open-wheeled cart for roadster if you buy one of those conversion kits! I wasn't allowed to address specific brands in my article but that's what I would have recommended if I'd been able to. The downside to that choice is that there's not a lot of suspension to a show cart and all that outdoor work is indeed hard on them. If CDE were your primary interest I'd be recommending a Bellcrown MiniCrown, Ite Bte Missouri Flyer, or Pacific Smart Cart. Those are all sturdy, balanced, wonderful carts with GOOD suspension and all the features.
And you can certainly use them for the other disciplines, they simply wouldn't fit in as well.

Leia
 

Shari

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I love my "Country Road cart"...is super smooth, very easy to balance.. you can get wooden and wire wheels but I would not recommend it for anything under 33" tall.

It is 100lbs with the wooden wheels...a bit less for the wire.
 

Margo_C-T

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I agree with Leia; a friend of mine got a Pacific, and I've both seen and driven it, and though it is a lovely cart, I also consider it 'too much cart' for the A sized minis, both in weight AND proportion.

I have a wooden road cart built by Pequea Carriage, and it is a very nicely built and comfortable vehicle...its builder is the brother to the builder of Shari's cart sold by Country Carriages, and the carts are virtually identical! However, it is pretty 'size specific'--like Shari, I wouldn't recommend it for anything very small--and, the shafts on mine are really too short for my 38" mare(though I could probably have them replaced w/ longer ones-they are 48", and I could probably use the cart with BOTH my 34" and my 38" horse with about 52" shafts as a compromise.( I got the road cart BEFORE I got the taller driving mare, so ordered it with the others in mind. )

I have a British-made Bennington cart, and I would highly recommend it! It can even be outfitted w/ lamp holders, but is basically a 'marathon' type metal cart--and, again, I consider it a bit large for the A sized horses. I use it exclusively for my 38" mare. Because it is imported--(no one is building it in the US, as they are the British-designed Bellcrown), it is probably now 'out of sight', pricewise, ;though-- what with the weak US dollar AND the increasing costs of any sort of shipping....


I also agree that a Meadowbrook can be too heavy...my first wooden cart was a truly AUTHENTIC miniature Meadowbrook; it even had a modified gig shaft, which I really liked--but, it was really too heavy for my 33-34" horses, except in a nice level, well-packed arena...I sold it for that reason.

There really ISN'T much of any 'suspension' on the Jerald, Graber, and that type show carts'; I no longer own one, but can imagine that regular use for challenging CDE work might be hard on them. I have a single-seat Missouri Flyer being built now, with the aim to use it primarily for my A sized horses. The challenge is to keep the weight as low as possible while maintaining the best features. I asked for 28" wheels,and am getting two sets of shafts--will see how that works! I probably will never actually compete in an 'official' CDE, but want it to be a cart that could be used there--I would accept being 'knocked' in presentation, because I like the idea of the cones and the obstacles better, anyway!

The design and look of the wooden Silver Penney carts just don't appeal to me. If interested in a wooden cart of that general type, I'd recommend a look at the several types built by John Stoltzfus of Pequea Carriage Shop in PA.

Margo
 

mgranch

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I also have a Graber open wheel show cart that I purchased thru Prime Design and I love it!! Can I just order the wooden wheels for it thru Graber??
 
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