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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun. 5, 2007
    Location
    New Hampshire
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    1,190

    Default What size/type of cart for a Friesian?

    I'd like to focus on finishing my Friesian as a driving horse.....and now that I have the place to store one, I'm getting closer to buying a cart.

    For those more knowledgable in selection, what would be your best choice for a cart for her that's under 2K? What size wheels, length shaft?

    Shes 15.3h, 1100lb, wears a size 80 blanket.......

    I'm looking for something that can break down easily for transportation (shafts, wheels, etc) but be strong and safe for road and trail driving. (and maybe entry level CDE if I get that far with her). Does such a thing exist?

    I swear I knew of a cart that advertised as being easy to breakdown, but I can't remember for the life of me what it was....

    Suggestions?



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct. 23, 2004
    Location
    Sisters, Oregon
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    1,927

    Default

    Sounds like a Pacific cart would suit your needs.

    http://www.pacificcarriage.com/carriages.shtml
    Kanoe Godby
    www.dyrkgodby.com
    See, I was raised by wolves and am really behind the 8-ball on diplomatic issue resolution.



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun. 5, 2007
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    New Hampshire
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    1,190

    Default

    Thanks CDE Driver, I do like the Pacifics, but at 4K, they're out of my price range for an entry level training cart for my mare..... Maybe if we really get into it I can save for one, but for a first cart, I can't justify 4K...



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan. 11, 2008
    Location
    Windsor SC till Aug
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    1,410

    Default

    The only one I know of that easily breaks down wheels and all is one of the Bennington models, and maybe a bellcrown? Both are over your budget.

    What you will find in your price range is a nice used road cat, that will not break down whatsoever... Most of your metal carts, pacifics, bellcrowns, benningtons, sprints, all have adjustable shafts that remove... However, how you would secure one without scratching it to pieces or move it easily without shafts to help, well good luck with that...

    There are cart racks you can install on the rear of a trailer, or if you've got a bumper pull you can load it in the truck bed.

    Sprints are very new to the market and close to 3k, not sure you'll find a used one for a while. Pacifics and bellcrowns are going to be 4k ish with benningtons and kutzman makes a nice cart if you order it will be 4k+.

    You just aren't going to find adjustable/removeable in your price range, but lots of pretty road carts out there that will do the job. You just have to get inventive with packing them in.

    Wheel width will vary depending on construction of cart and the shape of shafts. Ie, are the curved shafts, does the box sit higher or lower to the axle, so you can't really size a cart for a horse by the wheels. I'm not sure on shaft length for you by blanket size. You may fit into a "horse" or a "warmblood" size vehicle. Any of your metal carts mentioned above have multiple adjustments to suit multiple horses, a wood cart does not.

    My advice, save up a little more money and get what you really want/need cause it will only frustrate you otherwise and you'll lose money buying and selling.

    Any of the carts are suitable for training level CDEs, beyond that you'll want 4 wheels for marathon. Though I would keep the cart for cones and dressage, lighter vehicle will make dressage a little easier for the horse to show themselves off better. Many do all 3 phases in their marathon carriage though cause they can't fit two vehicles to travel.



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun. 5, 2007
    Location
    New Hampshire
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    1,190

    Default

    Thanks Butlerfamilyzoo! That was very informative. My Mom has a Kutzman for her Mini, so I'm very familiar with the quality. A nice cart, if not a little heavy.

    I think I am going to have to get creative with the transport as I only have a 2 horse bumper pull for a trailer and my truck, though an 8' bed, has a cap on it.

    Or, maybe I'll just drive her around the property in a used road cart and not bother trying to haul out.

    She hasn't been worked in the lines since she was 4 or 5 (she's 10) but she was good back then, so I have no reason to believe she couldn't be finished easily to pull a cart. (which I guess would be the only reason for me not wanting to invest many thousands in a new discipline)



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun. 5, 2007
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    New Hampshire
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    Default

    I think I found the one I was remembering:

    http://www.gscart.com/atcart.htm

    Has anyone had any experience with these carts?



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov. 2, 2009
    Location
    Iowa
    Posts
    523

    Default

    I have a Friesian cross so I have some experience in fitting. The length of shaft will depend on the style of cart. A lower cart will need longer shafts so their feet do not hit the basket. My gig has shorter shafts because it is tall and her legs are under the body. One important tip I have to offer is a Friesian is wider that the usual horse so the shafts need to be set wider apart than most horses.



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov. 2, 2009
    Location
    Iowa
    Posts
    523

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Daatje View Post
    I think I found the one I was remembering:

    http://www.gscart.com/atcart.htm

    Has anyone had any experience with these carts?
    While this is easy to put together when new it is not meant to be taken apart and put back together for hauling.
    I haul my cart behind my horse in a 3 horse slant with the shafts going up above the horse and tied to the cieling.



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun. 5, 2007
    Location
    New Hampshire
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    Default

    Thanks China Doll. That said, would the GS Trail cart be something to consider as a training cart? Not necessarily to break down and travel with, but for training on the farm? Seems simple enough and maybe more durable than a wooden cart?

    I appreciate all the input.



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb. 16, 2003
    Location
    MI USA
    Posts
    7,512

    Default

    Our friend bought one of the Frey carts, Sprint I think. They are extremely happy with it. Part of the appeal was how easily it broke down for tansport. They wanted to take two vehicles for CDE competiton, already had a 4-wheeler for Marathon. Now both vehicles fit easily into the trailer. Cart is light, lets the large pony DANCE in Dressage.

    They said Todd Frey was nice to work with, cart arrived in a timely fashion. No long wait, fits the pony exactly the way they wanted. Quality for a good price.

    He also has other vehicles they make and sell. He restores antiques to an AMAZING level of quality. Just like new-out-of-the-shop those vehicles were made in. We kind of left some drool marks when we visited the shop to look around at the antiques!!

    http://www.colonialcarriage.com/

    Nearby in Minnesota is Ms. Ahonen, who makes wonderful carts. Not sure they break down though. You could ask about that. She has been in business for quite awhile, has great feedback from folks using her vehicles. Folks who own or have used them all have nice things to say about Ahonen vehicles.

    I thought the workmanship was very good. I spent some time watching her do a final fitting to a custom vehicle. She wanted things EXACTLY right for that customer's comfort and use of the cart. Liked what I saw in fit, proportions, design.

    http://www.ahonen.com/



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jan. 11, 2008
    Location
    Windsor SC till Aug
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    1,410

    Default

    I had a GS Trail cart for my mini. They are 100% NOT adjustable, so if they dont balance out of the box for your horse, hang it up. Mine did for MY mini, not for the lady's mini that i bought it from. I had major issues with the bolts breaking that came with it, so replace everything with a higher gauge bolt. I once went on a trail ride and came home with only ONE bolt left of the 4 that fix it to the axle... How we survived i'll never know.

    Honestly, it rode like absolute CRAP. You really cant kill it, but you will HATE just riding around in it. You will feel everything and it will rattle your teeth out. It is NOT something you want to take apart on a regular basis, though yes the wheels come off with just unscrewing a bolt... The shafts can be bent easily too if you are using it on a bigger equine, i would really worry about this cart. For the torque my mini put on it in cones and such, it was ok. But would i put it behind my welsh cob, 100% NO, a friesian? Heck no. You will hate it. You would be happier getting a nice used wood road cart that offers a smooth ride. If you are just piddling down the roads, then the GS cart is at least better than the cheaper easy entries on the market, but more than that and i'm not a fan really. Mine cleaned up nice for shows with some spray paint, and it suited it's purpose, but i'll never own one again.

    I have seen a sprint, i was very impressed with it, and it's the cheaper of the good carts. Save up for the base model of one of those, you will be so much happier, and should you need to sell it, it will retain its value.



  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jun. 5, 2007
    Location
    New Hampshire
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    Default

    Oh, you guys are great!

    Goodhors, you found it! It was the Ahonen Traveler that I had heard of....I'll make sure I bookmark that page.

    The Frey vehicle look lovely! I'll keep that website handy too.

    Butlerfamilyzoo - thanks for the feedback on the GS carts. That's kinda what I expected to hear, but it's nice to hear it from someone with experience and not just speculation. I haven't ruled out a wooden cart either and I agree that I'd probably be happier with one vs the GS cart.

    I'm really looking forward to driving my horse, so to get this feedback on where to start with cart selection is fantastic!

    Thanks!



  13. #13
    Join Date
    Nov. 19, 2005
    Location
    Lost in the Sandhills of NC
    Posts
    2,598

    Default

    You might consider a Lite-n-EZ road cart from Country Carriages in Tryon NC. They are well built, light, comfy and hold their value. I just sold mine for about what I paid for it. I showed with it for awhile as well.



  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jun. 28, 2003
    Posts
    4,411

    Default

    A coupe of comments to make on the gscart

    1- you will sit somewhat low behind the horse - that is just a fact of how the cart is designed and the wheel size

    2- you want to get the heavier metal spoke solid wheels - not the pneumatic tires
    this makes the whole rig stronger and less susceptible since the p-tires go flat
    BUT you loose some of the suspension from the bounce of the p-tires
    sooooo your ride will be stiff and you will feel every pebble you go over

    3- as you get larger and taller horses in front of the cart - you can only increase the wheel size so much to gain height - or you will not be able to get in front of the wheel to mount the floor - just keep that in mind

    4- as long as your plans do not involve careening around the countryside bouncing over hill and dale -the cart should be an acceptible starter cart
    the pipe metal shafts are probably better than the equivalent frontier cart shafts but they are still not as strong as wooden shafts or the large diameter and heavier guage steel used in modern marathon 4-wheels

    The carts are truly designed for ponies and the steel guage can hadle being bounced around by minis and ponies
    When you increase the size and weight of the horse you are putting more strain on the steel guage and at some point it WILL give

    We pretzled the shafts a couple of times. Once when the horse merely tripped and went down on his knees
    Shafts were pointing skyward after that maneuver



  15. #15
    Join Date
    Nov. 2, 2009
    Location
    Iowa
    Posts
    523

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Daatje View Post
    Thanks China Doll. That said, would the GS Trail cart be something to consider as a training cart? Not necessarily to break down and travel with, but for training on the farm? Seems simple enough and maybe more durable than a wooden cart?

    I appreciate all the input.
    I used a similar one than this for training because it was inexpensive and did the job though I had rubber wheels. It was fine for me but my horse was well mannered.

    I think if you were in a pickle it is not a heavy duty cart and the shafts may not be as strong as one would like. I did sit low and would have liked to be higher. I then upgraded to a nice used wooden cart for everyday working and pleasure along with a show cart for showing.



  16. #16
    Join Date
    Nov. 2, 2009
    Location
    Iowa
    Posts
    523

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Daatje View Post
    Thanks China Doll. That said, would the GS Trail cart be something to consider as a training cart? Not necessarily to break down and travel with, but for training on the farm? Seems simple enough and maybe more durable than a wooden cart?

    I appreciate all the input.
    I sent you a personal email about a cart for sale that I thought might work for you.



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