Carriage driving help

T&T

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Mar 20, 2018
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I've just broken my boy to drive. Its new to me, I've never done it before. I've joined BDS and will be going out on pleasure drives. Anyway, when I put the vehicle on it fits well, but the tugs won't stay in the tug stops , the tugs always end up to far forward. Is this normal? He's quite a short compact pony. We have shortened the shafts and moved the tug stops back and breeching D's forward. I can't pull the traces any shorter. Or the breeching.
 

T&T

New Member
Mar 20, 2018
23
3
3
46
I've just broken my boy to drive. Its new to me, I've never done it before. I've joined BDS and will be going out on pleasure drives. Anyway, when I put the vehicle on it fits well, but the tugs won't stay in the tug stops , the tugs always end up to far forward. Is this normal? He's quite a short compact pony. We have shortened the shafts and moved the tug stops back and breeching D's forward. I can't pull the traces any shorter. Or the breeching.
You might be best to get a photo or two so we can see th problem.
I haven't worked out how to put one on yet.
 

Jessey

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Dec 20, 2004
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I'm by no means a pro, there's def others far more experienced driving than me on here, but my two penn'orth worth...

Your trace length controls the pony position in the shafts in motion, if your tugs slide too far forwards on the shaft when in motion your traces are too long or shafts too short. Your breaching and tug stops are to stop the cart rolling into the ponies hocks as you stop, so shortening the breeching is moving your cart further back from the pony. You mentioned having shortened the shafts, in my mind that will have brought your tug stops further back and effectively made your traces longer. The cart balance is important too.
So long as your tugs cannot come off the front of the shaft and they seat back to the stops before the breeching engages fully then I wouldn't be too worried about them settling somewhere in between during motion. Do you have a side on picture so we can really see how it sits?
This is my guy Hank, we were just harnessing up here, at rest the tugs are on the stops, but would move forward a sniff when we got underway.
56828016_10157124600857246_6908255149571964928_o (2).jpg
 
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T&T

New Member
Mar 20, 2018
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I'm by no means a pro, there's def others far more experienced driving than me on here, but my two penn'orth worth...

Your trace length controls the pony position in the shafts in motion, if your tugs slide too far forwards on the shaft when in motion your traces are too long or shafts too short. Your breaching and tug stops are to stop the cart rolling into the ponies hocks as you stop, so shortening the breeching is moving your cart further back from the pony. You mentioned having shortened the shafts, in my mind that will have brought your tug stops further back and effectively made your traces longer. The cart balance is important too.
So long as your tugs cannot come off the front of the shaft and they seat back to the stops before the breeching engages fully then I wouldn't be too worried about them settling somewhere in between during motion. Do you have a side on picture so we can really see how it sits?
This is my guy Hank, we were just harnessing up here, at rest the tugs are on the stops, but would move forward a sniff when we got underway.
View attachment 97807
Thank you. Yes I'll try shortening the traces again, the traces do seem tight.
 

Jessey

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Dec 20, 2004
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Thank you. Yes I'll try shortening the traces again, the traces do seem tight.
Are the traces snug at the chest when the tugs are against the stops? push the pony back into the cart till the tugs are on the stops then see how much slack you have on the traces :)
 
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T&T

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Are the traces snug at the chest when the tugs are against the stops? push the pony back into the cart till the tugs are on the stops then see how much slack you have on the traces :)
There quite tight, I loosened them yesterday by one hole, but the tugs ended up further forward.
 

Jessey

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Dec 20, 2004
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In my mind, If they are snug then the cart/tugs would be held pretty much where you start out with them, when he is moving forward the traces are letting him 'walk out of the cart' a bit (taking up the slack) which is why the tugs move forward. That pics looks like the tugs are at the highest point of the curve of the shaft (I can't see the stops), so long as no amount of you wrestling can get them off the front and the stops engage when you need them all should be well :)
 
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T&T

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Mar 20, 2018
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In my mind, If they are snug then the cart/tugs would be held pretty much where you start out with them, when he is moving forward the traces are letting him 'walk out of the cart' a bit (taking up the slack) which is why the tugs move forward. That pics looks like the tugs are at the highest point of the curve of the shaft (I can't see the stops), so long as no amount of you wrestling can get them off the front and the stops engage when you need them all should be well :)
Thank you.
 
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Wally

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Apr 16, 2000
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Here's a tip.
harness up on level ground. The tugs should be in the centre of the pad up against the tug stops. Now pull the cart backwards until the traces are tight, the tugs ought to still be in the centre and you should have a tight hand's breadth between the horse's bum and breeching.

Now push the cart forwards as though you are going down hill, The tugs can go to the front of the pad, but not off it onto the horse's shoulders and the breeching should be tight, Your traces should not be looping low.
 
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Wally

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@T&T when you are in the cart put your feet out in front of you, Don;t tuck them under you as if you are sitting on a chair. having your feet braced on the foot board alters the balance of the cart and will keep you in in case of a stumble of shy
 
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Wally

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Oh and remember, if you make traces tighter the breeching will have to be made looser and vice versa
 

T&T

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Mar 20, 2018
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Thank you wally. Yes I now keep my feet out. we have a BDS drive Sunday. I have started buying tedex harness. As I brought a leather harness, turns out it Indian. All I need now is the saddle and a bridle. How do you measure for a saddle ?
 

T&T

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Mar 20, 2018
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Oh and remember, if you make traces tighter the breeching will have to be made looser and vice versa
So does it matter that the tugs don't stay in the stops when pony is moving forward, when he stops they sit back in the stops.
 

T&T

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Mar 20, 2018
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Oh and remember, if you make traces tighter the breeching will have to be made looser and vice versa
Can the traces be to tight ? Seems quite hard to get them on the swingletree.