After we had our big draft team for a year or so, my oldest daughter go bit by the horse bug. We made her prove herself and finally gave in and got her a mustang mare. That made my 5 year old daughter jealous, who begged and pleaded for her own horse, along with our 3 boys. Not wanting to break the bank, we finally broke down and purchase a fully trained (ride and drive) little mini horse for the younger kiddos. He came complete with all tack and equipment, which included a driving style (breast collar) harness and cart.
Unexpectedly, my 11 year old son fell in love with the mini and has expressed a desire to use him for farm chores. We're thinking having him pull a little cart for clean up chores, hauling feed bags, collecting firewood, pulling small logs or hay bales, etc. The horse can't seem to pull hardly any weight with that thin breast collar, so I am debating switching him over to a work harness with collar. I have found a few, but they clearly aren't very popular.
So, my questions to you are:
How easy is it to transition a pleasure-driving trained horse to really lean in and pull?
Is it worth it to teach the little guy and actually use him around the farm, for something other than entertainment?
Do you have a good, affordable source you'd recommend for mini harness? (this would be for occasional use most likely, so I'm leaning toward economy version--that way I don't have to worry so much if the kiddos drop it, bang it, scuff it, etc as they are learning!)
Thanks in advance!