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3 years ago

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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!

K.C. Fox says 2016-05-08 10:21:44 (CST)

If you relay want to use him for doing chores just do it he will learn, just don't hook him to a real big load for a while. he will pull more than you think. I have a pair of 450 lbs of ponies that will pull a 1400 lb bale of hay 3/4 of a mile or more and unroll it on the ground, they will do it every day and be in the corral at 6-7 o'clock every morning to do it again. As far as harness use what you have or throw something together, think like a little kid. I think back to what I put together as A 8-10 year old kid it scares me to think I got away with it. I used a pony cinch for a breast collar, and old Latigo straps for tugs kept it together with bailing string (baling string was scarce around home as we didn't feed bales), 1/4 inch rope. Made a little cart with 12" steel wheels, shaves that were 2x2's the cart had sides on it 12" high board. It would haul 4 5 gallon bucket's we hauled feed & water to do my chores, chickens 150 two fat steers and some horses that stayed in all the time. My dad looked at it and said it works your thinking, gave me some thought's of how to make it better. the mini was about ^ hands tall. I also gave 2 little kids rides, and he would pull me in the cart it rode so rough I would rather walk. Just use him the children will have alot of fun with him

3 years ago via Forums | Front Porch Forum

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