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1 year ago

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I've got a nice matched team of full sister Percherons. Been putting up with this problem for quite some time. One mare starts out faster than the other and after a few miles ends up slower than her teammate. The other mare goes a constant speed all day long. A 20 mile day she stills walks along at a nice clip. They get seriously out of alignment. I've put chains on the double tree to prevent sheer but of course is not an answer for the alignment. Short of a buck back strap, ( I'd rather not slow down the consistent horse ) or replacing one of the horses, any ideas? Pulling small people mover and horses get a break every 4 or 5 miles. Thanks.

K.C. Fox says 2016-12-29 09:17:45 (CST)

I don't know what you can do to make them pull together. I have 3 teams of haflinger's just to get 2 teams that pull together the other pr are runaway's and use them the most, because they get there quicker and pull together a real great team when there about 1/2 played out. but I had to buy 3 teams to get them paired right. My thoughts for the day, have fun. work with what you got or try to find a way to make it work.

1 year ago via Forums | Front Porch Forum

Klaus Karbaumer says 2016-12-30 08:35:54 (CST)

A team may be matched in size and in color, but not in their gaits.
There is very little you can do except for holding the faster horse back.Just like people, horses are just not all spirited the same or gaited the same.
When you use stay chains, you can actually make the faster and steadier mare pull more of the load, because the other one will learn very quickly how to stay back just a bit.
Like K.C. wrote, sometimes it takes a while before one gets a team that matches in work.

1 year ago via Forums | Front Porch Forum

BrianL says 2017-01-01 08:49:22 (CST)

I think achieving a 50/50 balance in a team is rare. While I do use a stay chain on the doubletree to keep one from dropping back too far, Klaus is right. It won't balance them out and the slacker does learn to find the sweet spot where the trace chains have just enough tension to make it look like they're pulling an even load, without actually doing so. This all said, K.C. is right. Work with what you've got if you can, as long as there isn't a safety issue involved.

1 year ago via Forums | Front Porch Forum

Scott S says 2017-01-01 23:32:17 (CST)

In stead of a chain I put a heavy spring between double tree and wagon. This seemed to work better than the chain. The faster mule in my case learned that the further he got ahead the more load he had but always left some load on slower mule. Will try to upload picture. I was impressed how well it worked after being disappointed with chains.

1 year ago via Forums | Front Porch Forum

Billy Foster says 2017-01-03 07:00:00 (CST)

Be sure you are using a severe enough bit on the faster horse that you are still able to use a light hand on the lines. If you are having to hold back the fast horse with a lot of force the slower horse may never get into the bit since when it does it will be like hitting a brick wall. That slower horse may like a soft touch and if you are fighting the faster horse a lot you may be upsetting it and slowing it down more. If you are not already, you may find it easier to get alignment if you sit behind the slower horse. A buck back strap is a good tool to relieve the pressure on that slower horse. I have also found that ground driving is a good exercise for teaching alignment.

KC: I hear you about Haflingers, I have gone through a few to get a good pair. The best driving pair I have had are the two I am using now, A 14.3hh Haflinger and a 16hh Percheron molly mule. They are an easy walking team that it is a pleasure to drive. I don’t leave the farm so no worries about haw they look.

1 year ago via Forums | Front Porch Forum

K.C. Fox says 2017-01-03 23:38:16 (CST)

I will sell the 2 best teams of haflingers and just keep the runaway's because I like them. I would sell the 450 lbs ponies just in case anyone is interested.

1 year ago via Forums | Front Porch Forum

Andy Daniel says 2017-01-04 05:05:52 (CST)

Looks are not important to me. GAIT. Gait is important to me. As a kid I saw mule and horse reams, ox and mule or horse teams. As long as they walked together color and size didn't matter. Would not win a show like that, but they got the work done.

1 year ago via Forums | Front Porch Forum

Chintzy Chuck says 2017-01-04 09:11:32 (CST)

Thanks to everyone for their ideas. I appreciate it.

1 year ago via Forums | Front Porch Forum

Billy Foster says 2017-01-04 09:26:38 (CST)

Andy, you said it. That Haflinger has a nice relaxed gate. Not in a hurry, just plodding along like the mule. It is the type of team that can drop your blood pressure to drive. Having a team that one can keep in alignment and having a team that wants to be in alignment are two different things.

1 year ago via Forums | Front Porch Forum

Ralph in N.E.Oh says 2017-01-04 18:23:19 (CST)

Billy, you said a mouthful! Having a good team that will "drop your blood pressure" is priceless! The more you like them, the more you will use them. The more you use them, the better you will like them!

1 year ago via Forums | Front Porch Forum

Redgate says 2017-01-05 22:56:49 (CST)

I'm not half as experienced in training as most of these folks here, but for what it's worth, I have had to get 2 teams used to working with each other. In one case, it was a new horse who had his own way of doing things....period. He was not a team player, and liked to take the whole load. I spent several weeks driving several miles almost every day. At first, my original and younger horse (Bud) learned to hand off the load, so I carried a buggy whip (slapping the line even a little would cause this new guy to pull harder and faster). Everytime my original hung back, he got a smack on the rump. It didn't take but a few miles of that, and he stopped hanging back and taking up his fair share of the load. At the same time, I held the new horse back with the lines (but just a standard o-ring bit). At any sign of relaxing, I released pressure. After about 3 days, I honestly though my arms were going to fall off from how much pressure I had to hold on those lines to keep him in check. With reward for backing off, though, he improved. By the time I sold him a year later, he was almost as much a team player as the other, and you would have never known they hadn't spent years together.

The second time, I had a team (Bud and Nick) that had been raised and worked together--1/2 brothers. Nick got hurt, and wasn't worked for around a year. When I put him back in harness, he did OK, but didn't mind handing off the load to Bud--especially when he got tired during the re-conditioning phase. Again, I just used the buggy whip (Bud really didn't line pressure). Everytime Nick started hanging back, I gave him a little smack on the rump. After a few session, he got the point. I would say this team is about as close to 50/50 as I can imagine. Nick being the younger is not quite as confident so tends to hesitate more, while Bud can be a hint lazier if I let him. But as long as I stay on my game, they both stay on theirs pretty well. I certainly can't complain!

1 year ago via Forums | Front Porch Forum

Klaus Karbaumer says 2017-01-06 08:02:24 (CST)

Danielle, you prove the point: When horses are not naturally gaited the same, it takes quite some effort to make them work together. And in some cases the corrective measures you describe will be necessary constantly. If a person isn't willing to do that, then the best is to exchange the horse. Sometimes somebody else is looking for a slower respectively quicker horses

1 year ago via Forums | Front Porch Forum

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