Cart or carriage for deeper footing

I have a 2 wheel, light and nicely balanced varnished natural wood road cart with rubber tires on wood wheels. I use it for pleasure driving indoors and out with my 14.1 mare. This worked great until my boarding barn, which is mostly a ridden dressage barn, upgraded the footing in our indoor arena. It is now deeper and sandier than before and much more work to pull the cart. In turns, particularly in the deeper corners, it feels like the cart is almost getting dragged sideways a bit -feels like a sideways shudder rather than nicely rolling through the turns. My mare is being a trooper about it but it is clearly harder and nowhere near as smooth a ride as before. I need advice about whether switching carts, wheels, or switching to a 4 wheel vehicle might help the situation. I had been toying with the idea of going to a 4 wheel before this but am wondering if the heavier vehicle may make the footing problem even worse or if I can offset this with marathon type wheels. Thanks in advance!

Pneumatic tires will do a bit better in deeper going, with their wider surface areas not cutting in like narrow wooden wheels do. 2-wheels are less weight to pull, but 4-wheeler’s give a more stable ride. Yet more wheel surface on sand does make for a slightly harder pull.

Deeper surface preferred by some disciplines is just harder on horses driven on it. Deeper is not actually better for ridden horses, but “everyone uses deeper surfaces” in their rings, so others copy to fall into that thinking.

Husband the Farrier saw a lot of leg problems, strains, on a variety of horses using deeper footing. Horses winded after fairly short works. Like you running in deep, dry beach sand, it is exhausting in a short distance!

The cart may not work with smaller wheels, the pneumatic tires can only go so big. Even very light 4-wheeler’s are heavier to pull, though they do come with pneumatic wheels.

I guess your next move depends on your budget.

Thanks! Yes I was pretty bummed out when I saw the new footing. I don’t even like it for riding. I’ve been driving in our outdoor instead but winter is coming so I’ll have to soon deal with it as is or figure something out. We have some trails on the property and I had been toying anyway with switching to a marathon cart with pneumatic wheels so I could go on some of our wider trails more comfortably than in my road cart.
I am unsure though about whether the increased weight will negate the benefit of the wider wheel for the arena. It’s not like beach sand exactly but it’s deep enough that the wooden wheels do dig in, particularly in the corners. My cart is only 250 lbs and is usually easy for me to move but now it has become quite the workout. Worried about trying to move a 4 wheel and wondering if maybe it’s best to get an EZ entry type or a Frey cart with motorcycle wheels for the arena.

You can stay with a 2-wheeler, avoid the bigger weight of a 4-wheeler for now. Used Frey carts with both sets of wheels come up for sale on the Facebook driving groups. Or get a used Frey, buy whichever set of wheels you don’t have from Frey himself.

The folks I know with Frey carts really like them! I would look at used, seems like there is a long wait time on new ones.

Ahonen is another well built cart. Have not checked to see if they come with pneumatic tires. You could call to ask. She is a very small shop, so production is slow. Again, those who have or had one, really liked them. I do see a used one for sale on the FB groups now and then.