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New to us Carriage

We picked up our new Bird in Hand Sport Phaeton the other day (built in 2014) ,which is a dark navy with wheat pinstriping and upholstery, wood wheels and no breaks and it is just stunning! We just love it and can’t wait to test drive it later this week with our good show harness to make sure everything works. I have a pleasure show next weekend and plan on using the carriage for that so of course want to try everything out before we show.

We do need to change a few things over as it has some chrome details and our turnout is brass, so I do have some new brass tips for the shafts and some brass footmans loops which we will put on later this week. The only thing I missed was the buckles on the seats! I missed it from the pictures we bought the carriage off of and I never ordered anything to change them over, so I’ll have to do that at some point.

I would also like to get some lamp brackets made as we do have carriage lamps and I think it would finish the turnout perfectly. One step at a time though! Maybe get them made through the winter…

Unfortunately the wheel looked like it had some damage, perhaps in transport before it arrived to us. We were so fortunate to actually be at a car show when the carriage arrived and asked some friends for help. They were able to buff the scratches out of the paint and there were a lot of professional pinstripers there (they have competitions all weekend) and one came over to fix and match the pinstriping for a small donation to a charity. So it was all fixed up within a day and is ready to show!

I’ll post some pictures later this week after we hook our pony for our test drive :slight_smile:


Very attractive vehicle! Should look quite snazzy with one of your boys in patent harness!! How lucky to have all those experts right at hand to fix the shipping marks. Can you slide the seat straps so buckles don’t show? Maybe under the cushions? Our straps ran thru footman loops to anchor cushions, so sliding straps was possible. Driver will cover one side when seated, but not the passenger’side.

Lamps sound like a nice addition for Pleasure showing. Will you go for screw-on or drop-in types? We tie our lamps down after bouncing one off on rough ground. Didn’t break any glass, but sure bent the top! They were new lamps, so metal was solid and husband was able to fix the top so it didn’t show any damage.

Congratulations on the cute new vehicle! Will be waiting for your pictures!

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I am drooling & picturing it in VSE size :smiling_face_with_three_hearts:
Some day…
Pls do post pics of your turnout w/horse.
& Have FUN! @ your show :+1:

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That is a beautiful vehicle.

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That is a stunning carriage. Please post pics when you hitch to it.

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giphy. Wow

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Thanks all!

I was able to get the carriage off of the trailer (my husband sent me these pictures when he picked it up) and I noticed more chrome on the back. So I will be changing the footmans loops that are holding the basket down and will order 6 more leather straps with brass buckles.

Great idea Goodhors about trying to move the straps! I did look but they are cut short and screwed down to the carriage so I won’t be able to turn them. Boo! So for my show next week, I will have to show them with the chrome and I’m ordering the brass parts and straps for Orleton in August from Driving Essentials. I’m hoping they can be ready in time!

I’m planning on hooking my boy tonight to it. I got out his collar and show harness last night, and I’ll just use his everyday lines and Zilco bridle so I don’t quite have to clean everything afterwards lol!

Sort of a side note, we sold his brother yesterday who also was part of the pair. He was not super happy driving and loved to be ridden, so he is off with a 60 year old woman who wants to get back into eventing. We owned him since his birth (he is now 10), I showed him a ton on the line and did the hunters with him a couple of years ago. It was a bit sad of a day and hubby is very disappointed to not be driving a pair anymore (he does not like single driving), but we are happy he has landed in an amazing place with a wonderful woman. He is not too far from me and I’m hoping to be able to go and see him show next year. It was never the plan to sell him, but it was the best choice for all. Its so hard finding a matched pair and hard to get the ones that enjoy driving as well (he was our 4th try to match our original boy).


Any chance your budget could stretch to adding a pair?
DH could have his pair & could even think about a Unicorn :sunglasses:
Gee… I’m great at spending your money :wink:

It’s lovely!

And that part about trying to get a good pair of just another reason I’m happy stay in singles! Although when I heard a pair driver saying they never worried about going through (points at a turn through the obstacle) because if the pair went through, so was the carriage. It happened to be a gap I was going to be doing a lot of work to hold the pony off that turn! But I also remembered that there are a lot more willing pairs. One horse is willing to let the other one do all the work! :grin:

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Funniest pair I ever saw was a Tandem @ Villa Louis on Cross Country.
They came to the bridge with water, leader hesitated & Wheeler chest-bumped him through.
Looked like Wheeler was thinking:
Oh, HELLS No! We’re going!!

No more ponies ha ha! I keep telling myself that. I have 4 now, which is plenty, still work full time as a manager, have farm chores when I get home, training a 3 year old under saddle (as a hunter prospect), working with a yearling and then working my 14 year old driving pony is more than enough, plus I teach a beginner on my retired 26 year old. Though I do have an empty stall now, so I suppose anything can happen…My in laws breed our ponies so I do all the training, which of course takes time (I purchase them as weanlings and bring them to my farm). We are tossing the idea around, but they have already sold all of their 2024 foals and even some of their 2025 foals - they are in high demand! They have about 10-12 a year. So we maybe stuck with a single for now. He’s 14 this year so getting a youngster to start will be at least 4 years from now and he will almost be retired by then.

We tried tandem for fun with our last pair many years ago. It was fun for sure but we didn’t have a show vehicle for them so just went around the farm.

And that was the issue with our pair. The one we sold was a little more forward and doing almost all the work. We did a lot of single work to get him to slow down a bit, but he was a forward thinking and working boy. Not bad, just forward. Our current boy is as lazy as can be and is happy being the passenger, which made the more forward pony pissy. Oh the fun of pairs! But they did work nice together at times and we showed them for a couple of years to great success. To be honest, I’m not sure what we will be doing in the future for driving, but only time will tell!


Beautiful! I wish I was more comfortable sitting behind a horse. My old Standardbred was so easy to drive, but thankfully he rode very nicely in the short time we had together.

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Some not so great quality phone screen shots from last night. The carriage is nice and light and is beautiful to drive. The front wheels as set in and are narrower than the back wheels by an inch or so. It was funny to see 2 sets of tracks on where I drove, not used to that! But it seemed easier to make turns and I tried some cones and it drove beautifully through them.

I’m able to use the front hub as a step as they have some gritty material on them so thats pretty neat as well!

We adjusted the harness a few times but it seems to fit this carriage well. I just needed to get a longer set of hold backs for the breeching which I had in the tack room. I did try his good bridle as I haven’t used it on him yet. We also purchased this new set of harness in the winter so haven’t really had it fit to him yet. The collar we’ve had for a few years, so that was good! The traces seemed to work well from our last Phaeton to this one, I just had to put it out a hole as the shafts seem to be a tad longer, but we were very happy with the drive, the look and our pony seemed to like the lightness of it!


The turnout looks very nice.

I miss having something to drive, my current two aren’t driving horses and I don’t have the time or money for a third.

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So lovely! :smiling_face_with_three_hearts:
The minute I win that Lottery, a VSE Phaeton is in my guys future!

Re: your lazy partner in the pair
I once audited an Andy Marcoux clinic where a friend had the same problem with her Canadiens.
Andy had her switch their positions.
When they started off, I swear Lazy’s face said WTF? I have to WORK?!?

Ha Ha! Yes, our boys act like drunks at first or like they have never driven before for a few minutes as soon as we switch them. We like to change them from time to time to work on straightness and not leaning on the pole, which can happen over time.

We have even tried to shorten our lazy pony traces and lengthen the forward pony traces a hole each to see if it would help, which it did for a little bit…

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My last pair I had to adjust the reins so the lazy pony had slightly longer reins as he had a longer neck and needed more room. It also helped me hold to more forward back a little so they stayed more even.

Yes, we do that as well. Though we found it better to let out our more forward pony (longer rein) as he would get crooked from us holding him back, which of course is no good . So his head was turned to the inside and he would get upset going around that way (of course). So we lengthened his line out 2 holes, and he would actually straighten out and be much happier We could push the lazy pony forward with the whip as we couldn’t use our voice or our forward pony would go even faster! So no clucking was allowed ha ha, just taps of the whip to the lazy boy. And as much single driving of both ponies to work on the lazy boy to go forward, and the forward pony to go slower. But there is only so much time in the day for us unfortunately and we didn’t always have time to drive single and keep them in shape for marathons…

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After last seasons’s developing athlete clinics I learned that worked really well, especially if a world champion pairs driver was also holding the reins! :rofl:

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