Proper fitting of Glinkowski shafts

I purchased a used Glinkowski Cobra and need to correctly fit the shafts to my draft cross. Can anyone recommend what the distance between my horse and the carriage should be? All of my driving friends are hundreds of miles away.

We want horse far enough ahead that a hind hoof can’t reach back, at any gait, to touch a wheel. Not sure of an exact ADS Rule distance.

Usually standing horse in front of vehicle with a header, stretching out the hind leg to furthest extension, will let you move vehicle back from that. Then adjust the shafts for that length on the horse. This is presuming you have adjustable length shafts. Fasten down the screws/bolts that allow lengthening adjusting tightly. You might even wrap some electric or duct tape over bolt and nut to prevent loosening to fall off.

If you have closed loop (short shafts) you ABSOLUTELY NEED quick release shaft loops on the saddle. Long shafts should have the tip end at point of shoulder. Long shafts can have closed leather or bothane shaft loops on the saddle.

Harness and hitch up. Keep traces snug but not tight. You do not want a lot of ‘slop’ with too much trace and breeching slack. Horse slows, vehicle slows, not hitting in the rump. Then go for a drive, see that you have harness fit well, try the various gaits to ensure no hoof will reach back to hit.

Have all quick releases been oiled to open quickly, EASILY if they need too! Look at the overall picture, traces at a slight downhill angle from breastcollar to singletree? Traces run thru trace loops to prevent sagging or being extra floppy? Singletree is at hocks or above hocks while in forward motion work?

THANK YOU for all of that information. I will be ordering the quick release shaft loops for my closed loop shafts. I was trying to figure out how my closed loops would work…

A question: you do not have a sliding back band on the harness saddle, do you? That is the strap the shaft loops buckle onto. Some harness saddles have that and it is fine on 2-wheel carts. Supposed to help balance the carts by letting the shafts self-level on uneven ground.

Not a good style to use with 4-wheel vehicles that have almost no weight on the saddle.

Especially not for use with independent shafts unless you put stoppers on the back band FIRST! Stopper is not the correct part name, but they fit on both sides of the back band to prevent it sliding while driving.

The modern style, independent shafts will not self-level like a 2-wheel cart with rigid shafts does. Without the stoppers, the independent shafts can get uneven and put things in danger. One shaft up beside the rein terret, the other shaft down by horse elbow is going to hurt someone! We DO NOT want that to ever happen!!

You probably do not have a sliding back band harness saddle, but I thought I had better bring up the topic ‘just in case.’ Most folks start with 2-wheelers and the sliding back band is a big deal, much advised to use in certain driving circles. Then people don’t think of changes needed to stay safe using the same harness with the new 4-wheel vehicle.

Something else, is that you may need longer reins with a 4-wheeler than you did with a cart. There should be rein length behind your handhold, enough to sit on the buckle. Reins are too short if you have just enough length to hold right in front of the buckle. If you do need new reins, get them the correct width for YOUR hands to be comfortable. Short fingers may need narrow widths, while bigger hands or long fingers might prefer wider reins. You are running reins between fingers, out the bottom of your closed hand. So width should not cut into fingers or be too narrow so they slide out of your grasp as you close your hand.

glinkowski has a telescoping shaft option, should you have those, that changes the adjustment. Typically I see about 13 to 14" on a larger pony .with telescoping shafts at rest, which should be approx 4" extended, breeching relaxed. That means your pony is going to be closer when they are stopping/going down hill and the shafts are fully seated and further away when he’s in draft and moving out.

If you don’t have telescoping tips you could move it out a bit, because the horse position vs the carriage doesn’t change that much