Have you got room for two carts? You may want to show once horse is reliable in harness.
There are a lot of Easy entry carts out there. Many are light weight to pull about by yourself. Features I like are a seatback. You get very tired with nothing behind you on long driving times, so you hunch forward. Not good. Slatted floors over solid boards means less weight. You want shaft to ride level on his sides, no tips upward like in your photo. Very tiring to ride an uphill vehicle. To get level shafts, you probably need bigger wheels, which puts you more in the wood cart shopping area.
Always a topic of interest in wood versus air-filled tires. The air-tires tend to ride more easily over sand and dirt. However they are limited in size, carts they fit tend to be smaller. Wood wheels are more narrow, do cut into sand, dry soil, so horse has to work harder to keep up his speed in various gaits. Not good in deep sand of many (western) arenas, horse is worn out fast.
I am not a fan of Meadowbrook carts. The sit too low for me, hard to see around or ahead of the horse. The rear step entry is hard to get out of FAST. Their low center of gravity does make them less tippy in travel. I prefer the “Road Cart” designs that sit up higher to look ahead and can have easy entry shafts on the sides. Horse MUST stand quiet until signaled to “walk on.” This means he needs to ignore weight changes in shafts, girth tugging, vehicle squeaking as driver gets in and situated. Just the nature of carts!
Most wooden carts are reasonably light, easy to repair if damaged. You need to check for “balance” which is a magic point where shafts float in the tig loops durine travel. Have to say it (in real life) is uncommon to see or attain, though there are “moments of glory” in your driving time! To test for balance in a cart you need to hold HARD on shafts where tug loops would be, then have a second person get into vehicle. It is AMAZING how much weight goes on the shafts! Speak up quickly if you feel you cannot hold shafts before person gets dropped or shafts fly up!! If you have no trouble holding shafts, have passenger move forward, back, trying to find a seated spot where shaft weight is only about 10-15 pounds on your hands. This is your balance point! Horse can carry this all day!
Metal carts are just heavier because they are metal. You do NOT want thin-wall tubing in a cart.
They can come with air filled or solid spoke wheels with flat rubber. They also have a balance point, some have seats that adjust forward or back, to help with balancing. They are pretty easy care, though the adjustable shafts must be watched for metal fatigue on the screws holding shafts in place. They can work loose, not stay tight with much adjusting. Being over tightened regularly can speed up fatigue.
Both wooden and metal carts need good springs to give a good ride. Little coiled springs or C-springs made of bent tubing are NOT comfortable rides very long, no matter how thick the seat cushion is! Ha ha Most springs are leaf springs of some sort, they give a decent ride to the cart.
Either type can be good carts to use and enjoy. Can you hitch a ride with anyone to test ride various styles? Any other drivers you know to ask what they like or would change on their cart? Things on vehicles CAN be changed to fit you, be more comfortable.
You might like reading the Archives at the top of the posts. Tons of helpful information in there to help you progress with your horse and goals for him. Welcome to Driving!