Winter Slows and Money In Your Pocket

Been a bit slow here with the exciting weather swings. Not doing much except turning horses out, cleaning stalls and bringing them in at night. You say “this is good,” because you are not having to fix stuff to get the jobs completed! Temps dropped way down for a couple days, now back up to 40F+. Kind of doing a rerun of last winter, up, down, snowstorm or bare ground. We didn’t put chains on the little tractor until March, then took them off 2 weeks later! Winter was done!!

We got a call from a trainer friend “Do you have any big horse Pair harness to sell?” Gosh, really hadn’t thought about selling. But we could probably put some together for you! We then went scrounging thru things and actually put 2 sets Pair harness together and ran it over to them. Well, horses are MUCH bigger than expected, so one set barely could be girthed up. Breastcollars ended a foot in front of saddles. Nope, too small. Got out the other harnesses, put them on. Fit like it was made-to-order!!

We had also taken a selection of driving bits we never use in 6" mouths, as well as several sets of Pair reins. They liked those too, kept a bit and set of reins. We were all happy with the results, collected our money and went on home.

Then the cold was back allowing husband too much FB time! He told me he found an “interesting carriage, was going to ask for more pictures.” He liked the pictures, he had the money from selling, so off he went to look at the carriage. Took the big truck, “just in case” to save driving back to get the truck He bought the carriage! They loaded it up and headed home.

It is quite lovely, just BIG. Husband went back online and found it is a Mountain Phaeton, modern made, copying a old Brewster Carriage Company model. It sits quite high, two steps to get in with! It has 3 seats, pulled with a Pair or Four. Sides have slats, body is in natural wood. Painted wheels and undercarriage There are two small doors in the sides to get into the center seat. Grooms sit facing backwards, feet on the let down tailgate.

I will need to make seat and backrest covers, upholstery is cream color wool Bedford cord. Not the best choices for our family! Ha ha We unloaded it and got it covered immediately, so no pictures for you. The big-ness is about like standing next to a Roof-Seat Break, high seats, wide wheel track, wide (2inch?) rubber on the wheels!.

We have an antique Slat-Side Phaeton, but it has only 2 seats, goes single or Pair. Not nearly so high and very short coupled for turns. We now have “this slat-sided model” in medium and large! We laughed about the new one being “Supersized!” Husband needs to do a few things on it before spring driving season arrives. Going to be fun! Hope we know enough folks to invite for a ride in the wide seats! Ha ha


The winter ‘slows’ outside of the land of snow & ice? Not so much.

We’ve got what seems like a slew of green horses to drive. A couple new ones in the barn and some that hadn’t been hooked. I took a week and worked from home - at the barn. Drove 4 or 5 horses a day for couple days. One 17h green bean who is still figuring out where his legs go. He’s not bad, but he’s not bright. The gaited mare has been hooked a couple times now and, well, she’s not homicidal. We might convince her she wants to be a fine harness horse. I’ve got a shiny new pony who is actually easy to drive. That’s a unique experience.

Yesterday was cold. I’ve been working on refinishing a set of shafts for a show cart. Just have the detail work in the corners, but yesterday was not the day. In another week or two, I need to unwrap some carts and see what needs to be touched up. I think I may need a new set of wheels on one. Black and red is easy to match. There’s some shaft leathers that need to be replaced to.

I don’t even want to think about the fine harness buggy that’s been in storage for the last 4? years.

The first show is the end of March and it will be here before I really want it. Thankfully, I think the work travel schedule is reasonably light in the coming months. Time to stock up on steel wool, Mother’s & chrome markers.

Come the Ntl Drive this Fall & I’ll guarantee at least 1 passenger :sunglasses:

Googling shows a very handsome vehicle in that style. :+1:

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@goodhors Your husband is a carriage-head too? Gosh I don’t know if that’s a good thing or a bad thing :laughing:

Wow, never heard that name before! We drive carriages for sure.

Weather was great today, husband had “tinkered” enough, now wanted to drive it! So he put things together, knocked off most of the mud and got harness on them. Then spent some time adjusting singletrees he had put on, pole straps, some other straps and then hitched them to the new vehicle. Horses were curious about the pole straps and crab on pole end, it has been quite a while since they were put to a pleasure vehicle. We were being careful heading out, this vehicle is long, turns wide.

They didn’t seem to mind the weight, about 500 pound heavier than the Van Den Huevel Pair marathon carriage. Husband said “get on” which will need practice in big muck boots! Plus those shiny black steps are slippery!! We walked off, then we both noticed the pole straps were sloppy. Stopped on the flat, I held reins, pushed the brakes, while he got down and tightened the straps, climbed back in. Horses walked off again, waited for traffic, then stepped off down the road.

Carriage sits up tall, but husband thinks he needs a taller wedge seat, especially with a Four, to see better. He noted that traces could probably be taken up a hole for the next outing. Horses had Yankee breeching on, no trouble holding the carriage on downhill spots. Traces are just not adjusted enough yet. Also need to pad the pole, bare metal is too hard for bumping into. May teach him how to sew a pole cover!!

It was a great day, sunny, up in the 50Fs. Still glad for our winter coats and lined gloves in the chill breeze. We went about 3 1/2 miles, trotted 1/2 mile on the dirt, the rest was walking on pavement. No sweat when we unhitched. A very nice day out with the horses. Not like February when I was a kid! Wet weather forecast the next couple days, so maybe we CAN get the tack room better organized! Nearest horse in picture is 16.3H


@2DogsFarm You are welcome to a ride anytime we show up together, at the same location! Seats are roomy, but that white front seat cushion is hard! Not Bedford cord as I suspected, going from his description and where vehicle came from. Odd feeling fabric, which husband believes is car or boat upholstery. So that might explain why it is still so clean looking with use.

Husband has more tweaking to do on things, raise the pole head, that are going around in his head. Rainy day so far, good for working in the barn.

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You got the best of the weather for your test drive :ok_hand:
Back to gray, windy & chilly here today :persevere:

I’m trying to get my friends (they were at Topeka) to go to the Wade House Carriage Days ADS show in WI in July.
Both claim to want to do a “Big Show”, to date our local County Fair is all they’ve done :smirk:
I doubt I’ll succeed.
Fall Ntl Drive is much more likely.
Maybe we’ll GTG there?

My wire cart went to Weststar in Shipshe to get the bench seat changed for a bucket with armrests & a cupholder :grin:
Means no passengers, but :woman_shrugging:
More comfy for me!

For those slippery steps:
Get yourself some of those gravelly strips they sell at hardware stores for stairs :wink:
That, or they also sell paint with sand in it - not sure it would work on metal :thinking:

That is a nice looking carriage!


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Hah, I went the other way! I found a (very bright) green glinkowski marathon for sale from my fave carriage guy and bought it and left my old kutzmann with him to sell, so I’m feeling pretty poor at this exact moment. Hopefully it sells quickly, and I think it will. A guy that flew down from Canada and was at the Spring Fling FEI show really wanted it but I don’t think he could get it a ride home. LOL I didn’t even have all the marathon off it before someone was interested, so fingers crossed xxx. I wasn’t planning on buying one so soon, but mine was on the small side for my pony and I really needed to get something that was more cob/sm horse than pony/cob now that we’ve gotten some speed in our game.

But damn, the cost of driving shows really increased this year (along with everything else). It was overdue but I’ve got 5 or 6 events on the $chedule this year and it’s painful (need to get the 1* done so I can do 2* next year). The new (to me) carriage was supposed to be 18 mos down the road, but when the right one comes along…