Friday, August 30, 2019

Spud's New Wheels

Never fear, I come bearing many photos and updates on the world's most favorite mini!

Wait... what is this?
A new cart?!
While Annie has kind of taken over the blog, I have been continuing to get Spud out and about - be it in the cart or being ponied by Annie.

Mid-July I had the opportunity to attend a set of Driving Trials, since a clinic I had entered with Annie that particular weekend had been cancelled. In the end I chose to stay home for a variety of reasons - namely, the first being that I jumped on a once in a lifetime (or so it felt) opportunity to purchase the cart of mine (and Spud's) dreams for a pretty stellar price.

A dang nice view!
I have had my eyes on a Frey Superlight for years now, but since they are manufactured in the US and our Canadian dollar is not particularly strong, it makes things that much more expensive. Add in the cost of freight and shipping, and oof, it becomes a bit too much. Finding a second-hand cart is nearly impossible, and over the last four years, I have only come across one (which was Shetland sized, and would be too big for Spud).

Months ago, I received a message from a woman who owns a driving store in Alberta. She had been keeping an eye out for a used Superlight for me for a few years now and lo and behold, a client of hers was selling a very lightly used cart for a reasonable price.

Is he not the most fanciest, professional pony in the world?
Of course, I reached out immediately and worked quickly on securing transport since the cart was in another province. Alberta Equest managed to secure a ride for the cart to her house, and then offered to bring the cart up during her annual family-vacation to the area. In the meantime, I sold my easy entry and everything fell into place easier than I could have imagined!

Ultimately, the driving trials would have to wait for another time. Which, in a way, worked out well considering there are stipulations on what drivers can and cannot do in trials and had I entered with our usual cart (a regular easy entry with bicycle tires), we would have been limited to trotting all of the elements, as cantering with bicycle tires is not permitted at these trials. It's a matter of safety, as bicycle tires are not as sturdy as metal carriage wheels.

The craziest pone hair.
We've been busy fitting the new cart to him, and it took several drives to get the tweaking juuuuust right. Unfortunately, the shafts are a titch too long for him, but this will easily be remediated by purchasing some marathon shafts instead. I had initially wanted marathon shafts in lieu of the standard shafts, as I like the option of more freedom in the shoulders for the horse, so it'll be a little upgrade for us sometime this Winter or into the new year. For now, it isn't the end of the world, but I'd like to change it for the long-term.

Overall, the cart rides really well and is smoother than my old easy entry, but it is much heavier than Spud is used to pulling. I'd guess the Superlight is a good 50lbs heavier, which will take some getting used to and some careful conditioning to get Spud comfortably and easily pulling it.

Driving in an open bridle - like the ol pro he is!
Over the past few weeks, we've been working on shorter trot sets and are slowly building strength. While Spud is used to being ponied long distances, he lacks the strength conditioning to pull something heavier. So, as an effort to increase strength to the stamina he already has, we've been working very methodically.

It will take some getting used to - the weight makes it impossible for me to load into the back of my truck on my own and it is a bit wider than my previous cart. Despite this, I am beyond ecstatic to have a beautifully crafted cart and one that provides more comfort to both me and Spud!
The dogs approve of the new cart too.

7 comments:

  1. This is so cool!! I love that your mini has a job and it’s fun to learn more about driving and how you manage him.

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  2. He's so cute!! That new cart looks fancy, and I think it's so cool that you drive your mini!

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  3. He looks so sharp with that cart! Love the crazy pony hair and the happy dog grins :) How fun <3

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  4. So exciting! Spud is just the cutest, and he looks even better with his fancy new wheels!

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  5. OMG I love the teal reins with it. OMG SO DAMN CUTE I want a spud and a cart!! :) With teal reins!! HAHAHAH congrats!

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  6. How adorable! I don't know much about this genre of the equestrian sport, but I look forward to learning more from your adventures.

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  7. i love those electric blue reins :D

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