I often see people driving their minis with a poorly balanced cart. This can mean the cart is tipping downward toward the pony, or that it is tipping up, pulling on the pony’s tummy. I attribute this to just not knowing the cart is not balanced well and possibly not understanding what they can do with their cart to help the situation.
If you have a home made pipe cart then this won’t apply to you. And I suggest you walk away from that cart and purchase a different easy entry cart. If you can afford it go BIG! Get the best vehicle you can afford. One of my favorite carts is the Cricket. The suspension on it is amazing. They are made in Canada, by someone who really cares about each and every vehicle he makes.
I am also a big fan of the Hyperbike. I am saving up for one of these for my mountain driving. This cart only weighs 30 pounds and is easy to take apart and put together, making it very easy to haul around! This is the closest you will get to riding a mini.
Four-wheeled vehicles are wonderful but they will be heavier. I had a home made wagon years ago and I loved it! It weighed probably around 150 pounds. (When considering how much weight your mini is going to be pulling do not forget to add both your weight and the weight of the vehicle together. I find that people don’t often do that.) The balance on a four-wheeled vehicle isn’t important as the entire vehicle sits on the four wheels. The only weight the mini will have on it’s back is the weight of the shafts. When you are driving a two wheeled vehicle sometimes the weight of the person and the cart can wind up on the back of the miniature horse. This is why balance and HOW you sit in the cart are both so so important.
I made a little video showing how I balance my cart. The one thing I forgot to mention is how to adjust the height of the shafts. This is particularly important for the smaller minis.
In the photo above you can see where the shaft brace is attached to the shaft. The shaft itself has several different spots where you can attach it. Where I have it on my cart makes my shafts come out fairly level from the cart and then they curve upward to attach to Sky at the right height.
If you have a taller mini you may find that attaching the shaft on the holes closer to the front of the cart will raise them a bit and allow you to balance the cart so that it doesn’t put too much weight on their back.
If you have a smaller mini you would want to put the brace on the first hole, the furthest from the front of the cart. This will lower the shafts. Be careful that the cart is balancing correctly with a person sitting in it, so there isn’t too much weight (not more that about 5 pounds) on their back.
On this cart I have found that attaching the brace to the hole the closest to the front of the cart makes them angle up drastically. This would maybe work for a 42″ pony? I don’t have a pony of that size to try it out on. It may work for a pony a bit bigger than that… What this attachment does is allow you to refine the cart balance even more than just moving the seat will do.
Below is the video I made. The audio isn’t the greatest so I suggest turning your computer all the way up or putting on head phones to hear me!