I just want to share how my bike is working. I keep hearing that it is not possible to have weight at the horse end of the shaft without using wrap straps. I have achieved that while using the open shaft loops and driving with a loose over girth. I can get in and out of my bike without having it tip up or threaten to tip over backward and can trot and canter uphill or on the flat or over rough ground without any bouncing and with a little weight in the shaft loops OR I can have them float a bit.
Mostly I can sit back in my seat. BUT I understand that I am driving in a two wheeled vehicle so I do my best to be an active driver that is watching the balance and doing my best to work with my horse and not against him. If I am going up a hill I lean forward (just as you would when riding) when we go down hill I lean back. When cantering I lean forward just a bit. When we go over rough ground depending on what kind of trail we are on I will lean forward or lean back. If there are large boulders and deep ruts then I am constantly moving to keep my bike balanced and floating so the shaft ends aren’t yanking my pony’s shoulders around.
In the video below I am showing how there is weight at the horse end of the shafts while we trot downhill, trot over level ground and then walk up a hill all with me leaning back in the seat and without wrap straps. It can be done with a little work at getting good balance.
The video below shows my friend Molly and her little mare Goldie. They are trotting and cantering along, up a hill, with open shaft loops, perfectly balanced. They drive this way in the mountains and on the road without any issues.
The bike is so lightweight and when things are all working as they should it is very well balanced. It’s amazing how much you can affect the balance at the horse end of the shafts with your body.