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Thank you for your advice Nanno - as usual, it all makes perfect sense. I will play about with the harness today! Smile
Good Morning!

I hope everyone is well.

I had to go back to basics with Koby due to lack of lessons.  So we had a few off leash lessons of target training and basic commands to get him back on track. He's going well now but I am refining the fit of the harness every time I put it on him. The shaft loops are as low as I can get them. One day I will get it right!  It's a super harness  Smile 

He looks terrific! I'll bet you could easily make shaft loop extenders. In fact, I think you got the convertible harness didn't you? If so, I'll bet you could use the cheater straps! Those are the two straps that have a buckle at one end and holes punched in the other. You might have to punch a few extra holes, but I can't see any reason why they would not work as shaft loop extenders.
He looks stunning. What a proud looking animal with great legs.
Ooooh great idea, thanks Nanno!  I'll rummage through my bag of spares - that didn't even occur to me ...

If I wanted to use snaps on the hold back straps to save time (and my endless fiddling about to get them right), which end should the snaps attach to? To the loop on the shaft or to the ring on the breeching?  And would I need to use a particular type of snap?  

Thank you IdahoNancy. He's a bit of a poser when the camera comes out Smile
The holdbacks stay on the shafts and the snaps hook to the ring on the britchen when you hitch up. If you're only doing single driving this makes it very easy to hitch up. It's how I had my horse Meadowbrook cart set up. The only reason Phil and I don't have our goat carts set up this way is because we often convert to teams and need our holdbacks to stay with the harnesses so we don't accidentally end up leaving them behind with the wrong cart!

I've seen several different types of snaps used. The exact type is important for horse use because of the weight of the cart and the strength of the horse, but with goat carts it's not all that important. Almost any type of snap will be strong enough. Just make sure it's not one that can spontaneously come loose if it gets bumped the wrong way.
Got it - thanks for that explanation Nanno. Very helpful Smile
Good Morning!

Koby and I had a lovely drive the other day but I am still trying to get the balance of the cart right.  Nanno, I tried the cheater straps and they're perfect. You're right in that I need to punch some extra holes in the straps that hold the shaft loops down because they flop about over the girth when the cheater straps are added.  But once I have done that and the shaft loops are lower, I don't think the shafts will "float" in them like they should (because the inner top of each shaft loop will be what's holding the shafts down)?  See first and last photos, where they seem to be floating (all of these photos are without the cheater straps).  

I am also experimenting with the tension of the hold back straps; slackening them off a bit has resulted in the shafts moving back a little and so they are somewhat more level. But now they seem too loose? The ground is fairly level in all photos but the balance in the middle photo seems all wrong.

Do I need to get bigger wheels for the cart or should I swap the shafts for curved ones, which is a suggestion in this article by Chimacum:  I am not sure how I would do the latter, as my shafts are fixed and not height adjustable.  The bigger wheels would be the easier option as I would not need to butcher the cart.

Someone else suggested moving the cart seat forward but unfortunately it does not seem to be adjustable either. The drawbacks of a flatpack cart I guess!  And other advice has been to put on some tug stops.

Maybe I am overthinking all this but I am keen to get the balance right. Can I achieve it simply by harness adjustments alone or should I modify the cart?   Confused 

Thanks for any advice, as always!



I'm suddenly jealous of all this cart stuff....
If you want to make your cart higher, get bigger wheels. That is by far the easiest and cheapest solution. I wonder if your cart is balanced a bit too much to the rear. Do the shafts still "float" in the loops when you added the cheater straps to lower them? Because they shouldn't. There should always be some weight in the shaft loops (and on the saddle) when traveling on level ground.

As for the front-to-back balance, when you loosened the hold backs you should have also let out the traces a hole or two. Otherwise Koby will still be too far back in the shafts but the britchen will be loose. Try letting your traces out a notch if you can and then see how it all looks. This will help lower your shafts as well.
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