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New Harness! - Printable Version

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New Harness! - DownUnder Gal - 11-24-2018

I am really pleased with Koby's new harness which arrived on Friday. This was road-tested by Nanno and the quality is terrific.  A few adjustments are required and the breast pad is still on order. I need to work out how to fix the traces to the singletree, being different to the traces on Koby's old harness.  The slotted hole at the end of each trace on the new harness looks like it is meant to hook over a protruding do-hickey (technical term) at the end of the singletree but my singletree doesn't have that bit - it's got a ring/loop welded to each end of the bar instead.  I think I will put a carabiner through each slotted hole then loop that carabiner through the existing carabiner on each ring.  Unless anyone has another idea?  I've attached a photo.

This was the first time fitting Koby with a bit on a proper bridle.  The bridle needs a little adjustment.  Having not been handled much in the last couple of months Koby needs some lessons to remind him of his manners.  However, he didn't fuss at all when I put the bit in his mouth and happily munched on a few peanuts whilst wearing it. I was concerned it would be too big/wide but he has grown so much since I bought it 18 months ago; it seems to fit just right. The bridle looks a bit bulky but he has a halter on underneath, which is what I am using to tie him to the hitching ring. I need to unstitch and remove the rear part of the crown piece which attaches to the throat lash, the latter which I have already removed.  I also removed the browband as that was never going to fit and also appears to be an unnecessary component for a horned goat.  

A big thank you to Nanno who liaised with the harness maker multiple times on my behalf, checked all the measurements and sent the harness onto me complete with some tips and labels for all the team components.  It would have been very tricky and long-winded to arrange this myself from here. I can't wait to test the harness out!




RE: New Harness! - Taffy - 11-25-2018

Congratulations on your new harness!

You should look into quick release shackles for connecting the traces to your single tree.  They come in a variety of sizes and are a great safety feature if you need to disconnect from the cart quickly.


RE: New Harness! - Nanno - 11-25-2018

So great! I like the look of those quick release shackles but I've never yet sprung for them myself. They're kind of spendy. I just hook the ring on our traces to the loops on our doubletrees with a carabiner. Our single carts accept the slotted ends but the wagon does not.

RE: New Harness! - DownUnder Gal - 11-28-2018

Thanks for the link Taffy. I will look into those if I can get them locally at a decent price.  Nanno, the carabiners I have been using, although not cheap, seem to be a bit hit and miss from a quality control perspective.  They are aluminium/alloy because I wanted to keep everything light.  But I think I will probably switch to steel with whatever I end up buying.  It will need to be quick release I think.  What are yours made of? After a few spills with packing I do carry a knife now, in case I need to cut gear off a goat in a hurry.  I hope never to need to do that with a harness though - especially this nice new one  Smile

RE: New Harness! - Nanno - 11-28-2018

I use steel carabiners. I find them at the hardware store. They aren't quick release, but they open easily. I can't think of a reason why you'd ever need to cut your harness off your goat. They aren't as big and powerful as horses so it's hard for them to get into real trouble. I should think that even if a goat fell down and was tangled in his harness somehow, he'd still be small enough to maneuver so you could unhook him without having to cut the harness.

RE: New Harness! - DownUnder Gal - 11-28-2018

I would hope I'd be able to extricate said goat but this is me we're talking about Nanno  Big Grin

RE: New Harness! - Charlie Horse - 11-29-2018

What about those quick release things with the sliding collar you find on horse-trailer tie ups?

RE: New Harness! - Nanno - 11-29-2018

I would be wary of using those on a hitch because sometimes the sleeve can get knocked or jostled out of place and release the clasp when you least expect it, which of course would be dangerous when driving.

RE: New Harness! - DownUnder Gal - 01-31-2019

Hi everyone, it's been a long time since I've posted on PGC, or even driven Koby for that matter. 2019 started off badly but it's getting better.

This morning we had our first driving lesson in almost 5 months and it was the first time hitching the new harness.  Koby did great, even with the bit!  Smile He tossed his head around a little to start with (which he did with the halter too) but then settled down. I could tell he wasn't too fazed with the bit in general because he happily munched on the peanut rewards I gave him, and there wasn't much pouting.  I feel so in better control and he seems to listen to me more than he did with the reins attached to the halter rings.  Just as well, because at 4 1/2 years old that boy still hasn't stopped growing - he's really strong.

I've compared the photos from today with some photos and videos taken during my fun time having driving lessons with Phil and Nanno and realise further adjustment is necessary; mainly tightening some of the straps.  But this harness is so much better than the other one I was using!  And I think Koby appreciates the treed saddle.

Nanno, I would appreciate your comments regarding my fitting queries below: 

Is the breast collar sitting to high? In a couple of the videos I have of Phil and yourself driving, both Finn and Sputnik had theirs set lower.

The shafts are floating well in the loops and are pointing upwards a little once I get in the cart, so I think there is little to no pressure on Koby's spine. Does it look ok to you?

I believe I need to tighten the back strap between the saddle and the breeching and also tighten up the traces, because when we go around corners sometimes the whole set up seems a bit loose and the breeching slips to one side. And when Koby is stationary, the breast collar is not always firm against his chest (see last photo).

A couple of times the end of one shaft lifted up towards one side of Koby's neck when we were turning. Would this have happened because the external strap that keeps the shaft loops down needs to be tightened (?) It didn't seem all that loose to me but I am a little rusty on all of this  Rolleyes  

Thanks for any tips!


RE: New Harness! - Nanno - 02-01-2019

Beautiful, Kate! I'm glad you're loving your new harness! It looks like you need to lower your shaft loops so your shafts are sitting a little more level. They're floating too much, which ends up putting pressure on the belly band and makes your ride unstable since you'll rock back and forth too much. This is not fun for you or the goat. Don't be afraid to put some weight on his back. That's where it's designed to go. Getting some weight on those shafts will stabilize them quite a bit.

I don't think your breastcollar is too high. It looks like you have a wider pad than what we've got on our harnesses, so it may look like the strap is sitting higher when in fact only the pad is higher (which should be fine).

Shortening your holdbacks will keep the cart from rolling so far forward when you stop. That's why your breastcollar is billowing out--the holdbacks are too long and letting the cart keep rolling a couple of inches after Koby stops. Don't shorten the traces. That will put Koby too close to your cart. In fact, you may even want to lengthen your traces a couple of holes so he can have a little more space.

It's hard to tell from the photos, but shortening the back strap a may give everything a tighter, neater look. You want the hip straps to hang perpendicular to the ground. If the back strap is too long or short, your hip straps won't hang straight. This isn't so much a mechanical problem as an aesthetic one.

Before your next drive, let your traces out two holes. Then spend a few minutes playing with the length of your holdbacks. Roll the empty cart back and forth and see what it does to your harness when the holdbacks are very loose compared to when they are very tight. Usually it's better to get them snug and then back them off a couple of holes. You want only a little bit of play in your front-to-back suspension. There should be enough room for Koby to move comfortably without getting chafed by the britchen, but not more than that.