Cart Goat
What conformation do you look for in a cart goat vs a packgoat?
Goatberries Happen!
(09-15-2015, 10:12 PM)Taffy Wrote: What conformation do you look for in a cart goat vs a packgoat?

basically the same. Although you can use goats with long backs or goats that have higher backends.

Good and straight legs and feet, enough room above the point of shoulder if you want to use a breastplate harness.
Sabine from Germany
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I agree with Sabine. Good packgoat conformation will also apply to carting conformation. However, with cart goats you can usually get away with a few more conformation weaknesses since pulling is generally easier on them than packing, and the consecutive hours spent pulling a cart are always less than the hours packing in the mountains. For a goat to pull more than just kids around, you want him to be big and strong with sturdy legs and good muscling throughout. This is where your Boer crosses and other similar heavy goats can really shine. Strength would be emphasized over endurance in goats used exclusively for pulling. Broad backs, mutton withers, and wide, rounded shoulders will not interfere with a harness goat the way they can with a packgoat since there's no concern about saddle fitting.

Attitude is probably the most important aspect of a cart goat. He should be willing to work and have a friendly, people-pleasing attitude. A stubborn goat can be trained to drive, but you fight an uphill battle. Cuzco is stubborn and not a people-pleaser so teaching him to drive was a major undertaking. You want a goat that is fairly independent and willing to lead. Cuzco is a well-established follower, which makes him excellent on the trail--he will NOT get left behind no matter what! But this does not translate well to harness training since he absolutely hates being in front. One thing that makes Pac-Man a good driving prospect but an unreliable trail companion is his willingness to leave everyone else. I've had no trouble driving him in front of me and getting him to leave home and the other goats. Of course, this also means that when he gets to a difficult spot on the trail, I have to put him on a leash or he'll leave the group and take himself back the way he came.

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