Assuming for a moment that you are serious, please consider all the
excellent posts to date. I will repeat only one of them. Gas is a lot
cheaper than feeding a horse.
Now on to reality 101. Horses that are saddle broken are generally not
harness broken or trained. They frequently do not have the physical stature
to pull. There are riding horses, work horses and carriage horses. The
latter two are somewhat interchangeable.
The carriage will be the least of your expenses in money or time. The
harnesses will be expensive and must be maintained with frequent care and
oiling. Rivets and tears must be replaced and you will need a nice dry
place to store all this stuff. The time required to harness your horse(s)
will add 1-1/12 hours to each trip you take and if you are a responsible
owner another hour per trip to care for your horse.
I recall reading more than once that when the automobile started making
inroads it was heralded in big cities as a polution reducer.
That was because of the cost of the armies of guys with shovels and
wheeled barrels who had to clean the horse shit off the streets every day.
Yes, I am very serious about this.
As I already said, I already have the horses.
You must know about horses, since you are right on the money as far as
what you say. At the same time, I have two horses that were used for
driving in the past. They were used in parades and events for public
carriage rides. They have not been driven in 3 years, so I will have
to work with them some before I use them. However, they are trained
for harness, either as a team, or individually. By the way, they are
both from Welsh Cob mares bred to the same stallion, who is a Paint
and Shire cross, They resemble the Irish Tinker horses. One of them is
a galding, the other a stallion, and the stallion is the better driver
of the two.
I also have the harnessing for both a team, (with driving collars),
and an individual breast collar harness. I got them at an auction
when a horse facility shut down, and they are in good condition, in
fact the single harness is nearly new. I will have to get a new
collar for the team harness though, damn mice chewed it up.
I also have a shed for storing all the stuff too.
I do a little horse driving now. I drive our Shetland stallion pony
on a small cart that has bicycle tires, and he is an excellent pony.
I have lots of fun driving him. I just want to "upgrade" and in the
process get some practical use out of my "fun". I know it takes time
to go anywhere, but we all need time to relax and ponder life. I have
the advantage of mostly all gravel back roads to drive to town too.
The asphalted road is a little shorter distance, but I'd prefer
staying out of heavy traffic.
I just want to build my own carriage, because I like to build things,
and the ones I have seen at sales are far too costly for my wallet. I
am not all that interested in "fancy", I more want something that is
practical and useful. I probably have darn near everything to build
it already. I got a whole shed full of lumber, lots of useful scrap
metal, several old hay wagons with tires, carpentry tools and a
Actually that is from childhood experiences. My grandfather farmed using
horses until about 1962. I used to tag along. I even got to ride "Nell" to
the barn most nights. :))
Timely topic. There was an article in this morning's newspaper about
carriages and the "carriage association" relocating to the Ky Horse park.
They may have some information for you and here is a link to the article:
I bet you had fun with Nell. I was raised in the city so I missed all
of that, but in the early 80's I moved to the country and got a horse.
Now I got too many horses, but I truely love them, and I could spend
my money on much worse things. Besides, when life gets me stressed,
all I got to do is go in the barn and let the horses relax me, and one
of them likes to rub her head on me, and that is very soothing for
Thanks for the article. That was interesting.
I will take pictures as I build this. I am really looking forward to
completing it. I wanted to do it before the gas prices got high, but
it was more for fun at that time. Now it will be both for fun and for
This has been an interesting thread and I got lots of good info. I
also just found out there are some Amish people that live about 10
miles from here, so maybe they can help too.
Thanks to all.
PS, If gas prices keep rising, I might be a trendsetter :)
Some posters here have some good ideas, particularly the leads to the
Amish. But consider that many materials available today were not
accessable to the 1800's and before: Aluminum, fiberglass, air/oil
shocks and struts, plastic composites and pneumatic tires, to name a
Another source for plans might be old patent documents from the
1800's. The US patent office is pretty lame about getting these older
documents online, but the UK and European Patent offices are rich
sources of ideas for you.(you can find them on Google, and the
USPTO.gov has links to them) If you decide to go ahead with your
project, would you do us the favor of sharing your research? You could
build a good website that many will find interesting and useful. Best
wishes with your project.-Jitney
P.S. Where are you geographically?
P.P.S. to our friend in Canada:
Out here in Alberta if my feeble mind is correct we had a similar
situation some years ago of someone who wanted to ride his horse into
the closest town and would tie it up to a parking meter while he went
into a pub for a beer.(snip) Could they get him for drunk
I do believe they could.
There have been numerous humerous types of stories on both sides of the
border where people riding things like riding lawnmowers have been
charged with D.U.I. type offences.
In this case because it is not a motorized vehicle they would probably
have charged him with public intoxication.
When I was studying history in college, I remember reading old
frontier-day diaries, and more than one story about dependable horses
that knew the way home in the dark for their drunken riders. There was
even one about a stolen horse that took his inebriated rider back to
the horse's original owner...-Jitney
I've heard of several (several being a number larger than three but
probably smaller than ten) cases of OUIL - Operating Under the Influence
of Liquor - tickets being issued to persons on horseback, and the
One was to a buddy of mine on Mackinac Island. You can also get an OUIL
while riding a bicycle on the Island, though it usually takes being
literally falling-down drunk to accomplish this feat.
I've never personally seen it, but local anecdotes suggest that if there
were such a thing as a drinking amishman (wink wink, nudge nudge) and he
were to hitch up his buggy and go out while schnockered, he could be
dealt with exactly as a drunk driver.
And in our "leave 'em laughing" department:
What goes "Clip-clop clip-clop, bang-bang, clip-clop clip-clop,
bang-bang, clip-clop clip-clop, bang-bang, clip-clop clip-clop?
Wait for it...
Here it comes...
A drive-by shooting in Amish country.
(Or, as the tour drivers on the Island tell it, "on Mackinac Island")
Don Bruder - firstname.lastname@example.org - New Email policy in effect as of Feb. 21, 2004.
Short form: I\'m trashing EVERY E-mail that doesn\'t contain a password in the
On Sun, 14 Aug 2005 13:45:23 -0500, snipped-for-privacy@UNLISTED.com wrote:
*sigh* I was wondering when this tired old idea was going to come
Horse drawn transportation is much more expensive than gasoline. Many
trees died to publish all the research on this topic the LAST time
gasoline got relatively expensive. Feeding and maintaining a work
horse is vastly different than the pleasure horse(s) you apparently
have now. I suggest doing some research before you go off making
If you're interested in low cost local transportation, why don't you
buy or build an electric vehicle conversion? Ignoring the econazi
rants about zero emissions (it isn't, EVs simply shift the point of
emissions to the power plant stack), an EV is probably the cheapest
practical transportation out there that will keep you out of the
A well designed amateur conversion will achieve an energy efficiency
of from 500 to 600 watt-hours per mile. Electricity around here is
5.2 cents per kwh so the cost per mile would be about 3 cents,
allowing for charging losses. You can do a conversion for less than
it would cost to build a wagon. Maybe $4k for all new parts. Half
that for used/carefully purchased parts. An even better deal is to
buy an already-converted vehicle, as they have little resale value.
A small pickup (chevy S10 for example) is probably the easiest and
most practical vehicle to convert because there is lots of room under
and in the bed for batteries plus the bed can be used for actual work.
With the present state of the battery art, affordable EVs will go from
60 to 100 miles on a charge. Practical for most around-town driving.
I drive a small EV around town (see my web site) because I'm a cheap
b*stard and because I don't like to drive my gas car on short trips. I
have about $1500 in the car including motor and controller upgrades. I
have a power meter on my charger and can verify the cheapness of this
car's operation. Supercheap transportation. And no horse sh*t to
John De Armond
See my website for my current email address
You dont need a "work horse" to pull a small buggy or carraige. The
Amish use Standardbred horses almost exclusively, and they are the
same sizr as the average pleasure horse (like a Quarter horse). I
presrently drive a shetland pony on a small cart and he does fine,
excrpt I would not go no 10 miles with him, and being small, would not
drive him where there is traffic.
Check out Rural Heritage has all kinds of draft info. As for wagons and
such We built a wagon on a Pioneer pony wagon frame last New Years weekend
and use it regularly with a team of Haflingers @ about 950 lbs each. We
drive to the closest local store just for fun every two or three weeks for
breakfast on Saturday mornings It is about 6 miles and takes about an hour
and a half. If this store had this store had more of the grocery, hardware
, feed we neede I wouldn,t heitate to drive the team there to do our
I just found that site and it's excellent. They got everything on
there. Thanks for the info.
I have a Haflinger too. She's a 4yo mare. I picked her up at an
auction as a yearling and she was half starved and scared to death. I
got her for less than the cost of a tank of gas these days. Now she's
fat, gorgeous and one of the sassiest horses I have ever owned.
Originally I just wanted to help her out, because she would have ended
up going to slaughter after that auction since no one wanted her.
Now, I wouldn't give her up for any amount. I have more fun playing
with her than any other horse I have ever owned. She just loves
giving me her attention, and playing. I was told the Haflinger breed
is this way in general. This is the first one I have owned, and aside
from seeing them at horse events, I never knew about them. This
little mare is my best friend. She is still a little scared, but
there isn't a mean bone in her body, even though she does like to see
what sort of mischief she can get away with. I plan to start
harnessing her in the near future, and she also looks like she would
be a comfortable riding horse. However, there is lots more ground
work to do before I was to get on her back. I think she was abused
before I got her, thus the fear....
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