Merlin and Hank’s last drive had me tightening and then lengthening Hank’s traces. What the heck? When the traces were too long Hank was unable to push forward enough to tighten them. When I shortened them a notch which seemed better he would almost hit the cart in a walk going straight down the road, in fact when turning he did hit. Seems to me the 96 inch setting on the pole needs to go to the next hole and give Hank another four inches of room.
Is Hank longer in the body than Merlin, whell maybe, he looks longer just eye-balling them when hitched. Most of my photos show Merlin ahead of Hank when actually driving. I do believe Hank does has a longer stride. Today we tested the longer pole length. It worked, 100 inches gives Hank just the right amount of stride room. His traces do have to be one hole shorter than Merlin’s to stay in draft.
Here’s another observation. Merlin and Luc’s breeching lay perfectly flat and comfortable for them. Hank and Galahad’s want to sit on the top edge of the breeching and dig into them. Merlin and Luc have nice straight flat backs. Hank’s back dips and Galahad’s back is a little on the short side. I noticed that both the hip rings on these two wants to slide forward which tips the breeching strap up. Adjusting the breeching side straps up and down has not made enough difference on how the back lays. They are lowered right now and I believe the solution is to add a crupper to keep the back straps pulled back and hold everything in alignment. Today Hank drove with a crupper. Again it worked to hold the back straps where they belong to make the breeching lay and work correctly.
We had our first trip into a hay field today and the long row of fresh from the bailer round bales gave me the perfect place to drive up to, stop, then make some adjustments and check Hank’s crupper. This was a super hot afternoon drive. With lots of fun stacked marshmellow clouds overhead. The breeze felt good but the sun was cooking me. I loved it!
Our stats today include an hour and three quarters of driving time and four and a quarter miles. When the boys are in sync the cart rides so smooth but they can sure give one a rough go when not together. They had a 3.0 mph average and a 4.5 mph walk.