Driving pairs

chunky monkey

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May 2, 2007
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Ok Im getting ahead of myself here. Now I have two horses Im contemplating whether I could manage to drive a pair. The newbie drives although I havent had him in the carriage myself, but I drove him before he came to me and he is only a baby so not in any hurry. Chunky has been driving since last May and I am please with his progress. I havent got a carriage to drive pairs either so I am thinking for this year I will drive both as singles.
However Im wondering if I could practice ground driving in a pair. So wondering what I would need to purchase ie reins and how I attach. Also I think one of harness breast collars may only be a single. Is it only that part I would need to change.
 

Wally

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Apr 16, 2000
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You cannot really use any part of singles harness to drive pairs, You can drive Tandem with a mix-mux of single parts, but pairs is all very specialised.

If you want to ground drive a pair you will need pairs reins which are a draught rein and a coupling rein.
http://www.heavyhorses.net/images/Team reins164.jpg ignore the dotted lines.
The draught rein is just like a big set of reins that goes from the left side of the left horse the the right side of the right hand horse, The coupling rein is buckled to each side of the rein, and then the right side coupling rein goes to the right side of the near side horse....are you with me? And the left side coupling rein goes to the left bit ring of the right hand horse. You then need to use a pole strap or similar on the big D on the front of the pairs collars to keep them straight.
Pairs collars (breast collars) are much longer than single collars and have bearing straps that attach them to the pad to keep them from dragging on the floor.
 

Wally

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Here you are , Long reining pairs.

You can see the reins crossing over, so when you use the left rein it acts on both left sides of both horse's bits.


You can see I have a pole strap on the off set Ds on the collar to keep them together
 

chunky monkey

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Yes thats what I want to do for now. I get the reins part.
I dont have off set D rings on mine as such.
Is this not a pairs breast collar. I take it its just loops through on the D ring with a leather/pole strap Is that the only place the horses join?

Pairs collars (breast collars) are much longer than single collars and have bearing straps that attach them to the pad to keep them from dragging on the floor.

I must be being thick I dont follow what you mean by longer. Is the bearing strap the piece that goes between the legs.
IMG_20150530_183835.jpg
 
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Wally

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What goes between the front legs fron the collar to the girth is a false martingale. The bearing strap is what attaches the collar to the pad. The collar on pairs harness reaches right round to the as far as the pad each side, You can see the tug buckle here on top of the pad.

Yours is not a pairs breast collar, you cannot use a singles for pairs or vice versa. You see the pairs tug buckle has a loop top and bottom for the bearing strap and false belly band.
 

Wally

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With pairs harness the brakes and steering are the collars as well as the breeching.
With singles JUST the breeching and a tiny amount of the tugs and pad brakes the cart and the body of the horse steers. So the collars in a pair have to be secure so they are attached to the pad at the tug and the false martingale

When the cart runs onto the horses the pole that separates them runs forwards and the pole straps take up the slack and pull the collars forwards, The collars should have false martingales attached to the girths. If you have full , long breeching on your pairs harness (which is preferable for breast collar harness) this is attached to the tug buckle and is drawn tight around their backside. Full collar harness is a bit different and you can get away without full long breeching as the horses are taught to hold back the cart with the collar, something you can't do with breast harness so successfully.

2 wheeled singles vehicles don't have brakes, 4 wheeled vehicles will have either a foot brake or a spindle brake/hand brake or both, so you can assist the horses on a hill.
 

chunky monkey

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May 2, 2007
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Thanks for the advice. You did explain well so I now understand a bit more. Still getting to grip with the names of parts on the harness thats why I was confused about the martingale.
Guess I wont be doing any in hand pairs work for a bit. Will obviously have save up for next year.
 

Gimp

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Jan 19, 2005
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Ive got to say, the bit and rein attachment is making me clench my buttocks a bit
 
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