I have been looking online for the perfect vehicle that my ponies can pull me in this winter and many winters to come.
We get a lot of snow, but we also get a lot of wind which can clear the snow off the road (or pile it 6 feet high sometimes!) therefor sleigh runners on my cart will not work. Plus sleigh runners are meant for hard packed snow and we don’t really have that either, not in a way that is groomed and manageable.
Then I saw Team Radar on Facebook having a blast in a black game sled, the kind you would pull behind a snow mobile. I looked closer and noticed she had shafts attached. I contacted her and she kindly took many close up photos of her set up so I could begin brainstorming!
I was lucky enough to make a new friend this fall when she contacted me about training her minis to drive. I went to her house and played with her ponies for a bit one day and we had a blast. It came up in conversation that her hubby likes to play around with a welder and has made a pretty awesome sculpture they have out in front of their place. So, when this idea for a ‘one horse open sleigh’ came into my head – I knew exactly who to contact for help!
I sent them photos of Team Radar’s set up and then explained through photos and my words exactly what I was needing. Ryan studied everything I sent him and in just one day put together a prototype that had me so excited I drove my sled and shafts (and my neighbors sled and shafts!) up to their place during one of the coldest days of the winter, over horrible roads and through terrible gusts of wind, to have him build my attachment! He put it together in just a few hours even though the garage was freezing and he couldn’t wear gloves while working.
I am blown away by people that can do things like this! I mean how totally amazing is it when you can explain what you want and they build it exactly the way it is in your head!? (On a side note I think my Logan will be able to do this as well… hmmm… maybe I should be saving up to get him a welder!)
I wanted something that would allow me to use the shafts I already have. And I wanted it to be easy to put on and take off. I needed it to be fairly light so there will be little to no weight on the pony’s back. I wanted a single tree with a spot to clip a trace end clip to it or slide my slotted trace ends over it, depending on how I wanted to drive that day. I wasn’t concerned about how it looked just that it would be sturdy enough to hold up through some pretty round terrain and fun sledding time!
Ryan really came through for me. What he came up with went above and beyond what I was asking for. I am so thrilled with this set up – and so is my neighbor who also wants to enjoy some sledding with her ponies! (She has an Otter Sled and straight shafts. I’ll get some pictures of her set up to share soon…)
Bonnie wasn’t so sure but she got brave enough to touch it! Sky didn’t mind it at all.
A close up of the attachment.
The lock pins that attach everything to the sled.
The U brackets for the shafts to sit in.
The shafts sitting in the u brackets before I put the square locking pins in.
I really love how this works. Ryan came up with putting more u brackets on the side of the shafts as well so that they would be more sturdy. This also makes the entire unit act like one solid piece.
I love my curved shafts, but you can do this with straight shafts as well. My neighbor has straight shafts on her sled.
Just a nice shot showing how everything works together!
This is the brand of sled I ended up getting. It was only $30 more than the Otter Sled and much bigger! I bought mine at Murdoch’s in Bozeman.
The attachment weighs 15 pounds. When I hold the shafts at the height of Sky’s back there is no weight at all on them. I will be painting it black before I use it. I don’t want it to rust!
If you are interested in having an attachment made for your sled please comment below or send me an email! I am happy to answer any questions you may have.
The beautiful girls contemplating pulling my ‘one horse open sleigh’!
#attachingshaftstoyourgamesled #drivingminiaturehorses #gamesledmadeintoahorsesled #MindySchroder #drivingponies #howtoattachshaftstoyourgamesled #MiniatureHorses #sleddingwithyourhorse #winterdrivingwithminiaturehorses