Pairing Harnesses and Vehicles

I get a lot of questions from people wondering if this type of harness will work with this type of vehicle. Usually they are wondering if my harness will work with any other vehicle besides the Hyperbike:


Though it can seem daunting, it's actually pretty simple...


If you have a horizontal line of draft any of the breast collar harnesses will work with your vehicle.




If you have a low line of draft then any of the harnesses will work but you will need a collar and hames instead of a breast collar.



The breast collars are completely separate from the harnesses. It is very easy to just remove that and replace it with a collar and hames! And in most cases you can use your existing traces with the collar if you have hames with short tugs.


There are very specific harnesses you can buy if you want to do farm work with your horses or ponies. Harnesses for team driving. Harnesses for logging. But for the most part, for the type of driving most of us are doing, the traditional driving harnesses with a breast collar will work with the vehicles we are using.


There are lots of questions about which shaft loops should be used with which vehicles as well.


Regular open shaft loops are the most common style and can be used with straight shafts and gig end shafts (as shown above on my Hyerbike).


Quick Release shaft loops are used with the closed end shafts called marathon shafts. Some two wheeled vehicles have these and most of the marathon style vehicles have them.


The wrap strap style shaft loops and girth are used for showing. This is because the wrap straps make it so you can tighten the shafts down very tight to the horse or pony's sides. Most show harnesses don't have breeching and the tight wrap straps act as your brakes. This also requires a tight girth.


Wrap strap style shaft loops and girth. This photo shows the figure of eight wrap.

Some people like to use wrap straps for their two wheeled vehicles when the shaft ends bounce. If you can not slide your seat forward and back to adjust the balance then this is a way to deal with that bounce. Not my favorite way but a way. Some people like to use wrap straps with their Hyperbikes to feel more secure when driving over rough ground.


Shaft loops are something you can easily change out and they are not expensive. I have a set of each kind in my tack shed right now! Including a set of the French Style shaft loops which allow you to adjust the size of the shaft loops.


So which harness goes with which vehicle? Pretty much any harness you like will work with any style easy entry cart, Hyperbike or horizontal line of draft lightweight buggy. So if you are wondering if my harness will work with your cart... the answer is yes! It most likely it will!

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© 2023 by The Essential Horse. Mindy Schroder.