Katie's Journal

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Forecarts, Pony Carts, and Three Horse Hitches

by @ 4:39 pm on December 25, 2014.

I’ve been wanting to get to this post for a while, and have never managed to find the time, as it’s a long one. The rhino broke down a year ago last fall – something with the rear axel. We parked it until such time as we could figure out getting it fixed. A call to the local yamaha dealer and it looked like it would be an expensive fix. We kicked it around and around and around, and eventually decided to sell the rhino and switch to something horse drawn. Given what we already had, the horses we had, and what we intended to do, we decided to switch my original Pioneer Forecart back to the shafts and bench seat, and use it with Boniface as our ATV.

We had read about Pioneer’s new fore cart, the Summit. With it you could get torsion axels, which were supposed to provide a super comfortable ride. With Ernie’s intent to use his team to do some field work with, spending hours on the cart, getting him the smoother ride seemed like a good idea. I never though my old fore cart road badly, especially just for cruising up and down the road.

We ended up following the scenic route toward the Pioneer factory. While it was a very pretty drive, poor Chester got car sick. Oops. On the up side, the road followed along a big lake so we were able to pull off and get him cleaned up fairly easily.

We finally made it to Pioneer. I thought we’d had everything planned. Ern had called ahead and made sure everything was in stock. He was told there was one already assembled on the show room floor we could have. We looked at the one in the show room while we waited to be helped. Wow were those torsion axels nice! But then the salesman worked out a price. Uh-oh – I’d misunderstood the catalog prices, and it was going to be about $700 more than I’d expected. That left us in a dilemma. We were already there. What to do? Skip the torsion axels? They had a reconditioned demo model for sale at… I can’t recall if it was 10 or 20% off. After a great deal of debate, we splurged and went for the torsion axels. I’m so glad we did – that thing just glides across the ground!

Then we kicked around getting a 3 horse evener. The flaw? They were out of stock. We pondered shipping costs and debated what to do. The salesman checked for us, and was able to come up with an unpainted set. Then he threw in a new can of black paint for them. Score!

Then they wanted to put one together for us, rather than giving us the one in the show room, despite it being 15 minutes from closing time. We also wanted to zip over to Bowman Harness to get a few things. Pioneer told us to go, and someone would be there to load us (after hours no less!) when we got back. Talk about awesome customer service!

I was spazzing about getting to Bowman before they closed. Despite sending us on a wrong turn, we made it just before closing time and true to the Amish we know, these wonderful people didn’t rush us at all and helped us get everything we needed. We got a new collar for Bill and what I wanted most, a pony cart for Banner to pull.

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After Bowman we went back to Pioneer, picked up the forecart, and headed home. The next day I was anxious to get Banner hooked up and see how she did. After some adjustments, she took right to pulling the cart. I’m amazed at how much weight she can pull. She makes an awesome little cart pony!!

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Ern was anxious to try hooking up all three horses to see how they’d do. It took them (and Ern) a little while to get everything figured out, but it worked out great.

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Ernie says it’s amazing how much of a difference that 3rd horse makes, even if that third horse is fat little Boniface. We LOVE the summit cart. It rides great and is very well designed. I wish we’d gone ahead and gotten a set of single shafts for it, but the funds just weren’t there at the time. The only criticism we could possibly have of it is that it’s not quite as stable on a hillside as my original forecart due to the spring of the axels. Now don’t get me wrong – when I say “hillside” I really mean “cliff” to the extent of places any kind of atv just wouldn’t go. On an average hill, the summit would do just fine.

So a huge shout out to and endorsement of both Bowman Harness and Pioneer. Wonderful people, fabulous customer service, and unbeatable quality products!

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