“Which harness do I need?” is the first question you should be asking yourself when looking for harness.
Experienced drivers often know exactly what style they need for what they plan to do, but not everyone does know. This post is the first in a series of posts about deciding which harness to use for what you are wanting to do and then deciding which style/material/option is best for you.
Here are some questions to ask yourself about your basic driving goals. Then if you need help, look at some of our other posts about which harness is best for what you are going to do. You can talk with your trainer, going through these questions, to help narrow down what you need or, finally call and talk through the harness choice with either Janie (The harness Nana) or Mindy (The Pony Princess).
First: Questions to Ask Yourself
- What sort/size animal(s) will I driving?
- What sort of driving will I be doing?
- Examples: work/farming/logging, pleasure, sport competition, casual driving around my area, local showing, national showing, working with children and/or the disabled, commercial carriage operation, special harness for special sorts of driving, and the list goes on!
- How often and how far will I be usually going?
- What sort of load will my animal(s) be pulling?
- How is the weight distributed? Is the vehicle well balanced?
- What sort of terrain will I most often be on?
- What exceptions will I have for my typical driving patterns?
- Will others be driving my animal and my rig?
- If so – age? experience? size?
- Where will I be driving both geographically, and with regard to terrain?
- What climate will I be driving in?
Second: Questions to Research
- What style do I need?
- What material is best for my needs?
- Synthetics, leather, or nylon?
- How long will I plan to use this harness?
- What are the primary things I need?
- What are the extra things I may want?
- WHAT IS MOST IMPORTANT FOR THE SAFETY AND COMFORT OF MY HORSE
- Does the harness fit comfortably on the horse?
- Are the parts of the harness suitable for what I’m doing?
- Can I safely put on and take off the harness?
- Does any part of the harness hold a risk of causing a problem with the vehicle be pulled?
- Will any loops, straps, etc get snagged on something when turning corners, dropping heads etc?
- Does the harness have all the parts needed for the safety of the animal as well as the driver?
Third: Questions to Consider
- What is my price range?
- Could I do well with a second owner harness?
- What guarantees should come with a harness?
- What questions should I ask?
- What if it doesn’t fit?
- What if something isn’t right when the order arrives?
- Who might be a referral for this harness type/brand?
- What questions should I ask?
- Who is a reliable person to check with?
- Who is an experienced driver that may have information or connections for me?
When you have had a chance to go through these questions and either answer them on your own or answer them with help from your trainer or either Mindy or myself (Janie), then you are ready to start shopping!
We will be sharing a few posts about the different harness to help you better choose the correct one for your uses. Linked in this blog are other blogs we have shared that will absolutely help you answer a few of these questions!