Updated: Aug 29, 2019
Sometimes old things need a little re-style to enable them to work a bit better with what we are doing now. This is how we felt about the miniature horse collar and hames.
It’s so hard to get a GOOD fit with the collar and hames style collar when driving the minis and small ponies. It seems that all the ‘normal’ rules are thrown out the window when it comes to fitting them. I have been on a long and twisting journey trying to figure it all out. Sometimes I just wanted to give up, but then I had a couple of gals in Washington State want to use them for their CDE’s and I felt a renewed drive to get this right!
People have been using the collar and hames on work horses and for all different types of driving for a very long time. It seems that we can’t come up with a better option when the line of draft is low. This style of collar allows the pony, horse, donkey, draft horse, to more efficiently and easily pull a low line of draft vehicle, plow, stone boat, sled, etc, etc. BUT simply making the opening smaller isn’t working so well for the little horses and small ponies. I had asked our collar company to further make the rim smaller and also soften the back of the collar a bit for the little equine. That seemed to work pretty well for the type of driving I was doing with a low line of draft, mainly sledding. We don’t spend hours and hours sledding and we don’t sled all year round so the collar and hames were working just fine.
Collars for the show ring
But when the gals wanted to use the collar and hames for CDE’s, marathon, dressage, trail driving, it was clear that the collar was too bulky. The miniature horses did seem happier in the collar and hames when pulling their Bellcrown carts, but we felt it could be further refined.
I called the collar shop again and discussed our idea of making the collar a little smaller and softer again. He was fully willing to make us a few prototypes so we can perfect this and start helping more minis and ponies! I was so excited!
I just received mine last week and today had a chance to try it out. It’s not very fun to pull the sled without snow, so I went ahead and used the collar with my bike. I think it worked pretty well! I will have to get a video in a day or so when I have help. The video I managed to shoot on my own is blurry. LOL! So much for trying to be self sufficient!
I did want to compare this collar to the regular All Purpose collar. I have several sizes here and thought I would show the different ones!
Zorro measures 13 1/2″ with the neck collar measuring tool. The collar shop told me to size up so that’s what I did with the new collar. This is what it looks like:
This is the All Purpose Collar, 14″:
I had a 13″ collar on hand as well. People are always asking if they should size down but the shop was adamant that you need to size up. I guess I can see why! LOL!
This was pretty fun to do today! I will continue to use the new collar and report back as we go. I really feel this a good option for those with smaller minis and refined small ponies.
I will say… if you have sized down in your collar and hames and it’s WORKING then keep doing that!
If the collar is very tight then I would consider trying something different as a tight collar will eventually damage the top of the neck. I am still learning about collar and hames fit and measuring but the more we do something the better we get… Right?