Show Cart & Harness Preferences

I’m a professional instructor/trainer looking into buying a pleasure driving cart & harness (show)(Morgans). I already have work harness and a work bike (it’s a Walsh harness, the bike is the metal work model from Jerald). I want to know what everyone’s preferences are on here, and get some input. Harness wise, the Freedman seems to be the highest quality, but very expensive. Between Walsh, Freedman, and any other names, what are your faves? What would you buy if you had to buy new? I know many of you have had this stuff for years, and haven’t bought new in awhile. I do want quality to last. Cart wise, obviously Jerald is the main choice, but do you prefer others?Is it worth it to buy an older used show cart to for specific reasons? I noticed the ad for the Serafin cart. Hey, pros…what do you prefer? Do you feel like one is more balanced than another?

Thanks,

Yvonne

12 Responses to Show Cart & Harness Preferences

  1. mjcull says:

    I am using the same show cart my parents bought when they first started showing Morgans in 1976. We have a Serafin and I love it. I drove in a Jerald when I was working with saddlebreds in grad school but I just didn’t enjoy it as much as I enjoy the Serafin. One of my mother’s clients bought a Jerald but uses my Serafin instead.

  2. Cyanstar says:

    Hi, speaking of Freedman’s, I just visited his store/warehouse/factory in Toronto this week. It was great, David Freedman is a super nice guy, my client just ordered her new Freedman saddle.

    I would own a Freedman Harness in a heartbeat if I could. I have a smuckers harness and it works well and use a Jerald cart which I quite like. I used to use a Houghton but it is a work bike now.

    I have not used a Serafin so I can’t speak on them.

    Freedman’s never loses value if you take of them!

    Nancy

  3. rodmanstables says:

    mjcull: thanks for the info-

    Nancy: yes, actually I also saw him when he came to William Woods while I was in school. I watched a talk he did about his business, etc. I can’t remember if he was just passing through town and Lampe made him give a talk…lol or if he came into town to do the talk specifically. Anyway, he seems nice and their harness does seem to be top quality. I like to buy things from companies like theirs, but their highest-end harness is veeery pricey. And even the average one they sell is more expensive than any others.
    Still haven’t decided what to get yet, workin on it-

  4. SeaSmoke says:

    I have only driven in Serafin’s so I guess I’m not an objective voice for which carts are better. I will say though that I like the look of a drop-heel Jerald a lot. It has beautiful lines.

    The trainer I work with only uses Serafin. The company is based out of Connecticut, and the carts don’t seem to typically make it past the East Coast. The gentleman who owns the business is exceptionally friendly and helpful and returns calls in a timely manner. He can do everything to your specifications and the show carts are reasonably priced.

    A similar thread was posted on trot.org during last summer. I’m sure it is still up there if want to get a few more opinions.

    Good luck!

  5. StacyGRS says:

    We liked Houton pleasure carts, but they’re no longer an option and we are ok with Jeralds.
    Freedman harnesses are wonderful and a used one is better than most others new. Hunt makes a few and their high end one is as close to Freedman as you’ll get…it’s a very nice harness. Their one that is a step down is plenty nice as well and, IMO, probably the best buy in terms of quality for the $ you pay. Those are by far our 2 favorite places to get harness.
    Stacy

  6. khummel says:

    We have always used Houghtons and prefer them by far but as Stacey said no longer an option . We use Freedman harness and the bridles too. Love the advantage bridle. If on a budget Bowman Leather is making outstanding harness at a very economical price and I recommend them for bridles bits etc. They are very close to you guys nancy so go check them out!! They will be at the sale this weekend too. Good Luck

  7. rodmanstables says:

    Speaking of the Advantage bridle, I really like the idea of a full bridle that all the straps are cut from one peice of leather, so no pinching…and it has the soft padding on the crown as well. Have you guys seen the Joel Kiesner (sp?) full bridle that Sterling makes for Schneiders? It’s obviously designed for Arabians because of Joel, etc. but it’s the same concept as the Freedman Advantage, but it’s contoured behind each ear to give more room for the ears across the crownpiece. It seems a little better than the straight design of Freedman. I’m sure their both just fine, but the Sterling one seems a little more innovative. Thoughts? Anyone tried the Joel one Morgans?
    Yvonne

  8. rodmanstables says:

    Also, thanks everyone for your input on harness/carts!

  9. rodmanstables says:

    oops, incorrect usage of “their” in my post….grr, hate that! lol :) I meant “they’re”

  10. khummel says:

    Sorry I thought this was Nancy, Yvonne if it helps you to decide what you would like best, the cart you showed your little Morgan in with us was a houghton if memory serves. What I don’t like about some carts are when they put the plastic boot on them instead of leather. Not attractive and very noisy for colts. Our harness we let you use was from hunts , and it was the hunt 2 (not the most expensive one the more economical Hunts. I like that harness too.

  11. rodmanstables says:

    Thanks Kathi – Yeah, I was looking at most expensive Hunt’s yesterday…I don’t think I like that twirly metal and red stitching design. But the Hunt 2 doesn’t have that design I think. I need to price compare between WCHE’s Walsh one & the Hunt one and see how it shakes out price wise.
    I’m goin to try to get to the sale & check out Bowman if I have time. I’ve seen him there before, but I didn’t think of them for show harness. Jim mentioned them too-

    Yvonne

  12. snerland says:

    Dan Bowman makes the most beautiful show harness. Since all of his harnesses are custom made, you can have whatever you want. When we purchased Ken-Mar Winston (Dan was the owner) I got to see many of the harnesses he was making and they were beautiful. I purchased several of his beautiful halters and I plan to have him make a harness for Winston’s two year old daughter later on this year. It takes awhile to have these made (about two months) since they are custom. Another place I have for relatively inexpensive good looking harnesses is Blue Ribbon. The harness I purchased from them in 1967 is still used in the show ring today.

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