Putting-To a Pair
Here is a little how-to on putting a pair to a carriage.
Planning to drive a pair? First thing I want you to do is find this book and buy it... Here's a link to it on Amazon:
You can also find this book at Driving Essentials and from the Carriage Association of America
This book is a detailed guide to harnessing, putting to, and unhitching your pair. It also has super photos with step-by-step directions you can take to the barn with you.
Here is my YouTube video on putting to a pair and also a brief explanation on how the braking system in a pair vehicle works with the pole vs single driving where you need breeching for the brakes.
https://youtu.be/Y6hPyYS6kLs Here is a link to my friend, Adam, putting-to a pair with full collars. https://youtu.be/JhBvJVvP1vA
^Make sure to subscribe to my channel, give me a like, and comment for more how-to and carriage driving videos!
If you have questions about how to harness for driving a pair and how the reins are adjusted for right and left, let me know and I'll make another how to video and post. For the purposes of this post, I'm assuming you know how the reins and the harness go on.
There is one step that is written in STONE and should never be done out of order. Pole straps must be attached to the horses before the traces and the outside trace is always hooked to the swingletree before the inside trace (the one closest to the pole). The reason for this is so that if the horses run away before you've attached everything, this will give them the best chance to control the carriage. They also wont be able to flip around with the outside trace on before the inside.
Now for the good part... The Order of Operations for Putting-to a Pair Carriage:
1) Walk your pair up to their sides of the pole.
2) Cross over your coupling reins and attach them to each horse.
3) Buckle the pole straps loosely. (This can be done around a full collar or through the ring on the full collar. Only the inside ring should be used on a breast collar if it has 2 rings. Never put the pole straps around the breastcollar against the chest -this could cause pinching and angry horses)
4) Each horses' outside trace is attached followed by the inside traces for each horse.
5) Adjust your pole straps to their appropriate snug-ness
6) Make sure both reins are together and ready to take into you hand.
7) Mount your carriage and give all your equipment and look over to be sure it is all in place before allowing your header to step away.
8) Enjoy your drive!
It's that simple!
Happy driving! Reach out to me if you have any questions or need any further help!