There are few sights in life that are cuter than watching a well-trained pony pull a cart. Ponies pulling carts are always popular in parades and trail rides and are a particular favourite of children. Ponies with carts being lead by clowns are often found in circuses. A cart usually has 2 wheels as apposed to the larger wagon that's made with 4 wheels. A pony cart may or may not have a seat. A simple pony cart can be made at home with some items you may already have.
- Skill level:
Things you need
- Two bicycle tires
- Wooden crate
- 2 inch by 2 inch piece of lumber
- Aluminium or steel pole, threaded on both ends
- 10 3 inch long 3/8 inch bolts with washers and nuts
- 2 washers and nuts to fit threads on ends of pole
- Two old brooms
- Skill saw
Measure the hole in the tires and buy a pole that will fit in the hole. Choose a pole that will not be too tight because it needs to allow the tires to turn; neither do you want a pole that is too small because it will make the tires wobble. The pole needs to be threaded on both ends. The length of the pole is determined by the width you want the cart to be.
Insert the pole through the first tire. To hold the tire on the pole, place a washer in the front of the tire and tighten a nut around the end of the pole.
Place the other tire on the other end of the pole. Place the washer in the front of the tire and tighten a nut around the end of the pole. At this point, the tires may be against each other; when you install the crate, the tires will be separated.
Building the Axle
Choose the size of wooden crate that will be in proportion to the wheels. Wooden crates come in almost any size and can often be found at places that ship big items, such as large department stores. Wooden crates can sometimes be found at marinas or sea ports that export goods on large ships. You can purchase wooden crates online as well.
Cut three 2 inch by 2 inch wooden strips the length of the crate. Drill 3 3/8 inch holes in the front centre on the bottom of the crate and through the ends of the three strips and bolt each piece to the bottom of the crate, but do not tighten.
Place the crate on the axle between the tires, placing the axle slightly off centre. You do not want the cart to drag on the ground while being pulled. How much off centre the axle needs to be will depend partly on how tall the pony is. The harness can be adjusted up or down as well.
Spread the three pieces of 2 inch by 2 inch strips out so that the ends line up with the axle, placing one strip on either end of the axle next to the tires, and one in the middle. Drill 3/8 inch holes all the way through where the strips, the crate and the axle meet.
Bolt the crate with the 2 inch by 2 inch strips to the axle. Tighten all bolts.
Building the Body of the Cart
To form the shafts of the cart, saw off the ends of the brooms and make each the same length.
Drill two 3/8 holes through the ends of the broom handles and through either side of the cart in the front (the side furthest from the tires). Push bolts through, add washers and tighten.
Shafts need to be long enough that the cart is not right up next to the back of the pony. The size of the pony will determine how long the shafts need to be. A longer 2 inch by 2 inch piece of lumber could also be used for each shaft.
Building the Shafts
Tips and warnings
- The broom handles used to make the shafts limit the width of the cart. If you make the cart too wide, the broom handles do not curve in to allow for the width of the pony. For a wider cart, bolt a cross piece at an angle away from the cart to allow the shaft to extend inward.
- For a cart with a seat, bolt an old car seat to the rear of the cart.
- Extra care should be taken when using power tools around children.
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