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Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Product Review – Dead animal cart

I was told in no uncertain terms by my tevis crew that next year I WILL have a folding cart, similar to the aluminum folding carts that were seen at the ride….After pricing the carts at $220-350 (although they do come cheaper if you search for “marine folding aluminum cart” and buy from a non-horsey retailer), I decided to see if I could find something similar for cheaper.

A dead animal cart. Just the thing.

What I like about it:
  • Cheap
  • Fully collapsible
  • Strong! (Dad and I played around, giving each other rides when I first put it together).
  • GREAT over rough terrain.
  • Solid tires that won't pop
  • Easy to push OR pull
  • A big muck bucket fits perfectly.
What I don't like about it.....
  • Not level when resting on the group
  • Gaps in supports encourage stuff to fall through to the ground.....
  • The balance point is very much over the axle. As a result, depending on how the cart is loaded, it will easily tip either direction
But, for $80, I can afford to do some "customization". My plan is to rivet canvas on the bottom and back, like some of the other models have. Then I won't have a problem with stuff falling, but I won't affect the weight or "collaspi-bility" of it. I'm also thinking of putting a removable rod on the bottom like a "foot" that will keep it level during loading.

I've used it at 2 rides, as well as around the stable. So far I'm very happy with it, even with not getting around to the customizations I want. Here's what I've done with it.
  1. Hauled bags of feed from truck to barn (easy!)
  2. Hauled 5 gallon buckets, hoof stands, buckets etc. from barn to trailer to load up for a ride. (hauling (5) 5 gallon buckets+stand+buckets did not go as smoothly as I would have liked.....)
  3. Muck bucket to paddock for cleaning (Good - had to load up muck bucket while it was on ground so it was level, then put bucket on cart. Hauled well).
  4. Crew bag to staging area and back (easy!)
  5. Water in bucket and container from tank to trailer during ride (bucket was half full by the time I was done, but the water container did well!)
  6. Hay bag (full bale) from barn to trailer (easy!)
  7. Manure from trailer to bin at ride (easy!)
Overall, a good buy for the money. This is the third thing I have bought in order to avoid buying the ultra expensive aluminum cart. I've also tried a rolling tool box from Sears.

Anyone else have an alternative cart they love?


  1. Hey Mel,

    I have been searching for a good cart, as i feel awful when my mom is making the trek back and forth form the trailer to get stuff.

    I have looked at the ones from the horses places, the $300 ones. I will stop by cabelas when i go to reno later.

  2. Have you seen the simpons episode where Homer invents a chair with a leg that automatically falls back and supports you when you lean back in the chair? Thats what I'm picturing you adding to this cart. I think this was a very smart and economical idea! I guess this means you are trying agin for Tevis? Yay!

  3. Absolutley I'm trying again! I got into this sport for the 100 milers. If everything goes well it will be my second 100 miler! I love technical single track, challenging rides, so Tevis is perfect!

    Mmm....lost of exclamation points (!) I must be excited.

  4. Excellent! How many miles are you from tevis? Would you say that it is a more expensive ride than other 100s? I used to think that 100s would be awesome, but after doing a 50, I've been taken down a notch!!!
    I have only done the one 50 mile ride, and it took me 11:16, including 1:30 of vet time... SO I can't imagine riding in a 100 miler!
    Good for you!

  5. I am about 2 hours from Auburn. The entry fee seems more pricey than other 100's, but there's also a lot of extra involved in putting together a point to point 100. The entry fee was something like $340 last year (I think that included the $60 stabling fee for the finish and day before). Entry fee for a 50 is ~$100 and most 100's I've seen are ~$100-150. The Tevis also *requires* a crew (or at least it would difficult to do it without one) while the other 100's dont' require the extensive planning and coordination. Logistically, Tevis is very difficult to do, but the ride is very doable.

    My first 50 absolutely kicked my butt. It wasn't until I did a full year of successful 50's that a 100 seemed doable. Now, finishing a 50 seems like finishing an LD to me (although the distance of 50 miles absolutely still much be respected).

    I'm still ambivialent of whether people should do LD's before 50's, I think it depends on the horse. HOWEVER, after some disastorous 50's, doing LD's for a while on Farley gave me the confidence that I could do a 50 comfortably. the same way that a few successful 50's convinced me I was ready for a 100.

    sorry this is so long. One more comment.

    Starting endurance with a non-arab was very much a learning experience. However, after multiple failures to finish a 50, it did shake my confidence. When I got an arab, I could have gone right to 50's, instead I did LD's to get my confidence back that yes, this sport IS possible with a suitable mount. Doing an LD on a nonarab is about the same difficulty as getting an arab through a 50 (in my experience). Similarly, getting a non-arab through a 50 is very similiar in difficult to getting an arab through a 100.

    Getting a non-suitable arab mount through some successful 50's was better prep for a 100 than any single other thing I've done.

    Maybe I should do a post on the things that helped me prepare for a 100? Maybe after I finish my first 100 I'll do that post...

  6. Just an opinion mel,

    Having started Bo on a 50, , I feel like i made the right decision on not starting him on an LD. He is the type of horse that need to know what is facing him, LD would have just taught him to race. But that was for this horse, not all horses :)

    Are u going to train on the Tevis trail come spring at all?

  7. I found a collapsible (sp??) garden cart that stands up by itself, isn't tippy (even when the goats climb in it!) and folds up nicely. Check the garden stores in spring, or send me a note and I'll take a picture of mine when I brush the sn*w off of it!

    As for endurance with a non-arab, I beg to differ. My first distance horse was an off-track Standardbred mare. Resting heartrate of 35, and it would drop like a rock as soon as we got to the vetcheck. Trot like a metronome, and the most sensible horse I've ever met. Keeping her cool was an issue because she was BLACK, not because she wasn't an arab--I just kept a water bottle especially for dousing her on hot days, and off we went.

    My riding partner in the beginning had a Foxtrotter-Arab cross and had MUCH more difficulty getting him to pulse down. (of course, my friend was a stress-monkey, and that may have influenced her horse...!)

  8. Yeah, that is an interesting discussion. I had read a lot of people opinions on starting with a LD/50 and I decided to start with the 50 because I knew how fit Boomer was and I knew he could do 25 miles, as we had ridden for 4-5 hours on trail rides on a number of occasions- sometimes a few times a week. So, I figured I would rather let him know just how hard this is going to be and also teach him to take care of himself. Sure enough, not only did he not drink the first 25 miles, but he was still strong and ready to go at 25 miles. It was really hard and it wasn't until around 40 miles that I started to think he might be done. But after that last 30 minute break, the last 8 miles he was still strong and trotting on his own. The thing that slowed us down was that we walked (some with me on foot) for the first 18 mile loop because Boomer had temporarily misplaced his sensibilities :)

  9. My standardbred mare (Minx) never had problems pulsing, but it was everything else like keeping her sound and happy through a 50 that was a challenge. She had relatively long cannons that made her difficult to leg up. when she was sound and happy, she was dynamite, but that was few and far between. My arab other the hand has just been very easy because she is "built" for it.

    I think arab crosses are the same as riding a non-arab IMO.

    I am of course speaking in generalities!

    Zach - I agree with you on the LD's. It would have benefited the standardbred to do a couple of LDs. It did NOT benefit my arab at all.....she would have been better off without them, but at that point I was such a wreck, *I* needed the success!

  10. BTW - Minx was black too - I think she didnt' have an issue with getting too hot because she was built like a two by four - extremely narrow with very little mass. All of my problems were related to keeping her sound and happy!

    It's wonderful - with Farley I don't have to "manage" her through a ride. I just ride and voila! we get through it. Let me say it is SO NICE to just be able to ride. I have the experience behind me to manage her if I need to, but most of the time, it's just go and have fun!

    and remember....all of my comments are from a person who got into the sport to do 100's.....I dont' think there is anything wrong with sticking with LD's or 50's, or multi days, but my focus (at least right now) is 100's.

  11. We just used a trash can with wheels at Tevis. The only real place it is needed is in to Robinson Flat. At Foresthill, we just left everything at the trailer which we dropped there the AM of the ride. Some set up a crew spot closer to the vet area at FH, but we never did.

    The hunters cart looks handy enough, and the price seems fair

  12. Trash can is a good idea, I'll try to remember it in July.

    The cart is nice because even though I CAN lift bags of feed, bales of hay, I hear enough older people saying I shouldn't, that I'm starting to listen. I want to ride for as long as possible, and that means being nice to my back, knees etc.

  13. Mel, I sent you an email with a couple of photos of a cart you might want to consider. lists it

    for $130--more than the dead animal cart, but it requires no re-engineering.


  14. Yes, DO LISTEN when folks tell you to not lift that alone. Zach, you reading this? I never listened, lifted bags of feed, bucked hay. Yep, I was strong. But my knees and back now are starting to complain as I am in my 40's. It will catch up with you! So the cart sounds handy for you to use other than Tevis. :-)

  15. AareneX - that amazon cart is EXCELLENT. I'll keep an eye out in spring. What a good alternative!

  16. lol Yes i am reading it :D

    Okay, i will TRY to remember this...

    I already ride with a Knee strap (at 15 years old!) from when i used to jump, took a few bad hits :(

  17. I have to use Knee supports for any ride over about 20 miles. I use the Pro. Choice ones. Neoprene. Just dandy to wear in TX heat, or for the full 100 miles of Tevis.

    I should have listened. :-(


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