Loading a stag
on a pony
3. Walk pony round towards stag so that the saddle is level with rear end of carcass on the ponies near (left) side.
4. Using a minimum of two people, one at the head and 1/2 at the rear end, lift the stag, place the rear end onto the saddle and slide the stag over the saddle until the head is level with the top deer strap ring.
5. With someone holding the stag, fasten the tail strap first followed by the chest strap and finally the chest strap. To do this:-
• Move round to rear end of stag and lift left rear leg up and release trapped antler. Pass tail strap up through between legs and above tail and tie off through the buckle strap at front end using your shoulder against stag’s rear end to push up stag as you are tightening strap.
• Move round to front end of stag. Pass chest strap across chest of stag keeping strap above and over legs and tie off through buckle strap at front end.
• Finally wrap centre strap round the antler once before fastening.
• When the stag is fully tightened the rear legs should be pulled forward so that they are pointing to the ground rather than to the rear to stop the carcass flapping when the pony is walking.
6. The aim is to ensure the stag is tied on properly and is balanced on the saddle so that when the pony is walking, the movement will not cause the stag to start slipping down the saddle. When correctly balanced, the stag should look as if it’s tail end is hanging down.
7. Stand behind the pony and check the stag looks balanced on the saddle before and after the pony moves off. If the stag starts slipping its likely to be in the first 200-300 yards.
8. Continually check the stag is still positioned properly on saddle. Any sign of slippage, stop pony and readjust by either tightening up slackened straps or slackening off appropriate straps and pulling or pushing stag back to proper position before tightening straps again.
9. When unloading stag from pony, undo deer straps at front end and then rear end of stag. Holding stags head, undo top deer strap and make sure all straps are visibly clear. Standing on near (left) side of pony, pull stag off saddle by the head and carefully guide stag onto ground, making sure the carcass keeps clear of the pony. If possible use 2 people when unloading.
10. Before moving pony off, the girth straps must be slackened off as the saddle will tighten up with no load on it. Finally, tie up all deer straps on saddle.
11. For Hummels or young stags with no horns, load as if you were loading a hind.
Loading a single hind or calf on a pony
1. Position the pony near the hind or calf as for loading a stag. Using a minimum of two people, one at the head and one at the rear end, lift the carcass, rear end first, and slide over the saddle.
2. Hold in position until the centre strap is loosely tightened to keep hind on the saddle. Position hind so that it lies balanced on saddle with head hanging.
3. Pass tail strap up through between legs and above tail and tie off through the buckle strap at front end using your shoulder against hind’s rear end to push up hind as you are tightening strap.
4. Move round to front end of hind. Pass chest strap across the neck at top of shoulder and between both legs with head hanging down.
5. Pull the hinds rear legs forward until legs are pointing down rather than back so carcass will not be flapping on saddle when pony is walking.
6. Adjust and tighten centre strap over middle of hind.
Loading two hind or calf carcasses on a pony
1. To load two carcasses, lift the first carcass tail first and lie on the front of the saddle with legs facing towards rear of pony. If necessary, secure temporarily with the centre strap.
2. Lift the second carcass on head first at back of saddle with legs facing forward so that the carcasses are top to toe facing each other. Using the centre strap pull the carcasses together making sure their chests are jammed together.
3. Use straps the same way as with one carcass but catching both carcasses.
Loading three hind/calf carcasses on a pony
1. It is not advisable to load three large hinds on one pony. If you need to load three, try not exceed a maximum load of two average weight hinds and one calf.
2. Load the heaviest of the carcasses haunch first onto the front of the saddle with the legs facing to the back of the pony. Load the second heaviest carcass, also haunch first, at the back of the saddle with the legs facing towards the front of the pony.
3. Load the smallest carcass head first, between the other two carcasses. Pull all the carcasses together, so that the chest of the middle carcass lies in the hollow space created by the other two carcasses.
4. Use straps the same way as before but if strap doesn’t reach or is sitting too high, then make sure strap is is over the shoulders and sitting between the legs of all beasts.