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Saranda 01-22-2012 03:44 PM

Beginner question about harnesses
The question is such - I've got a light draft type horse, who has been schooled for driving in the basic level and has pulled logs with this type of harness -

, but I'm looking into trying out this type of harness, because it is cheaper to get and easier to adjust to a horse (sorry, English is not my native language and I don't know most of the specific driving terms) -

I will get a light carriage eventually, but I was wondering, whether the second type of harness is suitable for pulling logs and such objects -

(that's two car tires combined with a log) . Will the weight be distributed correctly and in a healthy manner, if main mass of the object to be pulled will be staying on the ground, not elevated? I'm planning to do this for training, until he's ready for pulling a carriage or a sleigh.

Clayton Taffy 01-22-2012 04:28 PM

The second type of harness, breast collar type is not good for pulling heavy weight such as logs for several reasons.
The leather is not strong enough for that much stress.
The way the horse pulls is not correct either with the breast collar harness the horse only pulls with his chest, where the neck collar harness the horse can throw his entire weight into the collar and pull with his shoulders.
The breast collar harness is not designed to pull something on the ground, the angle is wrong that type harness is made to pull straight back from the chest.
The breast collar harness would pull something light off the ground like some tires for training.

Saranda 01-22-2012 04:33 PM

Thank you for the informative input, Taffy! It really helped me to understand how the weight is distributed in the breast collar harness now.
Are horses, that are trained for driving in breast collar harness, introduced to pulling other objects than carriages, or do they go directly from ground driving to light carriages?

Clayton Taffy 01-22-2012 04:43 PM

I would make sure your horse gets accustom to shafts. You can use plastic or metal pipes or anything you can find, so the horse gets the feel of something on their sides. So they get the idea that they can't move all the ways they can without the shafts. I also pull around very noisy stuff, shovels, tin buckets, chains any thing noisy to get the horse accustom to something behind them.

Saranda 01-22-2012 04:52 PM

He's already accustomed to shafts because of pulling logs and car tires with the neck collar harness. I was planning to take up driving training with him again to build his muscles and make our training sessions more variable, but was willing to try out the breast collar harness, because I don't have the possibility to use a neck collar harness anymore, so I was wondering is it even possible with the breast collar harness to pull something other than carriage for training. :)

Clayton Taffy 01-22-2012 05:05 PM

You can pull anything with your breast collar harness, just be aware of the limitations that the harness has. Nothing to heavy, stresses harness and horse.
If you pull anything on the ground also be aware of limitations on harness, the pulling angle is not ideal. I have used my breast collar harness to pull light logs out of the woods, I just don't do it to often. You could use the breast collar harness to pull the item that is in the last photo.

Saranda 01-22-2012 05:19 PM


You could use the breast collar harness to pull the item that is in the last photo.
Thanks, this clears some things up. If this object is not too heavy (with a small log and ordinary tires) for training sessions in breast collar harness, then we're saved. :)

Clayton Taffy 01-22-2012 05:26 PM

I think it would be fine just watch for stress anywhere on your harness. When you buy your breast collar harness keep in mind you will be using it for heavier work so make sure to get a heavier quality, not a fine harness.
If that is your horse in the last photo I don't think you have any problems.
Good Luck!!

Saranda 01-22-2012 05:30 PM

No, that is not my horse (but his owner is my friend and is informed of me using her photo), but my guy is of a very similar build - light draft type, the same breed, suitable for driving and enjoying it, as much as he's done it.
Thanks! :)

churumbeque 01-30-2012 09:34 AM

I think your drag needs to be lightened up. When you said pulling logs I thought "big Timber" but your side are close to big timber and look very cumbersome.

A cart on wheels is easy to pull and the drag should be fairly easy also. If you lighten it up you won't have any problems with the breast collar. I made a drag from cart shafts and just attached a 2x6 across thye back. You really do not need lots of weight or that can cause other problems that then will be an issue. If a horse has to lean alot to pull it can cause them to start rearing toget going or also cause them to not want to pull.

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