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nitapitalou 01-20-2014 03:07 PM

Looking for a harness with collar
Hi All!

I am brand new to this forum, so hopefully I don't offend anyone.:D

I am just now starting to ground drive my 2 1/2 year old Percheron/Thoroughbred cross filly. By this summer I am hoping to have her in harness dragging around a few things.

However, finding a harness that is a reasonable price or anywhere near California has been challenging. So far I am open to either betathane or leather. What brands do you recommend and your preference.

Looking forward to your replies!

greentree 01-20-2014 04:54 PM

I live near both Amish, and Mennonite communities, both use horses EXCLUSIVELY. I can get a harness, new biothane, for about $400. Pm me, and we can figure something out. They do not use phones, so no internet, I have to go there in person.
Be glad to help!!


greentree 01-20-2014 07:23 PM

How big is your horse, nitapitalou? I just sold my Clyde, who was called Bud Light because she is on the light side. 16.3, about 1200-1300 lbs. She wears a large horse harness. I gave the people her harness to use as barter for a saddle, but I am sure they would sell it. It is a good leather harness, stainless hardware. I am keeping the French collar we used on her(it is adjustable to fit my smaller horses), and could get you any size collar you need from the Mennonite near me.

Let me know, as he is anxious to get a saddle!!


nitapitalou 01-20-2014 10:11 PM

Hi Nancy,

At the moment she is 16.2 or 16.3. She is only a little under 2 1/2, so I am not quite sure if she is done with her height or not. Her dad was 18 hands and mom was 16.3. I am thinking she will mature at about 17. She weighs about 1100-1200 right now.

Could you send me pictures of the harness? How much would they want for it? And any other 411 you could give me would me much appreciated.

Thank you for your offer to help with an Amish made harness!

greentree 01-21-2014 08:07 AM

I would think $300 would buy it, and the collar and hames are about $175. It is not a work harness, it is a buggy harness, but made of the heavier harness leather. The bridle has some metal on the browband like a show harness. The rest is plain. It was made by Joseph Bowman in Millersburg, Ohio. I got it in 2007.

He has the harness, so I can't get pictures of it, but I will see if I can get a picture of it on Debbie Belle. I have to get them to my iPad.

Do you want a collar and hames, or a breast collar? If you want a collar and hames, you will need a collar measurement, which is a straight line from the area in front of her withers, to a little bit above the base of her neck. I would guess it could be 22"-24", just to give you an idea. Debbie Belle wore a 24". The mare in my avatar wears a 20". She's 1/2 arabian, 1/2 Saddlebred, 15.1 HH.


nitapitalou 01-21-2014 12:53 PM

Wonderful! I haven't measured her for a collar yet, my guess would be about the same. I would prefer a collar and hames style, however am open to the breastcollar type to use as a training harness. The first few things I will have her pull will be relatively light. I have a 4 passenger surrey that I am refurbishing, that I think would best be used with a collar.

I truly appreciate all of your help!

Left Hand Percherons 01-21-2014 01:11 PM

I much prefer collars over breastplates for everyone HOWEVER, with a growing draft, I would go breastplate if she's the only one you plan on owning anytime soon. It will get pricey replacing collar and hames every year until she is done growing. Been there done that. I at least had younger horses growing into the grown out of equipment. Right now she'd probably fit into a 19" collar and by the time she hits 6-7, she'll probably be a 23" or 24". A lot of 1/2s I know are not that much smaller or refined than a full draft. Pick up a set of heel chains to attach to the traces to make them long enough to drag stuff around before you hook her. They come in handy for many things and keeps the leather from being dragged through the dirt and mud.

Are you N, C or S CA? Check out the Draft Horse Journal for auction dates around the state.

nitapitalou 01-21-2014 01:35 PM

We are on the southern side of Central California. There is a wonderful Draft/cart/tack sale in Tulare every fall, but I'd like her to be dragging a few things behind her, nothing big, by the start of summer. Thank you for the advice about the chains too! I figured that she will continue filling out for quite some time. I volunteer at a Shire breeder and have watched his babies grow and grow, and then grow some more. :)

I plan on purchasing a Shire down the road, but I don't think he will need that small of a collar at any point in his life. :)

I will check out the Draft Horse Journal as well.

nitapitalou 01-22-2014 12:15 AM

I couldn't find anything on the Draft Horse Journal about a sale coming up anywhere close to us yet. I think I am still leaning toward the collar verses the breastplate style. What is your opinion of going a little large, but then using a collar pad to take up the difference for a while? I am not against buying another collar in a couple of years and selling the smaller one.

Left Hand Percherons 01-22-2014 10:53 AM

You can add a pad to make a slightly too large collar fit but you're only talking 1". An ill fitting (too large, too small, wrong shape, poor construction) collar can do just as much damage as an ill fitting saddle. When you go up 2" in a collar, you also have to go up in hames 2" as well. Used, you are looking at a minimum of $100 each time. New, upwards of $400. Your pad is also replaced every time you go up in size. They do make adjustable collars that will go up 2" but I'm a purist in that regard and will just buy two.

You can switch from breastplate to collar without buying 2 separate harnesses. The only thing you need to change are those two pieces than add or remove a few leather straps. Your shire connection doesn't have a starter harness sitting in the back of the barn? Not uncommon for drafts to be started as long yearlings so they should have some smaller harness just collecting dust. A quarter horse harness will fit most 2 year olds.

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