Thunder Needs a Collar - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 16 Old 10-04-2019, 07:19 PM Thread Starter
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Thunder Needs a Collar

So I'd like to get a collar for Thunder the Shire so we can do more work type things. His current harness is a breastcollar type, which is great for pulling a cart or carriage or something else with a high point of draft, but I'd like to do some light log dragging or sledding or other low point of draft type things this winter. Since Thunder is my first draft horse and the only harness experience I have thus far is with a breastcollar, I wanted to get some advice about collars.

I really like his current harness and I'd rather not have to buy a whole new harness, so I was just hoping I could buy a collar and hames and use that with the harness I currently have. This harness has buckle in traces, so I'm assuming I'll need some sort of adapter or something to attach them to the hames? Or do hames come with such a device? Or is that even necessary? Thunder is 4 still, and I'd like to get more than a season or a year out of this collar, so do you guys recommend sizing up on the collar and padding in the interim, or getting an adjustable collar? Are adjustable collars worth the price or are they junk? I'd rather not get a leather collar with the weather we have up here, but I know a lot of them are. I've seen some nice looking synthetic collars, are they decent wearing or is leather better?

What am I looking for in a collar and hames? I've been lurking on Chimacum Tack's website for a while and I like their stuff, are they good? Is there any great difference between bolt, staple or hook styles? Turrets fixed or loose, or no terrets at all? I'm assuming I don't need pulling hames … while Thunder will be doing some pulling, it will all be light and I don't plan on logging with him or anything. Should I get buggy hames or work hames? Or is there like an all-round hames? lol Sorry for the storm of questions, I want to get this done right the first time.

Thanks all. : )

-- Kai
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post #2 of 16 Old 10-05-2019, 04:17 PM
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Thunder is 4 still, and I'd like to get more than a season or a year out of this collar, so do you guys recommend sizing up on the collar and padding in the interim, or getting an adjustable collar? I used to size up and pad when I was raising drafts and had several training. When we started cutting back I went to adjustable collars that were sized up and padded and everyone has grown into the collars that were bought for them with no need to make any changes. Are adjustable collars worth the price or are they junk? I love mine and no they aren't but I bought from a reputable maker that does quality work and uses premium leather to make them. I'd rather not get a leather collar with the weather we have up here, but I know a lot of them are. I've seen some nice looking synthetic collars, are they decent wearing or is leather better? I have never had a synthetic collar and my synthetic harness has leather on the parts that are in constant contact. I wouldn't buy synthetic for that reason. there's a reason they keep the leather close to the horse. Well made and cared for and leather is the best IMO. If I could I would go back to all leather harness as well but what I have is very well made and I have had no issues with it.



My hames are stainless and can be used for work or show. They have been used for logging, farming and carriage work.



I am sure you could find either hames to work with your harness or an adapter. You just have to ask around.
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post #3 of 16 Old 10-05-2019, 11:01 PM Thread Starter
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@QtrBel I confess I like the idea of an adjustable collar more than sizing up and padding, because Thunder is so gross and oily that a pad will be disgusting after every drive and I'm not gonna lie, I do enough laundry without washing a collar pad every day too. I've heard from two camps about the leather vs. synthetic issue … one lady I know swears by leather collars and the other has a few Broadhead (I think that's how you spell it) synthetic collars and she said after using one she sold all her leather collars and never went back. The ones she has perform better in the cold and damp that we have so often around here … even the leather lady complains about all the maintenance and mildew that goes on with leather collars.

I made an impromptu collar measure thingy out of some wooden lathe that we had laying around. Can't wait to see how big his collar needs to be. : )

-- Kai
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post #4 of 16 Old 10-07-2019, 08:54 PM
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I would go with synthetic just because leather is a pain to maintain.
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post #5 of 16 Old 10-08-2019, 02:28 AM Thread Starter
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Is there anyone who can explain the different hames terms to me? I tried Googling it and it seems the answers I'm looking for are one of those things that driving folks just know, without having to think about, so there's not a whole ton of information out there.

-- Kai
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post #6 of 16 Old 10-08-2019, 07:28 AM
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Any collar that is worn will need after care and if he is particularly greasy and dirty then you will need to clean and wipe down your equipment. Not saying you won't but I know those that just put it away and clean once a week. Those are the ones I know that end up with galls and skin ick across the shoulder. Once that dirt and grime sits it is also extra hard to get off.
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post #7 of 16 Old 10-08-2019, 07:35 AM
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Debbie Bell, my Clydesdale, loved her French collar! It is adjustable, made of leather, and easy to clean. I never had any problem pulling different vehicles using it. My hands are not strong enough to deal with hames straps (I use them on the show harnesses, but they are carriage harnesses with no hames), so that French collar was a perfect solution.
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post #8 of 16 Old 10-08-2019, 09:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kaifyre View Post
Is there anyone who can explain the different hames terms to me? I tried Googling it and it seems the answers I'm looking for are one of those things that driving folks just know, without having to think about, so there's not a whole ton of information out there.

-- Kai
What are the terms your talking about?
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post #9 of 16 Old 10-09-2019, 01:24 AM Thread Starter
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@Gmac The last paragraph of my first post has a bunch of terms I found while hames shopping that I can't find explanations for.

@QtrBel Ergh yes, all of his tack (with the exception of bridles and halters - for some reason his face doesn't get gross like the rest of him) needs a wipedown after every use. The breastcollar and breeching require particular attention, as does his girth. I bring a small handful of wet paper towels in a baggie and give everything a once-over when I get it hung up in the trailer after a drive. I found out the hard way that if I leave it for even a day, it turns into grease-crete. Blegh!

@greentree I originally wanted one of those! It seemed like a good compromise between a true collar and a breastcollar. But a brollar can't pull the weight that a true collar can, not without impeding the shoulders anyway, and it puts more of the load on the top of the neck than I'd like. To me they're a glorified breastcollar, and I've already got one of those. Also, Thunder gets so darn hot sometimes, and it looks like a brollar will cover more surface area than a true collar, and therefore be hotter? Not 100% sure on that, but that was the impression I get when I look at them. I think they're neat though. I might still get one, maybe for wintertime driving.

-- Kai
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post #10 of 16 Old 10-09-2019, 03:04 PM
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What am I looking for in a collar and hames? I've been lurking on Chimacum Tack's website for a while and I like their stuff, are they good? Is there any great difference between bolt, staple or hook styles? Turrets fixed or loose, or no terrets at all? I'm assuming I don't need pulling hames … while Thunder will be doing some pulling, it will all be light and I don't plan on logging with him or anything. Should I get buggy hames or work hames? Or is there like an all-round hames? lol Sorry for the storm of questions, I want to get this done right the first time.

Thanks all. : )

-- Kai


Hames are just what you said the bolt is run thru the tug, with the hook the tug is hooked on (I don't trust these, no experience with them just prefer to have it bolted on. Cant say anything about the staple, don't know them.


Pulling = BIG BOYS the pulling competition guys/loggers. Large heavy equipment. You would never need it.
Work or Farm = for pulling a plow, or work but not as heavy as the Pulling.
Buggy/carriage= lighter weight not as heavy duty, used for things that are easy to pull.


Terrets = are the rings that the lines go thru. Fixed would be fixed solid to the hames and the loose means that they are fixed to it but the ring will slide.(if that makes sence).


My opinion is get the farm/work harness, it will be heavier to carry and to lift over the horse, than your breast plate. Don't get leather, to much upkeep, get bio, a new one will run you between $400-600(depending on how much bling you want on it). The buggy harness will work, but the work harness will be a little more all-round harness.


I don't think your going to be able to use your tugs from your breast plate harness, I think they will be to short, on the breast plate the hook in back on the shoulder more and with the hames they are going to hook in more on the front of the shoulder.
If you need some other places to buy from let me know, Ive got several #'s for amish harness makers that do good work.
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