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Horse Harness Parts and Accessories

Horse Harness Parts

Various Parts of Horse Harness

If you are familiar with the equipment needed for horseback riding, it’s also important to know how they function. Accordingly, you may use a horse saddle, bridle, or harness if it fits your requirements. To say the least, one must not use any tool that’s not right for the horse’s back.

Just like other important equipment or tools used in horse riding, a harness is the one that’s common for its purpose. Moreover, various horse harnesses work collectively to make them function as a whole.

Read Also: What is a Horse Bridle?

About Horse Harness:

In general terms, a horse harness is a device that connects the animal with the vehicle of load at its behind. The aim of a horse harness is to allow the horse to pull a heavy load without any inconvenience. Likewise, different horse harness parts adjust the weight and do not let it fall on the horse’s shoulder or neck.

Antique finish adjustable Leather collars for Driving Harness

A horse harness is a set of equipment used to secure a horse to different carriages, plows, or other implements. This allows the horse to be guided and managed while pulling the load. The harness helps to evenly distribute the load’s weight and makes it possible for the horse to effectively transfer its power to the object it is pulling.

Types of Horse Harness:

Most commonly, there are two important categories of horse harness – a. Breast collar design, and b. collar or hames design. More so, both these designs are helpful in lifting different weights during horse riding. Accordingly, the rider must fit the harness in the correct manner so that it doesn’t cause any discomfort to the animal.

History of Horse Harness

The history of horse harnesses dates back to the 5th century when the first harness came into existence in China. If you look closely enough, various indications of horse harnesses being used in ancient history exist. Majorly there are several depictions and traces by the portraits of earlier artists.

Lately, with newer modifications, riders are using the best harness for their horse that’s fit for the job. Even if they are not so absolutely sure about the type of harness, it’s easy to alter it and fit it accordingly.

Horse harness technology made significant advances during the Industrial Revolution of the 18th and 19th centuries. Innovations like adjustable buckles and metal fittings made harnessing horses quicker and more convenient.

Decline and Modern Use: With the rise of mechanized transportation, horse-drawn vehicles gradually diminished in everyday use. However, horse harnesses continue to be used in certain areas, like agriculture, recreational driving, and traditional ceremonies.

Preservation and Sport: Traditional horse harnessing for recreation, historical reenactments, and competitive sports like carriage driving have recently experienced a resurgence in popularity.

The demands of agriculture, transportation, and cultural practices have all had an impact on the development of horse harnesses over time. Horse harness continues to be a crucial component of the equestrian world and is still valued for its craftsmanship, tradition, and special connection with horses even though it is rarely used as a primary mode of transportation in most societies.

See More: Horse Harness: Types & Variations

Several Parts of Harness and its Functioning

Horse Harness Parts

When a horse is pulling a cart, carriage, or plow, a horse harness is a set of tools used to guide and control the animal. It is made up of a number of parts, each of which has a distinct function. The functioning of a harness depends upon how many parts are present to push it against the load. Likewise, there are many parts of a horse harness that may constitute.

They are as follows –

  • Collar: A horse collar is to shift the load from the horse’s shoulder onto the harness. They are usefully available in the form of – horse collars (for heavy weights) and breast collars (for light weights).
  • Bridle: The bridle is a headgear that consists of the headstall, which is worn over the horse’s head, and the bit, which is inserted into the horse’s mouth to regulate its direction and speed.
  • Backband: The backband is a strap that connects the breeching to the saddle or yoke.
  • Bellyband: The bellyband wraps around the horse’s belly and helps keep the harness in place.
  • Crupper: The crupper is a strap that runs under the horse’s tail to keep the harness from sliding forward.
  • Blinkers or Blinders: These are attachments on the bridle that limit the horse’s field of vision, helping to keep it focused and prevent distractions.
  • Breastcollar: An alternative to the collar, the breast collar fits across the horse’s chest and shoulders, attaching to the traces and helping to pull the load.
  • Yoke or Saddle: The yoke or saddle rests on the horse’s back and supports the carriage or cart’s shafts.
  • Shaft Terrets: Terrets are rings or guides on the saddle or yoke that hold the shafts in position and prevent them from swinging side to side.
  • Reins: Reins are long straps or lines that attach to the bit and are held by the driver to communicate commands to the horse.
  • Hames: These are usually metal or wooden strips that shift the full force of the weight from the collar to the other parts.
  • Traces: Again, straps or chains take the load from the breast collar or hames and allow the horse to move without discomfort.
  • Overcheck: The overcheck is a strap that runs from the bridle to the saddle, controlling the horse’s head position.
  • Breeching: A strap around the horse’s haunches allows it to sit back while the rider slows down the vehicle. In some cases, it can be missing where the cart or wagon has brakes in them.
  • Girth: These straps go below the horse and help to tie it up with the other end. Usually, they are present when there is a harness saddle present on the horse’s back.
  • Terrets: Now, these are metal loops on a saddle that provide support to the reins. Likewise, you can have them or not, depending on your requirements.

To ensure proper communication, control, and comfort for both the horse and the driver during various tasks, every component of the horse harness is essential.

Bottom Line

Some people might be confused about choosing the best harness for their horse. Well, all they have to focus upon the quality and pricing right after confirming with the fitting.

If it’s your first buy for a horse harness, make sure you know the purpose of its use. In short, there is a variety of horse harnesses, and they are all useful for different purposes. Henceforth, you can buy harnesses online and learn to use them correctly without causing any harm to the horse.

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Written by

Randy Orten is an equine life expert who has written articles about horseback riding and its various categories. He has been in this business for over 4 to 5 years and is entirely professional in all his endeavors. In the meantime, Charles likes to gather more knowledge about the alternatives for substantial sources of leather goods for horse riding equipment.

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