Tackling the horse to go into the woods

by Don Drodge

Diagram by Don Drodge (click on image to enlarge)

On entering the barn the collar was the first piece of the harness to go on the horse. Then we would put the hames on the collar. The breeching (britchon) and back pad, which was all joined in one piece, came next. The back pad was buckled with straps under the horse belly to secure it to the horse. Next we would put on the winkers (bridal), followed by the reins. The reins went through the rings on the back pad and the hames and snapped onto the bit rings. The bit rings were part of the winkers that went in the horse’s mouth.

The winkers and reins were used to control the horse’s movement. The reins were then coiled-up and put on top of hames.

Don Drodge and his horse Prince returning from a day in the woods.

The horse was taken outside the barn by gripping the winkers with your hand. Then you would back the horse into the slide. The shafts from the slide went through the back pad loops. The side traces were hooked from the tail stick to the hames.

With the horse now hooked securely to the slide you were ready to go into the woods for the day. You would then place your axe and bucksaw on the slide. Then you would take your lunch bag and horses oat bag and head of to woods for a day.