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Date:4/18/2014 5:40:39 PM
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Thanks for the anniversary wishes! And happy upcoming anniversary to you and Bubba!

How are you doing? It's pouring rain here. So nice! Except for the things I have outside which should not be getting wet. Sigh!

I thought I'd write again about another aspect of driving. Horses pull carts by those long poles sticking out the front of the cart, right? The shafts? Well, most people do think that but the answer is no. Even most horse people think that! Didn't you? :)

It always annoys me when a beautiful painting has a horse and cart in it and the harness is all wrong and if it were real, would never work at all. 99% of the time the horse is hooked up in a way that indicates he is pulling the cart by the shafts. Nope!

(In case you ask, no it doesn't bother me as much if it's wrong in an ugly painting. I already don't like it so it really doesn't make much difference.)

So, what is the correct way? Why are the shafts even there?

The shafts are there simply to hold everything in place, including the horse! There are two long straps that start at the chest and attach to a piece in the front of the cart that moves with each step the horse takes. This allows freedom of movement and prevents chafing.

These straps are called traces. The traces are the "only" way that the horse's strength is pulling the cart. In some ways, you can think of the horse as "pushing" in to the chest piece to move the cart, rather than "pulling".

I hope this in an enlightening blog. I'm pretty tired tonight so I've had to read through what I wrote several times to remove gibberish. I'm not sure I removed it all!

Tonight's featured video is Pippin: A Quiet Drive in the Country

http://www.horsechannel.com/ horse-videos/watch- video-87b4a28447a14858b988d542e282742e.aspx?

It's a good way to distinguish the shafts from the traces. He's not wearing full harness, so fewer straps to confuse you!

The shafts are on the outside. The traces (straps) are on the inside. You can see the traces moving with each step. And in a few shots you can see the moving piece of wood (singletree) to which they are attached.

Have a wonderful weekend! And here's a vote of my continued appreciation.
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