harness


If you’re a U.S.-based Carriage Journal subscriber / Carriage Association member, you may have already read the “Nuts and Bolts” column in the latest issue. (If you’re a subscriber / member living outside the U.S., your magazine is on its way to you now!)

In that column, CAA member Nancy Lindley-Gauthier discusses the “pickaxe” turnout: two wheelers and three leaders.

To help illustrate a draft-horse method of arranging the harness for this unusual turnout, Dave Rohrback hitched his five Percherons in a pickaxe formation, took them for a drive in the woods, and took several photos. This photo is the one that appeared in the “When Four Is Not Enough” column in the August issue.

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For a few different views, here are three more images of those same five Percherons that didn’t make it into the magazine.

All four photos by Dave Rohrback. Thanks, Dave, for preparing your turnout and taking these photos to give us a better look at this type of turnout!

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Back in October 2012, at the annual reenactment of the Civil War battle at Perryville (here in Kentucky), A.J. and I met the members of a Tennessee-based horse-drawn artillery unit.

Turns out they host a “horse-drawn artillery school” each spring … and this year’s installment is this weekend. We’ll be there, gathering stories and photos, and probably shouting at each other because, of course, we’ll need to remember to wear our earplugs!

We’re both rather ridiculously excited about this opportunity, and looking forward to sharing photos and stories here on the blog and in an upcoming issue of The Carriage Journal. Stay tuned!

Last summer, I posted a series of old (but unfortunately, I don’t know how old) hand-drawn images of artillery harness. If you missed those, you can click back to see parts one, two, three, and four of that four-part series.

Today, I offer a few more photos from Perryville. Except for the one that is obviously a cannon, these show the Civil War-style artillery harness on the horses we met.

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After our wander around the various camps at Perryville, we (and lots of other people) gathered in a field to watch the 11:00 a.m. horse-drawn artillery demonstration.

This was our first glimpse of the lone horse-drawn artillery unit at this year’s reenactment.

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And here’s another look at the same horses and the cannon.

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Over the next couple of days, look for more artillery photos and information. We had quite a nice, long visit with the members of this horse-drawn-artillery unit, and we learned a lot!

The two horses hitched to this Omnibus (New York, c. 1900) must’ve been been awfully good boys. There seem to be some pieces missing from their harness, as they have neither saddles (the part that goes around the horse’s midsection, where a riding saddle would go) nor breeching (the part that goes around the horse’s hindquarters and that helps him stop the vehicle).

I’ve seen old photos of work harness without saddles, and it was not uncommon for pair and team harness to lack breeching. But I think this is the first photo I’ve seen with just collars and traces, and nothing else.

As I mentioned in yesterday’s post, I’ll be sharing some lovely old images from a French book called Voitures & Attelages. Today, let’s look at a fancy Post Chaise from the era of Louis XV, who ruled France from 1715 until 1774 …

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Katharine came into my office yesterday and handed me a book. She had been looking in the CMA’s library for something and had come across a 1942 French publication called Voitures & Attelages. It’s full of beautiful engravings, each showing a different type of carriage and its accompanying harness. The text, of course, is all in French, but I assume that it would tell us about the various vehicles and how each one would’ve been turned out in its heyday. Interestingly, in each image, the vehicle, harness, and livery are all in color, while the horses and backgrounds are nearly all done as simple black-and-white line drawings, so that the important details really stand out.

Because these images serve as such wonderful references, I’m going to share most of them here with you over the next couple of weeks.

We’ll start — today and tomorrow — with two rather elaborate vehicles. Today’s is an elaborate coach from the era of Louis XIV, who ruled France from 1643 to 1715.

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