Wood harness part?

cpackjrDecember 17, 2010

Found at antique store for three bucks. Liked the way it looked and thought would look nice in office decor, but can't find what it is exactly. Resembles hames for harness system but has hand bored holes in sides rather than edges. Can anyone help.

From Drop Box



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Handle for a cultivator?

    Bookmark   December 18, 2010 at 4:31PM
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Thats a thought, but just looked at 100's antique cultivators and can't find anything close. It's hand hewn and bored and just over 2 feet long.
Any other thoughts?

    Bookmark   December 18, 2010 at 10:09PM
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It may be part of the rigging on a horse collar. There would be two of these, a left hand and right hand shape, and fitted to the collar. My memory is dim, but if it part of a collar, then this wood piece would also have a metal strap with fasteners for attaching the pulling straps/chains. -- Just a guess.

    Bookmark   December 19, 2010 at 3:13AM
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Judging from the ruler in the photo the overall length is approximately 18" to 20" so I think we can easily rule out a cultivator handle unless you want to push your cultivator while on your knees....LOL.

It has the general overall appearance of the hames for a harness except it is only about 2/3 the size of a light buggy harness and less than half the size of those used on a draft horse harness, not to mention that this is wood were as true hames are generally made of steel.

Although I doubt that there is much of a collectors market for these, what you have there is in fact a fairly rare piece of equipment and one that most people would never even think of. That is the hames for a goat harness.

I fondly remember back to my youth on the farm where we had a small two wheel cart with about a 3'x4' bed and a team of large goats trained to harness to pull it. While we did most of the work on the farm with 13 large Belgian draft horses, they were simply too big for young boys to handle while doing the simple chores around the garden or barnyard so Grandad made up a set of harness to fit goats to pull our little utility cart hauling feed and water to the hog barn, sheep barn or to the chicken houses.

    Bookmark   December 19, 2010 at 7:27AM
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I appreciate the interest and help. Part of a goat harness does make sense. I am attaching another picture that shows rope wear in a couple of holes. Don't know if that helps but I had overlooked before. One side is flat and the other is concave.
From Desktop

    Bookmark   December 19, 2010 at 3:09PM
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They say a picture is worth a thousand words so lacking a real picture I did the next best thing and made up a simple illustration.

While we commonly say that a load is pulled by an animal in its purest sense that is not true. Animals do not have a tow bar or trailer hitch so short of literally tying a rope to their tail they cannot "Pull" a load. In fact, they "push" the load with their shoulders.

When harnessing a horse, mule, donkey or even a goat we begin by putting a collar on them. On the front side the collar usually has a heavy leather covering over a semi rigid frame and on the back the collar is fitted with thick padding that goes against the animals shoulders. While they use synthetic materials today, before the advent of plastic and man made fibers they used straw or horse hair matting to make the padding and the pad was covered with form of light canvas called pillow ticking.

The collars are hinged at the bottom with a quick release fastener on top. It is opened, slid up over the animals neck then fastened in place.

The hames are the primary attaching component and they are permanently attached to the harness.

The hames are hinged at the top, and as the harness if laid on top of the animal the hames are pulled down over the collar and attached at the bottom, fitting the hames into a grove on the face of the collar.

The traces are permanently attached to the hames and they are the primary connection from the hames to the load.

For a goat harness a simple collar and set of hames such as yours would make up the whole harness, whereas on a heavy draft horse harness there is another wide leather band connect to the hames on one side and goes around the horses butt and back up to the hames on the other side. In this manner when the horse is pulling the load forward it is actually pushing against the collar, but when backing up a load it is pushing against the "Rump" band with its butt.

    Bookmark   December 19, 2010 at 5:47PM
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