Draft Animal Power – Draft animals and sustainable land stewardship › Forums › Equipment Category › Draft Animal Drawn Equipment Buyer’s Guide › Harnesses, Yokes & Related Equipment › Length of front tug for d ring for haflingers
- October 28, 2016 at 7:51 pm #89594
I finally got my team – a pair of real sweet haflingers. I am trying to get a d ring harness for them and wonder if there is anyone else out there with haflingers that has any advice. Donn Hewes graciously spoke with me on the phone and told me that the measurement of the front trace or tug is critical. Does anyone have any advice regarding this dimension? Where exactly should the d ring sit?
I’ve measured my team following a guide, but I think it was a guide for a western harness. My farm is really hilly, and I think it will be better for my horses to have the d ring.
Thanks in advance for any input.October 29, 2016 at 11:27 am #89595carl nyParticipant
If you decide that you don’t need a D-ring I have a nice bio harness for sale. a little fancy but also good for work. Comes with everything to drive team, two singles, and tandem except the set of long lines. Also has scotch collars. $1000.00 or best offer.
carl nnyOctober 29, 2016 at 7:33 pm #89596
Thanks, Carl, but on my hilly farm I think the d ring makes a lot of sense.
I put post on the Facebook page and trying to figure out how to put it over here.October 29, 2016 at 7:37 pm #89597
I’m trying to measure my team for a d ring harness. Since the front tug dimension seems to be critical, I put their collars on them to try to get an accurate dimension. In the photos you can see the twine that I put on to get some idea of where the belly band, etc. will sit.
When looking at the collars, though, they seem to be sitting too far forward, and I’m wondering if they’re too narrow. I put a string around Leo’s neck that seems like it’s where the collar should sit, but the collar won’t go back that far.
The former owner did not work them for a long time, and they are overweight. When I read in Lynn Miller’s Draft Horse Handbook it says two things that I think are relevant. 1. “The collar should sit flatly against the shoulder and not rock on a wide spot on the neck.” I wouldn’t say that it rocks, but it’s awfully tight and doesn’t get to the shoulder.
He also says “when fitting an overweight horse, keep in mind the neck will lose size as the horse is worked.”
Does it appear to y’all that the collar is too tight? Should I buy new collars, but retain these to account for neck size reduction as the horses get worked?
Attachments:You must be logged in to view attached files.October 29, 2016 at 9:54 pm #89599JayParticipant
A couple of observations to start with: This collar does not look too small to me at all. Looking at the placement of the collar, It looks as though it will settle back onto the shoulder with the weight of the harness and the slightest effort to pull anything.
I use NE harness, horses are about 15-16 hands, 14-1500 lbs. The short tug (hame to D ring is no more than 20 inches even on the biggest horse 16 h, 1500+lbs and long in the body. The smallest horse (youngest) the short tug is only 19″. The way I measure the length of the short tug is to put the end of the tape on the hame bolt and run it back to the D ring.
I like to have the D ring right behind the elbow, in line with the girth. Height wise it wants to be where the angle of the short tug to the hame is exactly 90 degrees. The D ring is held in the correct position by adjusting the back-pad and belly band buckles to achieve that 90 degree angle. A framing square helps here, held against the back side of the hame and along the top of the short tug.
Hope this is useful. JayOctober 30, 2016 at 12:00 pm #89600carl nyParticipant
mcm, No problem about my harness, just thought I would put it out there. As for your collar, I think that you have room to “scrunch” it down a little. that will widen it and shorten it at the same time. Not to much, just a couple light crunches and then try it. Repeat as necessary. Don’t want to break it, just “scrunch” it a little.
carl nnyOctober 31, 2016 at 8:32 am #89601Does’ LeapParticipant
I agree with Jay, the collar does not look too small. If anything it looks too big. Keep in mind there are collar sizes (e.g. 20″) and collar types: full face for a thinner neck (usually a draft cross), half sweeney (standard draft collar), and full sweeney (thick, stud-like neck). When that collar is sitting back on the shoulder you should be able to slip 4 fingers between the collar and the throat, much more than that and the collar is too big IMHO. You can play with this fit with collar pads and even a jack saddle pad that can go on the top of the collar. The fit around the side of the neck and collar should be even tighter. You should be able to get some fingers in there, but barely.
I cut my front tugs by putting the harness on the horse and detaching the front tug from the hames by removing the bolts that attach the tugs to the hames. You can then move the tug forward, get the d-ring where you want it, mark, measure and cut.
GeorgeOctober 31, 2016 at 9:14 am #89602Donn HewesKeymaster
It is always hard to say from a photo, but the collar is quite a bit too big. A good thick pad and some adjusting might make it fit. Just to be clear, the final shape of a collar is not set until you put hames on it. The hames determine a lot about the collar. The hames are adjustable in a couple different ways and allow us to fine tune the point of draft, (where the tugs come off the collar – really where the point of draft is on the animal) and also the hames can be used to make a collar narrow and a little longer or wider and a little shorter. Because of all these variables it can be a little complicated to get all the desired effects at the same time.
At the top of the hames the hames strap clips can be moved up or down to adjust the length of the hames. To make the collar a little shorter and a little wider, lower the clips and make the hames straps a little longer. To adjust the location of the point of draft; lengthen and shorten the top hames strap until the point of draft is on the animal where you want it.
Obviously these things effect each other so it takes a little fiddling to get it right. At a minimum you will need good pads to make those collars fit. I prefer a vinyl inside, blue and white tic fabric outside. These pads have foam inside and have served well.October 31, 2016 at 12:33 pm #89603JaredWoodcockParticipant
I read somewhere that if you measure the circumference of the front “forearm” muscle you will get the collar size. I thought it was silly until I tried it, and it does work. As Donn said earlier fitting a collar isnt as easy as getting the right size, but I have used that measurement as a point of reference it works pretty good.November 2, 2016 at 10:46 pm #89610
I really appreciate y’all’s comments. They are very helpful as I’m continuing to work on this. I just watched Les Barden’s DVD on the d ring harness and that clarified a lot for me. Also, a harness maker is sending a DVD to me about measuring and fitting, so I’m pretty excited about that. There are so many variables in this process, so I’m trying to be thorough.November 3, 2016 at 4:15 pm #89617dominiquer60Moderator
Les’s DVD should be required “reading” for all D-Ring owners, way to start off on a good foot. Don’t be afraid to watch it every once in a while, we still like to look at it to stay on track with our harness fit.
- You must be logged in to reply to this topic.