- July 29, 2009 at 5:00 pm #40722LStoneParticipant
Can anyone tell me what they do and how they are used? I know they are used with the lines and I have seen references to them but I have never seen them in real time.
LarryAugust 2, 2009 at 3:10 am #53343PlowboyParticipant
Larry, Look at my thread in the training section “The Next Dream Team” and you will see a good look at one on our young Dan horse. The strap with red, white and blue rings. It allows the horses to move farther apart or “float” more. We always use them on wagons but some implements like plows and binders you need them to work closer so you have to use just the hame ring. Spreaders can be as simple as a strap with a single ring and a snap. I hope this helps.August 3, 2009 at 3:48 pm #53347LStoneParticipant
Ah, thanks Plowboy. I think I know what you mean by floating apart. I like that both on a pole and off. It seems like the horses are working more comfortably that way, as do I. I am able to get better and more consistant line pressure when they “float”. So it is attached to the high small ring on the hames. Now that would certainly change your line adjustment if you put them in the mix. I trust you would use one on each animal not just a single. Also it looks like it reduces the angle of the lines connecting to the bit as well. How does that would effect the control of the animal through the bit either positively or negatively? Lower has always been better in my opinion I have used one of those wrench on chainlinks to drop my line ring on the hames before. Also there seems to be no adjustment so it is only what it gives you, unless you can use the other rings in the set. Also how does that effect the feel of the lines with all that extra swing? Seems like you would not have very good bit response with all that play there.
LarryAugust 4, 2009 at 1:35 am #53344PlowboyParticipant
Larry, No there is no real adjustment to the spreader but you can still adjust your crosslines. As for “play” if you give them the space they will use it and take up the slack. The feel of the lines doesn’t change either. As for bit response it would depend on if you were driving a squirrelly one or not. We train our horses on a very light line. We don’t pull on them and they don’t pull on us. Luckily every one of our horses has had a sensitive mouth so it was never an issue. Also with spreaders the extra room helps with air flow in hot weather to keep them a little cooler. A lot of line pressure has to do with the hands of the teamster. Yesterday we visited friends that were getting a young team ready for show. The wife who is a very good driver was driving and stopped to talk with us. The horses seemed impatient one pawing slightly, the other wanting to step ahead. Her husband reached out his hand and she put the lines in his open hand. He stood there like that for 15 minutes and they never even flinched. He is an excellent lifelong horseman though but his non invasive approach is something to see as he interacts with even some rank ones. Sometimes some folks try to hard to “Drive” or “Hold” them. Not saying that this is the case with you just an observation.August 4, 2009 at 3:57 pm #53348Lingodog13Participant
The book Farming With Horses by Steve Bowers and Marlene Steward has both good descriptions of adjusting the lines and spreaders, and pretty clear diagrams. Look under the section “Lateral Alignment.” If your local library doesn’t have a copy then you can pick one up from the Rural Heritage bookstore or even Amazon.
NonieAugust 5, 2009 at 12:24 am #53346Ronnie TuckerParticipant
my spreaders only have one ring and a strap with different holes for adjusting this makes them more functional and not just for decoration ronnie tucker tn loggerAugust 5, 2009 at 12:28 pm #53345J-LParticipant
Hi Ronnie, good to know you’re still kicking.
On line spreaders, my old harness had them, but they kept breaking. Seemed like this happened in the cold weather (-30 or less) more. I just took them off and adjusted my check lines. When I got another set of harness I took them off first thing. Less stuff to break.August 5, 2009 at 12:43 pm #53342Carl RussellModerator
Mine are as Ronnie described. I tend to like them, for all the afore mentioned reasons, however, IF you have a horse that has not quite come to an understanding of perfect line pressure, then this ability to float can give that horse more ability to turn their head and provides less consistency for the driver.
I have used a spreader on one horse and not the other, especially in instances where one is taking advantage of the “freedom” of head movement. Likewise I use the holes in my lines to adjust pressure more to one versus another. All of these adjustments on harnesses etc. are there because there are as many ways to set these things up as there are horses.
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