Draft Animal Power – Draft animals and sustainable land stewardship › Forums › Draft Animal Power › Mules › lines in a 4 abreast
- December 20, 2010 at 4:44 am #42227
Whats your favorit way to have your lines in a 4 abreast? I’m going to work 4 in the spring for the first time. I’m thinking drive the middle team like normal, then run another line to the outside of each outside mule. Then run a check from the inside bit ring (of the outside mule) to the hame ring of the next mule. I think I would like 4 lines.
What do you think?December 20, 2010 at 11:46 am #64132PeteParticipant
I use team lines on my center two, jockey sticks & buck back ropes on my out side two it works fine for me.December 20, 2010 at 11:26 pm #64134Rivendell FarmParticipant
I use team lines to the outside of outer horses, and the outside of the center two with short cross checks from bit to bit across the front. It works with well broke horses and steers better than horses checked back to their neighbor’s collar. The Amish here use something similar, even expanded to eight abreast. As they say, “One horse won’t run away with a 10 foot disc.” They don’t worry about not having lines on each horse. I’ll admit it doesn’t sound like the safest setup, but it’s simple and inexpensive. Bob KidwellDecember 20, 2010 at 11:31 pm #64133MatthewParticipant
I hooked four abrest with two lines the lines went to the outside of the end horses and the insides of the two horses in the middle. The rest I used lead ropes from the hames to the bits. It worked fine for field work with broke horses each horse had a line, I don’t know if four lines would be better for more persice turns. I was outside hitching these horses with linn millers book open coppying the four horse hitch diagrams. One thing I didn’t like was I only used a neck yoke for two horses and had them hooked to a heavy wagon with no brakes, wen I was cumning down a hill the two horses with the neck yoke had to hold the load back while the others were still pulling because they did not feel the load against the britchen.December 21, 2010 at 3:13 am #64131JayParticipant
I use a set of triple lines for driving 3 or 4. I have an extra set of long cross checks (12-18 inches longer than the regular cross checks on my team lines) I ad on to a pair of regular team lines behind (closer to me) by about the same distance as the cross checks extra length. For 4 horses I use “short cross checks”- about26-30 inches from the inside bit of each outside horse to the hame ring of the next horse. The “straight through line” (from your hand all the way to a bit ring) goes to the out side of the out side horse on each side, just like in a team of two. This way you have at least one line to each horse and the precision in driving that is possible makes it worth while for me anyway. I like it so well that I now have a set of tripple lines that I use only for 3 or 4. With this set up I feel confident with a greenbroke horse and I don’t have to worry too much.December 21, 2010 at 5:55 pm #64127
I use team lines. The same lines for driving two, three, or four. When driving four I have the left line going to the outside (left of bit) of the two left horses, and the right line goes to the right side of the two on the right. I use four of the short checks (about 26 to 30 inches, depending on the width of your hitch) from hames to bit. With any of these systems you need to be a little careful driving the team while it is not hooked up to anything. Go slowly. I use four abreast for many hours each summer. There are a lot of pictures here.
Also good pictures of the four horse neck yoke that I use. it works great and helps a lot when making hay in hilly country. Check out the photo in the “face net” group. “Hay mowing 2010” has a good picture of how easily they work on these lines.December 21, 2010 at 10:30 pm #64135Rivendell FarmParticipant
This is a discussion where a diagram would be more helpful than a whole pile of words. BobDecember 22, 2010 at 12:43 am #64128
The Work Horse Handbook by Lynn miller has the best drawing for lines driving three and four horses. Several methods mentioned above are represented. I can’t photo copy them (book too big for printer), but if someone really wanted a drawing I could make one.December 22, 2010 at 2:51 am #64126J-LParticipant
I use the same method that Donn does and it works well for me too. Actually it was Donn who talked me through it (thanks again). I put 4 abreast on my bigger meadow drag in the spring and also on a bigger tractor disk and a grain drill. Gives you a bunch of horse power.December 22, 2010 at 2:57 am #64136
Thanks, I’m clear on all explanations. That’s all food for thought. My mules are quiet , but have never worked as 4. I like the idea of having contact with 3 of the 4 sides of thier mouth with one hand, and only checking back 1. Has any of you used this method? Also who makes a neck yoke for 4?December 22, 2010 at 11:45 am #64129
You make the neck yoke! It is like an evener bolted to the front of the tongue. two horse neck yokes snap or clip on each side. Easy to put on, because you put the two horse neck yokes on first, then pick the evener part up off the ground and snap it on. I have used slip hooks with safety clips on my neck yokes. Did you see the pictures?
You mentioned the three of four sides of a horses mouth. (I am not sure what you mean). On rereading I think you are talking about lines with an extra stub line going to the third horse. This is the method that Jay describes. I think the only draw back (and a small one at that) would be having a special set of lines for the purpose; these line would also drive a three abreast well. In driving with the regular team lines and half of each horse is controlled by a check from another horse, I have found the horses to be very comfortable with it, and very steerable. I have used the three horse lines also and they work equally well. I have never used a jockey stick, but they are so common in Amish farming that they must work ok. I all ways thought it was interesting that an Amish farm farmer didn’t consider the “jockey” horse broke to lines. I have never seen anyone use the four line method of driving four abreast, but I am pretty sure I wouldn’t like it. One of the great things about driving three or four abreast is that it is so simple. If I wanted four lines, I would drive four up.December 22, 2010 at 1:55 pm #64137
Donn, thats a good idea on the neck yoke, thanks, i’ll do that.
What I meant on the lines is, as I’m sitting on my forecart, I use the team lines on the center 2 mules. That way I have control of the left side of those 2 mules with my left hand. Then i run a single line to the outside left mule and check back his right side of the bit to the hame of the next mule on his right. That way I have control of 3 mules with one hand.
Mabey I’m being over cautious, lol.December 22, 2010 at 1:58 pm #64138
Great bunch of pictures!December 22, 2010 at 2:13 pm #64130
but Jays lines are a single line in each hand, but each hand also goes to three horses. Simple is best when trying to drive and work at the same time. if you want a drawing of the four horse neck yoke set up I could make one.December 23, 2010 at 1:52 pm #64139
@Donn Hewes 23069 wrote:
but Jays lines are a single line in each hand, but each hand also goes to three horses. Simple is best when trying to drive and work at the same time. if you want a drawing of the four horse neck yoke set up I could make one.
I’ve seen a few now. I’ll be able to get one built. Thanks for your help.
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