Draft Animal Power – Draft animals and sustainable land stewardship › Forums › Draft Animal Power › Oxen › teaming oxen of differing size and experience
- January 2, 2017 at 6:51 pm #89877VickiParticipant
Does anyone have experience and advice about teaming steers of different heights and training levels?
For helping to train steers having very little yoke time, I am considering yoking them individually with my older, responsive, trustworthy oxen. The student steers are a year old have very good basic handying but minimal experience being driven. One is not great on “whoa” when I yoke him; he seems to get excited in the yoke and wants to go real fast. I am wondering about putting a shorter green steer in yoke with an older taller ox–how much height difference is OK until the bows won’t seat right to cause real problems? The neck sizes of these steers are not probably very great, not as great as height difference.
I’m also considering yoking the green team and putting them on a pole attached to my older team in front. I worry about my excited green yearling wanting to overrun the older team in front. I really need another ox person to help! But generally I try these things on my own. Any advice, so as to avoid a wreck?January 8, 2017 at 10:12 am #89900BaystatetomParticipant
I have never tried this but it could work. I have seen old yokes with different bow sizes, say an 10″ on one side and an 8″ on the other, they must have been a different height too. If your pulling something more then a few pounds you want well fit bows, but if your just walking around learning commands I bet you can get away with ill fit bows without causing too much harm. (I don’t really know that just guessing) I think using a trained ox as an anchor is good thought.
TomJanuary 9, 2017 at 11:29 am #89901dominiquer60Moderator
Just guessing as well. With the height difference the neck seats and bows could be too askew to pull much. Can you work them single before you hitch them to a buddy? They really need to be listening to you first before you put two or four together.
ErikaJanuary 9, 2017 at 1:44 pm #89902CharlyBonifazMember
it is not only a problem of smaller and wider bows or different size of oxen; the yoke works pretty much like an evener and thus the chain should adequately move away from the center towards the side of the stronger oxen if used for pulling loads.
in France they build yokes for 3 oxen, the youngsters in the middle; those are pure training yokes.
I’d go with erika’s advice …
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