Draft Animal Power – Draft animals and sustainable land stewardship › Forums › Equipment Category › Equipment Fabrication › Yokes and Jockey Yokes
- January 25, 2017 at 10:56 am #89960
I’ve seen multiple designs for yokes over the yrs. I’m interested to hear why folks would forgo the use of jockey yokes. Benefits? Sacrifices? Does it give the horses less flexibility/play in the hitch? I’m designing+building a yoke that will spread my horses out six feet for our two row cultivator. Also trying to find ways to reduce the weight on the horses backs/necks.
Photos of different designs would be much appreciated.
CarlJanuary 25, 2017 at 10:54 pm #89961JayParticipant
I used to use exclusively neckyokes with a spread stick and chain on each side to keep the (permanently attached) yokes spaced apart. We have gone to using separate able jockey yokes in almost all applications. Two immediate advantages come to mind:1) less pole length required- the chain to the spreadstick ads 8″ to a foot of length of pole needed, and 2) the jockey yokes are movable from one neck yoke to another and they work with a standard neck yoke that is readily available commercially. A big plus in practical terms.
I think the spreadstick neckyokes are a bit more flexible in allowing the horses to see-saw a bit more if that is helpful- as in a logging situation, where as on a wagon I would tend not to want that flexibility.
JayJanuary 26, 2017 at 9:49 am #89962
Is this a spread stick?
Attachments:You must be logged in to view attached files.January 26, 2017 at 6:14 pm #89964
That photo is of a “straight” stick yoke. Not sure when there would be much advantage in that. I think the use of Jockey yokes (or a short yoke for each animal added t a regular neck yoke) basically depends on which harness type you are using. D rings and side backers both require the use of a jockey yoke. Belly backers do not. As far as being six feet apart, make a yoke that matches the length of the evener (or center of pull if two single trees are attached separately. I would make sure the neck yoke is attached (not a slip on ring) and that it matched the type of harness you used. On a buck rake the horses are driven a little further a part and each sort of has it’s own pole. This would leave a clear field of vision in front. They are driven differently as well.
How do you intend to drive this team?January 26, 2017 at 10:28 pm #89965JayParticipant
Thanks, Donn. I will try to clarify a couple of things I wrote, as I don’t have any pictures of a spreadstick neck yoke presently. A spread-stick neck yoke is used with either a New England or side backer harness. It has a center ring with 2 chains attached, often about 18-24 inches long, with a larger link at the end of each chain to take one end of the spreadstick and another loop to which a jockey yoke is attached. The 2 chains and the spreadstick form a triangle with the forward point at the ring on the end of the pole and the other 2 points at either end of the spread stick where they meet the chain ends.
The neckyoke in the picture above is as Donn says a straight stick neckyoke, the least flexible neckyoke style, however it also takes less pole length than the more flexible yokes, and has it’s uses as in the 4 abreast pictured above.
JayJanuary 27, 2017 at 1:51 am #89966dominiquer60Moderator
They straight stick yoke in the 4 abreast above is the least flexible and can put undue weight on the collar/neck if the D-ring harness is not adjusted properly. It can reduce tongue slap because of its rigidity, but I feel like the harness and therefore the horse ends up taking the brunt of it vs. the more fluid uptake of that energy with independent jockey yokes. Sam used to use a straight stick yoke, but the horses seem more comfortable with individual jockey yokes.
The spreader stick and chains are also often found on show wagons and hitches, here is a spreader stick and chain set up with a belly backer harness. Similar concept, but a different setting than what we promote here. http://amespercherons.com/photo-gallery/#!prettyPhoto/http://amespercherons.com/wp-content/gallery/2013-percherons/102-12-10.jpg
Carl Russell uses a spreader stick and chains for a neck yoke, it is a nice set up.
ErikaJanuary 27, 2017 at 8:08 am #89967
I am still not sure what the goal here is. The spreader chain yoke will undoubtedly make a strong yoke. Not sure what purpose it serves beyond that. It could be used with or with out jockey yokes in any harness type. Erika’s picture show one just fine.January 27, 2017 at 9:36 am #89968Carl RussellModerator
I personally don’t think it matters what “style” of yoke you use, it is just like Donn said, the main thing is that evener and yoke must be the same length. Jockey yokes should fit the animal, and can either stay on the yoke, or be detachable.
I use an old spread chain on a pipe because it was made by one of my mentors, and has lasted me close to 30 years…. also, I can wrap the chain around the pipe to shorten the hitch. It is rugged and can withstand the rough terrain, and will hold back heavy loads when going down hill.
I think your biggest challenge will be making a suitable evener to match your 6 foot neck yoke. A good stout hardwood 2×4 with eye-bolts should be sufficient for the neck yoke. 1×3 box channel can be another fairly stout base for both neck yoke and evener. You just need to find clevises and attachments that coincide with the jockey yokes and single trees.
I also would recommend some triangulation on both for stoutness, but primarily on the evener, as that is how the evener actually evens the force differential as animal pull against each other and the resistance of draft. A minimum of 3 inch drop from hitch-pin center to singletree attachment point is good.
CarlJanuary 27, 2017 at 3:46 pm #89969JaredWoodcockParticipant
I settled on 1×1 square tubing with a single link from an old chain welded on each end, an eye bolt is in the middle for a jockey yoke. I got the idea from george’s plug yoke thread.
I built mine with some stuff I had sitting around. Basically free.January 27, 2017 at 8:23 pm #89970
These horses are working with a large space between them. This doesn’t us a neck yoke
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bYgJEWAHEOYJanuary 29, 2017 at 12:05 pm #89972
I tried to make another post with pictures of the cultivator but for some reason it didn’t go through.
With the horses spread 6′ I was worried about slop within the hitch and was wondering if the “straight” yoke would provide more rigidity/structure and cut down weight. Sounds like there are some potential sacrifices… I currently have a plug style yoke for this machine that lines up well with the evener. It was built with jockey yokes in mind if running a D-ring.
Line set up on the cultivator:
Donn, you asked how I will be driving this hitch. I’m going to start another thread concerning the cultivator fabrication but will get into a little of it here. My cultivator uses the frame of a McD single row riding cultivator. Jonathan and I simply extended the wheels out to 6′. I was planning to add line extensions to a set of team lines to compensate for the increased distance between the horses. The each horse will be walking down the tractor tire wheel tracks as our tractor tires are on 6′ centers. I’m hoping this will provide a firm path for each horse to follow. All the fine driving/cultivation adjustments I’ll be making with the foot peddle steering.
Thanks for all the input! It is extremely helpful.
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