Draft Animal Power – Draft animals and sustainable land stewardship › Forums › Draft Animal Power › Horses › D-ring Front Trace › Reply To: D-ring Front Trace
Thanks for the feedback everyone. I figured the hardware variations and length would come up, I just asked the question like Abner wanted me too, his hardware is standard to him.
It looks like an general front trace length of 21″ (with hardware) from hame bolt to ring can be recommended. Abner can mention his new standard length in the next printing of his catalog and recommend that smaller horses/ponies order a shorter size.
Wild Millers, I brought my lap top down just in case Abner was open to watching a bit of it. We brought our repairs down the first day and seeded the idea of how the harness should work. We went back the next day and after more good conversation about the front lazy/jack straps I offer to get my laptop out of the truck if they wanted to watch it. They were very receptive and the sight of all 4 of us leaning over his counter to watch Les on a little screen still gives me a chuckle 🙂 It is great that you have a similar harness to ours because this past weekend we harnessed up for the first time after watching the video and have some things to think about as well.
Sam immediately went to work with his square and adjusted the harness as best we could with what we have. D-rings were brought up a hole or a half hole, britchen brought up a hole or two, back straps out a hole (those mares have grown a bit since the last adjusting). One thing Sam had to have made a while back were longer straps between the D and britchen the standard length was too short, if we shorten front traces, we fear that we will also need all new straps here again as many are on the last hole already. Shortening the front trace should just take the billow out of it, but if the D with new front trace takes out the tiny bit of wiggle room in the rear backing strap, we may need to go bigger.
Also now that we brought our britchen up in a more proper location, the trace holders on the last/longest hole are threatening to disturb the draft angle of the trace. We figure we can probably just take them of for now as they don’t serve much purpose.
The harness girth seems a bit long, most of our horses need the girths all the way to the shortest hole on both sides in order to not have the girths hanging loose.
If we shorten the front trace I don’t think that we have to worry about lengthening the long trace. Does anyone have any experience with this?
Finally back to the lazy/jack straps. Those of you using properly adjusted D-Ring harness, how long are your lazy/jack straps? are they adjustable? is there ever a time that you need to shorten them up to keep the pole up high? Now that we have a common front trace length Abner would like to know what would make a good lazy/jack strap. We like the looks of Les’s conway buckle and snap, the conway gives you some adjust-ability and the snap is handy. I think that a single ply leather/beta strap or a double ply nylon should work. What length do you use and also if you use a snap, what kind do you use for the least risk of getting something caught in it?
Sam wants a lazy/jack strap that can be adjusted short (with buckle or snap). His reasoning is that when plowing (especially with a 2 way plow) one should hitch long for the correct angle of draft. When hitched long, we loose the ability of the D-ring dynamics to keep weight on the back and off of the lazy/jack straps and the pole drops to a level that is not safe or preferred. We did hear in the video that Les compensates for the tight traces and 2 way plow by backing in order to get the rolling hitch point to shift, but Sam doesn’t like this idea. Any thoughts on the adjustable lazy/jack strap or the physics involved with the functionality of the D-ring interfering with the angle of draft for plowing?
Thanks for all of the feedback!
Here are pictures after the recent adjusting frenzy, not the best angles but, I think we are heading in a better direction.