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Harnessing the Single Horse Safely and Comfortably
Part 1 - Introduction

by Bill Morong

The sport of carriage driving is growing, and as the years pass, many beloved elder drivers along with their wealth of experience are being replaced by those who have found the joy of partnership with horses, but like me, may not have benefited from a total of more than a few minutes of experience with horses while growing up. Additionally, as the sport progresses, previously uncommon demands are placed upon driver, horse, vehicle, and harness, which may require new techniques to be added to traditional knowledge. This writing is devoted to trying to help modern drivers and their horses enjoy driving safely and comfortably.

Harness Function

The harness must unify the combination of driver, horse, and vehicle. It mechanically connects the horse and vehicle and joins in purpose the driver and the horse.

The communication system of the harness, bit, bridle, and reins joins horse and driver.

Three systems connect horse and vehicle:

The vehicle support and steering system centers on the driving saddle.

The draught system centers on collar and traces.

The braking system centers on the breeching and holdback straps.

What follows is a detailed explanation of the structure, function, fitting, safe use, and care of all components of these systems, together with a brief discussion of what is appropriate.

Part 2, The Communication System

Part 3, The Vehicle Support and Steering System

Part 4, The Draught System

Part 5, The Braking System

Bill Morong is a harness builder in Dover-Foxcroft, Maine. Bill describes how "Morong's Harness" came to be:

I got the pony bug about 1981, and most of the harness I saw didn't please me, so I began making my own.  Others liked what they saw, and after a while my electrical engineering career took a back seat, and the harnessmaking got to be first.  I used to drive a lot, but now I'm so busy making harness I don't get to drive anymore, but still am a domestic servant to two beloved Hackney ponies and an Arab horse.

William Morong, Harness Maker
215 Gray Hill Road
Dover-Foxcroft, ME 04426
(207)564.3382
morharn@mint.net
Custom harness by private agreement



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