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Northstar Draft Horse Association Inc.
Logging and Sleigh Rides
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Here we are getting ready for another of our small logging projects.

Putting the collar on.
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Yep that feels right good job Dad

Bud is getting his collar on.  The collar is one of the most improtant parts of the harness.  A collar must fit properly on the horses shoulders and neck to prevent rubbing sores or injury to the shoulders.  Most of the weight they are pulling is from here.  If a horse is going to be pulling heavy loads they usually have a pad under the collar to help it fit more comfortably and again to prevent rubbing sores.  Another important part of the harness are the hames.  These are made of wood or metal and fit around the collar.  You want to make sure these are in good shape and strong enough to handle the load they are pulling.  If a hame were to break it could cause serious injury to the horse.  Traces or tugs are another important part of the harness.  Each horse has 2 traces one on each side.  They are the part of the harness that connect to the hames and hook onto the item you wish them to pull.  A good driver will always make sure the tugs are in good shape.  They check to make sure there are no tears, cuts or loose stitching.  These kinds of problems make tugs weak and breakage while pulling is very possible.  Tugs usually have chains on the end that hook to the item being pulled.  Chains should always be checked for wear, rusted or worn chain should be changed to prevent breakage.  Drivers have been hurt and carts, wagons etc. broken or destroyed because of harness failures.  When a harness breaks it shifts the weight on the horses body or sometimes the broken piece will hit them and some horses spook.  When you talk to some of the older farmers/loggers they all have a story or two about run aways.

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All harnessed up and ready to go!
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Make sure you get my good side!

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Two of our charter members
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Did you see that? He forgot to hook up the log.

Here's what it looks like from the drivers seat.  

Going on a sleigh ride
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There's nothing better then listening to the clink of chains.

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One of our members trying his hand at pulling.
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These fella's live for this.

:-)