A horse collar is a very important component of a horse harness device. This device is used in allocating load around the neck and shoulder of a horse when it pulls a plow or a carriage. The horse collar helps the horse to use its total strength when it is pulling something. It allows the horse to push forward with its rear legs into the collar rather than to pull with its shoulders because it is requisite to do if wearing a breast collar or a yoke.
The horse collar reduces pressure on the windpipe. Horses wear the collar made up of either leather or nylon. Leather is easy to clean, strong, and durable. It looks attractive but is expensive. Nylon is cheap, very strong (perhaps too strong), and durable but unattractive to look at. The following account cites more information on the horse collar.
Design of Horse Collar
A horse collar is oval-shaped and it is not very flexible by design. It is a padded piece of equipment that conforms nicely to the shape of the body of a horse. It is made in such a way that it avoids the passage of air at all points of contact with the body of the horse. When the airway of the horse is protected, it becomes possible for the animal to work with its full force to pull a load.
Development of the Horse Collar
At the earliest, there were horse collars which were not exactly the collars but resembled a yoke. Then ‘breast collar harness’ came into vogue. With time ‘collar harness’ came. The time flew on its wings and a nicely padded horse collar came up that does not bear any sign of the yoke. Chinese paintings from different dynasties depict various designs of horse collars. A painting that dates back to 840 A.D to 860 A.D perfectly depicts the horse collar with a well-padded collar coming low on the chest and rising behind the cross-bar. By the 12th century, it was universally accepted.
Impact of Horse Collar
With the advent of the horse collar, the previous physical restrictions of the old harness on horses were removed. It helped the horse in exerting its total strength. With the help of a horse collar, the horse could easily push its workload, thus, its efficiency was enhanced. When the horse collar was combined with horseshoes and heavy plows and other good changes in the agricultural sector, the food-producing efficiency of the peasants increased.
Labor specialization emerged with the superfluous growth in food production. Now farmers could change their source of livelihood and concentrate on other skills. This led to the rise of the merchant class within European society. Thus, the horse collar played a very significant part in putting the feudal system to an end and a changeover was witnessed in the Middle Ages.
Since the horse collar was invented, horses became tremendously valuable for agricultural success and for pulling heavy vehicles. When the horse was harnessed with the horse collar, it could provide a work effort of 50% more foot-pounds per second. The horse collar was momentous in the development of Europe because the replacement of oxen with horses for plowing enhanced the economy, reduced dependence on subsistence farming, and allowed the growth of early industry, education, and the arts in the mounting of market-based towns.
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