Draught Horse Collarhorse collar
Manufacture of harnesses and collars for horses
Old craftsmanship in train harnesses and horse collars goes back several thousand years and is still going on today. The HCA friend Terry Davies still develops the abilities and technique necessary for this handicraft. Using a horse as a "working tool" depends on the use of an appropriate harness, in which the abilities of the harnessor and collar makers are crucial.
Until the beginning of the 20th centruy, the manufacture of necklaces made of raw hay and leathers was an independent trade, which was carried out by a subdivision of harnesses manufacturers specially educated for this task and inseparably connected in the manufacture of harnesses for draught-horse. Collarmaker' s skill lies in the capacity to make excellent necklaces of great artistical and utility value, which correspond to the different sizes and shapes of the horse on which they are used.
Necklaces that do not meet the horse's needs have the capacity to seriously harm or limit the animal's capacity to carry out its duties well. A horse - a collar" is an old proverb that still determines the production of necklaces today.
Nowadays, the horse's function as a "working tool" has been replaced by technical progress and many of the trades associated with it have declined sharply. Now you can count the rest of the collar and belt manufacturers in the UK on the hands of one person.
However, in the last two centuries, the use of the horse has picked up considerably. Enthusiasts who stay connected to the horse and the long story that surrounds it do this. The horse-drawn carriages and the environmentally sound interest in the workhorse has led to this revitalisation and collar production is still practised as a tradition, with both the domestic and the western market generating great interest.
The hope is that this can be retained and that the long-proven craftsmanship will continue.