How to hook up a horse harness to a cart

Updated April 17, 2017

The horse cart did not disappear due to the invention of the automobile. Horse carriages are often found in city parks or even on family farms, and offer a fun, leisurely ride. It's important to know how to properly hook a horse harness to a cart. Should these two items come apart, it would be bad news for everyone involved.

Push the vehicle to where the horse is to prepare the horse to be hooked to the cart.

Take the cart shafts and press them through the cart loops. The carriage shafts are long, metal extensions that go alongside the horse and are directly attached to the carriage or cart. The loops are leather straps which the metal shafts will pass through and which will eventually be hooked to the harness.

Attach the hold backs, which are located on the breeching body of the harness. These are smaller leather straps that are also hooked onto the shaft to prevent the cart from sliding into the back of the horse.

Attach the hooks of the tugs, straps which are a part of the harness, to the cart's whippletree. The whippletree are wooden or metal rings protruding from the cart which the tugs can be directly hooked into. This will attach the horse and the cart. The tugs should be pulled taut to keep them from slapping the horse's legs.

Check over the harness and the cart on all sides to make sure that everything is properly attached. You may need to let the cart ride several paces to make sure that it is fully connected and to see if there are any problems.

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About the Author

A writer since 1995, Brooke Turner has been published in the "Duluth News Tribune" and "Ashland Daily Press," as well as various advertising publications. She is a freelance copywriter and the owner and operator of Blue Quill Writing Services in Ottertail, Minn. Turner also maintains two blogs: The Blog of Brooke and Blue Quill Writing.