Cover Image
close this book Animal traction
View the document About this manual
View the document About the author
View the document Acknowledgments
close this folder 1. Introduction
View the document What is animal traction?
View the document History of animal traction
View the document Why use animal traction?
View the document Some considerations
View the document How can animal traction be used?
View the document Before beginning: what do you need to know?
close this folder 2. Draft animal selection
View the document Popular draft animals
View the document Determining power requirements
View the document General rules concerning power requirements
View the document Method for determining size of the hitch
View the document Determining weights of animals
View the document Selection of individual draft animals
View the document Conformation
View the document Temperament
close this folder 3. Animal husbandry
View the document Sheller
View the document Nutrition
View the document Grooming
View the document Minor medical problems and first aid
close this folder 4. Training draft animals
View the document Before training begins
View the document General comments on training procedure
View the document Training cattle
View the document Program for training cattle
View the document Training horses, donkeys and mules
View the document Program for training horses, donkeys and mules
close this folder 5. Yokes and harnesses
View the document Yokes and harnesses for cattle
View the document Yokes and harnesses for horses, donkeys and mules
View the document How to harness a horse, donkey or mule
View the document Steering systems
View the document Breeching harness
close this folder 6. Hitches
View the document Safety rules
View the document Implement hitches
View the document Vehicle hitches
View the document 7. Field operations and implements
close this folder 8. Economic and technical assistance
View the document Farm planning assistance
View the document Equipment options
View the document Credit for equipment
View the document Credit for animals
View the document Procedures and controls
close this folder 9. Animal traction extension
View the document Extension education
View the document Appendix A: Animal power
close this folder Appendix B: Animal nutrition
View the document Energy needs: bovine animals
View the document Energy needs: equine animals
View the document Nutrient needs of draft animals: protein, minerals, vitamins
View the document Feeds and feed composition
View the document Calculating a ration
View the document Recommended rations and feeding practices
close this folder Appendix C: Disease recognition and control
View the document Parasites and parasitic disease
View the document Appendix D: Workshop and spare parts inventory
View the document Appendix E: Animal traction instruction forms
View the document Appendix F: Animal breeds used for power
View the document Bibliography
View the document Resources
View the document GIossary

5. Yokes and harnesses

Yokes and harnesses are kinds of gear worn by draft animals when they work. Most of the gear is designed for pulling; it fits around or over the animal's front, providing a broad, comfortable surface to push against. The "push" is turned into pull through use of rope, chain or leather lines which connect the yoke or harness to the load.

Yokes are normally used with oxen because these animals drive forward with their heads and necks low, and have both strength and protection there. The yoke is a bar or frame of wood which locks two animals together, one at either end of a bar carried on the withers or strapped to the horns. In some instances, equine teams are fitted with padding that allows them to pull from this type of yoke. Other types of yoke are for single animals, and still others are for special use with harnessed wagon teams.

Harnesses are networks of adjustable leather straps and pads used primarily for horses, donkeys, and mules. These animals have broad chests and strong shoulders, and so their harnesses are made to fit against these areas. The use of harness can increase the power of oxen, but the expense of leather and difficulty of ensuring fit have limited acceptance of this practice.

Major types of yoke and pulling harness are discussed in this section. Steering, braking, and backing-up gear is discussed also, because it is used along with pulling gear. A full set of harness consists of a collar or breastband harness, a bridle and lines (reins), and a breeching harness. A yoke is not normally considered a harness; when it is used along with other gear, the set is identified as a "yoke with lines," or a "yoke with lines and breaching".