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I Forge Iron

Farm Hames or Pulling Hames

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Far as I know their really is no diference between pulling and farm hames. Originally working hames were made from bent ash or hickory with an iron or later steel band and hardware. Tubular steel James were introduced. As far as I know the balls are just decorations. 



So you can see 3 working horse hames. They make much lighter ones as well. 

The lower picture is the hames on my harness, as I am currently working a draft horse for a client, she is descend to pull a Cinderella carriage in Brick town.

the smaller one the one from the first picture, to compatre a light horse or mule to a draft horse.  

The wooden hames are acualy nicer as one can adjust the angle of draft by moving the traces up or down, as well as adjusting the length of the trace chains. 

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In our area Pulling Hames are cast Aluminum as they will stand the big loads they are pulling. 10,000 lbs or more  Then there are assorted driving Hames some chrome and show hames on the big multi hitches with their French collars.  The wooden hames were on the farm use in my early years but saw a number break under load and injure a horse or two so we switched to the aluminum when they came out. I used wooden hames on our pulling ponies as Aluminum weren't available in that size then.  My last couple of harnesses in the barn were aluminum hamed but somebody helped themselves to them by cutting all the leather off with a knife,  Ruined everything.  Had my initials cut into them but I've never seen them in 20 yrs.  

The balls were for show and there were a few different designs of them.  Everyone likes to dress up their drive, car or horse.  Then some folks had Hame covers that wrapped over the hames and had holes for the tops or balls to show through.  Original idea was to keep snow from getting in under the collar.  They became popular on the better funded pulling teams with lots of brass on them.

the wooden Hames Charles show are uncommon in New England but we have our own style harnesses as well as design of the neck yokes.  I presume it has to do with all of our hills and going down them with a heavy load and the horses trying to hold it back.  Our adjustments were usually increasing or decreasing the top hame strap to lift or drop the angle of pull. 

I have pictures of all this but they are stored in boxes somewhere in the middle of our move between farms and lord knows where at this point.


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