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Lehcarjt
06-01-2011, 12:12 AM
Thanks for any assistance you can provide.

My protag is driving a 1880's small carriage/buggy (I'm not any more specific that that). There is an accident ahead of her on the road (rural). She stops and gets down to help. How would she keep the horse in place? I don't want her to tie it to a tree. Would the carriage have some kind of brake or stop?

Chase
06-01-2011, 12:35 AM
I'm from Montana where lots of folks still drive buggies of the 1880s, if only for parades. Though most have a friction lever hand-brake, it's usually only applied to one of the four wheels.

Most buggies carry in the foot or boot an iron or cement weight (about the size of a cinder block). My granddad's was a small anvil. It is clipped to the collar or trace on a short tether and set on the ground, kind of like an anchor for a boat.

shaldna
06-01-2011, 12:54 AM
A lot of this depends on WHERE the story is set to be honest, but I've tried to answer as best I can.

carriages and carts have breaks, but even if they didn't, the horses are trained to stand when they are stopped, so they won't wander off.

i'm not sure that a female would be driving any sort of carriage or buggy or cart, especially on a rural road, by herself at the time period.

Carriages are generally covered vehicles, although there are 'convertible' and open options, they are usually pulled by a pair or a team, designed to house passengers inside, and a driver outside. Driving a team requires more skill than a single horse.

In the time period you have suggested it's likely that the carriage was something like a barouche, which was a sort of hooded carriage, but not terribly practical for country driving.

of course you could have had a Brougham, which is a four wheeled, more manouverable carriage, usually private use.

A brake was more suitable for country driving, but was generally open top, which might not be ideal for most climates.

there might be a dog cart, which was an open topped, fairly robust sort of cart, and was popular in the late 19th century.

In the states the Hansom cab was popular, being sleek and fast,but again, its pretty useless on more rural roads.

If she is a rural person, such as a farmer etc, then she would most likely be driving a cart, probably open and flat backed. buggys are not good for rural roads, being bouncy and light and having a tendancy to fly off when they hit a pot hole.



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Lehcarjt
06-01-2011, 01:30 AM
Thanks so much for the responses. Let me throw out some additional information and see if you guys can help me understand what specifically would happen in this situation.

The setting is 1880's California valley land (farm orchards) on a well traveled dirt road. She isn't alone, but her companion left her in charge of their vehicle while he assesses the situation. (the road is blocked by an overturned wagon.) She sees someone in need of help and decides to follow, but must leave the horse on its own.

The family are wealthier farmers (own land, have tenants, etc.), but not Stanford's or anything. They are on their way home from visiting relatives in town.

I've been using the term 'buggy' in the story. Would 'cart' or 'brake' be more appropriate?

If she left the horse standing in place, how would she secure the reins in the buggy so that they don't sag off the bit/harness?

Thanks again.

jclarkdawe
06-01-2011, 02:53 AM
Why wouldn't you tie to a tree? You tie to the easiest thing around. My favorite is in Amish country seeing the horses tied to lampposts in Wal-Mart parking lots. If you're in an area with no trees, like Montana, you carry an anchor.

I have a horse that is trained to ground-tie. In other words, you drop the reins on the ground and he thinks he's tied. However, depending upon where I am and how much of a problem him escaping will be, think I might tie him?

So decision to tie depends upon where you are and the training of the horse. Often a carriage horse is tied with a regular lead clipped to the left-side bridle ring. Working carriage horses are not moddle-coddled, and learn that pulling in this situation is not very comfortable.

Depending upon the design of the wagon, either the reins would be wrapped around the rail on the front of the wagon, or the brake lever. You'll see this all the time in Western movies.

Even if the wagon has a parking brake (I've very rarely seen one that does), you're not going to rely on the brake very much. Wagons and carriages are rather light.

I friend who had an axle break on his two-wheeled carriage. Thing is on the ground, no wheels, and the damn pair bolts (his damn, not mine). He bails out, and finds the horses (easily tracked) two miles away, with a few pieces of leather and wood behind them. Carriage didn't slow the horses down a bit in their runaway.

Best of luck,

Jim Clark-Dawe

shaldna
06-01-2011, 01:14 PM
If she left the horse standing in place, how would she secure the reins in the buggy so that they don't sag off the bit/harness?

The reins go through several rings on the harness to keep them up and stop them dropping down by the horses legs.

The reins themselves are looped over a rein hook on the carriage when the driver is not in the seat, this keeps the reins where the driver can get them. In more rustic carts you can loop them over a hook, or, often, as Jim mentioned, over the break lever.




Why wouldn't you tie to a tree? You tie to the easiest thing around. My favorite is in Amish country seeing the horses tied to lampposts in Wal-Mart parking lots. If you're in an area with no trees, like Montana, you carry an anchor.

Bear in mind that if you tie a horse to a tree then it needs to be with a separate rope - do not tie the horse with the reins unless you have absolutey no other choice because if they pull back and snap the reins then you can't drive them home.



I have a horse that is trained to ground-tie. In other words, you drop the reins on the ground and he thinks he's tied. However, depending upon where I am and how much of a problem him escaping will be, think I might tie him?

All my horses are trained to ground tie. I live in open country and I do alot of endurance and hunting. I think it's one of the most useful things people can teach a horse, and sadly not too many horses over her are taught it, it seems to be more an american thing.

jclarkdawe
06-01-2011, 05:31 PM
Originally Posted by jclarkdawe http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/images/buttons/viewpost.gif (http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?p=6199608#post6199608)
Why wouldn't you tie to a tree? You tie to the easiest thing around. My favorite is in Amish country seeing the horses tied to lampposts in Wal-Mart parking lots. If you're in an area with no trees, like Montana, you carry an anchor.

Bear in mind that if you tie a horse to a tree then it needs to be with a separate rope - do not tie the horse with the reins unless you have absolutey no other choice because if they pull back and snap the reins then you can't drive them home.

I separated it in my answer, and probably shouldn't have. Most working carriages carry a lead attached either to a halter over the bridle or the bit ring. This can be anything from a short piece (perfect for a hitching rail) about three feet long to a lead about ten feet long that can tie to anything. You can either attach it as needed, or run it along the near side of the horse, usually on the shaft. Also you can carry a feed bag, with some low energy food to give the horse something to munch on (an eating horse tends to be a happy horse).

I'd see if there is an Amish community near you as they do this day in and day out and know what they're doing.

One technique for holding a horse in position with a carriage that I forgot to mention is just pointing the horse at a solid object. If a horse can't see anyplace to go, he's unlikely to go anywhere. And horses are unlikely to move backwards or sideways.


I have a horse that is trained to ground-tie. In other words, you drop the reins on the ground and he thinks he's tied. However, depending upon where I am and how much of a problem him escaping will be, think I might tie him? All my horses are trained to ground tie. I live in open country and I do alot of endurance and hunting. I think it's one of the most useful things people can teach a horse, and sadly not too many horses over her are taught it, it seems to be more an american thing.

It's not even an American thing, but a Western American thing. It's most useful in wide open spaces where there is nothing to tie to and the rider is getting up and down constantly. Other than in ranch horses, endurance riders seem to be the ones who use it the most.

By the way, I was having a short circuit on the name of the riding implement that you wanted. They would most likely use a buckboard. Designed for rough roads, easy and cheap to make, it's what would have been used in California anyplace but the major cities. It's an incredibly versital vehicle, easy to lift out of the mud, easy to fix a wheel, and incredibly rugged and can carry people and/or a small amount of freight. It was the carriage of choice in the American West.

Conestoga wagons were used for heavy freighting. Buggies would have been more in the East.

Best of luck,

Jim Clark-Dawe

Tsu Dho Nimh
06-01-2011, 09:07 PM
I don't want her to tie it to a tree. Would the carriage have some kind of brake or stop?
Brakes are for runaways.

She would use a weight that you drop near the horses head and attach to the bridle. I don't know what you call them - we called them the "carriage weight". Also called "carriage stay". Made of wood, iron or even stone.

http://cgi.ebay.com/Cast-Iron-Carriage-Buggy-Horse-Tie-Down-TETHER-HITCH-/190524964385

http://www.worthpoint.com/worthopedia/18th-century-horse-tether-rein-hitch-lasso-wagon

Depending on how the reins are run, you loop the reins through this, or you clip a tie (a leash) between the bridle and the carriage stay.


The setting is 1880's California valley land (farm orchards) on a well traveled dirt road.

The family are wealthier farmers (own land, have tenants, etc.), but not Stanford's or anything. They are on their way home from visiting relatives in town.
For visiting, my grandmothers 1880s California well-to-do farmer family used a buggy. Most of them were single-seaters, some had two seats, but it was still a buggy. Fancy names like Brougham, Stanhope or Surry dropped out of use in the western US - they had buckboards or wagons for freight, carts for short-term hauling around the farm, and a buggy to drive themselves to town.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Horse_and_buggy
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Horse_and_buggy_1910.jpg


I've been using the term 'buggy' in the story. Would 'cart' or 'brake' be more appropriate? Cart was a two-wheeled utility vehicle, used for hauling manure, or sporty 2-wheeled vehicle used by doctors who needed light weight and speed.

"Brake" is this: http://www.caaonline.com/seabrook/wagonette.html used for hauling hunting dogs around your estate, or the guests from the railway to the hotel ... not a family vehicle.


If she left the horse standing in place, how would she secure the reins in the buggy so that they don't sag off the bit/harness?
There will be a holder for the reins near the driver. You loop them around it a couple of times.

Look at this site:
http://www.bowmancarriage.com/index.php?p=1_4_Custom-Order
My great grandfather had theOpen 2-Seated Buggy and the women used parasols
Also popular was the 2 Seated Cut-under Surrey with Auto Top with the solid top for shade.

Lehcarjt
06-01-2011, 11:36 PM
Thanks so much. I'm having a much easier time visualizing this.