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how many lines/reins

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  • how many lines/reins

    My apologies if this has been asked & answered - I searched, but couldn't find it.

    How many lines does the driver hold in an 8-horse hitch?

    16-horse?

    Thanks.
    Approved helmet: Every time; every ride.
    "When a sport gets to be predictable it ceases to be fun." - RAR's wise brother

  • #2
    I "think", someone correct me if i'm wrong... You would have one set of reins per pair, if you are using coupling reins. So an 8 horse hitch would have 4 sets of reins in your hand, 16 would have 8 sets of reins... I THINK... If you were not using coupling reins, you would be holding twice as many...
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    • #3
      The 16 horse hitch would depend on how you coupled the horses
      8 rows of 2
      4 rows of 4

      with that, I beleive that it would be one pair of reins per row of horses

      and sometimes when you get the long hitches you dont have reins IN HAND for the middle rows that just follow what is in front of them
      and usually also have on the ground or ridden handlers

      Comment


      • #4
        8 one per horse.

        A four in hand, you have 4 horses; a leader pair and a wheeler pair. and you have 4 reins because you couple the pairs together.

        a 6 in hand same thing, 6 reins, and the middle pair is called the swing pair.

        Add another swing pair and you have your 8. so its 8 reins.


        If they are abreast, then I am not sure.
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        • #5
          Munch - you may be confusing the issue. For a 4-in-hand, you have TWO sets of reins - one set per pair: the leader pair have one set; the wheeler pair have one set. Just like a single horse has a single set of reins, and a pair has a single set of reins: the right and left rein are not considered two reins. They are considered one.

          Horses driven in more than two abreast will have one set of reins per grouping, just as if they were a pair. If you have a three leaders and two wheelers - you will have one set of reins for the leaders, one for the wheelers. But each rein will be connected to the bits of each group - one left rein coupled to the leader's bits on the left side, the right rein coupled to all the leader's bits on the right side.

          An "English driving" private whip (non-commerical/non farm/non draft) driving a 6 in hand will have three sets of reins in each hand. One for the leaders, one for the middle, and one for the wheelers.

          A tandem would require 2 sets of reins, one set for the leader, one for the wheeler.

          DNJ is right regarding draft and commercial rigs - the number of reins for a #-up team depends upon whether the driver wants to couple each side-by-side set of horses to the ones in front, or if he wants direct reins to them. Sometimes only the leaders and wheelers have reins going back to the driver's hand. That would make the swing horses coupled to each other so that they simply follow the ones in the lead and aren't directed directly by the driver.
          Last edited by gothedistance; May. 2, 2012, 04:24 PM.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by gothedistance View Post
            Munch - you may be confusing the issue. For a 4-in-hand, you have TWO sets of reins - one set per pair: the leader pair have one set; the wheeler pair have one set. Just like a single horse has a single set of reins, and a pair has a single set of reins: the right and left rein are not considered two reins. They are considered one.
            .

            She asked, how many lines. when you have multiple horses, there is ONE line, true it is coupled and I stated that. but its ONE LINE. The direct line, the outside line.

            so if its an 8 horse hitch, the driver has 8 lines in their hand. believe me I am not some fly by night horse person. I have 20+ years experience and have worked for several teams including CDE teams and coaching teams.

            the OP did not ask for SETS, true it is one set (two lines) for each pair. And at the end of the day, its still 8 lines for 8 horses.
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            • #7
              Originally posted by MunchingonHay View Post
              She asked, how many lines. when you have multiple horses, there is ONE line, true it is coupled and I stated that. but its ONE LINE. The direct line, the outside line.

              so if its an 8 horse hitch, the driver has 8 lines in their hand. believe me I am not some fly by night horse person. I have 20+ years experience and have worked for several teams including CDE teams and coaching teams.

              the OP did not ask for SETS, true it is one set (two lines) for each pair. And at the end of the day, its still 8 lines for 8 horses.
              Don't get upset. I'm not saying anything negative about you. Thomas is gone, remember? We're all back to being happy and supportive here again. No nastiness anymore.

              I'm thinking that our OP might get confused since your post talks about a 4 in hand having 4 reins, etc. I believe she was probably wondering how many sets (lines) are held. If a driver of an 8-up puts the horses together paired in twos, AND has reins going to each pair, then they would hold 4 sets of lines because the turnout would be comprised of 4 pairs. If the eight were all in a line, then it would be 8 lines.

              But a 4 in hand is always 2 sets of reins, not "4 reins".

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              • Original Poster

                #8
                This is like hound couples, right?

                I probably should have asked "how many strips of leather or biothane or whatever are you holding?"

                For the sake of simplicity, let's assume that "leather" means "leather or biothane or whatever".

                Riding or driving single, I have one strip of leather in each hand.
                Driving a side-by-side pair, I still have one in each hand - one goes to the left side of both bits, and the other goes to the right side of both bits, right?

                (Do I even want to ask about driving tandem?)

                If you have 4 horses - a 2 x 2 matrix - would you have in your hands 4 strips of leather?
                In the left hand - A connects to the left side of both leader's bits, and B connects to the left side of both wheeler's bits
                In the right hand - A connects to the right side of both leader's bits, and B connects to the right side of both wheeler's bits
                Yes?
                If that's the case, is there a standard for inside/outside leader/wheeler?

                If you have 6 horses - 2 abreast - you could have 4 strips or 6 strips, depending on whether the swing horses are under your direct control?

                What about a 8-horse hitch like what Budweiser drives?


                This question came up because I saw a picture on FB of a 16-horse hitch - 2 abreast. I shared it, commenting that I only needed 15 more ponies, and I'd be set. Then someone asked about the number of reins involved, pointing out that eventually you would run out of places to put reins.
                Approved helmet: Every time; every ride.
                "When a sport gets to be predictable it ceases to be fun." - RAR's wise brother

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by gothedistance View Post
                  Don't get upset. I'm not saying anything negative about you. Thomas is gone, remember? We're all back to being happy and supportive here again. No nastiness anymore.

                  I'm thinking that our OP might get confused since your post talks about a 4 in hand having 4 reins, etc. I believe she was probably wondering how many sets (lines) are held. If a driver of an 8-up puts the horses together paired in twos, AND has reins going to each pair, then they would hold 4 sets of lines because the turnout would be comprised of 4 pairs. If the eight were all in a line, then it would be 8 lines.

                  But a 4 in hand is always 2 sets of reins, not "4 reins".
                  Sorry I was touchy, I feel like just because I dont have a ton of posts to my name, there is no credit to my posts. It happens all the time.

                  So, I's sorry .
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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Risk-Averse Rider View Post
                    This is like hound couples, right?

                    I probably should have asked "how many strips of leather or biothane or whatever are you holding?"

                    For the sake of simplicity, let's assume that "leather" means "leather or biothane or whatever".

                    Riding or driving single, I have one strip of leather in each hand.
                    Driving a side-by-side pair, I still have one in each hand - one goes to the left side of both bits, and the other goes to the right side of both bits, right?

                    (Do I even want to ask about driving tandem?)

                    If you have 4 horses - a 2 x 2 matrix - would you have in your hands 4 strips of leather?
                    In the left hand - A connects to the left side of both leader's bits, and B connects to the left side of both wheeler's bits
                    In the right hand - A connects to the right side of both leader's bits, and B connects to the right side of both wheeler's bits
                    Yes?
                    If that's the case, is there a standard for inside/outside leader/wheeler?

                    If you have 6 horses - 2 abreast - you could have 4 strips or 6 strips, depending on whether the swing horses are under your direct control?

                    What about a 8-horse hitch like what Budweiser drives?


                    This question came up because I saw a picture on FB of a 16-horse hitch - 2 abreast. I shared it, commenting that I only needed 15 more ponies, and I'd be set. Then someone asked about the number of reins involved, pointing out that eventually you would run out of places to put reins.
                    you are starting to get it.

                    if you are sitting on the carriage. (let's start with the leaders, be it a 8, 6, 4 or 10 hitch all pairs 2X2)


                    When you have multiple pairs, (which this is) the line looks like a big, long Y but, instead of the right arm of the Y being fixed, it is buckled and can be adjusted, so actually the left leader, left line is one long line with a "coupling" line to the right leaders left bit side. ( are you picturing this?) This controls the left line.


                    on the opposite side, for the right its the same thing only backwards. the right horse as one long line attached to the right side of his bit with the buckled coupling line attached to the right side of the left leaders bit.

                    SO stay with me. Technically, there is ONE line for each horse, the long, outside direct line.

                    Repeat for every pair.
                    Pairs be it the, swing, leader, wheeler are only coupled together.



                    I do not know how many there are in the hitch when the swing pairs are just strung together, I would assume over 10 or 12. I have seen, and you have too the Budweiser horses and they are all being directly driven.

                    on a side note, if you detach the traces for each pair, you can walk them off safely from the carriage/other horses.

                    and by traces, I mean the think strips of leather that connect the horse to the carriage, not like in the article where Jacob Arnold drives his horses that way
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                    • Original Poster

                      #11
                      Originally posted by MunchingonHay View Post
                      When you have multiple pairs, (which this is) the line looks like a big, long Y but, instead of the right arm of the Y being fixed, it is buckled and can be adjusted, so actually the left leader, left line is one long line with a "coupling" line to the right leaders left bit side. ( are you picturing this?) This controls the left line.


                      on the opposite side, for the right its the same thing only backwards. the right horse as one long line attached to the right side of his bit with the buckled coupling line attached to the right side of the left leaders bit.

                      SO stay with me. Technically, there is ONE line for each horse, the long, outside direct line.
                      Right. That's how Driving Clinic Guy hitched his pair of drafts. So for 2 horses, we had 2 pieces of leather - one in each hand.

                      I could technically hold a total of 8 pieces of leather (although I'd probably drop several of them!) - 5 fingers per hand, 4 slots to put stuff in.

                      If I understand you correctly, that's what the Budweiser drivers have.

                      But other drivers of 8-horse hitches might only have 6 lines, or possibly only 4?
                      Approved helmet: Every time; every ride.
                      "When a sport gets to be predictable it ceases to be fun." - RAR's wise brother

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Risk-Averse Rider View Post
                        Right. That's how Driving Clinic Guy hitched his pair of drafts. So for 2 horses, we had 2 pieces of leather - one in each hand.

                        I could technically hold a total of 8 pieces of leather (although I'd probably drop several of them!) - 5 fingers per hand, 4 slots to put stuff in.

                        If I understand you correctly, that's what the Budweiser drivers have.

                        But other drivers of 8-horse hitches might only have 6 lines, or possibly only 4?
                        lisa stroud drove a 6 in hand at either Live Oak or Little Everglades recently. She held 6 lines. I dont think 8 would be an issue as I have seen 10 held in hand. Well, I think they then start to use 2 hands.


                        I have never seen more than a 12 horse hitch in person, only in video or photograph. But I would think in hitches in which there are more than 12 you stop holding the swing pairs in hand.
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                        • #13
                          Have you seen that REALLY long "tandem?" friesian hitch? I forget how many there were, 16 maybe? Maybe more? He had a bazillion lines in his hands. That was sorta incredible. He was leaning back with lines hanging out behind him on the carriage. I was trying to find it on youtube but must not be hitting the key search words for it.

                          Munchingonhay... I think you have enough posts to be credible, though i never knew the amount of posts makes you smart or not on COTH, i mean, what if i just made 3,000 stupid posts...
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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by MunchingonHay View Post
                            Sorry I was touchy, I feel like just because I dont have a ton of posts to my name, there is no credit to my posts. It happens all the time.

                            So, I's sorry .
                            Awwww. Don't be sorry. Weeze loffs you!

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by gothedistance View Post
                              Awwww. Don't be sorry. Weeze loffs you!
                              awe shucks
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                              • #16
                                Originally posted by Risk-Averse Rider View Post
                                This is like hound couples, right?
                                Riiiiiiiight! One should not to ask the Huntsman "how many hounds are there?" One should ask "how many couples are there?" Foxhunting and driving have a lot in common!

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                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by butlerfamilyzoo View Post
                                  Have you seen that REALLY long "tandem?" friesian hitch? I forget how many there were, 16 maybe? Maybe more? He had a bazillion lines in his hands. That was sorta incredible. He was leaning back with lines hanging out behind him on the carriage. I was trying to find it on youtube but must not be hitting the key search words for it.

                                  Munchingonhay... I think you have enough posts to be credible, though i never knew the amount of posts makes you smart or not on COTH, i mean, what if i just made 3,000 stupid posts...
                                  I saw that video! Amazing!!!!!!!!!! I didn't even want to think of the weight of leather in that guy's hands. He must have fingers of steel!

                                  moh - I don't judge by the number of posts (unless it is 1 or 2 or 3... or up in the thousands for a relatively short period of time which would make me wonder if that person had a life beyond the keyboard). I judge credibility by the intelligence and knowledge displayed via the post, the tone of the writing, the quality of grammar and spelling, and the adherence to the subject. But most of all the tone. I'll listen to a friendly voice any day of the week. Nasty people, no matter how "experienced", have no place in my book.

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                                  • #18
                                    If you want to do the BIG MULTIPLES, 6-8 and up, you will have more success if your hands are sized like baseball mitts. You would have long fingers to thread reins/lines thru, a large palm to help grip with, when you have layers and layers of reins/lines coming from those horses.

                                    I watched the O's Gold, 40 horse hitch go a few times. The amount of leather weighing on the driver's hands was figured at about 150 POUNDS, and ALL horses were wearing reins/lines for their exhibition shows. They had a 2nd driver, and they traded the reins during the showing. Drivers both said the weight only allows for short driving times before your hands can't hold the load. Kind of cool watching the horses and wagon almost making their own arena sized circles with Leaders almost on the tailgate!! Figure 8 was also pretty impressive, using the width of the race track to turn and come back. I was surprised at the number of manuevers they could do with such a quantity of horses. Seems like they had 10 rows of 4 across. Hitching up alone, took over an hour with LOTS of help working on things. Same for unhitching.

                                    I watched one of those Fresian "tandem" hitches with a multitude of animals in front on Utube and in photos. They were just following the leader, not all even wearing reins! I was VERY disappointed in seeing jockey sticks on the middle horses, not really being driven.

                                    I know other drivers of the many horses hitched in Tandem, do actually drive each one with reins, but it takes those big hands and skills most of us lack. Chardon from the Netherlands did a display with horses from his own stables, all going in the Tandem. Was quite impressive and they were actually being driven. There were photos in driving magazines of the exhibition. Chardon would suit the "large hand" requirement, he is large in person. Husband said his hand totally disappeared inside Chardon's, when they shook hands at a driving activity.

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                                    • #19
                                      Some cool youtube videos of some multiple hitches....

                                      Schlitz 40 horse hitch
                                      Plowing with a 26 horse hitch
                                      40 horse hitch (seen from the box seat) and from the sidelines. There appears to be only 3 sets of reins, with a lead rope on each of the outside wheelers.
                                      Hitching up a V10 - very creative and VERY striking! The driver looks to have only 3 sets of reins (I had to freeze-frame at several points to count the lines going to the driver's hands), although he has four groups. I suspect the 3 abreast are just hooked to each other, and have no reins going to the driver.

                                      Some people have very creative way of putting together multiples. I've always been impressed with the draft people's love of having lots of horsepower out there in front of them!!

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                                      • #20
                                        I love looking at those big hitches

                                        Did you see in the Threshing Days one - the baby draftys follong the rig . . .
                                        Mama is one of the hitch

                                        I have friends who have ridden in the Circus Parade a couple times
                                        THe 40 horse was there one year

                                        Amazing to realine that those horses dont work together most of the time
                                        At the parade the brought together many teams who were all hitched up together just for the parade

                                        they practiced in the park where everyone camped and was staged
                                        Right along Lake Michigan - with a significant drop off into the lake if you missed a turn!

                                        The other thing is that they are pulling a great honking HUGE circus wagon with a full BAND ontop playing loudly

                                        You gotta love those horses for putting up with all the commotion so well.

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