Draft Collars and How To Size Them
Below are illustrations of different styles of draft collars, and information on how to size them, from The Work Horse Handbook by Lynn R. Miller.
“It is difficult to accurately measure a horse’s neck without fitting. In other words, there are so many variables involved in the shape and size of a horse’s neck that the only accurate and easy way to size the neck is to use several collars and put them on one at a time until fitting is found. In the heyday of the harness horse, collar makers had sliding shape-conforming measuring devices which were used.
“For the size of draft draw a tape measure around the collar at it’s widest point.
“The horses neck is measured from just ahead of the withers down along the neck to the windpipe, in a straight line. This measurement is not taken on the curve but straight… To order collars it would be helpful to be able to get a width measurement as well.
“Our friend, John Erskine, shared an ingenious idea for arriving at a width measurement for the horse’s neck. He holds two carpenter’s framing squares, with the short leg over the top of one another and the long legs on each side, forming a U. He slides this up from under the neck and adjusts to measure the width at the widest point.
The Work Horse Handbook was written by SFJ editor and publisher Lynn R. Miller, and is the comprehensive illustrated guide to every aspect of the working draft animal for the beginner and master teamster alike.