Friday, January 15, 2016

Horse-Drawn Carriages in Motion

Friday, January 15, 2016

Loretta reports:

The heroine of Dukes Prefer Blondes drives her own vehicle—a cabriolet, as pictured at left— and there's quite a bit of traveling in the story, in various kinds of vehicles, including the hackney cabs and coaches I recently described
This short video offers s a chance to watch horses and carriages in action. Note that many of the vehicles are earlier than the time of my story, and some are quite modern, made specially for extreme carriage racing.

Image: John Ferneley,William Massey-Stanley Driving His Cabriolet in Hyde Park 1833, courtesy Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Collection

Readers who receive our blog via email might see a rectangle, square, or nothing where the video ought to be.  To watch the video, please click on the title to this post.


chickenchupacabra said...

Thank you for your post today . . . that video brought tears to my eyes.

Susan Chapek said...

What a great video for research--thanks for spotlighting it.

Regencyresearcher said...

Beautiful motion of the horses. They move like dancers. Of course, they aren't pulling heavy vehicles up hill. Horses are lovely .

Lillian Marek said...

Fascinating. It wasn't until I watched his video that I realized how much training and practice it must take for a pair of horses to go around a curve or corner. One has to go much slower/faster than the other, and then reverse for a curve in the opposite direction. I assume the driver is giving directions through the reins, but still…
I will now be more impressed by ladies and gentlemen who are known as notable whips.

Darth Tater said...

I had the privilege of attending a couple of driving workshops put on by the Fraiser School of Driving. If you are able to audit, Kayo & Alex are very good about explaining and answering questions.

Drayton Bird said...

The statue in the background still there at Hyde Park Corner celebrated the Duke Of Wellington. Visit his home nearby. Well worth it.

Beth said...

A few more videos of what drivers and horses are capable of, for those who might be interested:
These both emphasize the 'cross-country' portion of the competition, and so use modern carriages and harness, but the skills are still relevant.

Lazy Gardens said...

Getting the horses to start out on the same foot like a marching band was part of their training. It makes for a much smoother pull if they are in step and is less tiring on the team.

It also make a smoother pull and less tiring for the horses if the pairs are matched in stride length and height. the "perfectly matched pair" or team was not just a fashion statement. If not all matched, the "wheelers" would be the larger pair and the leaders the smaller pair. The leaders are doing the "steering" and the rest of the team is just following their lead. You only need the reins on the wheelers to get them to back up, not for steering.

A farmer where I grew up used draft horses for logging and farming. His hitch of Shires (big black horses with white hairy leggings) would all start on voice command and keep in step. I saw them pulling the truck part of an 18-wheeler out of a muddy ditch ... they had tried the biggest tow truck in the area and it couldn't do it. Jess hitched up his full team, and when 12 draft horses all dug in and hit the collars simultaneously, that truck moved. It took about 3 lunges to unstick it and then they kept pulling until it was on solid ground. All by voice command.

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