The collar harness is traditionally used with the English style and for heavy work.
The collar goes round the horse’s neck and is usually made of leather or very durable synthetic material.
It holds the hames, to which the traces are attached.
Through this construction the horse is enabled to pull a vehicle comfortably enough.
Types of Horse Collar Harnesses
The straight collar is the harness of choice for longer distances or heavy loads.
Its woolen or serge lining absorbs sweat very well, but after use it needs thorough drying and brushing to avoid skinsores over the areas it lies on the horse.
Bent collars or Kay collars are used for showing.
It is a very elegant harness and looks really "posh" on the horse and is best used with light vehicles on the showground.
Its lining is normally made of a very soft patent leather or russet leather.
These materials can be cleaned easily.
A piped collar has got a particular shaped bottom, that prevents the trachea or windpipe from being compressed during pulling.
Due to anatomic shapes, some horses would choke easily with normal shaped collars and need to wear such a particular shaped one.
Through this choking can be avoided.
The open top collar is used for horses with a wide head or a thin, narrow neck which needs a bit more padding or stuffing on the inside of the collar to ensure a correct fit.
It can be opened and slipped over the neck and is then closed with a housing strap before the hames are put on.