Donkeys & horses: animal traction

Animal traction was enhanced by the shoulder collar for horses and from the front yoke for the ox; the use of the four-wheeled chariot spread
which was used to transport stone blocks and large laurel trunks
used for the construction of buildings and large churches.
The collar is a tool used to distribute the load around
at the horse’s neck, for pulling a heavy cart or plow.
It was a driving force for the development of Europe, since the replacement of donkeys,
with the most efficient horses for transportation, it got the economy off the ground,
it reduced pure subsistence agriculture and allowed the beginning
of industrial development, education and the arts.
In Europe, before the 6th century, chariots were pulled using a harness
made of flat straps around the animal’s neck and chest,
with the load applied to the highest point of the harness, at the base of the neck.
These straps pressed on the horse’s trachea and restricted it
breathing capacity and reducing traction power.

Donkeys were preferred to horses, precisely because of this problem in donkeys
it was avoided by the anatomical differences between the two species.
Following the introduction of the rigid collar in the 8th and 9th centuries,
the use of horses for transportation quickly spread throughout Europe.
As horses work 50% faster than donkeys,
with horses, the peasants could produce a surplus.

 

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