Chimacum Tack Glossary:

In an effort to provide our customers with the best service by providing the information you need before making a purchase, we offer the following glossary of horse and tack related terms for your reference. Please feel free to call or email with any questions that aren't answered here or on our FAQ's page. To browse, simply scroll down this page. To navigate to a specific term, simply click the letter it begins with from the text below. Additionally, you will find a diagram of harness parts at the end of this page. Feel free to skip ahead to the diagram by following the link below.


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Harness Parts & Names




Back Band
A backband is used as a saddle on a team harness
Back Band Billet
Back Strap
Belly Band
Belly Band Billet
A category of synthetic products designed for use in horse tack. Betathane comes in several grades - all of which are a fine webbing impregnated with a synthetic materials which makes them look very much like leather. Beta does not stretch, shrink, absorb water nor change texture in differing temperatures. It is several times stronger than leather. Beta also feels supple in your hand, has no stiffness or sharp edges.
A category of synthetic products designed for use in horse tack. Biothane or Bio sheeting are very shiny like patent leather. Made much like Betathane, Biothane has similar properties and works well for many tack items. It is somewhat stiffer than Betathane and has a stiffer feel and narrow edges. It is not so comfortable in hand and can become slippery when wet.
A piece of metal held in horse's mouth by the headstall of a bridle, and used to control the horse while riding.
Bit Strap
A small strap that attaches the bit to the main body of a driving bridle.
Blinds or Blinkers
These are attachments to the bridle cheek which are either rounded or square and extend out beyond the horse's eye to ease distraction while driving.
Blinker Stay
The piece of the bridle coming from the crown down over the forehead and the off to each side to hold the blinds away from the horse's eyes
Breast Collar
Part of the harness which goes across the animal's chest and attached to the Tugs (or traces) which attach to the vehicle. The breast coll is the part of the harness against which the horse pulls.
Breast Strap
Bridle - driving
A driving bridle is a headstall designed with blinds or blinkers and a check system this bridle attaches to the water hook on the saddle. Bridles are composed of a headstall, reins, and usually a bit.
Bridle Cheek
Britchin - Breeching
A strap going across the rump with rings on either end attached to hold back straps - the whole strap is held up by a hip strap and works as keep the vehicle from running up on the horse.
The strap of a bridle which crosses over the brow of the horse.
Leather noseband (customarily used with the English snaffle bridle) which encourages the horse to keep its mouth closed; a longeing cavesson is a leather or nylon headstall with a weighted noseband that has metal rings for various attachments of the longe line. Part of the bridle that goes over the nose and under the horse's jaw.
Used for the horse to pull against and help distribute the weight of the vehicle being pulled. Collars are normally made of leather stuffed with fine straw. Various styles and shapes are available.
Collar Strap
The strap of a bridle that crosses over the poll, behind the horses ears.
A soft folded leather loop which goes under the horse's tail to keep the harness from slipping forward.
Curb chain:
The chain attached to the bit passing under the horse's chin.
Curb strap:
The leather strap on the bit passing under the horse's chin.
A type of leverage bit with shanks, usually with a hump in the middle called the port
The widest part of a collar
Draft Horse
A draft horse, draught horse or dray horse (from the Anglo-Saxon dragan meaning to draw or haul) is a large horse bred for hard, heavy tasks such as ploughing, farm or freight work. Some examples are Percheron, Belgian, and Clydesdale. Draft horses weigh 1,500–2,200 pounds and can be as tall as 17 hands. Draught horses are versatile breeds used today for a multitude of purposes but all share the traits of strength, stamina, health, longevity, patience and a docile temperament which made them indispensable to generations of pre-industrial farmers.
Gig Saddle
A style of harness saddle used with a Gig style cart - usually has a tree and is well padded and shaped to prevent any pressure on the horse's spine while pulling.
A padded strap which attaches on either side of the saddle of the harness and adjusts to secure the harness.

Half Cheek
A half cheek bit has egg shaped rings at the side of the mouth piece with short flat bars (sometimes called spoons) going downward. These provide different communication with the horse by applying direct pressure to the sides of the jaw
A halter is headgear that is used to guide an animal. It fits over the back of the neck and across or around the animal's muzzle so that, when a handler pulls on the muzzle end of the halter, the animal's head turns towards the handler.
Hame strap
A short strap which connects the right and left hames together on top and bottom.
Hame tips
Decorative brass or chrome balls attahed to a sleeve which fit onto the top of the hames.
Used to connect the collar to the harness, hames are metal or wooden and come in a variety of styles. Hames should be ordered two sizes larger than the collar they will be used with.
The gear used to drive a horse, made up of a collection of straps and hardware. See Harness Parts & Names.
Heel Chain
Hip Strap
Hold Back Fittings
Metal brackets which attach to the underside of the shafts - shaped like a U below the shaft the hold back strap slips into the slot.
Hold Back Straps
Hold Backs attach to the breeching body at the side ring and then attach to the shafts of the vehicle to prevent the cart from running up on the horse
Hungarian Style
Pair harness designed in the breast collar style. Horses pull together against a cross member on the pole.
Layer Loop
Lazy Strap or Mud Carrier
Lead chain
A short length of chain used to go over the horses nose thru the halter sqaures. Used to apply pressure to the nose, if needed.
Lead or lead shank
A webbing, rope or leather strap with short length of chain and a snap, used to lead a horse.
The strap leading from the bit to the driver's hands in a driving harness. Reins used on a harness
Loop on Trace
A strap from the girth ending in two rings through which the reins pass, to help control the horse. 
Nose Band
A rein which goes from the bit over the face (in an X shape) then to the water hook on the saddle. Used to maintain proper head position while driving.
Pole Strap
Quarter Strap
The strap that goes from the belly band on the team harness to the britchin
Round metal decorative item used on the browband of a bridle.
Rump Safe
Long strips of leather which attach usually to a bit and extend to the position of the rider or driver for use in steering and controlling the horse.
Shaft Tip
Metal caps which fit over the ends of the cart shafts to protect the shaft.
Side Check
A rein which goes from the bit thru a ring on the side of the browband and then to the water hook on the saddle. Used to maintain proper head position while driving.
Single Tree
See whiffletree
Bit with a solid or jointed mouthpiece that has no shanks and works on principles of direct pressure only.
Spares Kit
Emergency repair kit carried in ADA driving events
Swinging Toggle
Metal swiging horsehead to be used on the bridle of a draft parade or show harness.
Horse tack is all the gear that comes with owning a horse. The bridle, saddle, bits, girths, cinches, saddle pads, lead ropes, halters, whips, stirrup irons and stirrup leathers, horse boots, and most other horse things are tack.
Tandem Harness
Tandem harness is designed for two horses to pull one vehicle with one horse in front of the other. One horse is between the shafts, the other is foreward of the shafts.
Round rings attached to the saddle of the harness thru which the lines run.
Throat Latch
A thin strap that runs the length of the headstall on a bridle that buckes under the throat of the horse to keep the headstall from coming off of the horse.
Trace Carrier
Trace or Tug
Traces are the part of the harness which attaches the horse to the vehicle.
Trace Safe
See traces
Whiffletree (whippletree)
A device, usually wooden with metal rings or hooks, to which traces are attached.
Whip Holder
Wooden or metal brackets which attach to the cart of hold the driving whip



Harness Parts & Names

harnais américain

Not all of these names may be in use in your region. Harness part names do tend to vary around the country and the world. This diagram should help answer your questions about harness parts. Feel free to contact us with additional questions, and we'll do our best to help you find answers!


01. Draught Horse 17. Back Band
02. Draught Horse 18. Collar
03. Blinds or Blinkers 19. Back Strap
04. Nose Band 20. Rump Safe
05. Bit Strap 21. Back Band Billet
06. Bit 22. Loop on Trace
07. Crown 23. Belly Band Billet
08. Bridle Cheek 24. Quarter Strap
09. Throat Latch 25. Lazy Strap or Mud Carrier
10. Line (front part) 26. Trace or Tug
11. Hame 27. Heel Chain
12. Breast Strap 28. Layer Loop
13. Pole Strap 29. Britchin or Breeching
14. Collar Strap 30. Hip Strap
15. Trace Safe 31. Line (hand part)
16. Belly Band 32. Trace Carrier

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