[Sca-cooks] Cow harness

Terry Decker t.d.decker at att.net
Tue Nov 10 20:37:01 PST 2009

> Judith Epstein wrote:
>> I thought cows and their boyfriends (oxen, bulls, same word) were on 
>> yokes, and draft horses were on halters. No?
> No, no, and no.
> oxen != bulls

An ox is generally a castrated male while a bull is an uncastrated male.

> A *yoke* is a wooden beam which is used between a pair of oxen in harness 
> to allow them to pull a load.  A halter is a piece of headgear that allows 
> animals to be led, similar to a bridle but with no bit. Horses doing heavy 
> work such as ploughing have harnesses with full collars.
> -- 
> Antonia di Benedetto Calvo

More precisely a yoke is a wooden device consisting of a bar and two bows 
which allow draft animals to pull a load.  Harness refers generally to any 
similar device that is not a yoke.  A halter is a device of rope or strap 
that fits to an animal's head or neck to help control the animal.

I must admit my knowledge of these things is limited to learning the 
terminology helping a friend (who was picky about the vocabulary) during a 
National Appaloosa Horse Show yea many years ago.  I have a preference for 
mechanical steeds over biological steeds.


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