This article was originally published April 8, 2015, in Buford Weekly Illustrated.
While looking through our only catalog from the Shadburn Brothers (circa 1910), whose company was known for manufacturing harness and saddlery here in Buford, I realized there was an entire language devoted to describing uses for leather items for horses. I chuckled at a few of the names, and then realized many of these leather “goods” are basically obsolete or used by only a very small population today here in the states. I have compiled a list of the item names, just as they appeared in the catalog from beginning to end. Sit back, relax, and be glad that you do not have to know what these items are. More importantly, be glad that you do not have to know how to use them. The following harnesses were made for working horses and were available in single and double versions:
- Single Buggy Harness
- Single Strap Buggy Harness
- Buggy Harness “Brake”
- Light Driving Harness
- Light Single Track Harness
- Break Harness
- Special Buggy Harness
- Heavy Driving Harness
- Heavy Single Strap Buggy Harness
- Surrey Harness
- Georgia Wagon Harness
- Express Harness
The following harnesses were intended for a two horse set up:
- Hack Harness
- Long Tug Coach Harness
- Short Tug Coach Harness
- Stage Harness
- Team Body Parts
The saddle titles are pretty straight forward, and most of us will still recognize the basic design; although the technology has been updated slightly from these pictured in the catalog. Here are the titles of the ones that are not just given a three digit number and labeled “Stock”:
Morgan, Texas, Canby, Missouri Stitchdown, Spring Seat, Genuine Virginia, McClellan, Kentucky Stitchdown, Boy’s Somerset, Alabama, Tennessee Ferguson, and Army McClelan.
The horse collars pictured are described with either a simple three digit number or titled as follows: Team, Dandy, Throatless, Solid Back, Scotch, All Kip, Sweeney, and Heavy Sweeney.
Now here are a few of the oddities from what I would call the miscellaneous leather goods section:
Coach Pads, Pigeon Wing Blind Bridles, Cup Blind Bridles, Open Buggy Bridles, Surrey and Coach Bridles, Halters, Ties, Express and Sweat Collar Pads, Hair Pads, Girths, Flat Georgia Breechings, Hames and Tugs, Neck Yoke Straps, Traces, Pole Straps, Choke Straps, Hame Straps, Buggy Lines, Breast Collars, Belly Bands, Martingales, Overcheeks, Turnbacks, Crupper Docks, Shaft Tugs, Cheeked Winkers, Lashes, Soles, and Horse Boots. The boots came in a variety of styles: Ankle Boot, Stitched Cup, Calf Skin Wrapper, Bell Quarter Boot, Dan Patch Ankle Boot, Hinge Quarter Boot, Close Fitting Knee Boot, and Scalper.
The descriptions that follow each of the items in the catalog are just as colorful and give further insight into a world that seems alien to our everyday lives here in B-Town.
Lynn Bowman is curator of the Museum of Buford on Main Street. He is a 1984 graduate of Buford High School.