Thinking outside the box. Adventures in Harness!

What can you do in harness besides pulling a carriage?

It isn't always practical to drive a horse in the traditional way with a carriage behind  so it's terrific fun to find other ways to put your horses and ponies to work and enjoy adventures with them


For Practical Reasons

There are lots of things that can be done the old fashioned way, chain harrowing is a perfect example. This is a great way to utilise the overweight Shetland in the field who desperately wants a job.

All you need is some basic harness and a slight modification to your harrows similar to how you would modify for pulling a tyre in training


For Commercial Work

Horses have been used in commercial work for centuries and whilst it is considerably less common these days it does still take place. A prime example of this is at Hitch In Farm who manage and culitvate their land entirely by horse power. They offer visits as well as training and courses so do please take a look at their website.

Check out this video with Brand Ambassador Emma Massingale having a day out logging


For Adventures

There are new and exciting ways to explore the countryside with your horse or pony besides riding and carriage driving.

By Mountain Board

Emmas Massingale Mountain Board

Emma Massingale


By Dinghy

Emma Massingale

Emma Massingale

By Sledge



1. Breastplate

2. Driving Saddle Pad

3. Crupper

4. Traces

5. Shackles (optional)

6. Driving Reins

7. Hip Strap Trace Carriers

8. Bridle


We offer a very wide range of harness models which I appreciate can be a little daunting. Don't forget we're here for you if you need advice but here is a little info that might help you make your selection.


The Nuts and Bolts of What You Need

I'll list a few options along with a brief summary. Generally speaking if you are only intending to pull things (not a carriage) then a breastplate designed for pair driving or combo breastplate is preferable as it can be connected to the saddle giving greater stability. It is still entirely possible to do this with a single breastplate but the videos you see with Emma show her using a pairs breastplate set up.


This is the most economical option and available in sizes Pony through to XFull. It's a webbing harness made by Zilco and can actually be used for both single and pair work. You would use this in conjunction with Converter Straps, these are the straps which connect the breastplate to the saddle. It also has the traces already attached so there is no need to buy these separately. The basic parts recommended are:

WebZ Breastplate

WebZ Converter Straps

WebZ Saddle

Webz Girth

WebZ Bellyband

WebZ Crupper

WebZ Trace Carrier

WebZ Bridle

WebZ Reins


SL and SL Plus

The SL and SL Plus are the first step on the rung of the synthetic pvc coated webbing harness made by Zilco. It's super easy maintenance, very strong and reliable. The SL comes in sizes Mini to Small Pony and the SL Plus takes over with sizes Pony through to Full. These models also have integrated traces on the combo breastplates

SL Combo Breastplate                                       SL Plus Combo Breastplate

SL Converter Straps                                           SL Plus Converter Straps

SL Saddle                                                           SL Plus Saddle

SL Girth                                                              SL Plus Girth

SL Bellyband                                                      SL Plus Bellyband

SL Crupper                                                         SL Plus Crupper

SL Trace Carrier                                                 Trace Carrier

SL Bridle                                                             SL Plus Bridle

SL Reins                                                             SL Plus Reins



The Zilco Brun is a lovely brown harness, one of the only brown harnesses in their range. Again it's a synthetic harness so very easy to care for and has a leather look finish. Once again the combo style breastplate has integral traces and it's available in sizes Pony to Full

Brun Breastplate

Brun Converter Straps

Brun Saddle

Brun Girth

Brun Bellyband

Brun Crupper

Brun Trace Carrier

Brun Bridle

Driving Reins (there are a variety of rein choices with different hand grips Here)



The Classic is our most popular model for driving and it is in fact the one Emma uses in her mountain boarding and river dinghy clips. The classic doesn't have a combo breastplate option so Emma uses a pairs breastplate. Available in sizes Pony to Full

Classic Pair Breastplate

Classic Traces

Classic Saddle

Classic Girth

Classic Bellyband

Classic Crupper

Classic Trace Carrier

Classic Bridle

Driving Reins (there are a variety of rein choices with different hand grips Here)



This model is similar to the Classic but it's slightly heavier so better suited to chunkier horses. It does have a combo breatplate and is available for sizes Cob to Xfull. Some parts of the ZGB are shared with the Classic model

ZGB Breastplate

ZGB Converter Straps

ZGB Saddle

ZGB Saddle Connector Straps

ZGB Girth

ZGB Bellyband

Classic Crupper

Classic Trace Carrier

Classic Bridle

Driving Reins (there are a variety of rein choices with different hand grips Here)



Many of you will have seen the delightful video with Emma sledging over the moor with her four Shetland stallions. In this video she is using the Ideal pairs brollas with the SL harness. The Brolla gives a better weight bearing surface so it's particularly good for pulling heavier loads. This can be used in conjunction with any of the other models but it should be noted this is a leather item

Ideal Pair Brolla

Ideal Luxe Traces


Empathy Collar

The Zilco empathy collar is also a great choice offering a greater bearing surface and freedom of shoulder than some of the straight breastplate options. This option can be used in place of the breastplate with any of the other models

Empathy Breastplate Pony to Full

Empathy Breastplate Small Pony

Classic Traces


This is by no means an exhaustive list of what we have available but it will give you an idea what to look for.

Please note that when pulling an object you must use a swingle tree to prevent rubbing of the shoulders. This can be just a simple bar where a rope from the middle goes to the object being pulled then a rope at each end of the bar connects to each of the traces. This creates movement which follows the movement of the shoulders. It doesn't have to be pretty, here's one of ours

Pulling a tyre

You can also find some helpful videos on our You Tube channel


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