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^^jllmJtouaf Orrery 

dtonard P^arn^n 


University of Pennsylvania 

Annenberg Rare Book 

and Manuscript 


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in 2009 with funding from 

Lyrasis IVIembers and Sloan Foundation 






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Development of the Coach. — Simple Farm Wagon 
Carriage-Part. Addition of the Seats and 
Body. Early American 'Stage Waggon.' Use 
OF Springs. English Coach at the End of the 
Eighteenth Century. Word 'Tally-Ho' erro- 
neously APPLIED ....... I-I5 


General Character of a Coach. — Distinction be- 
tween Coach and Drag . . . . . 16-18 


Carriage- Part. — Axles, Wheels, Springs, Pole, 

Lead-Bars ........ 19-60 

Body. — Boots, Driving-Seat, Roof-Seats, Painting 61-79 


Accessories. — Brake, Skid, Lamps, Basket, Awning, 

Tables, Lunch-Boxes, Tool-Box, Aprons . . 80-101 


Drag, Mail-Coach, Malle Poste, Diligence, Break, 
Barouche Landau, Phaeton, Jaunting Car, Pri- 
vate Omnibus, Cape Cart ..... 102- 11 5 




American Coach. — Constructive Peculiarities, Di- 
mensions . . . . . . . . .116122 



OF Coaches ........ 123-128 


Weight of a Coach. — Distribution of Weight, Cen- 
tre OF Gravity, Effect of Centrifugal Force 129-146 


Draught. — Rolling Friction, Axle Friction, Total 
Resistance to Motion, Traction, Roads, Systems 
OF Road Making, Action of Horse in Draught 147-193 


Harness. — Details oi^' Harness. Bridle, Bit, Bear- 
ing-Rein, Collar, Hames, Traces, Pad, Reins, 
Cock Horse Harness, Leather, Mountings, Spare 
Parts to carry, Care of Harness . . . 194-246 


Harnessing. — Putting-to, Bearing-Reins, Coupling- 
Reins, Buckling Reins 247-273 


Different Arrangements of Harness. — Tandem, 
Three Abreast, Pickaxe, Unicorn, Six Horses, 
Posting, Daumont . ...... 274-284 




Driving. — Getting Up, Starting, Places of Reins 
IN Hand, Seat, Fingering, Turning, Stopping, 
Getting Down, Various Methods of Finger- 
ing, American Method, Turning and Backing, 
Driving Apparatus 285-348 

General Observations on Driving. — Bitting, and 

Handling Horses 349-379 

Horses for Coach or Drag. Cost of Private 

Coaching 380-389 

The Whip and its Use. Salute .... 390-414 

The Men. Duties and Dress. Coaching Dress . 415-426 


Public Coaching. — Putting a Coach on the Road, 
Length of Stages, Time-Tables, Time-Charts, 
Coachman's and Guard's Duties and Dress, 
Changes 427-464 

Road Coaching generally.— Speed, Distances driven, 

American Coaching, English Coaching . • 465-483 

Coaching Trips, Coaching Club Trips . . • 484-489 




The Rule of the Road ...... 490-501 

Accidents ......... 502-509 


Coaching Clubs. — Rules and Customs of Meets, 

Judging at Shows, Driving Competitions . . 510-530 

Music for the Horn 531-532 

Coaching Medals or Tokens ..... 533-535 

List of Books. French Names for Parts of Harness 536-566 

Index 567-579 



Coach and Horses. {From a p/wtograp/i. Re-drawn by 
Harrv Finney) .... Frontispiece 

A May Morning in the Park. {From a painting by 

Thomas Eakins) i 

I. The London and Oxford Coach. Phototype of a Painting 
by CoRDERY, 1792, showing the Basket, the Front 
Boot attached to the Carriage-Part, and the Suspension 
of the Body. {Reproduced by the kind per7nission 
of Messrs Dickinson &^ Foster, New Bond Street, 
London) . . . . . . . . .10 

II. Drawing of same Coach. {Half -inch scale, with trans- 
parent sheet) . . . . . . . .10 

III. The Carriage-Part of a Coach in Isometrical Perspective. 

{Scale one-half inch to the foot) . . . .20 

IV. Phototype of Two Etchings from a Political Pamphlet of 

1766, showing Coaches of the period . . -71 

V. Phototype of a Print of Hogarth's, 'The Inn Yard,' 
1747, showing a Coach with Passengers on Top, and 
an Old Woman in the Basket. {One-half the size 
of the original priiit) . . . . . -7- 

VI. Phototype of an Etching by Rowlandsox, 1793. A 
Coach with Two Extra Horses, ridden by a Postilion ; 
the Traces of the Leaders attached to the Traces of 
the Wheelers and not to Lead-Bars , . .72 

VII. Mail-Coach by Guiet, 1892. Built for Mr W. G. Tiffany, 
on the hnes of the Old Enghsh Mail-Coach. Used on 
the Trouville trip in July 1892. {Drawn to a half-inch 
scale, with transparent sheet) . . . . .102 



VIIL French Malle Poste of the period of 1830. {From a 

ifrwiuing by Victor Adam) . . . .104 

IX. Swiss DiHgence on the Julier Pass, 1891 . . . 105 

X. French Posting with a Private Travelling-Carriage, 
early part of the present century. {Rcprodicciion 
of a dra^vmg by Alfred de Dreux) . . .107 

XL Char a bancs, for five persons and two servants. 
{Drawn to a half-inch scale, with transparent 
sheet) . . . . . . . . .Ill 

Xn. American Stage-Coach, as made by The Abbot Down- 
ing Company, Concord, N. H., and generally 
known as a Concord Coach. {Drawn to a half 

inch scale, witJi transparent sheet) . . .116 

XIIL Concord Coach, rear view. {Half inch scale) . .116 

XIV. Concord Coach, Plan of Carriage-Part. {Half inch 

scale) . . . . . . . . .116 

XV. Heavy Concord Coach, as sent to the West, to Africa, 
and to Australia. {Phototype from an original 
photograph) . . . . . . .116 

XVI. Light Concord Coach, as used in the White Mountains. 

{Phototype frojn a)i original photograph) . .116 

XVII. Road-Coach, by Breavster & Co., of Broome Street, 
New York, The 'Vivid,' used on the road between 
Philadelphia and New York. {Drawn to a half- 
inch scale, witli transparent sheet) . . . 1 24 

XVIII. Standard Park-Drag, by Brewster & Co., of Broome 
Street, New York. {Drawti to a half inch scale, 
with transparent sheet) . . . . . 1 24 

XIX. Road-Coach, by Guiet & Co., Paris. {Drawn to a 

half-inch scale, with transparent sheet) . . .124 

.XX. Drag, by Barker & Co., London. Built for the 
Author in 1873. {Drawn to a half inch scale, 
with transparent sheet) . . . . . 1 24 


XXL Front and Rear Views of same Drag. (Half-inch 

scale) . . . . . . . .124 

XXIL Road-Coach, by F. & R. Shanks, London. {Drawn 

to a half-inch scale, with transparent sheet) 124 

XXIIL Tipping Angles of a Coach 
XXIV. Cock Horse Harness 
XXV\ Lead-Rein passed through Terrets 
XXVL Bitting and CoupHng Diagram 
XXVIL Position on the Box . 
XXVin. Turning Diagrams . 
XXIX. Team for Drag 
XXX. Half-bred Mare 'Josephine' 
XXXI. The Salute 
XXXII. Time-Chart 

XXXIII. Lead-Rein passed through Terrets 

XXXIV. Pole and Bars on front of Coach 




The Title-Page Vignette is from a painting by Harry Finney. 

The Wood Engravings of Harness and of Hands are by James D. 
Cooper, of London. 

The Five-Horse Vetttirino {Y\%. 131) is from an original drawing 
by G. La Rocque, of Paris. 





The History and Evolution of the Coach '•' will 
be here treated of only so far as it is necessary to 
assist the reader to understand the general con- 
struction of a coach before we proceed to details. 

Those who wish to study the subject at length 
are referred to Thrupp's History of Coaches, to 
Stratton's Tlie World on Wheels, and to Adams's 
English Pleasure Carriages, which give much that 
is interesting on the subject, including copious ex- 
tracts from earlier writers ; and also to the other 
authorities named in the ' List of books' given in 
Chapter XXVII. , where will be found the full tides 
of the books referred to in the text. 

The earliest vehicle which bears any resemblance 
to a coach (its predecessors being merely cars on 

* The word 'coach,' always with nearly the same sound, is found 
in almost all European languages during the last four centuries. It 
is variously spelled cache, caroche, kutsche, koets, kaisi. In France 
the name was also applied to a passenger boat. 



CH. I 


two wheels) is the farm wagon of the ancient Ro- 
mans which still exists, with but little chanoe, in 
almost all agricultural countries. It consists of a 
hind axle with its two wheels, to which the perch 
is attached, and a front axle, with usually somewhat 
smaller wheels, so connected by a bolt to the front 
end of the perch as to turn about it (Fig. i). 
In order to make a rigid connection between the 

hind axle and the 
perch, two pieces, 
called hounds, or 
wings, are fast- 
ened to the perch 
and to the axle, 
or, in ruder con- 
structions, a forked branch of a tree, all in one 
piece, which rests upon the top of the perch, sup- 
plies their place. If it is desirable to be able to 
change the length of the wagon, the perch is made 
to slide through the hind axle, and has in it a 
number of holes, through any one of which a bolt 
will fasten it and the hounds toofether. The front 
end of the perch is firmly attached at right angles 
to a bed or transom, somewhat shorter than the 
front axle, upon which it rests, being connected with 
the axle by a bolt (perch-bolt or king-bolt), which 
permits the axle to turn underneath the bed. The 
pole or tongue, fastened to the axle, completes the 
simplest form of wagon. If it is intended for one 
horse, a pair of shafts takes the place of the pole. 


A simple attachment of the pole to the axle being 
deficient in strength, two hounds or futchells are 
added, fastened to the axle near its ends and run- 
ning out on the pole a short distance, and, in order 
to support the pole more efficiently, their hinder 
ends, prolonged, are connected by a cross bar, the 
sway-bar, which bears against the under side of the 
perch, and balances the weight of the pole. Some- 
times the futchells are fastened directly to each 
other in front, and the end of the pole, being forked, 
is attached to them by a bolt. In this case, the 
point of the pole must be supported by the harness, 
as it is in a trotting wagon. For the purpose of 
attaching the horses to the wagon, a double-tree 
rests on the pole in front of the futchells, and is 
secured to it by a pin which permits it to turn ; to 
this double-tree are attached two swingle-trees.''' 
Near the ends of the hind axle, two vertical stand- 
ards are firmly fixed, and at the ends of the bed 
in front are similar ones. Boards laid between 

* There is some uncertainty as to the proper speUing of this word. 
Bartlett, in his Dictionary of Americanisms, says that swingle-tree 
is vulgar for single-tree, but Skeat in his Ety^nological Dictionary 
says, under Swingle-tree, ' Corruptly called single-tree, whence the 
' term double-tree has arisen to keep it company. ' ' A single-tree is 
' fixed upon the end of another cross-piece called the dottble-trtQ, 
' when two horses draw abreast," Haldeman (in Webster). Middle 
' English, swingle-tre, spelt swyngletre in Fitzherbert On Hiis- 
' bandry. The word tree here means a piece of timber as in axle- 
' tree. The word swingle means a " swing-er," a thing that swings ; 
' so named from the swinging motion, etc' 


these, on the axle and on the bed, form the floor, 
and other boards fastened vertically against them, 
form the sides of a body. A wagon of this kind, 
sometimes covered by a canopy, was undoubtedly 
the first four-wheeled vehicle in which people were 

The next advance was to suspend seats by means 
of straps attached to the sides, whereby more com- 
fort could be had than by sitting on the rigid car- 
riage-part ; wagons thus arranged can be seen at 
the present time in Switzerland. 

Finally, a 'body,' distinct from the carriage-part, 
was suspended from the points of the four stand- 
ards, the fixed body having been removed, and this 
form of carriage remained in use for a long time, 
as is shown in prints as late as the end of the 17th 

About 1660 (Thrupp, p. 43), the 'Berlin' was in- 
vented in Germany. In this, the floor of the body 
was rounded and rested on long leather straps, 
called thorough-braces, which ran from one stand- 
ard to the other, and the under-carriaofe was fre- 
quently made with two parallel perches for strength 
and stiffness. The coachman's seat was on the 
carriage-part, and not attached to the body. 

We have now reached the form of carriage which 
lasted until late in the i8th century, and which still 
exists in the modern American ' Concord coach,' 
with the modification of having the coachman's seat 
placed on the body instead of on the carriage-part. 

CH. I 


It is sometimes supposed that the American coach 
was invented especially for use on the early, rough 
American roads ; but it is evidently the European 
vehicle of the latter part of the i8th century, arrested 
in its development, because the condition of the 
roads in those parts of the United States where 
coaches were used, resembled the conditions exist- 
ing at that time in Europe, 

In America, the vehicle called the ' stage-waggon,' 
which preceded the coach, was evidently evolved 
from the carrier's wagon, keeping its essential form 
but being- much lighter. 

There is shown in Fig. 2, copied from an Amer- 

FiG. 2. 

ican newspaper of 1759, a 'stage-waggon' run- 
ning between Philadelphia and New York. Fig. 
3 is from a paper of 181 2 representing a 'stage' 
on the same road, and shows the same general 
form, improved after an interval of fifty-three 

The ' Concord coach,' which succeeded this, was 
an adaptation of the private coach, or chariot, to the 
purposes of the road. In England, road-coaches 


CH. I 

were, from the first, direct copies of the private 
carriage, as will be seen by comparing- Fig. 4 with 
Plates I. and II. 

Engravings and pictures, and also the descrip- 
tions, show that the drivinof-seat remained on the 

carriage-part, and with- 
out any springs, until 
very near the end oi 
the 1 8th century. No 
drawinor, such as often 
headed the advertise- 
ment of a regular 
stage - coach in the 
early American days, has come under my observa- 
tion, in which the driving-seat is not on the body 
of the coach ; and it is probable that this change 
was made in America, since there are no draw- 
ings of English carriages with thorough-braces, and 
with the box on the body ; so long as thorough- 
braces were used, the box was on the carriage- 

Fig. 4. 


Mr Warde, of Squerries, is credited by 'Nimrod,' 
in his Essays, reprinted in Malet (p. 249 '='), with 
having induced the proprietors of the Manchester 
' Telegraph' to put the box on springs, which, ' Nim- 
rod' says, ' was not the case when I first mounted 
them.' As ' Nimrod' was born in 1778, it was prob- 
ably about 1798 that he 'first mounted them,' and 
that would fix the date of the use of springs under 
the driving-seat as being early in this century. It 
can hardly be supposed that the driving-seat was 
separately placed on springs ; it was probably at- 
tached, therefore, to the body, which was already on 
springs, and thus led to the substitution of steel for 
leather suspension. 

The reproduction in Malet's Annals of the Road 
(p. 15), of an advertisement of the Edinburgh Stage- 
Coach of 1754, is headed by a cut which shows the 
driving-seat as being on the body ; but this cut is 
not an accurate copy of the original and does not 
show the construction of the coach of that period. 
The photographic reproduction of an advertisement 
in The EdinburgJi Conrant of May 13, 1754 (given 
on p. 8), shows a vehicle resembling a private car- 
riage much more than a coach, but not unlike the 
coach shown in Plate IV. The driving-seat is evi- 
dently on the under-carriage. 

* These Essays were originally published in The Sporting Maga- 
zine in 1 822-1 827. 'Nimrod' (J. C. Apperley) left The Sporting 
Magazine m 1829. 


CH. I 

for the better Accommodation of Paflen- 
gers, will be altered to a new genteel Two-end 
Glafs Machine, hung on Steel Springs, exceeding 
light and eafy, to go in ten Days in Summer and 
twelve in Winter, to fet out the firfr Tuefday in 
March, and continue it from Hofea Eaftgate's, the 
Coach and Horfes in Dean-ftreet, Soho, LON- 
DON, and from John Somervell's in the Canon 
gate, Edinburgh, every other Tuefday, and meet 
at Burrow-bridge on Saturday Night, and fet out 
from thence on Monday Morning, and get to 
London and Edinburgh on Friday. In the Win- 
terao fet out from London and Edinburgh every 
other Monday Morning, and to get to Burrow- 
bridge on Saturday Night; and to fet out from 
thence on Monday Morning, and get to London 
and Edmburgh on Saturday Night. • PafTengers to 
pay as ufual. Perform'd, if God permits, by your 
dutiful Servant* HOSE A. EASTGATE. 

Care is taken of fmall Parcels, paying according 
to their Value. 

Cross (vol. ii., p. 70) speaks of the change from 
the old, heavy, six-inside coaches, ' with the boot 
* fixed on the fore-axle, and a larcje basket on the 


' hind,' to the ' new and elegant Telegraph coaches,' 
as occurring just before 1816, as well as the date 
can be made out from the context. 

The suspension of the bodies of carriages, other 
than stage-coaches, by four leather braces, is con- 
tinued to the present day, but always in connection 
with springs. As early as 1669 springs were tried, 
but they do not seem to have 
come into general use for many 
years later, probably not until 
after 1 700, when the standards, 
which held the straps on which 
the body was hung, were made 
of steel and were called whip- 
springs (Fig. 5, A). Small 

spring's were also used to attach ^ 

11 r Fig. 5. 

the ends of the straps to the 

body, as at B. About 1790, the whip-spring was 

replaced by the C-spring (Fig. 5, C), which is still 

used in expensive carriages. 

Down to 1805, all carriages had perches, but in 
that year the elliptic spring was invented in Eng- 
land by Elliot, and since that time the majority 
of carriages are made without perches, although 
coaches still have them. 

Plate I., which is a reproduction of a picture by 
CoRDERV, 1792, shows the coach as hung on whip- 
springs by short straps attached to pump-handles 
projecting from the bottom of the body, as in the 
present C-spring carriage. The front boot is built 


up solidly from the front end of the perch, and 
the top of it forms the driving-seat. The whip 
springs are fastened to what might be called the 
platform of the carriage-part. To prevent too much 
play, and consequent breakage of the springs, their 
tops are attached in front, to the boot, by straps, and 
behind, to the upper ends of standards which are 
built up on the platform. Straps from the body to 
the same points also prevent too much motion of 
the body. The space on the platform between the 
springs and between the standards is occupied by 
a basket, in which was carried either merchandise 
or passengers. From the ends of the splinter-bar, 
iron stays ran, outside of the wheels to the ends of 
the axles, — an arrangement not uncommon even 
now, in heavy vehicles in Europe. This particular 
coach has a narrow body, accommodating only four 
inside, and the roof-seats do not overhang the body. 

Plate II. is a drawine of this same coach to a half- 
inch scale ; it may be compared with the other half- 
inch scale drawinors on Plates XVII. to XXII. The 
transparent sheet, printed in red, can be torn out so 
as to be superposed on the black plates. 

Shortly after 1800, the bodies of coaches, and of 
some travelling carriages, were lengthened by the 
addition, as a part of the construction of the body, 
of a front and hind boot, the whole being hung on 
the springs ; the coachman's seat and the rumble 
for servants were on the boots, as is shown in the 
drawino^ of a ' Britszka' of 1825 (Fig. 6). This 

o > 

»= H 










CH. I 


I I 

brings us to what is, practically, the present form of 
the coach, in which the C-springs and leather braces 
are replaced by the stiffer platform springs. 

Fig. 6. 

In a o-eneral treatise on carriaoes, the name 
' coach' is applied to any vehicle on four wheels 
with a body more or less closed, but in the present 
Manual it will be used in the narrower signification 
of a four-in-hand coach of the type used in England 
and America. We find the road-coach called in 
the last century, 'stage-waggon,' 'stage-coach,' and 
sometimes, in the early part of the present cen- 
tury, ' drag.' Drag now means a coach for private 
driving, and the word will be employed in that sense 
in the following pages, road-coach being used to 
mean a coach which runs over a regular route at 
fixed hours, and carries passengers for pay. The 
term stage-coach was originally applied to a coach 
which went over a number of stages on the road, 
and not to a coach which ran only a short distance. 


As an example of the curious chancres of langruaee, 
it may be worth noting that, in New York, it became 
the custom to call an omnibus, which ran only over 
a short route, a ' stage ;' first applying an improper 
name ' stage-coach,' and then dropping the character- 
istic term and retaining the other designation only. 

The popular word in America for a four-in-hand 
coach: 'Tally-ho,' is entirely incorrect, and should 
not be used. It originated thus: When, in 1876, 
Colonel Delancey Kane first put on his road-coach 
from the Brunswick Hotel, New York, to Pelham, 
he named it the 'Tally-ho.' This was in accord- 
ance with the old Enorlish custom of o-ivina- names 
to coaches, just as, for many years, engines were 
named on railroads. 'Tally-ho,' 'Tantivy,' ' Light- 
nino-,' 'Meteor,' 'Defiance,' 'Quicksilver,' ' Inde- 
pendent,' were favourite names, and were used in 
advertising the coaches, and in speaking of them on 
the road. Some newspapers, in writing about the 
Pelham coach, called it t/ic 'Tally-ho,' and others, 
less well informed, called all four-horse coaches 
' Tally-ho's.' Many mild protests were made, with- 
out avail, by coaching men, against such an incor- 
rect expression, and finally an American Dictionary, 
the CcntiLry, published in 1891, embalmed and per- 
petuated the error as follows : 

' Tally-ho (tal'i-ho) [< tally-ho, interj.]. i. Aery 
'of "Tally-ho." See the interjection. 2. A four-in- 
' hand pleasure-coach ; probably so called from the 
' horn blown on it. 


* " The mail still announced itself by the merry notes of the 
' horn ; the hedge-cutter or the rick-thatcher might still know the 
' exact hour by the unfailing yet otherwise meteoric apparition of 
' the pea-green Tally-ho or the yellow Independent. — George 
'Eliot, Felix Holt." ' 

Webster's Dictiojiary (1892) gives the same er- 
roneous definition. Worcester's last edition is cor- 
rect, and gives only the proper meaning of the word. 

After having been for so long a time thus popu- 
larly used, the expression will probably survive, but 
coachinor men, at least, should avoid it. 

In somewhat the same way, the coach has in 
France come to have the name : ' Le Mail.' A mail- 
coach, as will be described later, is different from a 
road-coach, and it is the road-coach which has been 
copied for pleasure purposes ; not the mail-coach. 

Mortimer d'Ocagne {Le Mail Coach en France, 
p. 3) says : ' At the outset we must make a com- 
' ment upon the title of this little sketch. One 
' should not say, a mail coach. In reality, the mail is 
' the carriage which carries the mails, but the use 
' of this name has become general in France, and 
' every one says, a mail ; the sporting journals them- 
' selves often speak of the meet of the mails. We 
' will not assume an authority to change this way of 
' speaking, but we must note its inaccuracy.' * 

* ' Des la premiere ligne 11 nous faut faire una reserve contra le titre 
mema da cette notice. On ne devrait pas dire un mail coach. En 
affet, le mail, c'est la malle, la malle poste ; niais T usage est pris en 
France et tout le monde dit un mail ; les journaux de sport eux- 


Since ' Tally-ho' and * Tantivy' are names fre- 
quently given to coaches, their origin is interesting 
to the coachinof man. 

Hunter's E^icy eloper die Dictionary gives, ' Tally- 
' ho [Norman French — Taillis-eiiL = to the cop- 
'pice], The huntsman's cry to urge on his hounds.' 

Le Jimit teiillis is a wood of twenty-five to thirty 
years' growth and presumably ' cut high,' or with no 
underwood, so that the hunted animal, on running 
into it, can be plainly seen. In fox-hunting, it is 
when the fox is viewed, that the cry is used. 

The Dictionary of the French Academy gives 
' Taiaut' as being the cry of the hunter when he 
views the deer. 

' Taiaut' is oriven in old French books on Hunting- 
in the same sense, and is also used as a verb ; just as 
in English, one is said to ' tally-ho' the fox. * Taillis- 
au' or ' taillis-haut' are not given as hunting cries. 

Since tally-ho is a true fox-hunting expression, it 
is considered proper, when a coach bears that name, 
to have a fox or a fox's head on the harness, unless 
there is a monogram or crest. If the coach is 
named 'Tantivy,' something belonging to a deer is 
used, since that term is associated with stag-hunt- 
ing ; but the connection is not so clear as is that of 
tally-ho with the fox. 

' memes parlent souvent de la reunion des mails. Nous n'avons pas 
' la pretention de modifier cette faqon de dire ; nous en signalons 
' toutefois I'inexactitude.' 


No word resembling tantivy, either in sound or in 
spelling, occurs in the nine hundred pages of the 
great work on Hunting by the Comte de Bey, writ- 
ten in 1635.'^' 

There are two possible derivations of this word ; 
it is not in the French dictionaries except in that 
of Chambaud, 1805, and seems to be of English ori- 
gin ; its usual meaning is ' at full speed,' Chambaud 
gives it as, ' Tantivy, au grand galop.' 

The following quotations give both derivations : 

Hunter's EncyclopcEciic Dictionary gives ' Tantivy 
' [from the note of a hunting horn], swiftly, a rapid, 
' violent gallop. As a verb, to hurry off.' 

Todd's Johnson's Dictionary gives ' Tantivy, from 
' the note of a hunting horn, so expressed in articu- 
' late sounds. From tanta vi, says Skinner, Dr. 
' Johnson. The old French language has tentiveux 
'to denote an eager person " homme qui est tente 
'par tout ce qu'il voit : avide etc." To ride tantivy 
' is to ride at great speed.' 

GoDEFROY, Dictionnaire de F ancierine langue fran- 
(aise, gives ' Tentir : faire entendre un son " Les 
' cors as bouces commencent a tentir."' Retentir 
is from tentir, and this again from the Latin, tinnire, 
to sound. 

* Les Mnittes et Veneries de Jean de Ligniville, Chevalier, 
Comte DE Bey. Introduction et notes par Ernest Jullien et Henri 
Gallice. Paris, 1892. 2 vols, quarto. 

I 6 CH. II 



As at present built, either for public or for private 
use, the coach is essentially the same as that which 
existed at the time when coaches in England were 
superseded by railroads. 

A distinction is made, however, between a dragf, 
built for private use, and a road-coach intended to 
carry always a full load, and to be driven at a high 
speed over long routes. The drag is made lighter 
than the coach, but between the two extremes of 
weight and of finish there are many grades, depend- 
ing upon the taste of the owner. 

Some men, living in the country and liking to 
drive long distances, use their coaches like road- 
coaches, at high speeds and with changes of horses ; 
certainly the most * sporting' way of doing the thing. 
A coach for this purpose should be built almost 
exactly like a road-coach. Other men use their 
coaches only about home or, if they live in a city, 
principally in park driving, with small loads, at a 
moderate pace, on good roads, and such a coach 
should be two or three hundred pounds lighter than 
a road-coach, and may be slightly ornamented with 
plain mouldings worked on the edges of the under- 
carriage timbers, and with a little carving on the 


ends of the splinter-bar and the futchells, which in 
a road-coach are always perfectly plain. 

There are, however, between the two kinds of 
coaches, some essential differences which shotdd be 
observed. In a road-coach, the rumble is supported 
on the hind boot by a solid wooden bench, and seats 
three or four persons, including the guard ; in a 
drag, the rumble holds only two persons, usually 
the grooms, and is supported by open irons. It is 
quite easy to have both kinds of rumble fitted to a 
coach, so that it can be used either as a drag or as 
a road-coach. On a road-coach there is an iron 
rod running between the side-irons of the roof-seats 
along both sides of the coach, and this usually has 
a net of leather straps (see Plates XVIII. and 
XIX.), connecting it with the roof, so that wraps 
thrown on the roof cannot fall off. This net should 
be omitted in a drag, although for long trips one 
may be made with buckles in such a way that it can 
be taken off The door of the hind boot of a road- 
coach is hinged on the off side ; that of a drag is 
hinged at the bottom (see Fig. 36). The road- 
coach is not trimmed inside, but is usually finished 
in hard wood. This hard-wood finish is, however, a 
modern fashion, as in old coaching days the inside 
passengers paid higher fares than those outside and 
were made as comfortable as possible. The interior 
of a drag is trimmed plainly in morocco, cloth, or 
cord. The general finish of a drag may be higher 
than that of a road-coach without being elaborate ; 


it should be about the finish of a plain, first-class 

The reader should be reminded that a drag is a 
sporting vehicle ; it is not at all a voiturc dc luxe, 
and in all its appointments it should retain the sport- 
ing character. Elaborate harness or unnecessary- 
ornament of any kind, about a drag is in bad taste ; 
a drag is nothing more than a well 'turned out,' 
neat, road-coach, and the showy features of a lady's 
carriage should be avoided. 

Down to about 1870, drags were made to take 
only three persons on each roof-seat, and these seats, 
like those of a mail-coach, did not extend beyond the 
edge of the roof; now they are always made long 
enough to accommodate four persons. 

After these gfeneral indications of the difference 
between the two classes of coach, we will consider 
the parts of a coach. 

CH. Ill 




The carriage-part of a coach (see Plate III.) con- 
sists of the axles, the perch (sometimes called the 
reach), the futchells, the bed or transom, and certain 
minor parts, constituting, with the wheels, a com- 
plete vehicle, upon which the body is supported by 

The perch is of wood, mortised at its rear end 
into the hind axle ; its connection with the axle is 
strengthened by the hounds, also of wood, which are 
mortised into the axle, and bound to the perch by 

To insure steadiness in the running of a coach, 
the length of the perch (that is, the distance be- 
tween the axles) should be not less than six feet, 
which was the minimum formerly allowed by the 
English Post-Office authorities for the mail-coaches. 
Six feet four inches is not any too long ; a short- 
coupled coach will rock unpleasantly and little is 
gained by diminishing the length. 

To the front end of the perch is attached, at right 
angles, a bed or transom. This transom rests upon 
the top of the front axle and is connected with it by 
the king-bolt or perch-bolt, about which the front 
axle turns. The under side of the transom and the 


upper side of the axle are covered with steel plates 
(transom plates) which slide on each other. When 
the axle and the transom are parallel, these plates 
touch each other throuo-hout their whole leneth ; but 
when the axle is turned round the perch-bolt, the 
plates touch only near their centres and their bear- 
ing is consequently much diminished. To obviate 
this defect certain American builders add ' horns' to 
the transom plates, which practically widen these 
plates and permit them to bear upon each other 
throuofh the whole ano-le of turninor. In 
ordinary carriages the transom does not 
bear directly upon the axle, but carries 
upon its under side (Fig. 7) a circular 
plate, which turns upon a similar plate at- 
tached to the top of the axle. This is 

. Fig. 7. 

called the fifth-wheel, and it is generally a 

full circle, although sometimes, as in light wagons, 
it is a half circle only. A fifth-wheel is not used in 
a coach, but is sometimes used in a break. 

Inasmuch as the bearing just described, of the bed 
on the axle, would be insufficient to give the requi- 
site strength and stiffness, two additional pieces of 
wood, the inside futchells, are mortised through the 
axle and run backward, spreading to a width of 
about sixteen inches at their hinder ends, where 
they are connected by the sway-bar. In the rough 
farm wagon, before described, this bar is straight, 
but in a coach it is curved to a radius equal to its 
distance from the perch-bolt, so that it is really a 


short section of a large fifth-wheel. This sway-bar 
is plated with steel on its upper surface, and bears 
against the under surface of the perch, which is also 
plated at that point. The plate on the under sur- 
face of the perch has an arm or lug projecting 
downward and embracing the sway-bar plate so as 
to prevent the sway-bar from springing away from 
the perch under any jumping motion of the pole. 
The sway-bar plate has projections near its ends, 
which bring up against this lug when the axle has 
turned through a certain angle, usually about twenty 
degrees, to prevent the wheel from touching the body 
when the coach is on the lock. A coach is said to 
be 'on the lock,' when the front wheels are turned 
as far as they can go without touching the body. 

The inside futchells project forward of the axle, 
approaching each other near enough to form a chan- 
nel into which the pole is fitted. Near their ends 
they carry the draw-bar, or splinter-bar, which is 
bolted on top of them. For the purpose of sup- 
porting the ends of this bar, two straight pieces, 
the outside futchells, run through the axle, and are 
attached to the sway-bar (the plate of which runs 
over on top of them), and projecting in front, take 
the ends of the splinter-bar, to the under side of 
which they are firmly clipped. The splinter-bar is 
straight, six feet long, and carries the four roller- 
bolts to which the traces are attached. The roller- 
bolts have flanges on top to prevent the traces from 
slipping off, and the flanges of those on the outside 


are wide enough to serve as steps in mounting to 
the box. 

On a drag, these flanges should be Hned under- 
neath with thick leather, to prevent the metal 
slides of the traces from rattling against them. 
The inside roller-bolts should be larg-er in diameter 
than those on the outside, in order to take up a 
portion of the length of the inside trace, for the 
reason o-iven in the article on ' Puttine to,' in 
Chapter XII. 

With the traces attached directly to the stiff splin- 
ter-bar, the horse, in the movement of his shoulders, 
pulls alternately on one trace and the other, and if 
he has on a breast-collar, or as it is sometimes 
called a ' Dutch collar,' this movement inside of the 
leather will frequently rub the shoulder, and make 
it sore. For this reason, when English travelling 
carriages were taken to the Continent in old post- 
ing times they had loose swingle-trees attached to 
the splinter-bar because the Continental posting 
harness had breast collars. (Beaufort, p. 353.) 
See Plate X. 

Even with ordinary collars, horses work more 
easily with moveable swingle-trees, and it will be 
noticed that those who work horses as a matter of 
business, such as livery-stable keepers, invariably 
use them. My own experience long ago led me to 
modify the arrangement of the splinter-bar of my 
coach in such a way that, while the roller-bolts are 
retained and the general outward appearance of the 



CH. Ill 

bar but little altered, the advantage of a moveable 
swingle tree is obtained. 

The general arrangement is seen in Fig. 8. The 

Fig. S. 

details, with dimensions which should be somewhat 
closely adhered to, are shown in Fig. 9, drawn to 
one-quarter of the full size. The bolt which passes 
through the splinter-bar should be not less than 
three-quarters of an inch in diameter, the swelled 
portion being welded upon it. It should be carefully 
turned in the lathe to the proper 
I' I I 'I fit, and the corners between the 

■'=^=^ ^=="^ swelled portion and the pin must be 
left full, and not cut in sharply, since 
it is here that the pin is most liable 
to break. After the nut on the bot- 
tom of the pin is screwed up, the 
end of the pin should be hammered 
over so that the nut cannot come 
off; the top end of the bolt should 
have a split pin passing through it over the nut. 
The shackle, which is bolted to the back of the 
splinter-bar, must be strong and of tough iron, be- 
cause, should the pin break, all the strain will come 
upon the shackle. Of course the objection may be 
made to this arrangement that every additional 


Fig. 9. 


moveable part about a coach increases the chances 
of breakage, but the increase of comfort to the 
horses is undoubted. This arran^rement is similar 
to that usually seen on light wagons, with the dif- 
ference, however, that the swingle-tree is deep 
enough, and the pin stiff enough, to permit the use 
of the outside roller-bolt as a step. The motion 
of the swingle-tree is restricted by a strap, which 
should be put on quite tight, since a movement of 
the roller-bolt of an inch and a half in front of, and 
behind, the bar is sufficient. 

Some coachmen think that a coach can be guided 
more accurately with an entirely stiff bar than with 
moveable swingle-trees, because either horse, if 
urged forward, will turn the fore-carriage very 
quickly by the application of his force to the outer 
end of the bar. Since, however, the motion of the 
swingle-tree is limited by the strap and by the neat- 
ness of fit of the pin, it will be found, in practice, 
that the difference is not noticeable. 

The amount of the motion of the ends of the 
swingle-trees corresponding to the action of the 
horses' shoulders can be well observed in a trotting 
wagon, which always has swingle-trees, and it is 
very noticeable to the occupant of any one-horse 
vehicle, a coupe for instance, in which the traces are 
attached directly to the root of the shafts and not to 
a swing-bar. the alternate sideways motion given to 
the carriage being extremely disagreeable. 

' Ni.mrod' says (Malet. p. 386): 'The swing bar 


' we use in coaches is an excellent invention, as a 
' horse works in it from either shoulder, and of 
' course quite at his ease.' This, of course, refers 
to the lead-bars, and shows that ' Nimrod' recog- 
nises the importance of the principle. 

Le Noble du Teil (p. 349) thinks that with a 
collar, the freedom of movement of the swingle-tree 
is not important, although it is important with the 
breast-collar, or bricolc, because the collar is pressed 
forward alternately by the shoulders, and there is 
pressure but not friction. This alternating pressure 
must, however, tire the shoulders, even if it does not 
rub the skin. 

After the preceding pages were written, I found 
the following passage in Philipson O71 Harness. 
p. 57, ed. 1882, written by ' Glencairn' (Colonel J. 
P. Pedler) to The Field, in June 1878 : 

' A word about sore shoulders. I never drive 
' with anything but a swingle bar, and that not 
' fixed by a band of leather eight inches broad, 
'which defeats the object of a swingle bar, but by 
' a bolt running through it vertically, or by an eye 
' playing on a hook. I think a proper swingle bar 
' is a help to preventing sore shoulders, besides 
' having other and most important advantages. 
' Even in a four-wheeled carriage and with a pair 
' I always put swingle bars, and the following is 
' the best way to fix them, viz. : Put them on top 
' of the splinter bar, bring an iron support from 
' the futchells to the top of the swingle bar, and 


' make an eye in the end of it ; drive a bolt through 
' this eye, the swingle bar, and the splinter bar, 
' with a nut underneath. On this bolt the swindle 
' bar revolves beautifully. You can have the ordi- 
' nary roller bolts on the swingle bars. I have 
'written to " Nimshivich," who is evidently one of 
' those who knows what he is talking about. I 
' consider that with swingle bars a horse is always 
' pulling with both shoulders instead of with one 
' at a time alternately ; also that the evil of uneven 
'traces is nullified.' 

A full-sized model of the bars, as shown in 
Fig. 8, was exhibited by me in the Coaching Ex- 
hibitions in London of 1894 and 1896, and had 
Colonel Pedler's letter been seen earlier, the model 
would have been accompanied by a note of explana- 
tion. The arrangement was applied to my coach in 
1877, ^^^ the invention seems therefore to have 
been made by us both at about the same time. 

In many vehicles, the bar itself is made to move 
about a central pin, and is then called an evener, 
because it ensures, within certain limits, each horse 
doing an cz'cu share of the work, but it is not used 
on a coach, nor is it necessary, as the coachman 
should be able to make his horses work evenly 
without the aid of any mechanical appliance. 

An evener is sometimes made with two holes on 
either side of the middle one, so that by shifting it 
on the pin, a weak horse can be favoured. This 
is not likely to be used on a coach, but a good 



CH. Ill 


Fig. io. 

coachman ought to know all the dodges that at some 
time might be of use to him. 

The front axle of a vehicle with a perch, or with 

a body which is wide and low, can turn through a 

small angle only, before the front wheel touches the 

perch or the body, and many attempts have been 

,■;> .. made to remedy 

r- — , .■:']: , -^ , . ■ ? -•'" this defect. One 

method is to put 
. the perch-bolt 

- back of the line 

of the axle-arms, 
in which case (as 
is shown in Fig. 
IO, where the wheel is represented as touching the 
body), a larger angle of the pole with the centre line 
can be obtained. This is dangerous, however, if 
carried to excess, because when on the lock, the 
front wheels are to one side of the centre line and 
the stability of the coach is much diminished. 

In broughams the perch-bolt is frequently put 
somewhat foi'iuard of the line of the axle-arms, 
which brinors the inside wheel forward in makino- a 
turn and permits it to go under the boot without 
touching the body, still keeping the carriage-part 

A variety of plans for jointed axle-arms have 
been proposed : by Ackerman in 1818 ; by Rock in 
1850; by Hekdic in 1880; and later by Jeantaud, 
of Paris. Nearly all modern horseless carriages 


have this arrangement, which permits part of the 
machinery to be sunk between the front wheels. 
These plans all depend upon an arrangement of 
parallel bars, with arms that turn the axle-arms and 

wheels, about the end of a fixed 

, a , 

axle. If the boots are not too 

deep, a coach fitted in this way izz 

will turn, on an almost square 

-- — 1 I — ■- 

lock, round a point inside of the 

spot where one hind wheel ^^- 

touches the ground, and the KNU^ 

lowest points of the front wheels c^l\\ 

will not deviate greatly from the ^X^^./xv.... 

lines runninor througrh the hind _ 

, ^ ^ i^IG. II. 

wheels, as is shown by the dotted 

lines in Fig. 1 1 , which is only a diagram, and is not 

intended to show details of construction. 

To obtain the greatest freedom in turning, the 
parallel bar A B (Fig. 12), which is behind the axle 
and connects the arms, must be as much shorter than 
the distance on the axle between the joints of the 
axle-arms as will make the lines of the arms, pro- 
duced, join at the centre of the hind axle (Fig. 12, C). 

The front wheels, when turning, will then assume 
positions which are not parallel to each other, as 
they are in Fig. 11, but at right angles to two radii 
meeting on a line which is the prolongation of the 
hind axle, and all four wheels will turn round that 
point, as a common centre, without any grinding 
upon the road. 



CH. Ill 

A practical objection to this arrangement, is the 
largely increased number of parts and joints, with 


Fig. 12. 

the consequent risk of breakage, and difficulty of 
preventing rattling. 

Axle. — The axle of the simplest cart or wagon 
is entirely of wood, the ends being tapered and 
rounded, and covered by a thin conical iron tube 
called a skein, on which the wheel, which has an 
iron boxing or lining of some more or less complete 
form. runs. The axle of a coach is made in several 
parts. The axle-bed is of wood, sometimes in two 
pieces, between which the futchells are held, and 
under it is fastened the axle proper, which is of 
stronor, tougrh iron or mild steel, about two inches 
square, in one continuous length, terminating in 
arms upon which the wheels run. Originally these 

CH. Ill 



arms were tapered, and projected beyond the face of 
the hub of the wheel, and through a hole near the 
end a linchpin of iron or hard wood passed, to keep 
the wheel on. Until the end of the last century, 
the linchpin was universally used, but it was then 
superseded by a nut screwed on the end of the 
axle. On private carriages the linchpin was used 
to a much later date than on coaches ; until 1830 
or 1840. (Beaufort, p. T^oy.) 

A simple axle-arm is used in light carriages and 
in business wagons ; it is tapered, and the nut, which 
screws against a shoulder so that it cannot be set 
up too tight, is cut with a right hand thread on the 
off side axle and a left hand thread on the near 
side axle, so that the turning of the wheel tends to 
keep the nut on and not to screw it off 

All coaches have either mail axles or Collino-e 


axles. The mail axle (Fig. 13), so called because it 

was originally 

used on the 

mail - coaches, 

is not tapered, 

but the arm 

is cylindrical. 

It is not lone ^''^'- ^^- 

enough to extend tJiroiigJi the hub of the wheel, 

and it has at the back end a wide collar against 

which the back of the hub bears. The box in the 

hub is turned to fit the cylindrical axle-arm, and 

the two are ground together, or around bv eanees. 



CH. Ill 

SO as to fit with accuracy. '=' This box is closed at 
its outer end, and there are neither nuts nor Hnch- 
pin. Behind the collar of the axle there is a loose 
circular plate, called the moon plate, which has been 
put on before the axle is welded together in the 
middle. Around the edge of this plate there are 
three holes ; three bolts run entirely through the 
hub from the front and pass through the holes in the 
moon plate, terminating in threaded ends, on which 
there are nuts. As will be seen in Fig. 13, these 
bolts hold the wheel, by drawing the moon plate 
towards the back of the hub. the collar of the axle 
beino- between them, so that the wheel cannot come 
off unless all three bolts break, and even if the axle 
breaks, the wheel will not be released unless the 
fracture takes place behind the collar. For this 
reason the mail axle is the safest axle in use. 

The Collinge axle (Fig. 14), so named from its in- 
ventor, was intro- 
duced in i792.-|- 
Its arm is also 
cylindrical and 
fits accurately to 
its box. The arm 
extends throiigJi the box and has on its end two 
nuts having threads running different ways, so that 

Fig. 14. 

* A journal which is an absolute fit will not run so easily as one 
that has a little play both in its diameter and endwise. — Thurston, 
Friction and Lost JVor/c in lifac/iinery, p. 44. 

f It is interesting to note that this axle, first made at a date when 


any movement tending to unscrew one will screw 
up the other. Outside of the nuts there is a small 
pin passing through the reduced end of the axle, 
which pin is prevented from coming out by the cap 
covering it. This cap screws into the box\ and con- 
sequently into the hub, and not on the axle ; it 
turns, therefore, with the wheel. The cap holds 
about half a pint of oil which slowly finds its way 
along the arm through shallow grooves made for 
the purpose. The outward pressure of the wheel is 
not taken directly by the back of the nut, but by a 
loose collar, called the collet, which is behind the 
nut, and prevented from turning by being fitted to 
a flat place worked on that part of the axle. 

The thrust in the other direction is against an 
enlargement of the arm, a leather washer being 
put there to regulate the play of the wheel. This 
washer also prevents the oil from oozing out at the 
back of the wheel, and the dirty oil accumulates in 
a recess in the box, made for the purpose. 

It will be noticed that both these arms are cylin- 
drical and not tapered ; the fit is therefore made by 
the maker and is not adjustable. 

The point at which an axle-arm is most liable to 
break, is at its back end, owino- to the leveracre of 
the wheel beino- the greatest there, and the diam- 
eter at that point must be made proportionate to the 

mechanical processes were not so far advanced as at present, should 
have been so perfect that little improvement has been made upon it 
in a hundred years. 



Strain. A taper arm can be considerably reduced 
at its outer end without weakening it and a smaller 

box and hub can be used ; 
for this reason, in lieht car- 
riages the taper arm (Fig, 
Pj(. J- 15) is generally adopted. 

One disadvantage of it is, 
that the tightness of the wheel depends upon the 
thickness of the leather washer behind it ; if this is 
too thin, the wheel may be so shoved up on the 
taper as to run too tight ; if it is too thick, the 
wheel will be too loose and will not run true. 

With a cylindrical arm, a certain amount of end- 
play can be given by using a thin washer while the 
wheel will still run perfectly true. Some coachmen 
think it well to have this end-play (to have the 
wheel talk, as it is called), thereby avoiding some 
sidewise shocks from small stones and ruts. A 
slight end-motion undoubtedly helps to distribute 
the oil, prevents the arm from wearing in grooves, 
and is in accordance with the best modern practice 
in railway and mill work. 

There is a parallel or cylindrical arm made, which, 

to a certain extent, fulfils 
both conditions, by being ta- 
pered in a curve at its back 
end and parallel throughout 
most of its length (Fig. 16). The effects of taper 
and of parallel arms will be further considered when 
treatinor of Wheels. 

Fig. 16. 

CH. Ill AXLE-ARM 35 

There is some difference of opinion among coach- 
ino- men and builders as to the relative merits of the 
mail and Collinge axles for coaches. The usual 
practice is to put Collinge axles on private coaches 
and mail axles on public coaches. Owing to the 
absence of the bolt-heads and the presence of the 
plated cap, the Collinge axle looks the neater and 
more finished, and with the use that it gets in pri- 
vate driving", it will run for two or three months 
without re-oiling. The mail axle is no doubt some- 
what safer, but the breaking of the axle close to the 
back of the wheel, even though the wheel could not 
come off entirely, would, at any speed, probably 
cause an accident due to the wheel's being twisted 
to pieces. 

The mail axle requires oiling every one or two 
weeks, which is not only troublesome, but neces- 
sitates the constant unscrewing and screwing up of 
the bolts, which wears the threads, and ruins them 
if it is not done with much care. An oil chamber 
can be made in the end of the axle, as shown in the 
cut of an improved mail axle in Stratton (p. 454), 
and in Fig. 1 3 ; but it is difticult to fill this chamber, 
the only way being to pour the oil into the wheel be- 
fore putting it on, while the cap of a Collinge axle 
is readily filled and quickly put on, before the oil 
can run out. Collinge axle-boxes are usually merely 
forced into the hub and not otherwise fastened ; 
consequently they sometimes work out ; this is im- 
possible with a mail axle and is one of its chief 

36 AXLE-ARM CH. Ill 

advantages. The fancy of some builders or owners 
for having a ColHnge axle with a sham plate and 
three bolt-heads, put on over the cap, cannot be 
commended, since one of the objections to the mail 
axle is the ugliness of the plate, especially on a 
private coach. 

The present fashion certainly is to have Collinge 
axles on private coaches and mail axles on road- 
coaches, and there seems to be no objection to it 
as a proper distinction ; but the more the coach is 
used for long drives and fast work, the more reason 
is there for adopting the mail axle. The fact that 
a public coach, running at a high speed, a number 
of miles every day, with heavy loads, requires a 
much more frequent inspection in all its parts than 
does a private drag, makes the trouble of frequent 
oiling of relatively less importance. 

It is a mistake to have the axle-arm too small ; a 
some\vhat large hub is not out of place on a heavy 
vehicle, and the best practice in modern machinery 
tends toward large rubbing surfaces on all journals, 
although the resistance to the turnino- of the w^heel 
due to friction is directly as the diameter of the axle. 
The value of the oil as a lubricant depends upon its 
particles remaining in good condition between the 
rubbing surfaces, and on small surfaces, with heavy 
pressures, this condition is rapidly destroyed. In 
any question as to the dimensions of an axle-arm, 
therefore, the designer should lean toward a large 
size, both on account of its superior strength and 

CH. Ill GAUGE 37 

its lighter running. Two inches is the minimum 
diameter for a coach axle-arm ; two and a quarter 
inches is better. 

India-rubber bands, or rin^s, are sometimes in- 
serted between the inside of the hub and the out- 
side of the axle-box, and they undoubtedly lessen 
the vibrations, but they require a large hub since 
they weaken a small one, and if a brake is used, 
they are twisted out of condition, so that they are 
not adapted to coaches, — at least not to the hind 
wheels. Since rubber tires have come into use, the 
rubber-cushioned hubs have been abandoned. 

The length of the axle obviously depends upon 
the distance apart of the wheels ; this distance is 
called the gauge or track, and is usually measured 
from centre to centre of the tires, on the orround. 
It varies from 5 ft. 4 in., in an American Concord 
coach, to 4 ft. S}4 in., which is given by Harris 
{Coaching Age, p. 102), as having been that of the 
old mail-coaches. 

That was probably the distance from out to out, 
since it was adopted as the railway gauge, and an 
Act, of George III., fixes 4 ft. 6 in. as the minimum 
gauge for a coach from centre to centre. In the 
coaches and drags of the present day, the gauge is 
usually about 5 ft. i in. On good roads a uniform- 
ity of guage of the different vehicles used is unim- 
portant, but on the earth roads of America, a car- 
riage which does not fit in the ruts already made, 
runs very hard. In any one locality, therefore, all 

38 WHEEL CH. Ill 

carriaees are made to track the same, but in different 
localities this track varies ; for instance, in New York 
it is 4 ft. 8 in., while in Pennsylvania it is 5 ft. 2 in. 

Wheel. — The wheel is a simple mechanical con- 
trivance for transferrinpf the friction between the 
moving body and the ground, to a surface which 
reduces that friction, and also for diminishinor the 
resistance opposed by an obstacle on the ground. 

If a weight is drawn along on the ground on a 
sled, the friction between the runner of the sled and 
the o-round is ereat, and is due to the rouo-hness 
of both surfaces, as is shown by the fact that when 
both are very smooth, as in a steel runner on ice, 
the friction becomes very small. When a wheel is 
introduced, as it does not slide on the ground, the 
friction is changed to a rolling friction, and the rub- 
bine friction is transferred to the axle, which can 
have its surface so polished and supplied with a 

lubricant that this 
rubbing friction is 
greatly diminished. 
As to the ob- 
stacle : it is obvious 
that the wheel has 
to be lifted over it, 
and the draught, 
acting in the line 
A B (Fig. 17), pulls on a bent lever, BCD, raising 
the weight, which may be considered as concentrated 

CH. Ill WHEEL 39 

at D. The longer the arm B C, and the shorter the 
arm C D, the more easily will the draught raise the 
weight of the wheel, and for the same sized obstacle 
the larger wheel will evidently have the advantage. 

In the figure, the lines of draught make the same 
angle with the radius-arm of the lever ; if the lines 
of draught are parallel, the advantage of the larger 
wheel is still ereater. 

There is a limit in practice to the size of wheels, 
because, if very large, their weight may more than 
balance their other advantages ; but this will be true 
only of extravagant designs ; within the usual limits. 
the larger the wheel the better. The very small 
wheels sometimes used on pony phaetons are cruel 
to the horses. 

On a road which is level crosswise, the wheel 
which will run the easiest must be straight, vertical, 
with a tire at right angles to the face of the wheel, 
and the axle must be cylindrical, — that is, not ta- 
pered, — and horizontal. In other words, the wheel 
must be a short section of a true cylinder, revolving 
on a horizontal cylindrical axis. All rolling frames or 
carriages in ordinary machinery are thus mounted. 

In wagon and carriage building, departures from 
this system have been made for various reasons. 

In the first place, it is much more easy to make a 
wheel fit on a taper axle-arm than on one with par- 
allel sides, since the application of washers behind 
the wheel will determine how far it may be pushed 
on the arm and how tight it may be ; while with a 



CH. Ill 

Fig. i8. 

parallel arm the box must be fitted to it with accu- 
racy, requiring very good workmanship and perfect 
tools, and no adjustment of the fit is afterward pos- 
sible. The greatest strain on the arm being at the 
back end, a tapered arm can be made lighter for a 
given strength. 

With a straight, vertical wheel on a 
taper arm, the centre line of which is 
horizontal, the tendency of the wheel will 
be to run off, or against the nut, or linch- 
pin, while to be safe it should tend to run 
on, or against the collar (Fig. i8). 

To obviate this defect, the taper axle- 
arms are so set that their undersides are 
horizontal (Fig. 19). 

This arrangement places the wheels 
farther apart at the top than at the 
bottom, and evidently brings a strain 
upon the lower part of the wheel, 
tending to push it inward. To provide 
aoainst this, the wheel is dished, so that 
the lower spoke is always vertical or 
plumb (Fig. 20). 

This turning down of the point of the 
axle is called variously : hang, dip, swing, 
and pitch. 

The amount of dish, is the distance of the front 
side of the root of the spoke from the face of the 
rim, measured in the direction of the axle. 

This construction of the wheel also strengthens 

Fig. 19. 

Fig. 20. 

CH. Ill 



Fig. 21. 

it, since, owing- to the clasp of the tire, the wheel 
cannot be flattened out by a force acting on the in- 
side end of the hub ; but it is correspondingly weak 
in the opposite direction. Equal strength in both 
directions can be secured by placing the 
spokes alternately on both sides of a line 
around the hub, as is done to an exagger- 
ated extent in a bicycle wheel and to a 
smaller extent in carriage wheels (Fig. 
21). This 'staggering,' or 'dodging,' of 
the spokes also less weakens the hub. 

The best results would seem to be ob- 
tained in heavy work, by using a parallel 
axle, fitted by the best processes, set very nearly 
level, with an almost vertical wheel having but little 

If a wheel is dished and the axle so set as to 
give a plumb bottom spoke, the tire, in order to fit 
a flat road, must be horizontal cross- 
wise at its bottom point, and must 
therefore be a section of a cone, the 
position of the apex of which will be 
determined by the dip of the axle 
(Fig. 22). If the tire is not so made 
in the beginning it will finally wear 
into that form. 

Now a cone, or a section of a cone, 
will tend to roll in a circle, the centre 
of which is the point at which the apex of the cone 
would touch the oround, so that if the wheels of a 


Fig. 22. 


carriage are sections of cones, they will not tend 
to roll straight on in the direction in which the car- 
riage is going, but to turn off to the outside, as 

shown by the dotted 
curves of Fig. 23 ; 
consequently, they 
" ■;. will run against the 
nuts, or linchpins, and 
thereby set up a re- 
sistance which will in- 
^•. crease the draught. 
''//////////////////////y///////)//////y^^^ jj-^ addition to this 

Fig. 23. 

the face of the wheel 

having different diameters, its parts will revolve with 
different velocities ; and as all parts must move 
over the surface of the road at the same forward 
velocity, there will be but one line of the tire that 
will roll, all other lines of the tire being dragged 
on the surface, with a grinding action that destroys 
the road and the tire, and increases the draught. 
Some old English wagons are said to have had tires 
10 inches wide, and with coned wheels these would 
grind on the road excessively. It was because, in 
the last century, all wheels in heavy vehicles were 
considerably coned, that the road authorities ob- 
jected to wide tires as injuring the road ; wide 
tires on cylindrical wheels are an advantage to a 

In the figures an exaggerated amount of coning 
is shown, for clearness, but exactlv the same kind 


of action takes place in a less degree with a less 

We have so far assumed that the road is flat 
crosswise ; the conditions will be changed if the 
cross section is different. 

To take an exao^^erated case, such as mieht occur 
in a special piece of machinery : the treads of the 
wheels, and the axles, must be parallel to the sur- 
faces on which they run in order to 
determine a straight direction, as in 
Fig. 24 ; and in the case of a road, 
the cross section of which is curved, 
a straigr-ht, not a coned, wheel, with 
the axle bent down so as to brino- 

the tire to bear flat on the road, 

Fig. 24. 
would be correct. This probably 

gave rise to the early practice of building vehicles 
in this manner, but it is obvious that to be correct, 
the cross section of the road must be the same in 
all places, which is not likely to be the case. 

All roads are somewhat lower at the sides than 
at the middle, and when a carriage leaves the cen- 
tre, it inclines toward the o-^-itter, so as to throw the 
weiofht more on the down side wheel and to take it 
off the higher wheel. The danger always is, there- 
fore, of bending the wheel from its inside outward, 
but not in the other direction ; this is resisted by 
the shape of a dished wheel, as the hub cannot 
possibly be pushed through from the back with- 
out compressing and shortening the spokes ; an 

44 WHEEL CH. Ill 

important reason for at least a small amount of 

In turnino- a corner, the centrifueal force acts in 
the same way upon the outside wheel. 

In some heavy vehicles we find wheels made with 
a slight dish, but fitted on horizontal axle-arms, so 
that the face of the wheel is vertical, but the bottom 
spoke not plumb ; this dish gives strength to the 
wheel and is not a disadvantage, since the bottom 
spoke approaches the vertical when the vehicle in- 
clines sidewise on the down side of the road. On 
the continent of Europe, this construction is very 
common in carts, which frequently have wheels 6 
feet high. 

It must be noted that in a small, heavy wheel 
the width of the spokes compared with the 
diameter of the wheel is so great that any 
line representing a moderate dish falls en- 
tirely within the substance of the spokes, as 
shown by the dotted lines in Fig. 25 ; such 
a wheel is therefore strono-, although not 
LI really dished. 

„ ' Ni.MROD,' in The Road (18^2), prefers 

Pig. 25. _ ' _ V o /' i- 

straight, vertical wheels, and speaks of the 
mail-coach wheels as being the best ; made with a 
large nave, every other spoke framed perpendicular 
to the nave ; the others behind the line. 

Since these old wheels were made with 'strokes,' 
and not with hooped tires, a part of the advantage 
of dishincr the wheel was lost. Strokes were tires 

CH. Ill WHEEL 45 

put on in pieces and secured by bolts ; they over- 
lapped the joints of the fellies and added to the 
strength of the wheel, but not nearly so much as 
does the modern hoop-tire, which is continuous and 
binds the wheel tightly together. The hoop-tire is 
made somewhat too small to eo on the wheel ; it is 
expanded by heating, and being then put on the 
wheel, is rapidly cooled and shrunk by the applica- 
tion of water. A great deal of judgement must be 
exercised by the smith in this operation with light 
wheels, as they may have their dish increased be- 
yond the intention of the designer, by drawing the 
tire too tight. Machines are now made which com- 
press the tire after it is on the wheel without its 
having been previously heated. 

According to Corbett (p. 28), continuous tires 
were adopted for the coaches before they were used 
on the mails. On some of the wide wheels of the 
old ' stage-waggons,' two widths of strokes were put 
on with their joints overlapping. 

There are many details of the construction of 
wheels too technical to be entered upon here, but 
it may be said that there is no good reason for 
making the tire very narrow on upright wheels, es- 
pecially as a somewhat wide tire protects the rim 
of the wheel, which is otherwise liable to be rubbed 
and scratched. If it projects too much beyond the 
rim it will cast up the mud. There is no advan- 
tage in a narrow or round faced tire on a vertical 
wheel, but on a coned wheel there is an advantage. 



CH. Ill 

especially on a hard road, inasmuch as the grinding 
action is less (see page 42). On a soft road, the 
narrow tire will cut in and cause friction, or adhe- 
sion between the faces of the rim and the mud. 
The coach wheel shown in Fig. 26, may be taken 
as a good example, not being 
exaggerated in any way, having 
a dish of ^ of an inch. 

There are reasons outside of 
the purely mechanical questions 
of drauo-ht and strenorth, which 
induce builders to dish their 
wheels and to give them the 
resulting outward flare. In a 
brougham, made to a narrow 
track, the flare of the w^heels 
gives more room for the body, 
and in all carriages the flare of 
the wheels throws the mud away 
from the body. A carriage with 
nearly vertical wheels will have 
its panels covered with mud in 
wet weather. These are good 
reasons for the practice in certain cases, but as a 
question of draught, the horizontal, parallel axles, 
with straight and vertical wheels, are the best ; and on 
four-horse coaches, the track of which is always wide, 
a close approach to these conditions is desirable. 

In light vehicles the points of the axles are not 
only turned doiun, but they are also turned a little 

Fig. 26. 


to the front ; this is called the ' grather' of the axles. 
A light axle will spring backward when the draught 
upon it is opposed by the resistance of the wheel 
on the orround ; the axle-arms will be no longer in a 
straight line, and the wheels will not be parallel to 
each other or to the centre line of the carriage, 
hence they will run against the nuts instead of 
against the collars ; and if the axle-arm be tapered, 
the motion of the carriage causes a pressure against 
the front side of the taper, and increases this ten- 
dency, so that, to counteract it, the gather must be 
still more increased. 

Wheels, when not parallel, will rub sideways upon 
the road and increase the resistance. When an 
old carriage has axles badly bent, the wheels may 
be observed to plough up the mud on the inside of 
their rims as they move along. Cabs in a crowded 
city, which frequently have collisions, sometimes 
have their axles bent back in this way, and it will 
be seen that their tires are polished from being par- 
tially dragged on the surface of the road instead 
of runninor with a true rolline motion. In coaches 
which have very strong axles and parallel arms, the 
necessity for gather does not exist, and it is not 
given ; but in overhauling a coach, or in buying one 
second-hand, it is important to notice whether or 
not the axles are in the least degree bent backward. 

The heieht of coach wheels varies, in the best 
examples, from 4 ft. 2 in. to 4 ft. 4 in. for the hind 
wheels, and from 3 ft. 2 in. to 3 ft. 4 in. for the front 


ones. ' Nimrod' gives 4 ft. 8 in. as a usual height of 
the hind wheels in old coaches. The wheels of an 
American Concord coach are 5 ft. i in. and 3 ft. 10 
in. There are usually twelve spokes in the hind 
wheels and ten in the front wheels, but in the old 
English coaches there were frequently fourteen and 
twelve, respectively, and these are the numbers in 
the Concord wheels. '=' 

What is now usually called the 'patent wheel,' 
the characteristic of which is a hub formed by two 
iron plates applied to the back and front of the 
spokes, is not particularly new ; it is described in 
Adams's book, published in 1837. It is used exten- 
sively on business wagons but not on fine work. 

Springs. — Coaches are hung upon what coach- 
ing men usually call 
tclcgrapJi springs 
(because they were 
first used in Eng- 
land on the Man- 
chester 'Telegraph'), 
but known by coach- 
^'°' ^''- makers as platform 

springs, which permit the body of the coach to be 

hung low (Fig. 27). 

* The following dimensions of the wheel of a very light, one-man 
trotting buggy, are given for the purpose of comparison with coach 
wheels : height, 48 in. ; diameter of hul^, 2| in. ; diameter of axle, 
f in., taper ; dish, j^ in. from outer spoke ; swing or overhang of 


They are fastened by clips to the transom bed in 
front and directly to the axle behind, and the body 
rests upon the centres of the cross springs and is 
attached to them in the same way. 

It will be noticed that the body is attached to 
the springs at four points only, and that these 
points are all in the centre line of the coach. This 
arrangement permits an amount of rolling motion, 
which would be serious were the springs not stiff, 
and is an obvious disadvantage, which is, however, 
more than compensated by the lowness of the 
body, a greater height of which would increase the 
liability to roll. 

The four springs forming this combination are 
connected at the corners by shackles, or ' D's,' and 
in a coach for the road, carrying heavy loads, these 
shackles should be as short as possible, otherwise 
the body will sway sidewise too much, and in going 
down-hill will swing forward, taking the brake away 
from the face of the wheel, and in going up-hill may 
move back enough to put the brake-block against 
the wheel. If they are long, the coach will ride 
somewhat easier and the body will be lower. These 
are points to be considered, but, on the whole, it 

wheel, 3^ in. ; gather, J in. ; tire, | in. face and ^ in. thick ; spoke, 
I by 1^ in. ; rim, |- in. The swing given to the wheel is much greater 
than that called for by the dish, because the axle being light the 
weight of a man on the centre of it, where the spring is attached, 
will spread the wheels enough to ensure a plumb spoke with this 
amount of swing. There are fourteen spokes. 



is better to make the shackles short and close, 
giving them as little play as possible. They should 
be covered with leather, to prevent rattling. 

According to Corbett (p. 28), the telegraph 
springs were used on coaches before they were 
used on the mails, and after the expiration of Vid- 
ler's contract in 1836, they were put on the mails, 
which appear to have been hung originally with a 
cross spring behind. 

Springs are always made of several plates, or 
leaves, which give more elasticity than would be ob- 
tained with one plate of steel of the same strength, 
and are also less liable to break from a sudden 
shock or rebound, which is communicated succes- 
sively to the plates. 

The springs are fastened to the bed, and to the 
body, by clips, which embrace them, so as not to 
have holes through their centres. 

In many business wagons, three-quarter springs, 
shown in Fig. 28, called in England ' dennet springs,' 

are used. The front 
ends of the side 
springs are fastened 
directly to the body, 
or to the carriag-e- 
part, as the case may 

be, and there are 
Fig. 28. , - . . 

thereiore six pomts 

of attachment, four of them so far apart side- 
ways as to resist a rolling motion much better 

CH. Ill POLE 51 

than when all the supports of the body are in one 
centre line. Since a backward and forward motion 
of the body is prevented by the attachment of the 
front ends of the springs, the brake-blocks will not 
be carried away from the hind wheels in the way 
that the movement of the shackles of the ordinary 
springs permits. This arrangement would be prob- 
ably an improvement in a road-coach and it is 
necessary for the hind axle of a break which has no 
perch, since, when there is no perch, the action of the 
brake brings a great strain on the elliptic springs. 

Pole. — The pole, which fits into the space be- 
tween the inside futchells, completes the carriage- 

There is some difference of opinion among 
coaching men as to the proportions of the pole. 
It should obviously be heavier for a road-coach 
than for a dracr, and in all cases should be strono- 
enough to bear safely any strain that can come 
upon it in going down a hill ; the best coachman 
can hardly avoid an accident if, on a steep hill, a 
pole breaks. 

In turnincr round and or^ittinor the coach on the 
lock, the leaders may pull nearly at right angles to 
the end of the pole, and if anything breaks at such 
a time, it is better that it should be the pole than 
some more complicated part of the carriage, as it 
is the most easily repaired, or than that the coach 
should be overturned, as might happen upon side- 

52 POLE CH. Ill 

long ground. In turning, the bend of a flexible 
pole will indicate the danger before a break occurs. 

Some drag poles are not plated at all on the 
underside, and some road-coach poles are plated 
throughout their whole length, which makes them 
stiff and inelastic. The best way is to plate them 
for two-thirds of the length, since a fracture will 
naturally occur near the hinder end, and to use a 
tough, soft iron, not too heavy, which will bend and 
keep the pole together, even if the wood is broken. 

The places at which a pole is most likely to break, 
are where it leaves the futchells, or through the hole 
for the pin, which is just behind that point ; and a 
light plate on each side, extending from the hinder 
end of the pole to a point ten or twelve inches in 
front of the ends of the futchells, is of service and 
prevents the wear of the pole in the jaws of the 

The proper size of a pole at a point two feet from 
the splinter-bar, is 2,^4 inches wide and 4.^4 inches 
deep for a road-coach, and somewhat less for a drag. 

The pole goes between the plates which connect 
the futchells on their under and upper surfaces, and 
is thus stiffly attached to the fore-carriage. A pin 
passes horizontally through the futchells and the 
pole and makes it fast, and, since by it the leaders 
do their part of drawing the coach, it must be 
strong. Sometimes a second pin is put in near the 
hinder end of the pole ; a proper precaution against 

CH. Ill POLE 53 

In the majority of European four-horse vehicles, 
except in England, the leaders do not draw from 
the point of the pole, but by means of a chain, or a 
rope, passing along the underside of the pole, from 
a hook which is under the futchells. This hook is 
sometimes put in this place in a coach, to be used 
in case six horses are driven ; but it is not well 
to have it there, since, should a wheel horse fall and 
get under the coach, he may be badly torn by the 

The length of the pole should be 9 feet from the 
front of the splinter-bar to the cross-head of the 
pole-head or crab. If it is longer than this it takes 
the leaders too far away and impairs the ' smart' 
look of the turn-out. French carriage poles are 
usually much too long. 

The length given above, for the pole, is proper 
for sixteen hand, or fifteen-three hand, horses ; if 
smaller horses, or short, cobby horses are to be 
driven to a drag, an extra pole, two or three inches 
shorter, should be provided. 

When the coach is standing on a level pavement, 
the end of the pole should be three feet from the 

It must be remembered that a short pole re- 
quires a longer cross-head, or else the pole-chains 
will pull too much sideways from the horses' necks. 
The most exaggerated form of a long cross-head is 
the yoke of a trotting wagon, which is so long as to 
make the pole-straps parallel to the pole. There is 



CH. Ill 

Fig. 29. 

a regular pattern of crab, or metal mounting of the 
pole, which is well adapted to its purpose and 
should be adhered to. It is shown in Fig. 29. and 

consists of a kind 
of sheath which fits 
on the end of the 
pole and is fast- 
ened to it by two 
bolts, which must 
be strong, since 
by them the leaders pull. This sheath terminates 
in a hook to take the lead-bars. At the root of the 
hook is the cross-head, which is free to turn upon 
the stem, and has a ring at each end into which the 
pole-chains are fastened. The arms of the cross- 
head should be about six inches long from the cen- 
tre of the pole to the rings. A strap, attached to 
the pole, passes through the eye on the point of the 
hook ; it should be strong and always kept in good 
order, as it may serve to prevent the lead-bars from 
being jerked off the hook in case of an accident 
with the leaders. 

In many French four-horse vehicles, the hook is 
under the pole ; but this is not a good arrangement; 
the bars are liable to come off unless the point of 
the hook is fastened by a screw to the pole, which 
is troublesome. 

The whole pole-head should be of the best steel, 
highly polished. On a road-coach it is usually 
painted black, but lately, on some road-coaches, 


especially in France, it is bright, as on a drag. 
This looks much better, and it is really but little 
more trouble to polish it than to keep revarnishing 
it. On a long- route, however, and in bad weather, 
the bright steel becomes tarnished toward the end 
of the day. Of course, the chains must correspond 
to the pole-head, and it is more trouble to varnish 
them than to brighten them by shaking in a bag. 
In old road-coaches the chains were usually made 
fast to the pole-head, as they now are on farm- 
wagons, and they had to be blackened. 

Pole-heads, chains, or lead-bar fittings, should al- 
ways be of bright steel, never plated with silver or 
with brass. The plating soon wears off at the 
rubbing surfaces. 

Road-coaches, or private coaches on long trips, 
sometimes carry a spare pole made in three pieces 
to screw together, the joints being strengthened by 
collars which slide over them. This pole is strapped 
to the perch. Its head is of a simple form and 
painted black. 

Lead-Bars. — The lead-bars are made after one 
regular pattern. Fig. 30 gives a better idea of 
them than any description can give. They should 
be rather heavy than light. The main bar is 3 ft. 4 
in. long ; the single bars are 2 ft. 11 in. 

The D fixture on the main bar is better than the 
eye fixture shown alongside of it. It is somewhat 
the fashion to use the eve for draos and the D for 



CII. Ill 

road-coaches, but the objection to the eye is that, 
on account of its small size, it may get caught 



Fig. ^o. 

sideways on the hook and twist or break it. This 
cannot happen with the D. 

On the other hand, the D, having much more 
play, is more noisy. This is a slight objection, and 
at night it is an advantage, since the coachman can 
tell by the ' chatter of the bars' whether or not his 
leaders are working, since there will be no rattle if 
they are pulling. The D is, therefore, recommended 
for both draors and coaches. 

The fixtures of the single-bars 
have eyes set at right angles to the 
bars ; these eyes hook on the ends 
of the main-bar, and there are 
springs which prevent them from 
becoming unhooked. These springs 
are usually made as shown at A in 
Fig. 31, but a better method, de- 
vised by Brewster & Co., is to have 
the end lengthened into a loop, 
which surrounds the stem of the hook as at B, so 
as to keep the fitting from coming off should it be- 

FlG. 31, 


come loose. These springs were comparatively 
new in ' Nimrou's' time. (Malet, p. 348.) 

The fittings of the bars are usually secured by 
screws, and the bars should be always put on with 
the screw-heads ?//, so that the loss of a screw will 
be noticed. It is, however, much better to have the 
fittings secured by bolts which go entirely through 
them, as at C, and are riveted, so that they cannot 
possibly come off 

A dangerous accident, which not infrequently 
happens, is to have the fitting on the end of the 
main-bar come off, which lets the single-bar drop 
on the leader's hocks and may cause even the 
quietest horse to kick ; therefore the method of 
fastening- the fittings with bolts should be insisted 
on. It is not so important for the centre fittings, 
since their coming- loose cannot do much harm. 

A single link, or three or four short links, of steel 
are sometimes used to connect the inside hooks of 
the bars.'^" This should never be done, as in the 
event of a horse kicking and getting his leg between 
the main-bar and the single-bars, it is almost im- 
possible to release him, and great damage may 

Such an arrangement is useless, at any rate, but 
if, for any temporary reason, it should be desired, 
merely a strap, which can be quickly cut, should be 

* This is as old as 'Nimrod's' time. See Essays, Malet, p. 191. 

Fig. 32. 


An extra main-bar and one extra single-bar are' 
carried on the back of the rumble. They are usu- 
ally strapped on as shown in Fig. 32, but they 

are sometimes held 
in steel spring-racks. 
Straps are better ; the 
steel springs are diffi- 
cult to clean and the 
bars sometimes shift 
sideways in them. The extra bars should be always 
taken off when the coach comes in ; else they will 
harbour dust and soon get rusty. 

The lead-bar has sometimes been made in one 
piece (Fig. ;2,2,), which is objectionable, not only be- 
cause it does not permit 
^ — * p ^ -^ the free action of the 

t:, horse's shoulder, but be- 

FiG. 33. 

cause, if one horse is 
more free than the other and works in front, the 
bar is oblique, and each horse has his collar pulled 
sideways on his neck, which is certain to cause sore 

The mails in old times carried this single-bar with 
four hooks on it, as a spare bar in case of breaking 
the lead-bars. (' Nimrod's' Fssays, Malet, p. 190.) 

A method of rigging the lead-bars, frequently 
used by Italian and Swiss vctturini. is well adapted 
to the temporary conversion of a two-horse car- 
riage into one for four horses. A rope is attached 
to the centre of the front axle and carried along 

CH. Ill 



the under side of the pole, from which it is sus- 
pended at intervals by straps (hame-straps. for 

Fig. 34. 

instance). About two feet behind the point of the 
pole, this rope is attached to the centre of a some- 
what lighter line, the two ends of which are made 
fast to a bar, 3 ft. 9 in. long, corresponding to the 
main-bar. To the end of this bar are attached the 
single-bars. The main-bar is held up by straps, 
like light pole-pieces, from the pole-head. They 
may go to the end of the bar or can be made fast 
nearer its centre. The short bridle of the main- 
bar can be replaced to advantage by a chain. 

For three horses the lead-bars are made as 
shown in Fig, 35. The long arm of the main- 


-^ W 


Fig. 35. 

bar is twice the length of the short arm, so that 
all three horses do an equal share of the work. 


The steel hook of the bar of the sinele horse 
is long- enough to bring his bar out to the line 
of the other bars. This is a common arrangement 
in three-horse ploughs. 

CH. IV 6i 


The bodies of coaches are essentially the same, 
, but builders vary them sufficiently to make notice- 
able differences in their proportions, as can be 
seen by comparing the plates of coaches in the 
present volume by detaching and superposing, the 
sheets of transparent paper upon each other, or 
upon the plates, which are all drawn to the same 

The average length of the body is 4 ft. 10 in., 
the width 4 ft, o in., and the height 4 ft. 2 in. The 
extreme lengths, as shown in the drawings, are 
4 ft. II in. for the longest, and 4 ft. 8 in. for the 
shortest ; these are outside dimensions. The di- 
mensions within these limits are, to a certain extent, 
a matter of taste, but extreme shortness should be 
avoided, since it leads to a short coupling in the 
under-carriage, which is objectionable. The body 
should be made as light as is consistent with 
strength, so as to keep the centre of gravity of the 
whole coach low. Its weight is usually rather more 
than half that of the whole coach, the irons and 
cushions of the roof-seats being included. The 
roof is very nearly flat, so that the seats can be 
adapted to it, and for convenience in carrying bag- 


gage. The sides are moderately curved in both 
directions, or have, what coach-makers call the ' cant' 
in the horizontal direction, and the ' turn-under' in 
the vertical direction. 

The 'Wonder,' a coach much admired on the 
Shrewsbury road in 1825, built by Waude, is said 
to have had perfectly flat sides.''' A body looks 
' smarter' if it has not too much curve. The . 
bottom line of the coach should be between the 
extreme boat curve and the nearly straight, side 
and bottom lines, connected by short curves. 

The doors of the body are hinged on the front 
edo-e, unlike the doors of brouQfhams or landaus, so 
that if they are left open by accident they will swing 
shut on starting. They have solid, or stable, shut- 
ters in addition to the usual orlasses, and there should 
be some way, on the inside, of fastening them up 
by buttons, or by pulling up the inside glasses tight 
against them, so that they cannot be pushed down 
from the outside in case it is desirable to lock up 
the coach. For the same reason, the doors have 
locks, which work with a key ; in addition to the 
usual latches. 

The inside of a modern road-coach body is usually 
not lined, but finished in hard wood, and it has 
cushions only. Old road-coaches were comfortably 
stuffed and lined inside and had arm-straps, as the 
inside places were the highest priced. 

* Old Coaching Days, p. 37. 


A drag is plainly lined, and there is nothing more 
stylish for the purpose than a very light drab cloth. 
There should be straps of some kind on the under 
side of the roof to hold hats or any similar light 
thinp-s. It is a serious mistake to make the inside 
of a coach so low that a man cannot sit in it with 
his hat on. When a full load is on a drag", the ser- 
vants have to go inside, and, apart from the ques- 
tion of their comfort, it does not look well to have the 
men sitting bare-headed ; and if they are required 
to get out, they should be ready to do so quickly, 
and not have to wait to put on their hats. For this 
reason the height from the top of the wooden seat 
should be not less than 3 ft. 8 in. This will admit 
of a cushion 3 inches thick, and will give a height of 
3 ft. 5 in. from the top of the cushion to the under- 
side of the roof, which is enough for a tall man with 
his hat on. If the top of the wooden seat is i 2 inches 
above the centre of the floor, the whole inside height 
will be 4 ft. 8 in. This is apparently greater than 
the outside height of the body given in the begin- 
ning of this chapter, but that is because the floor 
drops inside as low as the bottom of the rocker. 

Many of the road-coaches in England in the early 
part of this century were uncomfortably low, and 
there has been a disposition to copy them in modern 

* ' The inside of the coach was very small. E. had to sit without 
his hat, and he is not particularly tall.' — Extract from a private 
Journal of Travel, in England in 1835. 


Boots. — The boots are constructively a part of 
the body ; they vary considerably, being made 
more or less deep according to the taste of the de- 
signer ; shallow boots give a poor air to a coach, 
and it is better to err on the side of depth. Their 
distance below the top of the body should be such 
as to give comfortable leg-room to persons sitting 
on the roof-seats, and for that i6 inches is right. 
This is from wood to wood, and does not count 
the cushion. The hind boot is about 2 feet long, 
the front one 3 feet, and both are about 2 feet deep. 
The front boot should be from i to 2 inches higher 
on the body than the hind boot, as that always gi\'es 
a ' smarter' appearance, and prevents the appear- 
ance of the coach's hanging down in front, when 
the back seats are not occupied. The front boot 
slopes backward from the root of the foot-board, 
usually about 7 inches. This may be varied, but it 
must not be so straight that, in the motion of the 
coach, the boot will touch the inside roller-bolts, 
which may happen if the spring-shackles are long. 
The boots are 4 inches narrower than the body. 
There is an opening into the front boot from above, 
and the front part is usually hinged at the top so as 
to turn up. This door must never be hinged at the 
bottom, else it may fall open and, striking the horses, 
occasion an accident. 

In a road-coach the front of the boot is generally 
entirely closed, and it is sometimes covered with 
iron to prevent a kicking wheeler from knocking it 


in ; in this case the boot is accessible only from 
the top by lifting a flap which is under the feet of 
the persons sitting on the box-seat. While, on the 
score of safety, it may be well to make a road- 
coach boot in this way, it is so exceedingly incon- 
venient for a drag, that it is better to have a door, 
but always hinged at the top and with a lock, or 
still better two locks, that can be trusted to hold. 
On a race-course, for instance, the hind boot is full 
of the lunch-boxes, or should, at any rate, never 
have anything dirty put into it, the horse clothing 
and halters must be in the front boot. It is diffi- 
cult for the grooms to get out these articles through 
the small opening in the top, under the feet of the 
person, sitting on the box-seat ; but after the horses 
are taken out, the front of the boot is quite acces- 
sible if it has a door. 

The boot may be made accessible from the inside 
of the body, the opening being closed by the back 
of the front seat, which is hino-ed or made to come 
out altosjether. In old travellinor-carriao-es this ar- 
rangement was frequently used, to permit a bed to 
be made inside of the carriage, the feet of the per- 
son lying on it, extending into the boot. 

A coach was designed by Mr W. G. Tiffany, 
and built for him by Peters of London, in 1868, in 
which the sides of the front boot turned down, being 
hinged near the bottom edge, one of the steps serv- 
ing as a handle to the lock, and so arranged that 
the door could not be opened unless the step were 





turned edgewise, which would prevent any one from 
stepping upon it unless the door were fastened. 
A second coach, with the same kind of boot, was 
built by Laurie & Marner in 1873, and both were 
used on the London and Brighton road by Mr 
Tiffany in 1873.'^' This arrangement is perhaps 
somewhat complicated, but it is one way out of the 
difficulty and gives convenient access to the boot. 

It may be said that while in a road-coach (where 
horse cloths, or anything else, may be put in the 
hind boot) the front boot should be solid, the front 
boot of a drag may have a door well secured. 

The hind boot of a drag has 
its door hinged at the bottom 
in such a way that, when it is 
open and horizontal, its inner 
surface is level with the bottom 
of the inside of the boot. If it 
is higher, the boxes which be- 
long in the boot will not slide 
out over it unless it is put down 
altogether. This door should 
have iron quadrants, or chains, 
which hold it when open, in a 
horizontal position, so that it serves as a table for 
serving lunch (see Fig. 36). 

Fig. 36. 

* The ' Peters' coach was built for Mr Tiffany to take to Tunis, 
and the seats were covered with pigskin, the first time that this 
material was used for that jnirpose. 




If the door is not hinged so as to be fair with the 
bottom of the boot when horizontal, it may have a 
chain and hook, as in a dog-cart, so that it can be 
let down entirely in order to get out the boxes, and 
afterward hooked up. 

The door of the hind boot of a road-coach is huno-, 
not at the bottom, but at the off side, so as to be 
easily opened by the guard to take out parcels ; un- 
less, however, a coach is built especially for a road- 
coach, it is better to hano- the door drap--fashion, 
and the coach can then serve both purposes. 

In some of the old road-coaches, a rack on which 
additional packages could be carried, was fitted 
behind the rumble, and it was placed even as low 
as the bottom of the boot, in which case the boot 
was opened at the top, as was also the case for 
security in the mail-coach. 

Box AND Driving Seat. — On the front part of 
the front boot is placed the driving-seat. In all 
coaches it is supported 
by solid ends, or risers, 
and has a board runnino- 
crosswise under it, so as 
to close the space en- 
tirely. The top of the 
bench is flat, and the 
proper shape of seat for 

the coachman is made by the cushion. The best 
form for this cushion is shown in Fig. 2il • It may 


be entirely stuffed, in which case it is fastened on 
by two straps which cross on top of it, or it may be 
made with box sides and back, like the driving 
cushions of a landau or of a brouo-ham, and fast- 
ened to the seat by a strap underneath. The 
former is the old-fashioned coaching style. The 
seat should not be too flat, nor should it be as 
steep as it is sometimes made, so that the coach- 
man rather leans against it than sits on it, a point 
that will be referred to when treating of the Position 
on the Box. On a road-coach there is usually a 
pocket on the near side of the cushion. The iron 
rail on the off side should rise above the cushion, 
to prevent the coachman from being thrown off 
by a violent jolt. The box-seat has a back which 
does not extend behind the coachman's cushion. 
It is sometimes curved, as shown in Plates VII. and 
XIX., but this is no improvement. It is frequently 
so made that it can be taken off, in which case, 
it should be, when in place, strapped tightly, other- 
wise it may yield to the pull of a passenger who 
takes hold of it in getting up or down with the 
risk of crivinor him a fall. It is better to have it a 

Attached to the upper front edge of the boot 
(Fig. 38) is the footboard, the angle of which is of 
great importance. An angle of '%,'X) degrees with the 
horizontal is the best. 

Too large a footboard is uncouth ; in the old 
mails it was both short and narrow, so that the 




traces could be readily seen by the coachman. It 

should be large enough ' fore and aft' to keep the 

toe from projecting 

beyond it, but no 

larger ; 24 inches 

from a vertical line 

touching the front 

edofe of the cushion 

is correct. 

A foot - board 
which is narrow, 
from right to left, 
permits the coach- 
man to see his 

Fig. 38. 

horses better than if it is too wide ; and as the 
passengers do not want to walk about on the toot- 
board, there is no reason for makinsf it more than 
46 inches wide, on any coach. 
On the hind boot is placed 
the rumble (Fig. 39), which, 
in a draor, is a seat for two 
servants. It is supported by 
irons at its ends, and is en- 
tirely open underneath. It 
should be 44 inches long, 
which length does not make 
it look out of proportion and 
will eive room enough for 
three slender persons, which is sometimes very con- 
venient with a full load on top, as for a picnic or 

Fig. 39. 




races. It should have a lazy-back, which can be 
put on when it is used in this way, and there should 
be also a valance of patent leather, which can be 
buttoned on the front edge of the seat. These are 
shown by the dotted lines of Fig. 39. WHien the 
grooms occupy the rumble, neither the back nor the 
valance should be used. 

On a road-coach the rumble is supported by a 
solid bench like that of the driving-seat ; the board 

at the back joins the boot 
at its upper angle, and the 
seat is 60 inches long, so as 
to hold three persons com- 
fortably. On the near side 
is a cushion (a couple of 
inches higher than the cush- 
ion of the other two seats) 
for the guard, which ensures 
him his proper place and 
enables him to see over the 
heads of the passengers. 
Sometimes a road-coach has a rumble long enough 
for four persons, but it gives a clumsy air to the 
coach. This seat has a permanent back. 

A strap with a loop should be fastened to the 
underside of the back roof-seat, on the near side, 
half-way between the centre and the end, so as to 
come between the end passenger and his neighbour, 
by which strap the guard can steady himself when 
standing up to sound the horn. 



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In carriages of the seventeenth century, in addi- 
tion to the four people who sat inside, two more 
persons, usually pages, or persons of lower rank, 
sat sideways in the door-ways, facing the side of the 
road, with their legs in a kind of box built out from 
the side of the carriage and not unnaturally called 
a 'boot,' and when what we now call the 'boots' 
were added to a carriage, the name went with 
them. The front boot, which was the support of 
the driving-seat, must have had a closed top, but in 
a road-coach, the addition behind was originally a 
basket, open at the top. fastened upon the hind axle, 
in which packages and passengers were carried. If 
the passengers could do so, they sat down, but if 
there were too many of them for this, they stood 
up, and in cold weather the basket was half full of 
straw to keep their legs warm. 

This basket is shown in Plates I., IV., V., and 
VI. ; '^' it was later replaced by a wooden box, open 
at the top ; this was afterward closed at the top, 
the passengers sat on it, and it assumed its pres- 
ent form. In the early coaching books we read of 
persons /;/ the hind boot. 

In Cross, vol. ii. p. 6, we read : ' Now the guard 

* In a plate published by Edw. Orme, Bond Street, London, in 
1 816, of ' The Ghent and Brussels Diligence,' there is shown a basket 
behind, another on the top, and another for the l)ox-seat. The 
coachman is on the roof, his reins passing over the heads of the 
persons on, or /;/, the box. The flat, shallow basket is still seen on 
the roof of broughams fitted up for station work. 


' had taken up two soldiers on the road, and from 
' ofood feehngf, as I thouQ^ht, had, not longr before we 
' stopped, put them into the hind boot and covered 
' them up — the boots in those days being very capa- 
' cious and opening at the top.' This happened in 
January 1814. The guard's object was, of course, 
to prevent the proprietor from knowing that he 
had carried the soldiers free, or else had pocketed 
their fares. 

Again in Cross (vol. ii. p. 81), we find as follows, 
where an old coachman is speaking of sailors just 
paid off, travelling by the Portsmouth coach : * We 
' used to set 'em a-fiorhtino- in the rumble-tumble, 
' when they'd be sure to drop something worth 
' picking up.' 

The whole hind boot seems to have been called the 
rumble. The name is now applied only to the seat. 

Some of the older coachmen called it the ' dickey' 
(Cross, vol. iii. p. 128), but that name is now applied 
to the driving-seat of a carriage. 

Roof-Seats. — In the very old coaches (Plates V. 
and \^I., Hogarth and Row^landson) there were 
no seats on the roof, but passengers frequently 
sat there, clinging on as they best could. Seats 
were afterward added in the form that we have 
them now, and finally, so many accidents were 
there from top-heavy coaches, that a certain Mr 
Gammon procured the passage of an Act of Parlia- 
ment, in 1788, prohibiting coaches from carrying 



more than six persons on the roof and two on the 
box beside the driver.'^' 

The roof-seats, therefore, did not extend much 
beyond the edge of the roof, but later they were 
lengthened so as to hold four. These roof-seats 
are sometimes called the 'gammon-boards,'-]- obvi- 
ously from the name of the author of the Act. 

In the present coach, the roof-seats are fastened 
to the roof, with their edges fair with the front and 
back parts of the body. To carry four persons 
with comfort they should be 6 feet long, and their 
length may be practically increased without adding 
to their apparent size, by bending the side irons 
outward, six inches being thus easily added. 

The mail-coaches had no hind roof-seat and car- 
ried only three on the front roof-seat, and down 
to 1870 drags usually had seats long enough for 
only three, and extending slightly beyond the edge 
of the roof. These seats are now uniformly made 
to hold four ; and while the width of the load on 
top does undoubtedly detract somewhat from the 
' smart' appearance of the coach, the additional ac- 
commodation more than makes up for it, and 
when only three people are up, they have a com- 
fortable abundance of room and do not make the 
load look really much wider than if they were 
crowded together. 


* Brighton and its Coaches, p. 25. 

f ' NiMROD,' Road, p. 17, calls the hind roof-seat 'the gammon- 


The roof-seats have backs, which, on a drag, are 
covered on both sides with patent leather ; on a 
road-coach, with the same coveringr as that on the 
seats. On a drag, the standards should be hinged 
just above the cushion, so that they can be turned 
down when the seats are not occupied, — which 
should always be done. On a road-coach, the 
standards are usually fixed. 

On a roof-seat for four, the outside persons have 
their feet partially unsupported, and on road-coaches 
it is usual to extend a board on both sides so as to 
provide a footing. It is rather clumsy and very 
much in the way in getting up, and is commonly 
omitted in drags or made very small. 

As the roof-seat is usually somewhat high for a 

lady, it is well to have two boxes to fit on the top 

of the boot, as shown in Fig. 41, so made that 

they cannot readily slip off, and 

In^-- , ""~"'^-^^ . yet can be pushed sideways to 

accommodate the persons sit- 
FiG. 41. , 

tino- there. If two ladies are in 

the middle, the boxes can be put close together, 
so as not to occupy the whole foot room. A similar 
arrangement is convenient for the box-seat. Car- 
pet foot-stools serve the same purpose, but they are 
always slipping about, falling off, and getting lost. 

The tops of the boots and the foot-board should 
be covered with perfectly plain, single-coloured oil- 
cloth, kamptulicon, or india-rubber. The foot-board 
sometimes has, in addition, a perforated india-rubber 


mat, which must be firmly fastened on, since acci- 
dents have happened from its being pushed off by 
the feet and frightening the wheelers by falling on 
their backs. 

On some road-coaches running out of London, 
there is a seat for three persons on the middle 
of the roof, — 'the knife-board,' — but it makes the 
coach top-heavy, and is a dangerous arrangement 
not to be commended. 


Coaches are usually painted in two colours ; the 
colour chosen for the body is on the quarter panels, 
the whole of the door, and the panel of the hind 

The colour of the carriage-part is on the risers of 
the box-seat (also on the risers and panel of the 
rumble, in a road-coach), the underside and edge 
of the foot-board, and on any portion of its upper 
surface not covered with kamptulicon, on all the 
carriage-part including the springs, and on the long 
rocker-bed which runs under the body and really 
forms a part of it. 

The upper panels, the sides of the boots, the 
front of the front boot, and the roof, are always 

All iron-work not on the wood, such as the stand- 
ards of the rumble, steps, seat-rails, roller-bolts, 
hub-bands and plates, shoe, chain, and ladder, is 
black. To this rule, the springs are an exception. 


but their shackles are usually black, or are covered 
with black leather. 

The rule of painting the panel of the hind boot 
the same colour as the body is not invariable ; it 
is frequently the same as the colour of the carriage- 
part, as in the mail-coaches. The choice of the 
colour is somewhat a matter of taste, depending on 
which colour will look the best when the coach is 
seen from behind. If the body-colour is ligJit, it is 
put upon the panel ; not if it is dark. 

A road-coach usually has no striping. A drag 
may have striping, preferably black, at the root of 
the spokes, on the rims of the wheels, round the 
doors, and on the box-seat risers, and a lined panel 
on the under side of the foot-board. The corners 
of the wood-work of the carriage-part are some- 
times moulded and striped ; in this case some of 
the bolt-heads and clips are black. 

The only other ornamentation on a drag is the 
monogram, or the crest, of the owner, painted on 
the crest-panel (which is the narrow panel under 
the window), and the devices of any coaching clubs 
to which the owner may belong, which are painted 
on the door under the crest-panel, and in the centre 
of the panel of the hind boot ; or the crest, or 
monogram alone, may be there. 

A road-coach has painted on it the names of the 
places between, and through which, it runs. 

The names of the two ends of the route are 
on the panel of the hind boot, the more important 


one yfrj-/;* for instance. 'London and Brighton' in 
three lines, the ' and' beine in letters ; not the sio-n 
&. On the boots, near the lower edges, are the 
names of places on the road. On the crest-panel of 
the door are the same names as on the hind panel, 
but without the 'and,' Sometimes the name and 
address of the proprietor are on the crest-panel ; 
during a certain period in the old coaching days 
this was required. On the risers of the driving- 
seat and of the rumble, are the names of the offices 
or inns at the ends of the route. For instance, 
the Paris and Poissy coach has ' herald office' on 
one riser and ' hotel de l'esturgeon' on the other. 

The name of the coach is in large letters on the 
back of the rumble. 

Colonel Kane's New York and Pelham coach 
had on the crest panels umoN-poRx ^^ the near side, 
and PEL^AM-BRiDGE ^^ the off side ; and on the riser 
of the box-seat, the name of the coach ' tally-ho' 
with a Maltese cross above it. There was ' NEW 
YORK and PELHAM' on the hind boot panel 
and no names on the boots. The lettering was 
in gold and black, — the coach being yellow, — and 
was very quiet and in good taste. 

Some coaches, both in England and in France, 
have names of places on the lower panels also of 
the body, near to and following, the curved lines 

* This rule was not universal in the old coaches ; in many of the 
old prints the name of the less important place comes first. 


of the panels ; but this is, perhaps, putting too much 
on the coach. Sometimes a device, such as a comet 
or a meteor, suggestive of the name of the coach, 
is painted on the upper panels, but there is never 
any lettering there. 

In the old coaching clays, the name of the princi- 
pal place to which the coach ran, was often painted 
on the under side of the foot-board, so that the 
coaches, when standing under a shed at a large 
coaching inn, could be readily distinguished ; or 
else the name of the coach was there painted, a 
fashion which has been copied in the mail-coaches 
recently built in Paris. 

The mail-coaches in England were all painted 
alike ; the under-carriage red, the body a maroon 
or claret colour. On the side of the front boot 
was the cipher G.R. or V.R., of the sovereign, in 
large interlaced gold, script letters ; on the side of 
the hind boot the number of the coach (^^ 2), 
in similar letters. On the crest-panel, which was 
deep, were the names of the towns between which 
the mail ran, and the words 'Royal Mail,' in gold. 
On the four black panels were the stars, of the 
Thistle on the near side, and of the Bath on the 
off side, of the front boot ; of the Garter on the 
near side, and of St. Patrick on the off side, of 
the hind boot ; on the doors the royal arms ; on 
the hind boot panel the names of the places be- 
tween which the mail ran. On the iron legs sup- 
porting the guard's seat on a mail-coach, there was 


no place on which the name could be painted, and 
while some of the mails had names, many of them 
had none. 

In Malet's Annals of the Road there is an ad- 
mirable drawing, in colour, of a mail-coach, which 
distinctly shows all these details, and in the same 
book there is a drawing of a stage-coach with body 
and carriage-part painted the same colour. 

The colours of the mail-coaches have been 
adopted by the Reunion Road Club of Paris, and 
all its coaches are painted maroon and red, with the 
red on the panel of the hind boot. 


CH. V 



Brake. — Coaches are now always fitted with a 
brake, consisting of blocks which can be pressed 
against the tires of both hind wheels. The blocks 
are fixed to arms projecting from a horizontal shaft 
which runs across under the body of the coach, 
turning in suitable supports or brackets fastened 
to the underside of the body. An arm projecting 
upward from this shaft, passes into the body and 
is pulled forward by a rod leading from the front 
boot and connected with the handle of the brake, 
the upper end of which is on the off side of the 

Every maker has his own way of carrying out 
these details, but that arrangement in which only 
the upper part of the brake-handle is visible from 
the outside is the neatest. 

The block which rubs against the wheel may be 
made of iron, or of wood covered with some ma- 
terial, or of wood alone. Iron is the least satis- 
factory, because it does not take a good hold of the 
wheel, and because it frequently makes a noise ; it 
lasts, however, a long time. Wood covered with 
leather holds well, but the leather requires frequent 
renewal and is almost always ragged and torn. 


The best leather for this purpose is old belting, 
which is flat and somewhat oily. Pieces of old 
india-rubber tires, fastened on a wooden block, are 
much used by French builders and make a good 
brake ; this is shown in Fig. 42. The best material, 
however, is a tough wood, like chestnut, used alone ; 
oak is too hard and squeaks almost as loudly as 
iron. The soft wood wears, but it can be easily 
replaced. The arm should terminate in an iron 
socket, of the form shown in Fig. 42, the hollow 
beine somewhat smaller at the 
bottom than at the top, and the 
block being made to fit it. A 
dozen blocks can be made at a 
time by any carpenter, and kept 
ready for use. When a block is 
worn, it can be knocked out by a blow from below, 
and the new block dropped into its place ; no other 
fastening being necessary. Of course, both blocks 
should be renewed at the same time, so that they 
shall bear equally on both wheels. 

Blocks of this shape in solid rubber can be 
bought ready made, from the manufacturers. 

The handle of the brake moves past a toothed 
rack, and when the block is pressed against the 
wheel, a sharp projection on the side of the handle 
engages with one of the teeth and holds the brake 
against the wheel. To release the brake, the 
handle is pushed outward, its length giving it 
enough spring for that purpose, and the projection 



CH. V 

is disengaged from the tooth. The shape of the 
teeth of the rack is important. If they are too 
square, as in A, Fig. 43, the handle will jump out 
with the shaking of the coach ; if they 
are cut back too much, as in B, it will 
be difficult to disenofaofe the handle. 
This should be carefully looked to in a 
new coach, since either fault is serious. 

There is a difference of opinion among 
coaching men as to whether the brake- 
handle should move forward or backward 
to put on the brake. Fig. 44 shows the 
two arrangements. In A, the handle, 
when the brake is off, is far forward and 
down ; to reach it, the coachman must lean for- 
ward somewhat, but he can exert a great deal of 

force upon it as he pulls 
it back. In its off posi- 
tion it is much in the way 
in getting up and down. 
If it is placed further back 
to avoid this difficulty, 
the arm of the coachman, 
when he has the handle 
nearly back, and needs to 
exert the most power, is in the worst position for 
so doing. If the handle works by pushing instead 
of pulling, as shown in B, it is always out of the 
way, and in putting on the brake, the coachman 
has to exert the least force when the handle is first 

Fig. 44 


moved ; as he requires to exert more force, his arm 
is constantly getting into a better position to do so, 
and during the whole operation, the body is much 
less disturbed, — an advantage when it is remem- 
bered that all movements in driving should be as 
little noticeable as possible. I prefer decidedly the 
brake which works forward, and many brakes are 
now made in that way, but the advantages seem to 
be somewhat evenly divided. 

The handle should be flexible sideways, enough 
to enable it to be pushed off by pressing the outside 
of the right arm against it. 

The brake-blocks should be applied to the front 
of the wheel, because the rod running to them is 
thereby shorter and consequently lighter, and be- 
cause if applied to the back they will work up out 
of the sockets by the action of the wheel, unless the 
sockets have their large ends down, in which case 
the blocks will drop out if not fastened. The 
brake should be applied at a point of the tire level 
with the axle. If it is not exactly at that point, it is 
better to have it a little below it, so that when the 
brake is put on, the springs of the coach will help 
to keep up the pressure ; whereas, if it is above the 
line of the axle, every time that the body of the 
coach jumps up, on a rough hill, the pressure of the 
brake will be for the moment diminished. 

It was a long time before the brake, which was 
first used on the Continent, was adopted in Eng- 
land, the older coaches having the shoe only, but in 


America it was used early in this century on heavy 
wagons, and was worked by a handle at the back 
by the wagoner, who was on foot. 

The majority of Continental carriages and coaches 
have a wheel by which the brake is applied, but it is 
too slow in its operation, requiring several turns, 
and therefore is not nearly so good as the direct 
acting handle, and, moreover, it is frequently so 
placed that the coachman has to stoop, or to lean 
sideways to take hold of it, which is objectionable, 
since he should not change his position on the box. 

The brake is also sometimes so arranged that it 
can be worked from the back of the coach by a 
groom, as well as from the front ; but this is entirely 
unnecessary, since the coachman should be com- 
petent to work the brake himself 

Paris omnibuses use the ' Lemoine brake.' which 
is worked by the hind wheel itself On the inner 
end of the hub of this wheel there is a flanged pulley, 
round which a hemp cord is passed three or four 
times. That part of the cord which is on the lower 
side of the hub is attached directly to the ordinary 
brake ; the other end passes to a foot lever at the 
coachman's seat. As long as the cord is slack, the 
pulley runs round inside of it freely, but as soon as 
the forward end of it is tightened by the coachman, 
the pulley winds up the cord and puts on the brake 
with great force. The cord, on the side against the 
pulley, is lined with blocks of wood or leather. It 
is useful in crowded streets, and it has been applied 

CH. V 



to some coaches, but is so rarely needed, that it is 
an unnecessary addition. 

In the American (Concord) coach, the brake is 
worked by the foot, and there being- no rack to hold 
it, the continued pressure of the foot is necessary 
to keep the brake on. With this arrangement the 
driver is able to increase or diminish the pressure 
in crossing the many catch-water banks which are 
met with on American hilly roads. In some late 
English coaches there is an arrangement by which 
the brake can be put on by the foot, the handle at 
the same time movinof back and enofaeine in the 
rack. It is disengaged by the hand in the ordinary 
way. This does very well for an omnibus, which 
has to stop frequently in crowded streets, but it is 
certainly not necessary on a coach ; as has been 
pertinently said by an eminent coaching authority, 
' let the coachman drive with his 
'hands and not with all fours.' 

A left-handed coachman may have 
his brake-handle at his left side, be- 
tween his cushion and the box-seat. 

Even with a brake, the coach 
should have a skid or shoe, to carry 
one wheel, on a hill that is too 
steep for the brake alone to be de 
pended on. The skid should have 
continuous sides, as in Fig. 45, and not merely four 
lugs standing up, as in Fig. 46, since a skid of the 
latter form is much more apt to come off of the 

Fig. 45. 

Fig. 46. 

86 SKID 

CH. V 

wheel. The bottom of the skid is usually made not 
much wider than the tire, but it is better to have a 
light plate, at least 6 inches wide, welded ''■'■ to it, as 
this tears up the road much less ; the underside of 
the plate should be rounded up along all its edges. 

A strong chain attaches the skid to the centre of 
the front axle, and is of the proper length to keep 
the skid vertically under the centre of the wheel 
when in use. It is better to have the chain an inch 
too long than an inch too short, in order to prevent 
the skid from coming off of the wheel. A hook, 
large enough to hook round the rim of the wheel 
(Fig. 47, A), and covered with leather, is sometimes 
attached by another chain to the 
same part of the axle. This is 
hooked on the rim of the wheel be- 
low where the brake touches it, and 
^ holds the wheel in case the skid 
Fig 4t~^ comes off Instead of having a large 
hook, the chain itself is sometimes 
made sufficiently long to go round the rim. that 
part of it which touches the rim being covered with 
leather, as shown in Fig. 47, B. At the end of the 
leather-covered portion, there is a small hook which 
goes into one of the links of the chain. 

The hook is perhaps an almost unnecessary addi- 
tion, yet on a road-coach running over steep hills, 
it is safer to have it. 

* The olijection to l>o/f illicit on is, that the bolt-heads wear off. 

CH. V 



The skid, when not in use, should hook on the 
body of the coach, just behind the bracket of the 
brake-arm. Sometimes the hook for the skid is 
worked on this bracket. It must be far enough 
back to keep the bight of the chain entirely off the 
grouncl. A leather loop is fastened to the body to 
take the hook shown in Fig. 47. 

In English coaches the hook and loop are on the 
near side of the coach, because the skid is put 
under the near wheel. In America, where we drive 
on the rio-ht-hand side of the road, the skid should be 
put under the off wheel, for the reason that the skid, 
holding very tightly to the ground, acts almost as it 
it were a fixed point, and the tendency of the force 
exerted by the horses will 
be to pull on the chain 
in a straight line from 
that point ; the coach 
will therefore slide over 
to the side away from the 
skid, which should be, 
therefore, always on the 
lower side of the road ; 

if it is on the upper side, the coach will be constantly 
sliding toward the gutter (see Fig. 48). 

The reader can satisfy himself that this is so, by 
putting a skid on any four-wheeled carriage and 
then pulling the carriage over a smooth, level pave- 
ment, such as asphalt. 

Attention is especially called to this, because 

Fig. 48. 


builders in this country have bhndly followed the 
English fashion of putting the skid on the near side, 
ignoring the fact that we drive on the off side of 
the road. 

It being the duty of the guard on a road-coach, 
and of the second man on a drag, to put on the 
skid, it is more convenient to have it on the near 
side, but it is used so rarely that this is of little im- 

A skid attached to a rod has been devised, that 
can be worked by a cord or light chain and dropped 
under the wheel, which would then run up on it and 
thus save a man's getting down to put it on, but 
the arrangement has not found favour in practice. 

It has been also proposed to have the chain which 
holds the skid, so lono- that the skid can drae 
behind the wheel. By a hook and ring it may be 
shortened to the proper length to go under the 
wheel, and, at the bottom of the hill, the ring being 
knocked off the hook, the wheel will run off the 
skid without its being necessary to back the coach. 

The ordinary skid does 
not hold on ice, and in 
Switzerland an ice - skid, 
shown in Fig. 49, is used. 
It is a link about 28 inches 

^ lonor, with chisel-shaped 

Fig. 49. ^ ^ 

teeth. The wheel rests in 
the opening, and the ring can be shifted to either 
end, so as to use one or the other set of teeth. 








Z' B 





<g) ^\ 


) j 

V a 





<s> y 


A chain wrapped round the rim of the wheel and 
round the ordinary skid when on the wheel, may 
be used in an emergency. Icy roads are always 
dangerous to a coach and alarming to the coach- 

Some Swiss travelling-carriages are fitted with 
an additional brake on the front wheels, which is 
worked from the near side of the coachman's seat. 
Obviously the rod working this brake must pass 
through the centre bolt of the fore-carriage, which 
bolt is made hollow for the purpose. This second 
brake obviates, in many cases, the employment of 
the skid, but it should not be used unless the hind 
brake is also on, as the retardation of the front 
wheels while the hind wheels are running free, may 
cause an accident. 

A drag-staff was formerly attached to travelling- 
carriages. It is a short pole, hinged to the hind 
axle and trailing on the oround, so that, should the 
carriage be stopped in going up a hill, the staff 
prevents it from running back. It was rarely used 
on coaches. 

Lamps. — The lamps of a coach are large, with 
eood reflectors, and should be made to burn the or- 
dinary, large, carriage-candles ; oil lamps are dirty 
and troublesome. They are made to fit easily into 
the lamp-irons, which are fixed on the front edge 
of the body of the coach, and should have stops on 
them to prevent turning in their sockets. There 



CH. V 

should be brackets, or straps of some kind, in the 
front corners of the interior of the coach, to hold 
them when they are not in the lamp-irons. 

Road-coaches usually have another pair of lamps 
(see Fig". 50), which are put on the lower step-irons 
of the front boot. These additional lamps should 
throw their light to the side as well as to the front. 

There is also a foot-board lamp, which is hung on 
the front edge of the foot-board ; no part of it should 
project above the foot-board, lest it catch the reins, 
and if it extends much below, a horse may touch it 
with his croup, in making a short turn ; it should 
therefore be small, and it is not necessary to have 

more than one candle in it ; 
its only use is to light the 
pole-head, which is always 
in the shadow cast by the 
horses' shoulders. Foot- 
board lamps with three can- 
dles are too large. It is not 
easy to find the proper place 
for this foot-board lamp ; it 
is more out of the way at the root of the foot-board, 
but the heat from it is likely to blister the paint 
above it, and it can be put there only when the 
front of the boot is fixed. 

A completely equipped road-coach which runs 
after dark should have a lamp on the near side 
of the hind boot, shinincr backward, to enable the 
guard to see the address on packages and to read 

Fig. 50. 


his way-bill. This lamp is so made that it can 
be readily taken off to be used to look along the 
road in the case of a doubtful bridge, or the like. 
The main coach-lamps are often used for the same 

Lamps are sometimes made with slides which 
cover the glass when they are not lighted, but 
they are ugly, and when lamps are not in use they 
should be inside the coach. 

It is not considered the * proper thing' to carry 
the lamps in the daytime. This is, to a certain 
extent, an arbitrary dictate of coaching fashion, 
based, however, on a real custom of road-coaching. 
When coaching was a business, the lamps were 
kept at the station where the coach changed just 
before dark, and were put on the coach at the 
change, having been trimmed and filled, — for they 
were oil lamps, — during the day. When morning 
came, they were left at the first change-place, so 
that a coach was never seen carrying them in the 
daytime, and this has been adopted as a fashion. 
Moreover, the lamps, being large, are a good deal 
in the way of persons, especially ladies, getting up 
and down, — a practical reason for leaving them off. 
At coaching meets, where uniformity is desirable, 
they must be either on all the coaches or off all 
of them, and they are always off. 

It has become, therefore, one of the conditions of 
a perfectly turned-out coach that it should not have 
its lamps on, though it is hard to give any good 



CH. V 

reasons, apart from those just mentioned, why the 
lamps should not be on a coach as they are on a 
broug-ham or a landau, which would look naked 
without them, A break is always driven with its 
lamps on. 

The modern coach-lamp is so large, — almost like 
a locomotive head-light, — that it is very conspicuous 
when it is in place. Smaller and plainer lamps are 
coming into fashion of late, more like the old mail- 
coach lamps. It is a good plan to have two plugs, 
of mahogany, or other polished, dark wood, with 
smoothly rounded tops, to keep in the lamp-sockets 
of a drag when the lamps are not in use. They 
p"ive a finished look and are more agreeable to the 
touch than the sharp edge of the socket if the lamp- 
iron is taken hold of in getting on the coach. 

A light ladder is necessary to enable ladies to 
mount to the top of the coach. It folds in the 
middle, so as to be convenient 
to hang up, and is usually made 
of iron. Two designs are shown 
in Fig. 5 i ; the one with a plat- 
form is the more complete, and 
better for a public coach. The 
other is lighter and convenient 
for a drag. The steps should 
be covered with woollen plush 
or india-rubber, to prevent the foot from slipping. 
The ladder must have hooks or pins which catch 
in the step, made open for that purpose, or on 

Fu;. 51, 


top of the wheel when it is used for the hind 
roof-seats. The length of the ladder should be 
carefully considered. If it is too long it will be 
difficult to use it from a kerb, and for this reason 
it is better to have it as short as will do on a flat 
road. On a drag it is best carried on two hooks 
under the rumble-seat ; on a road-coach it is hung- 
under the hind boot, since it would hide the lettering 
on the back panel were it under the seat. 

A basket, for umbrellas and sticks 
(Fig. 52), is fastened on the near side, to 
the iron of the back roof-seat. It is 27 
inches long. 10 inches in diameter, and 
has a flat side which lies against the 
panel. For a road-coach, it has usually 
a division, making a small place in which 
the horn, with its bell up, is carried. ^^''- S^- 
The lower end of the basket is strapped to the 
handle which is on the edge of the body. 

While a basket is essential to a road-coach, it is 
doubtful whether it is worth while to carry one on a 
drag, when not on a journey. It does not improve 
the appearance of the coach as seen from behind ; 
it widens it out and detracts from its ' smart' look ; 
and since a stop can be made at any time, the um- 
brellas can readily be taken from the inside ; in the 
basket they get chafed and dusty. 

When a basket is carried, it is not necessary to 
have a horn-case ; but if the horn is wanted when 
there is no basket, it should be carried in a russet 



CH. V 

leather case (Fig. 53) strapped to the off side roof- 
seat iron. It is on the off side, because the head 
groom sits on that side, and it is he who usually 
sounds the horn. The case should be slighdy 
longer than the horn and open at 
the bottom, so that dirt will not 
lodge in it. A wire pin across the 
end will prevent a loose mouth- 
piece from dropping through. 

On a road-coach, the rails of the 
roof-seats are connected by a rod, 
which serves for the euard to take 
hold of in climbing round from his 
seat to the front of the coach, and 
also serves to hold a net, made of 
straps, which prevents coats and 
i'lG. 53. wraps, laid on the top of the coach, 

from falling off (see Plates XVII. , XIX., and XXII.). 
Similar rails may be temporarily attached to a drag 
for a journey, but they should not be on when the 
drag is used for park driving. 

Lunch-boxes are fitted to ^o in the hind boot. 
The best arrangement is shown in Fig. 54. These 
boxes should be made of mahogany or oak, pan- 
elled. The larofe ones should be lined with tinned 
(planished) copper, which is much cleaner and nicer 
than zinc, and each one should be divided into three 
watertight compartments. In these compartments 
bottles, ice, salad, &c., can be carried, separated 
from each other. 

CH, V 



The shallow case, which rests on a slide, over the 
large boxes, should be 7 inches deep outside, and 
divided as shown. Plates, with napkins between 
them, are in one side, dishes 
in the other, tumblers in the 
places made for them in the 
centre. A large division holds 
glass pitchers and one or two 
table-cloths, and a tray, fitting 
on top of the tumbler compart- 
ment, takes knives, forks, and 
spoons. A number of small 
pantry towels should be added, 
in which the soiled plates can 
be wrapped to bring them 
home in the lower boxes. It 
is needless to say that no soiled 
articles should be put in the 
divided box, which should be 
Hned with buckskin, not with 
the baize frequently used. 

In addition to the boxes for 
the hind boot, an ' imperial' is 
frequently added to the roof of 
the coach. It fits in between the seats, as shown in 
Plate XVIII., and the front, back, and sides, turn 
down, so that it flattens out into a table. It holds 
a quantity of provisions, and generally has a tray 
hanging near the top which is convenient as an 
additional table top. The imperial is an ugly 


7/r - /A 



' // 


£- /^ 

//A i 





Fig. 54. 



CH. V 

adjunct to the coach, and with reasonable ingenuity 

in stowing what is needed, the boxes should carry 

enough for any ordinary lunch. 

For lunching- on the coach, tables fittinor on the 

hind boot and on the foot-board are convenient. A 

simple arrangement for 
this purpose is shown in 

Fig- 55- 

The tops of the tables 

are of a size to be carried 

under the cushions of the 

inside seats of the coach ; 

the iron legs go in the 

front boot. The method 

of screwing the parts together is shown in Fig. 55. 
For attendance at race-courses, &c., where the 

people on a drag sit in the sun for a long time, an 

Fio. 55. 

awning is useful. A satisfactory way of arranging 
it is shown in Fig. 56. 

The standards are of iron 5/ of an inch diameter, 

CH. V 



jointed in the middle like a fishing-rod, so that they 
can be put in the boot, or inside the coach. They 
slip into sockets under the seats. There are four 
on each side ; those in the middle rise straight up 
from the ends of the roof-seats. Those in the front 
and back are of somewhat different shape, so that, 
while rising from narrower seats, they have their 
upper ends in a line with those in the middle ; those 
for the box-seat also turn somewhat forward. The 
standards have collars and knobs, at the top, and 
four strips of hard wood, 1 1 2 inch by i^ inch, 
with brass plates on the ends, drop over these 
knobs, making a complete frame, over which the 
awning is laid. The awning is best made of striped 
material, not too heavy, and should have a valance 8 
inches deep all round it. Braid or ribbons should 
be provided by which the valance can be brailed up 
if desired ; these braids can be passed through the 
holes which have to be made in the awning where 
it goes over the knobs. 

Fig. 57. 

A simple awning is shown in Fig. 57, but it can 
be used only when the long and rather heavy poles 
which it requires, can be sent by another convey- 



ance than by the coach. These poles are long- 
enough to reach from the ground to about 4 feet 
above the roof of the coach ; they are driven slightly 
into the ground and strapped to the rumble and to 
the middle of the foot-board. For a week's race- 
meeting or cricket-match, this awning may be kept 
on the spot. One great advantage of it is, that it 
can be canted to suit the direction of the sun. 

Tools. — The foUowinof articles should be carried 
in a coach : — 

The wrenches belonging to the wheels. 

Monkey-wrench. Foot-pick. 

Blacksmith's hammer. Horseshoe nails. 

One fore shoe. One hind shoe. 

Large cutting pliers. Copper wire. Oil-can. 

Cord and piece of manila rope ^ inch diameter. 

Punch for making holes in straps. Strong knife. 

Piece of canvas. Extra candles and matches. 

Screw-driver. Brush. Cloth. Bucket. 

If possible, a small hydraulic jack for raising the 

The uses of these articles will be referred to in 
the Chapter on Accidents. 

A list of spare parts of harness is given in the 
Chapter on Harness. 

Aprons. — Sometimes a small apron, usually of 
some lieht stuff, such as is used for linen horse- 
covers, or of thin cloth, is worn by the coachman. 


over the lap, reaching from a Httle below the waist 
to the ankles, and long enough the other way to 
tuck under the legs on both sides, so as to be sat 
upon. This is for the purpose of keeping dust, and 
any dirt from the reins, off the trousers. When it 
is worn for warmth it must be of thicker material, 
and fastened around the waist by a strap, so that 
when the wearer stands up it is much like a skirt. 
An apron of this kind does not, however, protect 
the feet from cold ; it is better to have one long 
enough to go under the feet. 

In cold weather it is well for the box passenger 
to have a small, soft rug, to be wrapped round his 
legs in the same way, under the box-apron, since, 
from the position of the coachman's legs, an open- 
ing letting in cold air, is left necessarily at the side, 
under any apron covering both persons. 

The fashions of coaching having originated in a 
country where fur robes are but little used, there 
seems to be a certain lack of appropriateness in 
using a fur robe on the box, although there is, of 
course, no good reason against it ; but a thick drab 
cloth looks rather more 'coaching,' and if neces- 
sary, it can be lined with fur. 

For ordinary weather there is no better material 
for aprons than plain, drab, Bedford cord, either 
hemmed on the edee, or bound with cloth of the 
same colour. The corners should be rounded, with 
a radius of 4 or 5 inches. The apron for the box- 
seat should be 4 ft. 6 in. wide and 6 ft. 6 in. long, 


and should have a strap 30 inches long-, fastened 
to the underside, 7 inches below the upper edge, 
which can be passed round the rail of the box-seat 
to keep the apron from slipping down. This strap 
is passed through a ring fastened to a metal boss, 
which shows on the outside of the apron. 

Box-aprons sometimes have sewed in the middle 
of the upper part, a gusset which is supposed to 
go down between the two persons who are on the 
box, but it is of doubtful utility, since, if the apron 
is wide enough, its centre part will be well kept 
down by the strap without displacing the ends. 

The box-apron sometimes has two pockets near 
its upper edge, and then there is a long flap over 
th.em ; unless there are pockets, the flap is hardly 

The aprons for the roof-seats should be 4 feet 
wide and 9 feet long, so as to cover all four pas- 
sengers, and there should be one for the rumble, 4 
feet wide and 6 feet long. These sizes may seem 
excessive, but it is a mistake to have aprons too 
small ; they cannot be tucked under at the ends and 
are always slipping about. 

There should be an apron, of a cloth the colour 
of the liveries, for the men to use in the rumble. 

For cold weather, aprons made of heavy, drab 
cloth, waterproofed, and lined with some check 
material, are the proper thing. They should not be 
bound, but stitched on the edge with several rows 
ot stitches. The box-seat apron is sometimes lined 


along its lower edge, inside, widi a band, about 8 
inches wide, of pig skin, so that the feet may be 
placed upon it without wearing it out. This band 
should be only as long as the foot-board, say 40 
inches, and should not extend to the ends of the 
apron, else it will be difficult, on account of their 
stiffiiess, to tuck them in. 

The most comfortable apron for cold weather is 
a hag, 4 feet long, up and down, and 27 inches wide 
double, that is. made of stuff 54 inches wide. The 
seam is not at the side, but at the back, in the 
middle, and extends for a distance of about a foot 
from the bottom, the rest being open. The bag is 
pulled over the feet after sitting down and the sides 
tucked in, so as to sit upon them. The bottom of 
the bag is, of course, closed. 

Against rain, india-rubber aprons should be pro- 
vided, and, since it is not necessary that they should 
be thick, the best, and by far the cheapest, material 
is ordinary rubber-cloth, which can be bought by 
the yard and merely cut to the proper length, with- 
out any binding. It comes about 48 inches wide. 
Whether it is white or black is a matter of taste ; 
the white looks better, but has a whitish powder 
on it, which marks dark clothes. The advantage of 
these thin aprons is that they arc thin and can be 
folded and kept under the inside cushions, while 
the regularly made rubber aprons are usually thick 
and stiff. 

I02 CH. VI 




As regards the different vehicles for four-horse 
driving, the road-coach and the private drag have 
been already sufficiently described. The name drag 
is now restricted to the private coach, but in the 
early part of this century a public coach was fre- 
quently called a ' drag' and the coachman a ' drags- 
man.' ''■ 

Adams writes, in 1837: 'A Driving Coach is a 
' vehicle formerly much used by gentlemen fond of 
' driving and attending races.' 


When, in 1784, at the suggestion of Mr Palmer, 
of Bath, mail-coaches were established in England, 
to replace the boys on horseback and the mail- 
carts, the road-coach, so modified as to make it 
more suited to higher speeds and lighter loads, 
became essentially the mail-coach shown in Plate 
VII. It had a heavy carriage-part, but the body 
was comparatively light and somewhat narrower 

* Cross, vol. ii. p. 136. 'Nimrod's' NortJu-m Tour, p. 32. 



than that of the road-coach. It carried four pas- 
sengers inside, one on the box, and three on the 
front roof-seat. There was no hind roof-seat, and 
the rumble, supported by irons, carried only the 

The hind boot had no door behind, the mail-baes 
being put in through an opening in the top closed 
by a lid, on which the feet of the guard rested. 
In the place of the hind roof-seat there was a box 
containing- a blunderbuss and tools. The earlier 
mails had telegraph springs in front and a cross 
spring behind, which was later replaced by tele- 
graph springs. The axles were heavy, with mail 
axle-arms, the wheels had but little dish and were 
set nearly vertical ; the hind wheels were larger 
than those of the coaches, and measured 4 ft. 8 in. 
The foot-board was small, the boots were large 
and deep, and sometimes the full width of the 

These coaches were made on contract by Vidler, 
whose firm built them from 1784 to 1836. There 
were other builders, however ; Ward and Wright 
are mentioned. 

There is a model of a mail-coach, on a scale of 
one inch to the foot, in the General Post-Office in 
London, and an exact copy of it is in the posses- 
sion of The Coaching Club, New York. It has a 
hammer-cloth. On occasions of ceremony (such as 
the Procession of the Mails, which took place from 
the General Post-Office, on the King's birthday), a 


hammer-cloth, Hke that used on a dress carriage, 
was put on the box-seat. It was red, Hke the royal 
livery of the guard. 

During- Vidler's contract, probably few changes 
or improvements were made in the mail-coaches, 
but at the outset, the subject seems to have been 
studied with much care by the Post-Office authori- 
ties, with the result of turning out a very complete 

An exact reproduction of the mail-coach was 
built by Messrs Guiet & Co., of Paris, in 1892. for 
Mr W. G. TiFFANV, and was used in the drive 
against time, from Paris to Trouville in July of that 
year. It has been copied since then for other 
private persons, and is shown in Plate VII. 


The French Mail, or ' Malle poste,' was en- 
tirely different from the English ; it was a britzska 
with a dickey for the guard. It carried only two 
passengers, had four horses, and travelled very fast. 
(Beaufort, p. 327.) 

General Morin, in his Report on the Loudon 
Exhibition of 1862, says that the malle poste ran 
on certain stone-paved roads at a speed of from 
15 to 16 kilometres (9.32 to 9.94 miles) an hour. 
The stages were short, only five miles. Beaufort 
states that the changes of horses were made in 
forty-five seconds. Plate VIII., from an old drawing 
by Victor Adam, shows this vehicle. 


Morin's description of the Eng-Hsh coach and 
his comments upon it, in the Report just men- 
tioned, are too good to be lost : — 

' At the same period the EngHsh mails and 
' coaches had an entirely different form from ours, 
' and are reproduced in the vehicle now used in 
' England to take a party of people to the races ; 
' the body of a berline, with places inside for four 
' persons only, and with twelve or fourteen seats 
' outside, entirely uncovered and surrounded by a 
' simple iron rail which barely afforded a point of 
' support to the passengers ; a space on the roof for 
' the baggage against which the passengers leaned : 
' such is the vehicle to which the English gave, 
' and still give, their preference in a climate which 
' is wet and rainy the greater part of the year. 
' We cannot dispute their taste in such things, or 
' in colours.' '=' 


On the Continent of Europe, in old coaching 
days, the vehicle which corresponded to the stage- 
coach of Eno-land was the Dilio-ence. Plate IX., 
from a photograph of a Swiss diligence of 1891, 
shows it well, since few changes have been made in 
it during the past seventy years. The main body 
is like that of a coach, carries four or six persons, 
and is called the 'interieur.' In front, and con- 
structively forming part of the body, is the 'coupe,' 

* MoRiN, Rapport sur Classe VI., p. 411. 


holding- three persons. Behind the body is a boot, 
on top of which is a seat for two, or for three pas- 
sengers ; this seat is furnished with a hood. The 
driver sits on the top of the coupe, with his feet on 
a foot-board, which is in front of the windows of the 
coupe. This seat is usually long enough to take 
the ' conducteur' (guard) alongside of the driver, 
but he sometimes sits in the rumble. 

The brake is applied both to the front and to the 
back of the hind wheels, and is so arranged that it 
can be worked from both sides of the driving-seat, 
by either man. There is no perch, and therefore, 
necessarily, three-quarter springs. The front wheels 
turn under the body. The lead-bars are not at- 
tached to the end of the pole, but to a rod which 
runs under the pole from the futchells. When three 
horses are in the lead, as is quite common, the 
main-bar is long- enough to spread the outside 
horses sufficiently to admit the centre horse be- 
tween them, and his bar is hooked to the centre of 
the main-bar, no attempt being made to equalise 
the draft. 

The baggage is piled on the roof and covered 
with a tarpaulin ; the mail-bags and small packages 
are put in the hind boot. Various modifications of 
this vehicle are in use, but that just described may 
be considered the standard diligence. 

The harness is simple, and breechings are invari- 
ably used on the wheel horses. The lead reins are 
passed sometimes over the wheelers' heads, some- 

n li 

I 1 


times on the inner side of the bridle, never through 
terrets on the pad. The leather portion of the trace 
is short and terminates in a 5/^ inch rope, which is 
looped round the score cut in the end of the swingle- 
tree. There is no attempt at any finish in harness, 
or appointments, or in methods of driving, but these 
diligences go with safety, night and day, over good, 
though sometimes dangerous roads, at a fair rate of 


A European Travelling-carriage of the early part 
of this century, is shown in Plate X. It had a large 
body made in the form of a coupe, but with length 
enouo-h to admit of a comfortable, additional seat 
inside, and had large imperials and boxes, which 
could be taken off and used as trunks. The horses 
were always ridden by postilions, therefore there 
was no driving-seat, but there was a rumble, usu- 
ally provided with a hood, 


A Break, according to English usage, is strictly 
the four-wheeled vehicle shown in Fig. 58, used for 
breaking horses ; but, either from the obvious utility 
of putting a body behind the driving-seat, or else as 
a development of the well-known wagonette, it has 
assumed the form shown in Fig. 59. 

This in turn has been simplified by omitting the 
perch and mounting the body on four elliptic 




By this simplification, while the form of the vehicle 
is but little changed, the mechanical principle is 
much modified. 

In a carriage made with a perch, the horses are 
attached directly to the luJiolc of the carriage-part, 
which follows them as one piece, while the body 
alone is above the springs ; in a carriage without a 
perch, the horses pull upon the body, and second- 

FiG. 58. 

arily upon the axles and wheels through the 
springs, the body, in a measure, taking the place 
of a perch. 

It will be noticed that when any wheel of a perched 
carriage strikes an obstacle, the shock is felt directly 
by the horses ; while in one without a perch, the 
shocks, both vertical and horizontal, are taken largely 
by the springs, and reach the horses with their 
violence much diminished. 




For this reason carnages without a perch are 
undoubtedly easier on the horses, and nearly all 
vehicles, nowadays, are so made. 

They are also much lighter, and as the front 
wheels can be made to p-o far, or, in fact, all the 
way, under the body, such vehicles turn in a small 
space. It is, however, supposed that, from the 
greater flexibility of the vehicle, the hind wheels do 

Fig. 59. 

not follow the front wheels with accuracy, and that 
thereby the draught may be increased. 

It must be also noted that the pole of a carriage 
without a perch is liable to fly up in crossing a de- 
pression, such as a gutter, and strike a horse in the 

Experience, up to this time, and, perhaps, a cer- 


tain amount of prejudice, have led to the retaining 
of the perch construction in heavy vehicles, like 

A light buggy has only two elliptic springs, and 
therefore, of necessity, a perch, because the springs, 
set crosswise, would not be in the proper position to 
resist the strain of the draught ; carriages interme- 
diate in weight between coaches and buggies usu- 
ally have no perch, and have four elliptic springs, or 
some modification of them/*' 

Mail-phaetons are almost the only carriages to 
which the two systems are applied, some having 
perches and regular telegraph springs, and others 
four elliptic springs only. In this particular style of 
carriage, the body is not heavy enough to make the 
telegraph springs work easily, and a phaeton with a 
perch, although stylish, is apt to be stiff and uncom- 

Since a break is principally to * knock about' with 
and to use in rough places, it is better to have it 
without a perch ; its greater lightness and the ease 
with which it can be turned in narrow places much 
more than counterbalances any advantages that the 
perch construction may possess. 

The wagonette break is the kind most frequently 
used, but while it is convenient to carry baggage or 
the like, it is not as good a four-in-hand vehicle as 

* Beaufort (p. 238) speaks of Clark's coach, on the Brighton 
Road, in 1862, as having no perch and being good to carry a load. 

-» — w 














CD " 
i. o 

p (I 


some form of the French cJiar a bancs (so called from 
its being a car with benches placed across it), shown 
in Plate XL The driving-seat is exactly like that 
of a coach, and can be made the same height from 
the ground ; the splinter-bar, and consequently the 
horses, will be then in the same relative place as in 
a coach. The second seat, which can be made for 
three, or for four persons, is a little higher than the 
box-seat, and the leg-room is much better than on a 
coach ; the rumble, as usual, seats the orrooms. The 
body has doors in the sides and a door behind, and 
takes the place of the boots ; with open gratings 
in the sides, or in the doors, does can be carried 
comfortably. For country and sporting purposes 
nothing can be better. A cha7' a bancs like that 
shown in the plate will weigh about 1600 pounds ; 
twice as much as a light mail-phaeton without a 
perch. The connection of the hind springs with 
the axles and with the body should be carefully 
considered in designing this vehicle, since the brake 
tends to push the hind axle backward in a manner 
in which it will not be pushed in a carriage without 
a brake. There is a way of connecting the front 
end of the spring to the body which will counteract 
this strain, but somewhat to the detriment of the 
easy action of the springs (see Fig. 28). 

The pole, pole-hook, lead-bars, &c., of a break 
should be exactly like those of a coach, but some- 
what lighter, not, however, in proportion to the 
difference of weight of the vehicles. 




Barouche Landau. — In the early part of this cen- 
tury, the favourite carriage for the four-in-hand 
amateur seems to have been a ' Barouche Landau,'* 
which was a barouche with a high driving-seat, and 
a rumble for two servants. A carriage of this kind 
was used by the Prince Regent at Brighton. 

A very high phaeton (Fig. 60) was also used at 
the same period ; it was sometimes called a ' high 

Fig. 60. 

The Jaunting Car, introduced into Ireland in 
1 81 5 by BiANCONi, is another four-horse vehicle; 
although it is generally used with two horses only 
(Fig. 61). 

* sporting Magazine, 1826. Mentioned by Malet, p. 127 ; also 
by Lennox, p. 201. 



I I 

Private Omnibus. — A vehicle much used in the 
country for station purposes, and the Hke, is the 
Private Omnibus (Fig. 62). It is admirably adapted 
for four-in-hand driving since the drivine-seat is 
high and a seat for three, or for four people can be 
readily arranged on the roof The interior is en- 
tered from the back, and, therefore, the hind wheels 
can be large, and the axle well under the body, 
hence the vehicle runs easily. 



Small seats are added at the rear, on each side 
of the door, for the orooms. 

The omnibus may be also used with three horses 

Curricle or Cape Cart. — Any two-wheeled cart 
made with a pole instead of shafts, to be drawn by 
two horses, can of course be used with four. 





Such a cart is the Curricle, the pole of which is 
suspended from the centre of a bar which rests 
upon the pads of the harness. A simpler arrange- 
ment, much used in the English Settlements at the 
Cape of Good Hope, and therefore called a Cape 
Cart, has the pole supported by a yoke attached to 
the lower part of the collars just as the pole of a 

Fig. 62. 

trotting wagon is supported, except that the pole- 
straps are much longer. With a hook on the point 
of the pole, or a rope running back to the axle 
(as described on page 58), four horses can be 
driven to such a cart, and it is admirably adapted 
to wild reeions where the roads are little more than 


A curricle-bar may be made to go under the 
horses' bellies instead of over their backs, and 
such a 'rig' is described by ' Nimrod,' Noidhern 
Tcnu^, p. 68, as being part of the ' curricle mail.' It 
has been revived in America as part of a plough 
harness, and has been used for the leaders of a 
coach, with a single trace, or rope, going from the 
middle of it to the point of the pole. 

In Philipson On Harness, pp. 49-63, will be found 
an excellent article on the Cape Cart, with full de- 
tails of its construction and mode of harnessing. 

Sleigh. — A sleigh is not well adapted to four-in- 
hand driving, since it is usually too low, and if the 
height of the driving-seat is increased the sleigh is 
likely to tip over. 

Probably the best arrangement for driving four- 
in-hand on snow or ice, would be to fit four ' bob- 
runners' to the axles of a break. A bob-runner is 
a quarter of a wheel, with the lower part of the 
rim lengthened horizontally, and having a hub and 
box fitting on the axle-arm. 

Il6 CH. VII 


As has been said in a previous Chapter, the 
American coach seems to be nearly the English 
coach of the middle of the eighteenth century, 
arrested in its development, because the conditions 
under which, in this country, it has been, and is still, 
used, are nearly similar to those of that period in 

The lone distances in America, and the newness 
and comparative poverty of the country, prevented 
the construction, at an early period, of roads as 
good as those of Europe, and later, the rapid de- 
velopment of railroads checked the building of 
main driving roads, so that coaches had to be 
adapted to rough roads and bad usage. 

The typical American coach, usually called the 
' Concord coach.' from Concord. New Hampshire, 
where the majority of them are built, is shown 
in Plate XII., which is an accurate drawinor to a 
half-inch scale, kindly furnished by ' The Abbot- 
Downing Company of Concord.' 

The photogravure, Plate X\^, of a heavy coach 
made for our Western States and Territories and 
still sent to Africa ; and Plate XVI., of a lig^ht coach 
such as is still used in some places in the White 

2 o 

9 2, 


Scale of Feet. 


Mountains not as yet reached by the railroad, show 
the two extremes of design. 

The pecuharities in construction of this coach 
are, that it has three parallel, straight perches con- 
nectinor the hind axle and the front transom-bed 
and forming a very stiff rectangular frame. See 
Plate XI\'\ The three perches extend 9 or lo 
inches back of the hind axle and are connected 
by a cross piece. At the four corners of this frame 
rise four stiff, iron standards, firmly braced so that 
they cannot bend, which carry, at their upper ends, 
square iron shackles ; connecting these shackles 
on each side are thick leather straps, and upon 
these straps, or thorough-braces, rests the body 
of the coach. 

This is exactly the mode of suspension of Eu- 
ropean carriages before the introduction of springs, 
which, it will be noticed, are wholly absent in the 
Concord coach. 

The fore-carriage differs from that of the English 
coach principally in not having any outer futchells. 
The inner futchells are spread out behind to take 
the sway-bar, and brought together in front to take 
the pole ; corresponding to the splinter-bar is an 
evener, attached to the top of the futchells by a bolt, 
about which it turns, its motion being limited by 
chains which q-q from its ends to the axle. To this 
evener are hooked the swingle-trees. 

The pole measures 9 ft. 7 in. from the front of the 
evener, but inasmuch as the swingle-trees are 4j4 


inches in front of the evener, the pole is only 2i/< 
inches longer than the English pole, measured be- 
tween the same points. 

The brake is attached to the under-carriage and 
not to the body, of which it is entirely independent, 
and the brake-blocks are shoved against the wheels, 
beine on the ends of a bar which slides under the 
perches ; it is worked by a lever, shown distinctly in 
Plate XVI., rising alongside of the off side of the 
coachman's seat. This lever has, near its upper 
end, an iron cross-bar on which the coachman's foot 
can be placed for the purpose of forcing the lever 
forward ; there being no rack to hold the lever when 
it is pressed forward, the brake can be kept against 
the wheel only by constant pressure of the foot. 

The form of the body is shown in the drawings. 
It has a great deal of 'cant' and 'turn-under,' and 
its extreme width is 4 ft. 6 in. It is made to carry 
nine persons, three on each of the three seats.'-' 
The middle seat is a bench in three parts, the 
centre part fixed to the floor, the ends turning up 
on hinges, to facilitate access from either door to 
the seats. The passengers sitting on the middle 
seat lean against a broad leather strap, which is 
hung from the roof by two straps, and has, at each 
end strong hooks going into sockets on the pillars 
of the door (Fig. 63). 

* Many English coaches in the early part of the century carried 
six persons inside, three on each seat. 




That which corresponds to the front boot of an 
EngHsh coach is a large foot-board with leather 
sides, and the hind boot is a baororaore-rack with 
leather sides and cover. 

Fig. 63. 

In the light coach, the front boot is small and 
of wood ; in both light and heavy coaches, the front 
seat and the boot are held to the roof by diagonal 
iron rods. 

The passengers occupying the roof-seat rest their 
feet upon the back part of the cushion of the box- 

The upper panels of the sides are not solid, but 
closed by curtains ; a narrow panel with a small 
glass in it, on each side of the door, admits lieht 
when the curtains are down. The door has the 
usual sash, with glass in one or more panes. 

When the coach is running, the body sways about 
freely upon the thorough-braces, the motion being 
principally fore and aft, sometimes quite enough to 
make a sensitive person sea-sick. An excessive 
movement is checked by straps from the sides of 
the body to the perches. This rocking to and fro 
adds to the difficulty of driving, because the arm 


has to go backward and forward to counteract the 
movement of the body, interfering seriously with 
fine work. When the foot is on the brake, the 
leg is kept constantly in motion from the same 

The hind wheels are high, being 5 ft. i in., while 
those of the old mails were 4 ft. 8 in., and of a 
modern coach 4 ft. 4 in. 

The front wheels are 3 ft. 10 in., the same in 
height as those of the mails, those of a coach being 
3 ft. 4 in. 

The body is high, being mounted upon the thor- 
ough-braces, and it is somewhat singular that the 
heieht of the roof from the around is almost ex- 
actly that of the old English coaches. 

An Act of Parliament passed in 1806 provided 
that no passengers should be carried on top of a 
coach the top of which was more than 8 ft. 9 in. 
from the ground, and that 2 feet of luggage could 
be carried on top, if the whole load were not higher 
than 10 ft. 9 in. from the ground, thus giving again 
8 ft. 9 in. as the height, or at least the maximum 
height, of the roof. The height of the roof of a 
Concord coach is 8 ft. 6 in., that of a modern Eng- 
lish coach 6 ft. 10 in. 

It will be observed that the body is as far back 
as the opening of the door past the wheels will 
permit, and as the heaviest baggage is put on the 
hind rack, the load is thrown well back on the large 


A comparison of the Concord coach with an 
EngHsh coach can be best made by placing the 
transparent print of either on top of the other. 

There are obvious reasons why the Concord coach 
is not well adapted to amateur pleasure coaching. 
In the first place, it is too large, and while it could 
be much reduced in size, it would of necessity be 
high on account of its suspension, unless the wheels 
should be reduced below a proper size. It is cer- 
tainly neither a compact nor a ' smart' looking ve- 
hicle : it lacks the boots, which are convenient for 
many purposes ; the arrangement of its front roof- 
seat is not good ; there is no place at the back for 
the servants ; a brake, with a rack, cannot be readily 
adapted to it ; and last, but not least, the rocking of 
the body interferes seriously with fine driving, since 
the coachman's hand is always in motion back and 
forth, to the discomfort of his horses' mouths, unless 
he is continually giving his hand, which is an un- 
graceful movement. 

The changes from the old type of English coach 
to the present type are precisely those which were 
suggested by better roads and by the demand for 
increased comfort ; the improved form of coach is 
therefore that best adapted to pleasure coaching. 

For rough business purposes on bad roads, the 
Concord coaches are well adapted, and there can 
be no better proof thereof than the fact that they 
are largely used in Africa and Australia (notwith- 
standing English influence naturally predominates 


in those countries), to say nothing of Mexico and 
South America. 

These coaches are made almost wholly of wood ; 
there is little about them that ordinary country 
mechanics cannot repair ; they have no expensive 
steel springs, but leather thorough-braces which 
can be replaced by the roughest workman ; they 
are loose and flexible in their movements ; bear 
an immense amount of hard usage without being 
disabled, and run safely over roads which would 
dislocate an English coach in the first half-mile. 
Other points in connection with these coaches will 
be noted in the remarks on the American system of 
driving in Chapter XIV. 

CH. VIII 12 


Plates II., VII., XL, XII., XVII., XVIII., XIX.. 
XX., and XXII., give drawings of coaches of vari- 
ous types, all drawn to the same scale, one-half 
inch to the foot, and printed drj\'-''- so that the 
dimensions are accurately shown. The duplicate 
plates, on transparent paper, can be torn out and 
superposed on the different plates for the purpose 
of comparison. 

The coaches in Plates VII., XVII., XVIII., XIX.. 
XX., and XXII., being of the same period (1873 
to 1896), differ mainly in details. It will be noticed 
that XX. is longer than the others between the 
axles. — a good point ; XXII. is much lower than the 
others. The relative sizes of the boots, places of 
driving-seats, and foot-board angles, are of interest. 

Since the bodies in all the coaches are nearly of 
the same size, the differences of form and detail 
may be most clearly observed by so placing the 
transparent sheet that the ground lines and the 
front or the back lines of the bodies coincide in the 

* That is, printed on paper which has not been wetted for print- 
ing. The scale of the drawing has not been affected, therefore, by 


drawings. The outlines of the bottoms ot the 
bodies will be seen to vary, some being rounder 
than others. The heights of the foot-boards from 
the ground also vary, that of XX. being somewhat 
too low ; otherwise the proportions of the driving- 
seat and foot-board of XX. are exceptionally good. 
In XVIII. and XIX. the foot-board and driving-seat 
are somewhat too high, the persons on the box-seat 
cutting off the view from those on the roof-seat. It is 
desirable to have the box-seat at least three inches 
lower than the roof-seat ; in XX. it is five. The 
foot-board angles in VII., XVII., XVIII., XIX., XX.. 
and XXII. are practically identical, ranging from 30 
to T,T,j4 degrees, and are very good ; a greater angle 
tires the ankles of the coachman, and a lesser one 
places his feet too flat. The foot-board of XL, with 
an angle of 40 degrees, is somewhat too steep. 

The coach shown in Plate XXII. differs from the 
other coaches in having its top much lower. This 
is brought about by making the body itself slightly 
smaller, and by hanging it closer to the perch, a 
somewhat smaller hind wheel being adopted, thus 
lowering the axle. Lowering the centre of gravity 
is of course an advantage ; here it is obtained at 
the cost of smaller hind wheels, of a low foot-board, 
and of a low roof-seat. 

The foot-boards of XX. and XXII. are somewhat 
too low ; a large horse might touch them with his 
rump, unless the traces are longer than is desirable. 

A high foot-board and a steep front to the boot 

^ ^ 

21 i'-O 

I 2 ^ 








Scale of Feet. 
Front View. Re*" View. 


n. viii 


the body, the 
r<j)3f of II. is exactl) 
>^ I. (American Cnr 
to carrv nine in:- 

( \v. The 
IS that of 






permit the wheel horses to be put close to the 
splinter-bar ; but instead of making the foot-board 
too hiofh, it is better to brine the whole fore-car- 
riage forward, and thus get a short trace, with the 
additional advantage of a longer coupled coach 
(see p. 167). The majority of coach-makers have a 
fancy for a short coupling, and sacrifice important 
features for what is really a disadvantage. 

On comparing XIX. and XX., putting the ground 
lines together and the roller-bolts together, two ex- 
treme forms will be noticed. In XX. a sixteen-hand 
horse, with a trace of the proper length, is too close 
to the foot-board ; in XIX. there is more space 
than is necessary ; XXII. is nearly the same as 
XX. ; XVII. is a eood mean between the two. 

The comparison of the Oxford coach (Cordery), 
Plate II., with the others is very interesting. The 
body is about the same size as that of the Barker 
drag, Plate XX., but is hung 13 inches higher, a 
position partly made necessary by the length of 
the whip-spring, but also, no doubt, by following 
the fashion of the private carriages of the day, 
inasmuch as there is no mechanical reason why the 
whip-springs should not have been set lower or the 
braces made longer. Notwithstanding the height 
of the body, the driving-seat is somewhat low. The 
roof of II. is exactly the same height as that of 
XII. (American Concord), but as XII. is constructed 
to carry nine inside passengers, the bodies differ 


The distance between the axles of XII. is made 
necessary by the length of the body and of the 

The hind wheels of II. and of XII. are of the 
same size, and much larger than in any of the other 

Plate XI. shows a break designed by me many 
years ago for my own use, and a comparison of it 
with the coaches, shows that it preserves their main 
proportions, while being much lighter ; weighing 
only 1600 pounds. As in almost all breaks, the 
horses are from six to ten inches further away from 
the coachman than they are in a coach. This dis- 
tance can be diminished by putting the front wheel 
further under the body, but somewhat to the detri- 
ment of the steady running of the vehicle and of its 


As soon as the coach returns to the stable after 
use, it should be washed, and under no circum- 
stances should mud be allowed to dry on it, since 
that will inevitably spot the varnish. There is no 
way of washing so good as with a stream from a 
hose, where water under pressure is available ; fail- 
ing this, water must be dashed on the carriage 
from a bucket. As the under part of a coach is 
much more complex than that of an elliptic-spring 
carriage, it is more difficult to wash, and the man 
must get under the coach to do it thoroughly. 
Where plenty of water can be had there is little 


necessity for using a sponge, and the water should 
be dried off with a damp chamois leather. Sponges 
should be carefully selected and examined ; they 
almost always contain gritty lumps, which are sure 
to scratch the varnish. 

There is no orreat art in washincr a carriag-e, ex- 
cept to exercise care and not to be in a hurry. 
India-rubber boots should be provided for the 
washer ; in French stables he wears sabots. 

Water must not be allowed to g-o through the 
joints of the doors so as to wet the linings and 

The blueness of the varnish on the dark parts 
of a coach, resulting from a long wetting by rain, 
will disappear after complete drying. 

Little need be done to the steel-work at first, 
except to dry it thoroughly. At the first convenient 
time, generally the morning after the coach has 
been used, it must be polished. If it is much 
rusted by exposure to the damp, ve/y fine emery 
cloth may be used to brighten it, and it should be 
afterward burnished by rubbing with the chain 
rubber (see Fig. 121) until a high polish is ob- 

A piece of hard, steel chain, made exactly like a 
curb-chain, but about two feet loner, is the best thino- 
for burnishing a pole-head ; it can be pulled back 
and forth over it with a great pressure. 

A long piece of chamois leather dusted with flour 
of emery may be used to advantage on the pole- 


head, but coarse grit will scratch the surface and 
make it impossible to get a proper polish. Care 
must be taken not to rub off the paint where it joins 
the steel. Nothing shows good stable-care more 
emphatically than really well-kept steel, and only 
hard work will bring about the desired result. 

In takinof off the wheels for oilinor, a small table 
or chair, or at least a paper spread upon the floor, 
should be used to receive the nuts, washers, and 
pins ; if laid upon the floor they are sure to get grit 
upon them, which will damage the finely finished 
axle. The old oil must be carefully removed and 
all the parts scrupulously cleaned before re-oiling 
and putting together. On a private coach, Collinge 
axles run from one to two months without attention, 
but mail axles require oiling once a week, and on 
road-coaches it is usual to clean and oil the axles 
every day, and at the same time to make a thorough 
examination of all nuts and bolts. When washing 
a coach, public or private, the washer should always 
bear in mind the necessity of examining every part 
of it, to see whether all is in good order. 


The cost of a coach depends upon its finish and 
the locality where it is built. For what may be 
called a standard drag, built in the very best way, 
the price is usually in America 2400 dollars, in 
England 300 guineas, and in France 8000 francs. 

CH. IX J 2Q 


The weight of a drag- varies from 2100 to 2400 
pounds, and of a road-coach from 2200 to 2600 
pounds. It is not worth while to go beyond these 
Hmits in either direction. A drag Hghter than 2100 
will not stand the hard usage that an enterprising 
coachman will give it, and will go to pieces before 
its time, besides giving constant trouble, and nothing 
is gained in strength or stability by exceeding 2400. 
A road-coach is loaded more heavily than a drag, 
and driven faster ; consequently it should be both 
stronger and heavier, but need not exceed 2400 

'NiMROD,' in The Road (1832), and Macneill 
(1830),* give the weight of the stage-coach of that 
day as 18 cwt. (2016 pounds), and there is no doubt 
that stage-coaches were then generally lighter than 
they were made afterward. ' Nimrod' [Northern 
Tour, 1834, p. 13) speaks of coaches as being, 
always under one ton (2240 pounds). 

The more of the whole weight there is in the 
carriage-part and the less in the body the better, 
since the great object is to keep the centre of 

* Parnell, Roads, p. 333. 




gravity low, and the carriage-part has to bear the 
major part of the strains. 

The following Table shows the distribution in 
several examples : — 

Mail . . . 
Drag . . . 




























The larger figures give the weight in pounds, the 
smaller ones the parts in 1000. The Table shows 
somewhat wide differences of design, the last ex- 
ample being one in which pains were taken to get 
a very light body for a heavy carriage-part. 

Figures of this kind are only approximately cor- 
rect, unless all the coaches compared are weighed 
by the same person, since the weights given by dif- 
ferent makers may not always include the same 
parts. For the purpose of this comparison the 
coaches should be in the condition in which they 
are to go on the road, with cushions, seat-backs, 
&c., the separation between the body and the car- 
riage-part being made at the blocks which are on 
top of the springs. Neither the pole nor the chain 
and shoe should be included. 

The distribution of the weight between the front 
and hind wheels is important ; usually there is more 


than half on the front wheels, and this seems un- 
avoidable, but as the hind wheels are the larger 
they should have more to carry. 

In omnibuses this is usually well arranged, since, 
there being no door in the side of the body, the axle 
can be placed well forward. They consequently 
run ViQ-ht. 

In coaches the distribution of weight between the 
front and hind axles is as follows : — 





-Coach . 

• • 1532 







• • 1455 













As in the preceding Table, the smaller figures 
show the parts in looo. 

If it is borne in mind that there are frequently 
five or six persons on the front of a drag and only 
two servants on the back, the overloadincr of the 
front wheels becomes more apparent, and suggests 
an additional reason for not putting the front wheels 
too far under the body. 

The weights here given are taken without the 
pole. It must be noticed that the pole, projecting so 
far in front, will add by its leverage more than its 
own weieht to the front wheels, the difference beinor 
taken off the weight on the hind wheels. This can 
be more readily appreciated by reflecting that a pole 
might be made so long that, with a comparatively 

I T,2 



small weight on its end, it could balance the weight 
on the hind wheels so as to lift them off the 
ground, and thus concentrate the whole weight 
on the front wheels without adding very much to 
the total weight. The influence of a pole weighing, 
with its bars, 60 pounds, is shown in the following 
as follows : — 

The weights, as shown on the scale, were 

On front wheels, without the pole 
,, with 

Increased weight on front wheels 

On hind wheels, without the pole 

Decreased weight on hind wheels 

pds. 1 213 12 13 

,, 1345 •••■ 1345 




86 .... 1 186 
67, 2466 2531 

The increased weight on the front wheels is due, 
one-half to the weight of the pole and one-half to 
the 67 pounds taken off the hind wheels, but the 
total weight, 2531, is only 65 pounds more than the 
weight of the coach without the pole. 

The weights are given as they came out in the 
experiment ; theoretically, they should balance ex- 
actly, but inaccuracies in the scales cause the small 

The distribution of the weight on the front wheels 
and hind wheels depends also upon the inclination 
of the road. 

The following Table gives the results of an ex- 
periment with a coach weighing 2200 pounds : — 

Weight on 







1 194 






1 190 




On a level . . . pds. 

Hind wheels raised 3 inches ,, 

Therefore in going up-hill, a portion of the weight 
is transferred to the hind wheels, which is an ad- 
vantage, since they are larger than the front wheels. 

For comparison, the following average weights of 
different vehicles are eiven : A CJiar a bancs Break, 
1 600 pounds ; Mail-Phaeton without perch, 800 ; 
City Brougham, 1000 to iioo; Landau, 1500. 


We now come to one of the divisions of our sub- 
ject, important from a practical point of view : — the 
position of the centre of gravity of a coach. 

The centre of gravity of a body is that point in 
which its whole weight may be considered as con- 
centrated ; in a symmetrical body of equal thick- 
ness and equal density in all its parts, it is at the 
centre of figure of the body. For 
example, a square piece of board of 
even thickness will have its centre 
of gravity at the point at which its 
two diagonals cross (Fig. 64). 

If at that point we bore a hole, 
and hang the board on a smooth pin, the board will 
remain in any position into which we turn it, be- 




Fig. 65. 

cause the centre of suspension and the centre of 
gravity coincide. 

If we suspend it from some other point, A, we 
find that the board will hang- steadily in one posi- 
tion only, namely : when the centre of gravity is 
vertically under the point of suspension. 

If we flatten one corner slighdy, as shown in Fig. 
65, we can make the board stand upon it, when G 
is vertically above A, but it will be in 
unstable equilibrium and will fall to 
the right or left at the slightest touch. 
We therefore say that the board is 
in equilibrium when the centre of 
gravity is vertically above the point 
of support. Conversely, the centre 
of gravity is vertically above the point of support 
when the body is in equilibrium. 

Now, a coach, looked at from behind, is sym- 
metrical as to the distribution of its parts about its 
vertical centre line, and its centre of gravity must 
be, therefore, somewhere in that cen- 
tre line. If we tip the coach on the 
two wheels of one side until it ex- 
actly balances and would fall to either 
side, the centre of gravity must be in 
the vertical line passing through the 
point of support. Since it is also in 
the centre line of the coach, it must be at the inter- 
section of these two lines, as shown in Fie. 66. 
We can determine by this experiment the angle 

Fk;. 66. 



\ \ \ 



\ Oim\ \ 



c' W'> 

' ■ ■ '" I 

1 2 

_L_ J_ 


Since a coach is symmetrical, the centre of gravity is at some point in a plane 
passing vertically through the centre of the body. When the coach is tipped on 
the wheels of one side until it balances and would fall either way, the centre of 
gravity is over the point of support, and must therefore be in a plane which passes 
vertically through the points where the wheels rest on the ground. 

In the case of an empty coach experimented with, the balance was found when 
the wheels on the higher side were raised to the position shown by the dotted 

With a load of 1700 pounds added on the top, the position of balance is shown 
by the lines . . — . — . — . — . 


at which the coach will tip over, or, what is the same 
thinor, the elevation of the wheel on the higher side 
which will cause it to balance. 

It will be evident by comparing diagrams A and 
B in Fig. 67, that the lower the centre of gravity 
for the same wheel- 
base, the higher the 
wheel must be raised 
to cause a tip - over ; 
whence the importance 

of keeping the centre of 'y^^7^y//>yy//^'^^y^/yy//yy///y/?///////y/^///2 

. 1 Fig. 67. 

gravity low. 

To be strictly accurate, we must say that we have 
thus far only found a horizontal line passing 
through the body of the coach, in which line the 
centre of gravity is somewhere situated. If we 
wish to know the position of the point, we must go 
through the same operation for the side of the 
coach, but since a coach never turns over forward 
or backward, where the centre of gravity is situated 
leno-thwise is of small moment, and the relative 
weights on the front and hind wheels will show it 
with sufficient accuracy. 

Plate XXIII. shows the method of tipping a coach 
for the purpose of finding the position of its centre 
of gravity. A drag weighing, without any load, 2300 
pounds, was tipped until it exactly balanced on the 
wheels of one side. The vertical line passing 
through the point of support, intersected the centre 
line of the coach at the point marked 2300 (which 


is therefore the position of the centre of gravity), 
at a point 4 feet above the hne joining the bottoms 
of the wheels (that is, 4 feet from the ground when 
the coach is standing level). The elevation of the 
higher wheel is 2 ft. 10 in., and the inclination is 
34 degrees. 

If the coach is loaded on top with twelve per- 
sons, weighing together 1700 pounds, the centre of 
gravity of this additional load will be at the point 
marked 1 700 ; and the resultant centre of gravity 
of that additional weight and of the empty coach, 
will be at the point marked 4000, which is 5 ft. 6 
in. from the bottom of the wheels, the whole weight 
being 4000 pounds. 

If the coach is now tipped, the centre of gravity 
having been made higher, will come sooner into the 
vertical line over the point of support, and the coach 
will balance when the higher wheel is 2 ft. 4 in. from 
the horizontal line or the inclination 27 degrees. 

It is evident that a very considerable elevation of 
the road sideways is required to upset a coach at 
rest, but it must be noticed that for some time be- 
fore reaching the actual balancing point the coach 
becomes very tender, to use a yachting expression. 
For instance, in the case of the unloaded coach, 
when the upper wheel was 2 ft. 6 in. from the floor, 
the coach seemed on the point of balancing, al- 
though 4 inches more elevation was actually re- 
quired to make it do so. When, therefore, even a 
slight horizontal force is acting on the coach, an 


elevation of the wheel very much less than that 
required to make the coach balance, will result in 
an overturn.* 

Since the whole weight of the coach may be con- 
sidered as concentrated at the centre of gravity, 
any sideways force, resulting from the momentum 
of the coach, will act through that centre. 

If, from going fast over a bad road or from the 
horses galloping unevenly, a coach gets to swinging 
laterally, the higher the centre of 
gravity, the more readily will the 
coach turn over, smce it is obvious 

that a horizontal force applied to 

the coach near the top (as at A, 

Fig. 68) will pull it over more ^'^- ^^• 

readily than the same force applied nearer to the 

ground (as at B). 

Centrifugal Force. — The dano^er in turning: a 
corner is increased by a high centre of gravity. 
A body in motion has, by reason of its inertia, a 
tendency to continue its motion in the original di- 
rection until it is acted upon by some exterior force. 
A coach going along a straight road is deflected, 
when it comes to a corner, by the horses pulling 

* CoRBETT, p. 26, quotes some experiments made by Vidler in 
1820, in which it is stated that in the case of a mail, the wheel was 
raised 26 inches without an upset, and in the case of a ' double 
bodied coach,' 31 inches, but he does not say whether this was 
exactly the point of balance, or not. 



it round the turn ; it has, however, a tendency to 
keep on in the straight line, and this tendency is 
shown as a force acting at right angles to the 
direction of the coach, pulling it outward from the 
circle in which it is movinof. This is called the 
centrifugal force, and acting as it does upon each 
particle of the vehicle, the sum of these numberless 
forces acts as if it were concentrated at the centre 
of gravity ; and it evidently acts in a direction to 
overturn the coach ; moreover, the higher it is ap- 
plied, the more effect it will have (see Fig. 68). 
This force is opposed by the weight of the coach 
which, acting downward through G, keeps the 
coach to the ground. 

The centrifugal force varies exactly with the 
weight ; increasino- the actual weigrht does not in- 
crease the stability, but diminishing the height of 
the point, at which the centrifugal force is applied, 
does increase it. 

In the diagram. Fig. 69, the black spot indicates 


Fig. 69. 

the weight of the coach concentrated at the centre ol 
gravity, C is the centrifugal force acting horizontally 
outward, at G ; the weight is acting vertically down- 


ward ; A is the point at which the outside wheel 
rests on the ground. The centrifugal force tends 
to turn the weight about the point A, and in so 
doing it is resisted by the weight at G, which acts 
with a leverage AB. 

As the coach tips more, and AG becomes more 
nearly vertical, the leverage AB decreases, and the 
action of the weight to resist the centrifugal force 
becomes less, until when G is over A, the weight has 
no leverage and the coach is acted upon by C only. 

It is evident that, the centrifuQfal force and the 
weight being constant, the effect of the centrifugal 
force will depend entirely upon the height of G 
above the ground. It is also evident that, from the 
moment the wheel which is on the inside of the 
curve, leaves the ground from the action of the 
centrifugal force, the resistance of the weight to 
overturning-, diminishes. 

With a known weight of coach, the centrifugal 
force, corresponding to any speed round a turn of 
any radius, may be computed. The formula for 
this computation is as follows : — 

centrifugal force = ' ; where 

o 'XI.'Z T 

zij = weight in pounds. 

V = velocity in feet per second. 

r = radius of curve, in feet. 

The quantity 32.2, usually expressed by ^^ is the 
velocity in feet per second that a falling body has 
at the end of the first second of its fall. 




It is evident that the centrifuofal force increases 
directly with the weight and with the square of the 
speed, and also as the radius of the curve diminishes, 
or as the turn becomes sharper. 

Since the weight keeps the coach down at the 
same time that it increases the centrifuoral force, the 
weight does not affect the safety, but the sharpness 
of the turn has a great deal to do with the safety, 
and the velocity, or speed, very much more. If the 
radius of the curve is halved, the centrifugal force is 
doubled, but if the speed is doubled, the centrifugal 
force is quadrupled. Therefore, a corner should 
be always turned slowly. 

Inasmuch as, in going around a turn, the centrif- 
ugal force tends to turn the coach over toward the 
outside, an elevation of the outside 
of the road will counteract this action, 
and roads being usually more or less 
crowned, a corner to the rig^ht can be 
turned more safely than one to the 
left, because being on the right hand 
side of the road the off wheels are 
down and the inclination of the coach 
counteracts the centrifuofal force which 
is acting in the direction of the arrow 
(Fig. 70). 

In turninor to the left, the coach is 
still on the right hand side of the road, and the cen- 
trifugal force acting to the right, the effect of the in- 
clination of the coach is added, and not opposed, to it. 




The formula for the centrifugal force being 
= CF ; with a weio^ht of 2^00 pounds and a 

32.2 r & vj 1 

radius of 50 feet, we find, corresponding to different 
velocities, the followinor centrifugal forces : — 

At 7 miles an hour, v = 10.30 ft. per sec, CF = 15 1.5 pds. 
10 ,, ,, 7/^14.66 ,, ,, CF = 307.0 ,, 

15 ., ,, 7'=22.oo ,, ,, CF = 69i.4 ,, 

With a weight of 4000 pounds. 

At 7 miles an hour, z' = 10.30 ft. per sec, CF = 263.6 pds. 
10 ,, ,, •t/^ 14.66 ,, ,, CF = 534.0 ,, 

15 ,, ,, 7' = 22.00 ,, ,, CF^ 1202.0 ,, 

In an empty coach weighing 2300 pounds, the 
centre of gravity is 4 feet from the ground. 

The weight, 2300, will act at the end of an arm 
AB, Fig. 71, 2.5 feet long, with an effect of 5750 
pounds (2300 X 2.5 = 5750) holding the coach 
down ; the centrifugal force corresponding to a 
speed of seven miles an hour, 15 1.5 pounds, will act 
at the end of the arm BG. 4 feet long, with an effect 
of 606 pounds (15 1.5 X 4 = 606) tending to over- 
turn the coach. 

At different speeds, the forces will be as follows : — 


At 7 miles an hour, 15 1.5 X 4 = 606 pounds. \ 
10 ,, ,, 307.0 X 4 = 1228 ,, i 
15 ,, ,, 691.4 X 4 = 2765 .. \ 




The fractions ^, ^, |, show the proportions of the 
overturninof force to the holding down force. 

In a coach weighing- 2300 
pounds, loaded with 1 700 
pounds on top, the total weight 
will be 4000 pounds, which 
acting at the end of the arm 
AB will give a holding down 
force of 10,000 pounds. The 
centrifucral force will act at the 
centre of gravity, 5.5 feet above the ground, and at 
different speeds the forces will be as follows : — 

A B 
Fig. 71, 


At 7 miles an hour, 263.6 x 5-5 = 1450 pounds. ^ 
10 ,, ,, 534-0 X 5-5 = 2937 ,, 1 


1202.0 X 5-5 -= 661 1 

In the case of an empty coach, the centrifugal 
force acting at a height of four feet, required to 
balance the weight of the coach, 2300 pounds, with 
a leverage of 2.5 feet, will be 1437 (2300 X 2.5 == 
5750, and 1437 X 4 = 575o)- This is the force 
due to a speed of 21.6 miles an hour, on a 
curve of 50 feet radius, at which speed the wheels 
on the inside of the curve would be lifted from the 
ground and the coach overturned. 

w v 

= 1437 or V' = 1006.6 

32.2 X 50 

2/= 31.73 feet per second or 21.6 miles an hour, 


In the case of the loaded coach, the centrifuoral 
force, acting at a height of 5.5 feet, required to 
balance the weight of the coach, 4000 pounds, with 
a leverage of 2.5 feet, will be 181 8 (4000 X 2.5 
= 10,000, and 1818 X 5.5 = 10,000). This is the 
force due to a speed of 16.5 miles an hour on a 
curve of 50 feet radius, at which speed the coach 
would be turned over. 

7U 7'^ 

1818 or ?/2 = 73: 

32.2 X 50 
■6/z= 27 feet per second or 16.5 miles per hour. 

It must be borne in mind that these are the 
figures for a perfectly smooth road, level cross- 
wise ; trifling depressions in the road causing lat- 
eral swino-ine will overturn the coach at lower 

In the familiar example of a horse galloping 
round a circus ring, it will be noticed that the 
horse's body is inclined toward the centre of the 
circle at an angle which depends upon the velocity 
with which he is moving ; the faster he goes the 
more he leans. 

Another example is that of a bicycle moving 
round the curve at the end of a cycling track. 

Since a man and his bicycle may be said 
to form a single straiorht line from his head to 
the point where the wheel touches the ground, 
the angle of this line with the horizontal must 
be such that the action of the centrifugal force 




will be exactly balanced by that of the weight, 
or else the bicycle will fall to one side or the 

In Fig. 72, where the man is turning to the left, 
the centrifugal force will be developed in the direc- 
tion indicated by the arrowhead, and may be repre- 
sented by the line CF ; the weight acting vertically 
downward is represented by CW. The resultant 
of these two forces will be represented in amount 
by CB in the direction of the 
line CD, and the point of sup- 
port must be in this line, as at 
D, to prevent the man from fall- 
ing. If the speed, and conse- 
quently the inclination, is not 
,..- great, the bicycle may go safely 
m////////////////.'M'//////// round a level curve, but if the 
-'■''' speed be greatly increased the 

^^' wheel may slip on the ground. 

To avoid this, the surface must be sloped, as shown 
by the dotted line, until it is at right angles to the 
inclination of the rider. 

This is done in a circus ring by heaping the earth 
at the outer edge, and in a cycling track by sloping 
the asphalt path on the curve, at angles propor- 
tional to the squares of the speeds, one part of the 
curve, usually the lower, having steeper slopes than 
the upper, to suit all speeds. 

The inclinations of the line CD, and consequently 
that of the lines at right angles to it, will be propor- 


tional to the squares of the velocities, the radius of 
the curve being constant. 

For a curve of 50 feet radius these inchnations 
will be as follows : — '=' 

At 7 miles an hour, 3 degrees, 45 minutes. 
10 ,, ,, 7 ., 35 

15 ,, ,, 16 ,, 42 

20 ,, ,, 28 ,, 06 

25 ,, ,, 41 ,, 21 

It is obvious, that if the angle of the road cross- 
wise is, for any given curve and speed, that which 
is indicated by the above computation, the coach 
will have exactly the same stability as if it were 
going straight on a level, and for a curve of 50 feet 
radius the elevations of the outer wheel are given 
in the following table : — 

At 7 miles an hour, 3.8 inches. 

10 ,, ,, 7.9 ,, 

15 .. .. 17-2 ,, 

20 ,, ,, 28.4 

25 ,, .. 39-6 ,. 

These quantities are the natural sines of the 
angles given above, the length of the axle, 5 feet, 
being unity. 

Since the base of the coach is wide, unlike that of 
a bicycle, the resultant line of the centrifugal force 
and of the weight will fall within the base with very 

* In these computations, the centrifugal force is to the weight, as 
the tangent of the angle is to unity. 



much smaller inclinations ; and the lower the centre 
of gravity compared with the width of the base 
the greater will be the stability at any speed, or 
on any curve. 

It must be also noticed that the load of the coach 
has been supposed to be in the centre ; if it should 
be moved over to the inside of the turn, its re- 
sistance to the action of the centrifugal force (by 
increasing the length of AB, Fig. 69) will be in- 
creased ; if it is moved to the tnitsidc, its resistance 
will be correspondingly diminished. 

If the surface of the road is slippery, a coach, 
under the influence of a centrifugal force much less 
than is required to turn it over, will slide bodily 
sideways, and if it brings up suddenly against an 
obstacle or in the gutter, it may be upset. 

CH. X 




The amount of power, usually called the draught, 
which is required to overcome the resistance to 
motion of a vehicle, may be examined from two 
points of view : first, as to the actual mechanical 
force expended ; and, secondly, as to the way in 
which that force should be applied by an animal. 

The resistance to movement of a sled, is simply 
that due to the friction between the surface of the 
ground and the underside of the runner, but when 
wheels are used, this resistance is composed of the 
rolling friction between the tire and the ground, and 
the friction of the axle in its box. 

The rolling friction results from the necessity of 
surmounting obstacles in the 
way of the wheel, as shown in /"^^ ^"\ 
Fig. JT), where the power to / \ 

move the load is acting in the I S" T^"^ 

direction CP parallel to the \ \b/ 

road, and the weight of the ve- ^„2^^^^::si,,,,^^^^A- 

hicle is actino- vertically down- i^ ^ 

^ ■' Fig. 73. 

ward throuQ^h the centre of the 

wheel and the point A, at which the wheel touches 

the ground. In order to surmount the obstacle B, 

the power acting on the bent lever CBA must lift 


the weight, and its abiUty to do so depends ob- 
viously upon the, relative lengths of the two arms 
CB and AB. CB is the radius of the wheel, and 
AB will depend upon the size of the obstacle as 
indicated at B. For the same size of wheel, there- 
fore, the smaller the obstacles, or, in other words, 
the smoother the road, the less will be the resist- 
ance to rolling-, and for the same roughness of road 
the larger the wheel, the less will be the resistance. 
The lenofth of the arm AB, in the case of the small 
obstacles, which make up the roughness, will be 
practically the same as the arc AB, and will be 
measured by the angle BCA. For any given sur- 
face of road, this arc may be represented by a con- 
stant, which, multiplied by the radii of various wheels, 
will measure the rolling resistance. Theoretically, 
therefore, this resistance should be inversely propor- 
tional to the diameter of the wheel. In 1 838-1 840, a 
series of elaborate experiments made by Morin * for 
the French Government, on the Traction of Vehicles, 
confirmed this as a practical fact ; it may be there- 
fore laid down as a law, that on any given road, 
the rolling friction will diminish directly in propor- 
tion as the size of the wheel is increased. -j- If 

* Notwithstanding the comparatively early date of these experi- 
ments they are still the most satisfactory that we have, and the most 
complete, having been made on a very large scale, with heavy vehi- 
cles, on all kinds of roads ; later experiments have only confirmed 

-j- DuruiT and other writers maintained that resistance diminished 


the surface of the road is at all loose or soft, as in 
newly stoned roads, or in roads wet, and partly 
disintegrated by hauling over them, the resistance 
to rolling will be measured not only by the effort 
required to surmount the obstacle, but also by the 
force expended in pushing, in front of the wheel, the 
loose stones or particles which oppose its motion. 

If a wheel roUino- on ice meets a stone, it is more 
likely to push the stone before it, sliding it on the 
ice, than to mount over it ; and in a loose road 
some of this sliding, with the consequent friction 
between the particles of the road, takes place. Into 
■such a road a narrow wheel will sink deeper than a 
wide one, or will, in other words, form a rut, and 
will have to push a portion of the material forward 
before surmountino- it. On soft around, therefore, 
increased width of tire is an advantage, and Morin's 
experiments indicate, that up to six inches of width 
the draught diminished, but that no advantage was 
gained by a further increase. On good roads 

in proportion to the square root of the diameter, while Morin's ex- 
periments seem to show that it changes directly as the diameter. 

Accurately, the relation between the resistance and the diameter, 
depends on the relation of the sine and the cosine of the angle at the 
centre of the wheel, included between the vertical radius CA, and 
the radius CB which ends at the point of contact of the rim with 
the obstacle (Fig. 73). On ordinary roads the relation is measured 
closely enough by the diameter, but on rough, stony roads, it is 
measured more nearly by the sc^uare root of the diameter and the 
advantage of the larger diameter compared with that of the smaller 
one, diminishes. 


nothing was gained by having a greater width than 
four inches, and on pavement less was sufficient. 
These figures refer to heavy loads, 2000 to 2500 
pounds on each luheel, and are applicable only to 
wheels that are very nearly cylindrical, vertical, and 
with horizontal axles (see notes on Wheels in Chap- 
ter III.), in which case there is no grinding action on 
the road. On a very hard, smooth road, such as 
good macadam or the best pavement, the draught 
appears to be independent of the width of the tire. 
There always has been a belief that a narrow tire 
affords an easier draught, and it is probable that this 
opinion was formed when wheels had more dish 
and axles more drop than is now given in the best 
practice, in which case, the wheel being a section 
of a cone, the tire ground on the road. 

Even on a hard, unyielding road like a stone pave- 
ment, if it is ro2igh, a wide tire is advantageous, 
inasmuch as it prevents the wheel from dropping into 
the inequalities between the stones. 

If the wheel is nearly or quite cylindrical, an in- 
creased width of tire is an advantag-e to the road 
itself, but with coned wheels the increased width is 
a disadvantage ; it increases the grinding action. 

It is obvious, that in stiff mud, sand, or ordinary 
earth, such as is crossed in hauling over a field, the 
wheel, sinking in under the pressure of the load, is 
constantly surmounting a little hill in front of it, and 
leaving an open rut behind it, which, owing to the 
nonelasticity of the material, is not filled up. If, 


however, the wheel is drawn over an elastic mate- 
rial, india-rubber, for instance, as in some of Morin's 
experiments, the material recovers its form behind 
the wheel, and in so doing restores most of the 
force expended in compressing it. Notwithstanding, 
therefore, that the wheel sinks into such an elastic 
track, hauling over it requires but little more effort 
than over a hard surface. With carriages this con- 
dition occurs very nearly, when india-rubber tires 
are used, which, notwithstanding their constant com- 
pression in front of the wheel, again give out the 
force behind the point of contact with the ground.* 
Such tires seem to increase the draught somewhat, 
but less than might be expected, which is due to the 
fact that they diminish the shocks. Experiment 
shows that, while at a walk, the resistance on hard 
roads is the same for vehicles with or without springs, 
it increases with the speed more rapidly for rigid 
vehicles than for those on springs. This is no doubt 
due to the fact that the shocks which occur at higher 
speeds are largely taken up by the springs, and the 
force thus absorbed is again given out by them, and 
not all wasted in raising the load and hammering the 
road, and the same effect is produced by the interpo- 
sition of the elastic rubber. 

The pneumatic tire, by which the whole load is 
hterally floated on air, has given results at first some- 

* This springing back of the road, or of the tire, has been termed 
resilience by some of the later experimenters on Draught. 


what unexpected to the mechanic. Instead of in- 
creasing the draught even sHghtly, it has diminished 
it, owing to the perfect elasticity of the air contained 
in the tubular tire preventing any appreciable rising 
of the weight of the carriage in passing over an 
obstacle, the resistance merely forcing the air from 
one part of the tube to another, and experiment 
has shown (Michelin, p. 21) that the saving in 
draught is greater as the speed is higher : for in- 
stance, with the same spring vehicle : — 
With iron tires : 

At a walk, 3 ms. pr hour, the traction was 48 pds pr ton. 

,, trot, 6.5 ,, ,, ,, ,, ,, 59 ,, 

,, fast trot, 9.4 ,, ,, ,, ,, ,, 77 ,, ,, 

With pneumatic tires : 

At a walk, the traction was 48 pds pr ton. 

,, the other speeds, ,, ,, ,,50 ,, ,, 

The pneumatic tire, almost in exactly its present 
form, was invented and patented in 1845, by R. W. 
Thomson, of London. (English Patent Specifica- 
tion, A.i). 1845, No. 10990.) Experiments made with 
it, reported in T/u' MccJianics Magazine, of March 
27th 1847, gave the following results : — 

A carriage weighing 1050 pounds, running at 9 
miles an hour, on a good macadam road, required 
28 pounds of tractive force (53.3 pds per ton) with 
pneumatic tires, and 45 pounds (85.6 pds per ton) 
with iron tires. On broken stone, rough, the force 
required was 38 pounds (72.3 pds per ton) with 


pneumatic tires and 120 pounds (228 pds per ton) 
with iron tires, — about the same results which are 
obtained now. 

Notwithstanding these successes, the device 
seems to have been entirely lost sight of until it 
was re-invented a few years ago. 

The ton here used, as in all the computations 
which follow, is that of 2000 pounds. 

Morin's experiments, which are especially valu- 
able, because they were made with large vehicles on 
the road and not with small models, further showed 
that the rolling friction increased directly with the 
weight of the carriage and load, and that for a given 
kind of road it could be computed by the simple 

formula, R = A—, where P is the weight (pressure), 

r the radius of the wheel, and A a constant or coeffi- 
cient,''' determined by experiment. 

* A coefficient is a proportion and can be thus exemplified : If A 
and B are associated in a business of which A owns % and B ^, the 
coefficient of A will be % or 0.25, so that any profits or losses must 
be multiplied by 0.25 to determine A's share. In the friction of a 
body sliding on a surface, if the coefficient of friction is 0.05, the 
weight of the body multiplied by 0.05 expresses the friction, which in 
this case will be 5 per cent, of the weight or pressure. 

In using the French coefficients from Morin's book, it must be 
borne in mind that in the formula for the rolliitg friction, the wheel 
radius in metres enters as a divisor, and the French coefficient must 
be multiplied by 3.281, the value of a metre in feet, to obtain a 
coefficient for use with Enghsh measures. For instance, A (French) 
0.015 ^s the same as A (English) 0.05. 

In the formula for resistance from axle friction, the multiplier ^ is 




For example : if P = 10,000 pounds, r = 2.5 feet, 
and A r= 0.05, which is the constant derived from a 
number of experiments made on a road of the same 
character as that for which this resistance is now to 
be computed, R will equal 0.05 -'^2".*^-, or 200 pounds, 
gijj of the load. If P = 10,000, and the radius of 
the wheel is increased to three feet, the rolling fric- 
tion will be reduced to 166.6 pounds, -^ of the load. 
If the quality of the road changes for the worse, 
the value of A will increase. On a road covered 
with loose gravel two inches deep, Morin (p. 144), 
found the value of A to be 0.165. and with this co- 
efficient the resistance will become 0.165 x H^ 
= 660 pounds, or ^^ of the load. 

As to the influence of the width of the tire in 
diminishing the draught, Morin's experiments give 
the following results (p. 132) : — 

In English units. 

In thick mud, on a road, a 7 in. tire gave A = 0.097 

On a dry earth road 

On a hard road 

On a pavement 

a 4.)4 in. 
a 7 in. 
a 4)4 in. 
a 2^ in. 
a 7 in. 
a 4_^ in. 
a 7 in. 
a 4)4 in. 
a 2^ in. 

A = 0.084 
A = 0.073 
A = 0.068 
A = 0.084 

A =: 0.052 

A = 0.045 
A = 0.035 
A = 0.030 
A = 0.030 

On roads, therefore, while there does not seem to 
be much difference in the resistance of wide and 

a ratio which is the same whether feet or metres are used, and there- 
fore the Frenchyand the EngHsh /have the same vakie. 


narrow tires, a narrow tire gave somewhat the best 
results. It may be observed, however, that the wide 
tire is very wide, seven inches, and unfortunately 
MoRix does not give the dish of the wheel or the 
drop of the axle, but he does say (p. 133) that, 'the 
' inclination of the axle-arm, obliging the wheel to 
' move about the axis of a cone, the rubbing of the 
' surface of the tire on the ground, which is the con- 
' sequence, tends to increase the resistance of the 
'wider wheel.' This is no doubt the whole reason 
for the increase of friction, and since all axle-arms 
are somewhat inclined, for the reasons already given 
when treatincr of Wheels, it would seem that the 
disadvantage of the grinding, counterbalances an 
advantao-e from increased width. '^' In farm waggons 
used on soft ground and grass, there is no doubt 
that a width of tire up to at least four inches, is an 
advantage, and experience has indicated the same 
thing at many sandy sea-shore places ; but to get 
the best result, the wheel must be nearly straight 
and vertical. As far as damage to the road itself 
goes, it would seem from experiments, that on hard, 
good surfaces, well united, and with a hard bottom. 

* In the experiments made at the Bedford Agricultural Show, 
England, July 1874, with two loaded wagons practically alike, ex- 
cept that in one case the inclination of the face of the wheel was 4 
degrees, corresponding to an overhang of 3 inches or i %, inch dish, 
and in the other case 1%' degrees, xyi inch overhang or 3^ inch 
dish, the proportions of draught were ^^ of the load for the more in- 
clined wheel and -^ for the straighter wheel. 


the width is not important, but when only a thin 
layer on top is hard, and the under part soft, 
the wide tire injures the road much less than the 
narrow one. The somewhat obsolete cobble-stone 
pavement of eastern American cities is generally 
laid upon an insufficient layer of gravel, on un- 
drained soil, which, in wet weather or when the 
frost is coming out of the ground, is soft, and the 
stones, being round, and touching each other only 
at points, become unstable, the narrow tires of 
heavily loaded carts soon displace them and ruin 
the pavement. 

Under these circumstances, city ordinances which 
encourage the use of wide tires are eminently 
proper, and since it seems to be clearly shown that 
if the width does not diminish the traction, it does 
not increase it (provided the wheel is nearly ver- 
tical and therefore cylindrical), wide tires cause no 
injury to the interests of the carter. The shocks 
and jerks felt by the horse in pulling a cart through 
ruts and over little holes must be vastly more 
fatitfuine to the animal than the simple traction, 
and these shocks are much reduced by a wide tire 
which spans many inequalities into which a narrow 
one will drop. 

Among late experiments on ' Draught' are those 
made by Mr H. J. Waters, of The College of 
Ao-riculture and the Mechanic Arts, of Missouri, 
reported in '/7/e Engineering Record of March 12, 
1898. Tires of lyi and 6 inches in width were 


compared, with the results here noted : On ahnost 
all roads, the wide tire diminished the traction by 
an amount varying from i6 to 30 per cent., but 
where the surface was sticky and there was a 
smooth hard road below, the narrow tire cut down 
to the hard road, whereas the wide tire adhered to 
the mud, showing an advantaue for the narrow tire 
of 20 or 30 per cent. In 14 experiments out of a 
total of 21, with greatly varying conditions, there 
was shown a decided advantage in the use of a 
wide tire, and in all cases the road was improved 
by the passage over it of the wide tire. 

We have so far considered only the rolling friction 
of the wheel, but to obtain the whole resistance to 
the forward motion of the vehicle we must add the 
friction between the axle and its box. This is a 
sliding friction, the laws of which, as determined by 
large number of experiments of different investi- 
gators, are, within the limits met with in well de- 
signed machinery, as follows : — 

This friction is directly proportional to the pressure 
per unit of surface ; that is, between any two given 
surfaces, if the pressure is one hundred pounds per 
square inch, the friction will be twice as great as if 
it were fifty pounds per square inch. It is therefore 
independent of the absolute amount of surface, be- 
cause with the same weight, if the rubbinof surface 
is increased, the pressure per square inch is dimin- 
ished. A brick, for example, will move with just 
the same amount of friction over the surface of a 


table, whether it is on its flat face, its edge, or its 
end. The friction, therefore, between an axle and its 
box is directly proportional to the weight of the car- 
riage without its wheels, and is not dependent upon 
the length of the axle-arm. The absolute friction 
of the axle depends very slightly upon the diameter, 
but the resistance to the turning of the wheel due 
to friction, acts at the surface of the axle with a 
leverage which is represented by the radius (or 
semi-diameter) of the axle-arm. If the axle is raised 
off of the ground so that the wheel can revolve 
freely, the force applied to the outside of the wheel 

to make it turn will be re- 

;;;;^ sisted by the friction at r, Fig. 

\. 74, and the force will act with 

\ a leverage RO. The long^er 

I RO is, the less force will be re- 

\ / quired, applied at R, to turn 

X^^ ^^ the wheel, and the longer rO 

V7777777^^7777^77777P7P77~y . , -nil 

IS, the s^reater will be the re- 

FiG. 74. . ^ 

sistance of the friction. The 
ease, therefore, with which the wheel can be turned 
will depend upon the relation, or ratio between RO 
and rO ; the larger the axle the greater the effect 
of the friction, and its anionnt will be measured by 
the ratio p multiplied by a constant to be deter- 
mined by experiment. 

This constant, or coefficient, usually designated y 
by writers upon this subject, is found, for polished, 
well-oiled metal surfaces, to have a value, according 


to MoRiN, of from 0.05 to 0.065. Later experi- 
ments with machine shafting bring this to a lower 
figure, but for coach axles 0.065 is a fair value. 
This friction is much diminished by thorough oilino-. 
and with a constant supply, or batJi, of oil it is some- 
times not over 0.005, o^ one-tenth of the value 
given above. When the bearing is thus flooded 
with oil, the surfaces do not touch each other at all, 
and the friction is that of 2. fluid. 

This condition cannot be fully maintained in a 
wheel, but the distribution of the oil by means of 
shallow grooves in the axle-arm, or in the box, and 
a large supply of oil in the wheel-cap, approach 
it, and form an important feature of the Collinge 
axle. Heating the oil, even to a moderate de- 
gree, increases the friction, and great heating, as 
we all know, by the expansion of the arm, soon 
brings the wheel to a stop. 

As is now well exemplified in the bicycle, the 
ball-bearing, by converting the sliding axle friction 
into rolling friction between very hard and smooth 
surfaces, diminishes greatly the resistance to the 
turninor of the wheel. The rolline friction between 
perfectly spherical, highly polished, hard, steel balls 
and a hard, steel surface is so small that it may be 
said to be nothing. In the bicycle, this has been 
successfully turned to account, and there is no 
reason why the ball-bearing should not be adopted 
in a coach wheel, except for the comparative com- 
plication of such arrangements, and from the fact 


that the horse, to whom the draught is of prime 
consequence, is not able to express his opinion as 
readily as the human cyclist. Some forms of car- 
riage axles with ball-bearings have been already 
brought out but are not yet in treneral use. 

The results of some late experiments, made at 
the Engineering Department of Yorkshire College, 
Leeds {Engineering, Sept. ii, 1896), are interesting 
as showing the resistance to crushino^ of hard steel 
balls. Balls of a quarter-inch diameter stood a 
pressure of five tons each, before crushing ; those 
of a half-inch, more than ten tons. These were 
statical pressures ; the balls would not probably 
stand so much if they were in rolling motion. 

Taking 0.065 ^s the coefficient of friction, r the 
radius of the axle, and R that of the wheel, or of 
the average of the front and hind wheels, the ex- 
pression 0.065 R "^^'ill represent the proportion of 
the weight of the coach ivitJiout its zokeels, which 
measures the axle friction. It is of course the 
weiofht of the coach resting- on the axles, that 
causes the friction on the axles. If, therefore, a 
coach with its load, and zuithont its wheels, weighs 
3100 pounds, has axles two inches in diameter, and 
wheels averaging 46 inches in diameter, the expres- 
sion will be y" (w — w)^'-' or 0.065 % 3100 = 8.77 
pounds, as the amount of the axle-friction, and 
since experiment gives an average of 70 pounds 

* W beiniT the weiijht of the whole coach and r^' that of the wheels. 


per ton (of 2000 pounds), as the total resistance 
to motion in a coach on a good hard road (see p. 
163), that resistance for a weight of 3400 pounds, 
will amount to 119 pounds, of which 9 pounds, or 
7.5 per cent., will be axle friction, and 1 10 pounds, 
or 92.5 per cent., rolling friction. 

The total resistance to forward motion on a level 
surface is therefore represented by the rolling 
friction and the axle friction added together, or 

by the formula ^ = ^1^ + -^^ — t5~ ^^ which: — 

P is the power required to draw the vehicle. 

A is the constant for rolling- friction for a oriven 
road surface (see p. 153) ; for a hard road 0.0615. 

W, the total weight of the coach and load. 

7Cf, the weiofht of the wheels. 

R, the radius of the wheel (or the mean of the 
radii of the front wheels and hind wheels). 

r, the radius of the axle-arm. 

/, the coefficient of friction, 0.065. 

Example of computation for a coach : — 

W = 3400 pounds. 

w = 300 pounds. 

R ^ 23 inches, or 1.9 foot. 

r = I inch, or .083 foot. 

A = 0.0615. 

/ n= 0.065. 

A _ ^ 0.061 ; ^'^°° = 1 10 RoUing friction 
R 1.9 

(W-7.0r _ ^ ^g (3400- 3oo)o-o83 _ ^ Axle friction 

R 1-9 779 = p 




CH. X 

The proportion of the total resistance due to 
friction of the axle being- small, it is evident that 
the improvement of the road surface is more im- 
portant than the improvement of the axle, and 
this is shown in the oain arising from the use of 
pneumatic tires, which is equivalent to having a 
smoother road. 

The following tables give an abstract of some 
experiments on the force required to draw vehicles 
under different conditions : 

Kind of Vehicle. 

Description of Roau 

of Draught 
TO Weight. 

Draught in 

per Ton of 
20OO Pounds. 

Experiments of Morin (pp. 182, 184). 


Diameter of wheels, 

1. 15 metre. 

3 ft. 9 in. 


Dry macadam 

Muddy macadam 

Dry earth 

Dry earth with gravel 4 in. 
deep . . 











l)iameter of wheels, 

1.60 metre. 

5 ft- 3 '"• 


Dry macadam 

Muddy macadam .... 

Dry earth 

Dry earth with gravel 4 in. 


3 6 





Diameter of wheels, 

2.0 metres. 

6 ft. 6 in. 


Dry macadam 

Muddy macadam 

Dry earth 

Dry earth with gravel 4 in. 






CH. X 



Kind of Vehicle. 

OF Draught 
TO Weight. 

Draught in 

PER Ton of 
2000 Pounds. 

Experiments of Macniell. Report of Committee. 

Stage Coach. 

Weight, with load, 

3400 pounds. 

Good Telford road. 

6 miles -per hour 

8 miles per hour 

10 miles per hour 






at 2^ miles per hour, 

2300 pounds. 

Diameter of wheels 

not given. 

Good pavement 

Telford |^ 

Macadam j 

Gravel on earth ..... 






Bedford Experiments. Engineering, July 10, 1874. 

Mean diameter of 

wheels, 4 ft., 
without springs. 

Hard gravel 

Field of oats 



The same with 

Hard gravel 

Field of oats 





Diameter of wheels, 

4 ft. 6 in. 

Hard gravel 

Field of oats 


Experiments of Michelin, 1896. 


1270 pounds. 

Mean diameter of 

wheels, 3 ft. 4 in., 

iron tires. 

Good road. 

3 miles per hour 

b\ miles per hour 

9i miles per hour 




The same with 
pneumatic tires. 

3 miles per hour 

6^ miles per hour 

9! miles per hour 





1 64 


CH. X 

From the Bedford Experiments on Traction. 

Mean Diameter 
OF Wheels. 

Inclination of 
Wheels to the 

Width of Tirb. 



of Draught on 
Field to that 


K Q 

0. 3 


K a 
w z 


Ft. In. 







4 O 







4 O 






4 o 







4 o 







► 5-g. 


4 o 









. . 














4 o 







4 6 

4 7 









An examination of the Bedford Experiments 
shows : I St, That the draught on the soft field is 
about 41^ times that on the hard road ; 2nd, that 
with a wide tire this difference is less ; 3rd, that 
an increased angle of the wheel to the vertical 
increases the draught ; 4th, that carts have a 
licrhter draught than waggons, and that the differ- 
ence is greater than is merely in proportion to the 
greater size of their wheels.; and 5th, that springs 
diminish the draught on the road, but not on the 

These results agree, substantially, with those 
obtained from other experiments, but it must be 


noted that it is difficult to compare such experi- 
ments with accuracy, on account of varying condi- 
tions. In this abstract of the Bedford Experiments, 
for instance, the incau size of the front and hind 
wheels is given ; in the full Report, their respective 
sizes are given with the proportions of the full load 
on each. The figures would be somewhat different 
if the load of the four-wheeled wagon were placed 
principally on the front wheels or on the hind wheels. 

The inclination of the wheels, the character of the 
axles, the equality or otherwise, in length of the two 
axles, all affect the result. 

The subject may be summed up as follows : 

To obtain the least draught we must have the 
largest wheel and the smallest axle ; the axle must 
be highly polished, well-fitted, but not too tight, and 
profusely oiled ; the axle must be cylindrical and 
horizontal ; and the wheel straight and vertical. On 
a hard road with a vertical wheel, the width of the 
tire, within reasonable limits, is unimportant ; on 
soft ground, a wide tire diminishes the draught. If 
the wheel is dished and inclined, the increased width 
increases the draught on a hard road. On a hard 
road, it is not important that the two axles should 
have the same lenofth, but on a bad, or soft, road 
the draught is increased, if the front wheels are 
closer together than the hind wheels, because there 
are four new tracks to break instead of two. 

On good, hard roads, the draught increases with 
the speed, as is shown in the preceding tables. 


and at much higher speeds than coaches attain, as 
on railroads, it varies as follows : — '"'' 

At 5, 10, 15, 20, 30, 40, 50, 60 miles per hour. 
9. 15 ; 9.6 ; 10. 5 ; 1 1.4 ; 14.6 ; 19.0 ; 24.0 ; 31.5 pds per long ton. 

On hard roads that are roitgJi, the draught in- 
creases rapidly with the speed, owing to the shocks 
which absorb part of the power, and on such roads 
suspension on springs diminishes the draught, at 
high speeds, by diminishing the shocks. 

Well-laid, firm, stone pavements give from one- 
half to two-thirds the resistance to rollinof that is 
given by good, broken-stone roads. This difference 
seems, at first sis^ht, to be too crreat ; but all the 
experiments give substantially the same result, and 
show that a solid, unyielding road is better than an 
elastic one with ever so smooth a surface ; this is 
confirmed by the experience of old coaching men, 
who consider what they call the soundness of a road 
its most important quality. 

On a smooth surface, with a well-made vehicle, 
there is no indication that the distance between the 
axles in any way affects the draught. 

It is a general opinion, however, that placing 
the axles close together, or making a coach ' short- 
coupled,' as it is called, makes it run easier. 

No doubt a very long-coupled carriage, like a 

* When it is said that the draught increases with the speed in a 
certain degree, only the statical draught as indicated by a dyna- 
mometer, is meant. The amount of actual -work expended is repre- 
sented by this quantity combined with the distance passed over. 


landau, runs hard, especially on a soft road, because 
the hind wheels do not follow promptly, and some- 
times run partly sideways in lines different from the 
front wheels ; but within the limits of variation of 
distance, possible in a coach, this can occur in only 
such a small degfree that the disadvantacre is more 
than balanced by the other advantages of a longer 

A very short-coupled coach can never be entirely 
safe at high speeds, especially if the horses are 
galloping : a short wheel base, overhung in front 
by the body, will cause the coach to rock to and fro, 
and especially to swing sideways. A short base is 
generally obtained by putting the front wheels far 
_ _ under the front boot, 

and the effect of this 
projection of the front 
of the coach beyond the 
perch-bolt can be ap- 
preciated by imagining 
the front axle pushed 
back nearly as far as the centre of the body, and the 
coach pulled from that point. It will be seen that a 
slight side motion of the front wheels will be greatly 
magnified at the front end of the coach, and will 
cause a dangerous swing (Fig. 75). 

The distance between the axles of a coach should 
not be less than 6 ft. 6 in. 

A third element of resistance to the motion of a 
vehicle, is the action of gravity when ascending a 


1 1 


n n 




U U 


1 1 


Fig. 75. 

1 68 


CH. X 

slope, where a portion of the weig-ht has to be raised 
vertically. The proportion of the weight thus lifted 
is directly as the height of the inclined plane is to its 
horizontal length, and is, therefore, easily computed. 

If a road rises one foot in every ten of its length, 
or, in other words, has a erade of one in ten, the 
power of the horses must be exerted to raise one- 
tenth of the weight of the coach all the time that 
the coach is ascending the slope, and this resistance 
must be added to that of the rolling friction and the 
axle friction. 

On all except very slight grades, this resistance 
becomes important, as the accompanying table 

Percbntagbs of Resistance from 




OF Grade. 






I in 200 





I in 100 





I in 90 





I in 80 





I in 70 





I in 60 





I in 50 





I in 40 





I in 35 





I in 30 





I in 25 





I in 20 





I in 15 





I in 10 





1 in 8 





I in 6 






These figures are for a heavy four-wheeled 
vehicle, on hard macadam (Morix, pp. 45 and 
127). As the grade increases, its importance in 
using up the power is manifest, until at a grade 
of I in 55 the percentages of rolling resistance and 
grade resistance are equal, and at i in 45 the grade 
resistance is one-half of the whole. At i in 20, 
which may be considered a permissible grade on a 
mountain road, the grade resistance is nearly three- 
quarters of the whole, and at i in 10, which should be 
the utmost limit of mountain roads, it is 84 per cent. 

Grades of i in 8, to i in 6, now and then met with, 
can be ascended with an ordinary load only by the 
use of extra horses. 

Macneill, in 1838, recommended i in 40 as the 
maximum grade on a main road of the best class, 
but on a large proportion of the great European 
roads, in mountainous countries, i in 25 is constantly 
used, and there are grades of that steepness on the 
great Holyhead coach road in England and Wales. 
In all these cases, the surface is nearly perfect. 

A grade of i in 20 is the steepest up which a 
fresh team, with a moderately loaded coach, should 
trot, and then only when the distance is short, not 
more than 300 yards. 

All experiments agree in putting the resistance 
to rolling, on a well-paved stone street, at about two- 
thirds of that on a eood, macadam-surfaced, road, 
and every attentive coachman will feel the difference 
in the action of the horses and the movement of the 


coach when he runs off of any other knid of a road 
on to the stones. 

Of course, a paved road to be good must be made 
of flat topped stones, and the joints must be so 
small, that the wheels cannot drop into them in cross- 
ing them. In many old pavements the stones are 
so rounded and worn, that they are excessively dis- 
aofreeable to drive over, even while their resistance to 
traction may be less than that of smooth macadam. 

The goodness of a road depends not only upon 
its smooth upper surface, but also upon its solidity, or 
what coachmen often call its soiuidiicss. In England, 
about 1830, which was the height of the coaching 
era, just before railroads came into use, there was a 
great controversy between the advocates of the two 
systems known as Telford's and MacAdam's.* 

MacAdam held that a sufficient layer, that is 
from 8 to 12 inches, of stone broken to a size to 
pass through a two-inch ring, laid on even a yield- 
ing foundation, made the best road ; Telford in- 
sisted that it was necessary to have a strong stone 
foundation under the broken stone. 

Telford's view is now generally adopted in 
Europe, especially for wet climates, but in America 
it is an open question which system is the better. 

* As the name MacAdam lends itself readily to being made into 
a verb, 7nacadainised has become a well-known expression and has 
taken its place in English as the designation of a road surface formed 
of broken stone without reference to what is underneath it. The 
French use en empierrement and also luacadaniiscc. 


European road makers, particularly in England, 
insist that everything must be done to keep roads 
dry, and object even to trees which may shade 
them ; but in America the summer dryness is an 
enemy to the stability of a road, since it permits 
movement of the pieces of stone, and thereby facili- 
tates the disintegration of the road under the traffic, 
and the working up of the large stones from below. 
In winter, on the other hand, the freezing- and thaw- 
ing of the water in a road disturb the connection 
between the stones and break up the road, allow- 
ing ruts to be formed ; and the Telford system un- 
doubtedly provides the best drainage. 

If cost is disregarded, a good, deep Telford road 
is the best, although, perhaps, the top covering 
of stone wears out more rapidly than that of a 
macadam road, from its beine hammered between 
the wheels and the unyielding pavement beneath. 
As soon as the top is so worn down as to be not 
more than four inches thick, the stones of the foun- 
dation are likely to work loose and to come to the 
surface, with the result of making the worst kind of 
a road. If the lower pavement is made of stones 
merely gathered from the fields and tJirown in with- 
out being packed, these stones will inevitably work 
up through the small stone and make a road worse 
than poor macadam. 

One of the most experienced road makers of 
eastern Pennsylvania is decidedly in favour of mac- 
adam, as giving the better practical results in all 


regards, and especially as being- the more easily 
repaired, acknowledging, however, that it is more 
likely than the Telford road to become rutted when 
the frost is coming- out of the orround. 

For a Telford road of the best quality, the bed, 
formed 12 to 16 inches below the intended surface 
of the finished road, should be carefully graded with 
a slope from the centre toward the sides, and 
thoroughly drained by tile, shallow broken stone, 
or gravel drains. No road of any system can be 
good or lasting unless it is thoroughly drained ; 
this is absolutely essential. Upon the bed thus pre- 
pared, a paving of one layer of stones, from 7 to 
10 inches deep, is laid by hand. Each stone must 
be laid with its widest face on the bed, the object 
being to prevent the stones from being pressed into 
the ground, and to distribute the pressure from 
passing wheels over as large a surface as possible. 

Fig. 76. 

Since the stones should touch each other where 
they rest on the ground, the upper surface will be 
broken by irregular openings which must be packed 
tightly with stone chips. Upon this rough pave- 
ment, which may be made of any inferior stone, not 
too soft, is spread the hardest stone procurable, 
broken to sizes of from 1 1^ to 2 inches, to a depth 
of from 4 to 8 inches and well rolled with a steam 



or horse roller. The depth of both the under pave- 
ment and the upper layer of stones will vary be- 
tween the limits noted, accordingly as the road may 
be intended for light or heavy traffic, and according 
to the amount of money at the disposal of the en- 
gineer. The more substantial the road, the easier 
will be the draught upon it, and the less will be the 
expense for repairs. No earth should be put upon 
the surface of the road ; it is by the interlocking of 
the clean angular stones under the rolling and the 
traffic that the road is made, and earth prevents 
such interlocking. If a surface finish is required, 
very sharp stone screenings should be used, put on 
after the road has been partially rolled. 

Much rolling with a light roller, or prolonged 
ramming with a light rammer, is preferable to 
heavy rolling or ramming, because the object is 
not to break the ano^les of the stones, but to shake 
them into interlocking with each other, an opera- 
tion not altoo^ether unlike the feltine of hair. Con- 
tinuous liofht shakino- will turn the small stones 
about among each other until they fit closely to- 
gether and form a solid mass. 

If a road is equally good all over, it ought to 
wear down evenly under the traffic, and when worn 
should be repaired by putting on a new layer of 
stone, not less than 3 inches thick, after the old sur- 
face has been picked up, so that the new stone will 
bind into it. On a road that is not well made, and 
sometimes even on a eood road, uneven wear will 


take place, and depressions be formed, which must 
be patched with new stone. These repairs require 
great judgment on the part of the road foreman, 
and the old surface of the portion repaired should 
always be picked up before adding new stone. 
When new stone is put on in patches, it should 
be well wetted and rammed. 

The dust or mud which is formed on the surface 
by the wearing action of the wheels should be 
frequently removed ; it does no good to the road 
and is obviously objectionable. The effect of mud 
in increasing the draught is shown in the Table on 
p. 162, the resistance of thick mud being to that 
of a hard clean road as 84 to 45. It seems almost 
needless to add that a soft, ' woolly' road, even if it 
is dry, gives a heavy draught. 

It is difficult to give an estimate of the cost of a 
Telford road, on account of the varying price of stone 
and of labour, and the difference of natural ground, 
but the followine figures are from late American 
sources. Paving 8 inches deep, ;^4 per square rod ; 
broken stone 4 inches deep, $2 per square rod. An 
18-foot road has 340 square rods to the mile, which 
at $6 per rod is $2040, and with $200 per mile for 
grading and shaping the road bed, is $2240 per 
mile. This must be considered a low cost ; cul- 
verts and ditches may add largely to it. For the 
same thickness of road bed, there does not seem 
to be much difference between the cost of Telford 
and of macadam, since the cost of hand laying the 


pavement is balanced by that of breaking all the 
stone small. 

Although country roads, paved with stone, or, as 
in Holland, with brick, are common on the Conti- 
nent of Europe, they are not used in America ; but 
for cities where the traffic is heavy, stone pave- 
ments, apart from their noisiness, have many good 
qualities. The following extract, from a paper pre- 
pared by the present writer, as a member of a com- 
mittee of The Coachinor Club, to be submitted to 
the authorities of the city of New York, in 1884, 
describes a orood method of their construction : — 

' The proper conditions of a paved city street, as 
' indicated by the experience of the engineer and 
' of the driving expert, may be stated as follows : 

' The subsoil on which the paving is to be laid, if 
' not naturally porous, must be thoroughly drained 
' to a depth of at least four feet. A sewer, the 
' crown of which is pervious to moisture, will usu- 
' ally effect this purpose, but there are grave ob- 
'jections to any leaks from or into a sewer, owing. 
' to the danger of the escape of noxious gases ; and 
' some simple system of special drainage similar to 
' that used in farming land is preferable, 

' The surface of the subsoil should be carefully 
' eraded and consolidated, so as to Insure that no 
' water reaching it can stand in puddles upon it, 
' or that any portion can settle below the grade 
' originally given to it. The best method of consoli- 
' dation is by the use of a rather narrow steam roller. 


' Upon the subsoil, thus carefully prepared, there 
' should be laid a base of concrete from eight to 
' fifteen inches thick, depending upon the amount 
' and character of the traffic, and somewhat upon 
' the quality of the subsoil — a dry gravel or sand 
' requiring less depth of concrete than a clay 
' soil. 

' The upper surface of this concrete must cor- 
' respond in form to the finished grade of the 
' pavement to be placed upon it. 

' The pavement itself should be of stone blocks 
'about three inches wide, nine inches deep, and 
' from thirteen to fifteen inches long. The width 
' and depth must be as uniform as possible ; the 
' lengths may vary. 

'The blocks should be laid upon the concrete, 
' over which a light coat of sand, not gravel, should 
' be spread merely sufficient to enable the workmen 
'to bed the stones evenly. Less than an inch of 
'sand should suffice if the stones are reasonably 
' even and smooth. The blocks are set with their 
' longest dimension across the street, their smallest 
' parallel to the axis of the street. 

' After they are set, a small quantity of fine sand 
' must be swept over their surface with brooms, so 
' as to fill the joints about half full. 

' The joints should then be filled to the top with 
' melted asphalt. This must be done, if possible, 
' in dry, warm weather, and cannot be done when 
' the stones are wet. 


' The stone selected must be one which wears 

* rough and gritty, and does not poUsh and become 

* slippery. The softer stone will not wear so long 
' as the hard one, but that must be submitted to. 

' The asphalt serves three purposes : it closes the 
'joints, and prevents any water passing through 
' the pavement to the concrete or the subsoil, which 
' is necessary to the maintenance of a good pave- 
' ment ; it prevents dust rising from the joints ; and 
' it fills the top of the joint so as to prevent, to 

* some extent, the rounding of the upper surfaces 

* of the stones by the continued impact of the 
' wheels, which is the way that the best laid pave- 
' ment finally becomes rough and noisy. There is 

* no remedy for this other than turning the stones 
' upside down, or re-cutting their upper surfaces, 
' and using them on streets admitting of a thinner 
' pavement. 

' The asphalt diminishes the noise by preventing 
' the wheels from striking the edges of the stones 
' with as much force as if the joints were open, and 
' it can be renewed during any hot, dry weather at 

* a small cost. It must be poured into the joints 

* neatly from a ladle, or equivalent device. 

* At street intersections, it is best to carry each 
' line of paving to a point in the intersection, to 
' avoid, as far as possible, the longitudinal joints 
' being in the direction of the traffic. 

' Continuous lines of joints in the direction of the 
' traffic are fatal to the maintenance of a orood 


' pavement ; and for that reason flat gutter stones 
' should be positively interdicted, and the paving 
' should be carried directly to the curb. 

' There is no occasion, in a well laid pavement, 
' for any crown to the street beyond what is neces- 
' sary to insure the centre not being lower than the 
' sides ; for that reason no crown of more than two 
' inches should be permitted in any street of sixty 
' feet in width, and less in a narrower street. 

' The excessive crown that most American city 
' streets have makes them uncomfortable to drive 
' upon, owing to the sliding of the hind wheels of 
' vehicles toward the gutter, 

' In streets newly laid out and paved, the curb- 
' stones should have more slope than is usually 
'given them. In a five to seven-inch curb, the 
' slope of the face backward should be at least 
' two inches, so that wheels rubbing against them 
' may strike the tire only, and not wear the wood 
' of the rims of the wheels. 

' The method of construction advocated is prac- 
' tically that of the streets of Liverpool, England, 
' which are now the best in the world. The con- 
' Crete base possesses the advantage, among others, 
' that in laying gas or water pipes it can be cut 
' up in blocks, and relaid so as to insure a more 
* perfect patching than can be made on a soft 
' substratum. 

'Any pavement, however, is very much injured 
' by taking up a portion over a long trench, as the 


' most skilful and careful workman cannot possibly 
' replace the stones, even if they are marked, so as 
' to form the original continuous surface.' 

The asphalt and wooden pavements now rapidly 
beinof introduced in cities, while not better for 
draught than stone, have the great advantage of 
diminishing the noise. Both are worthless unless 
they are underlaid by a thoroughly well-made con- 
crete foundation. Indeed, it cannot be too posi- 
tively asserted that the surface, whether it is stone, 
wood, asphalt, or macadam, is only a surface, and 
that the true road is below, which if once well-made 
and not injured by excavations, should last indefi- 
nitely. The surface can be renewed as it wears 
out. The wooden pavement, known in America 
as the Nicholson, and others of its kind, were laid 
on a lining of thin elastic boards upon poorly pre- 
pared foundations of earth or gravel. These pave- 
ments soon went to pieces, and gave a bad name to 
wooden pavement of all kinds ; but creosoted wood, 
laid as it should be, on a perfectly firm concrete 
foundation, makes the best covering that has yet 
been found, being nearly as smooth as asphalt, and 
less slippery. The application to the wood, from 
time to time, of very sharp, finely broken stone, 
almost like coarse sand, which is forced into the end 
grain of the wood by the traffic, gives the horses' 
feet a better hold. A pavement must always be a 
compromise : if it is very smooth it is slippery. 
Certain stone pavements in the streets of Rome, 


made with a very hard lava, closely jointed, are per- 
fect for wheels, but extremely slippery for horses/-' 

Elaborate experiments were made in London in 
1873, by William Haywood, Engineer and Sur- 
veyor to the Commissioners of Sewers, on the 
slipperiness of pavements ; they are described in a 
Report entitled : Accidents to Horses on Carriage- 
way Pavements. Many thousand passing vehicles 
were observed and the falls of horses recorded, in 
certain streets paved with different materials. The 
observations showed that on stone a horse falls 
once in travelling 132 miles, on asphalt, once in 191 
miles, and on wood, once in 330 miles, proving the 
great advantage of wood as affording a good foot- 
hold to the horse. 

The following results are quoted from pp. 72,73 : — 

' On the average of the whole fifty days' observa- 
' tions, the Granite was found to be the most slippery, 
' the Asphalt the next so, and the Wood the least. 

' Separating the accidents under three conditions 
' of surface as regards moisture, it appears : 

' That Asphalt was most slippery when merely 
' damp, and safest when dry ; 

* Within the last few years, the introduction of india-rubber pads 
in the horses' shoes have overcome this difficuUy and it is now (1899) 
a rare thing to see a horse fall in the streets of Rome. The pad is, 
in effect, a shoe inside of the iron shoe, so much thicker that it 
touches the ground below the iron. It is sometimes open at the 
back, sometimes closed and covering the fi'og. The outer portion 
is expanded into a thin web which lies between the hoof and the 
shoe ; the nails passing through this web, keep the pad in place. 


' That Granite was most slippery when dry, and 
' safest when wet ; 

' That Wood was most sHppery when damp, and 
' safest when dry ; 

' That when the surface of the pavements was 
' generally dry, Granite was the most slippery, and 
' Wood the least slippery ; 

' That when the surface of the pavements was 
' damp in different degrees. Asphalt was the most 
' slippery, and Wood the least slippery ; 

' That when the surface of the pavements was 
' wet. Asphalt was the most slippery, and Granite 
' the least slippery ; 

' That on the whole. Wood was less slippery than 
' either Asphalt or Granite.' 

There is nothing so nearly perfect, from a driving 
point of view, as a macadam surface, giving sufficient 
smoothness without being in the least slippery ; but 
its drawbacks of dust, mud, and rapid wear have 
nearly banished it from large cities. 

Action of a Horse in Draught. — If a man, 
attached to a vehicle, throws his body into the posi- 
tion shown in Fig. 77, he would fall forward were 
he not supported by the strain on the line by which 
he pulls. If his inclination is slight, he will merely 
put a portion of his weight upon the line, and the 
remainder will be supported by the ground through 
his lees, but if he increases his inclination suffi- 



CH. X 

ciently, the vehicle will move forward as soon as 
the horizontal force acting on the line is equal to 
the resistance to motion of the 
vehicle. When the vehicle 
moves in obedience to this 
strain, the man is forced, in 
order to avoid falling, to put 
one foot in front of the other 
and so successively to walk for- 
ward. As this strain upon the 
line is produced entirely by the 
weight of the man, it is evident 
that the heavier he is the more 
The action of the horse is exactly 
78), though at first sight it seems 

he can pull, 
the same (Fig. 

Fio. 78. 

complicated by the fact of his having four legs in- 
stead of two. As the vehicle moves in obedience 


to the impulse of his weight, he is forced to support 
himself by advancing a leg, and he continues to 
move, throwing;- his weight forward. 

As in the case of the man, the heavier the horse, 
the more he can pull, a fact well recognised by those 
who use horses for slow, heavy draught. A horse 
with a man on his back will pull a heavier load than 
without the man, and the weight which is sometimes 
hung on the yoke of a pair of oxen produces the 
same result ; the advantage in both cases, however, 
is obtained at the cost of additional strain upon the 
legs and on the general powers of the animal. A 
heavy animal has more weight of his own to move 
than a light one, and he must therefore be propor- 
tionately stronger ; and this becomes more impor- 
tant as the pace is increased, since a speed may be 
reached when all the power of the animal is em- 
ployed in moving himself and nothing is left for 
purposes of draught. In selection of horses for 
service this should be duly taken into considera- 
tion : for slow stages on soft roads, or for starting 
a coach on grass and earth, heavy wheelers are de- 
sirable, but for fast work on eood, hard roads, lio^ht, 
quick, active horses are the best. These are im- 
portant points in distributing horses along a road for 
service on different stages, and show the judgement, 
good or bad, of the person undertaking this duty. 

If a horse weighing looo pounds throws himself 
forward into such a position (Fig. 79) that his 
weight overhangs the points of support 4 inches. 

1 84 


CH. X 

the horizontal force will be equal to about 1 1 1 
pounds, since the joints about which the body moves 
may be considered as being- about 36 inches from 

Fig. 79. 

the o-round, and 36 is to 4 as 1000 is to 1 1 1, so that 
a moderate inclination is sufficient to produce a con- 
siderable effect of draught/^' 

* This proportion is determined by what is known in mechanics as 
the parallelogram of forces. The weight 
at D, supported by a rigid strut, DB, will 
tend to move in a circle of which B is the 
centre, unless prevented by a resistance 
acting in the line DC, and its effect will 
be represented in direction and amount by 
the lines DB and DC, DA representing the 

The pressure on the ground acting in 
the direction DB is greater than the weight 
itself, and it would appear, therefore, that 
some force is in this way made out of nothing, but it must be remem- 
bered that mechanical 7uork is the result of pressure multiplied by the 


The relation of the power of a horse to the draught 
of a vehicle is modified by the condition of the 
road, since the exertion of moving his own body is 
much the same to the horse, whether the surface of 
the road is good or bad, provided it is not slippery 
or so loose and deep as to yield excessively to 
his feet ; but as the surface of the road deterio- 
rates, more power is required to pull the same 

There is some difference of opinion as to the 
relative merits of a rigid, and an elastic connec- 
tion between the horse and the vehicle ; since the 
animal's motion forward is not uniform, but, as 
shown by the experiments of Marey and others, 
consists of a series of motions of varying velocity, 
a number of shocks must occur with a rigid con- 
nection which are avoided by a certain amount of 

As has been remarked, when speaking of carriages 
with and without perches, the springs to some extent 
take up such shocks, and a number of devices are in 
use, such as the spring swingle-tree of a brougham, 
or a dog-cart and the spiral springs connected with 
the traces sometimes used with heavy business- 
vehicles. With a spring interposed, a forward 

distance through which it acts and not by the amount of the pressure 

As the load becomes greater and the inclination of the legs of the 
horse must be increased to move it, the strain on them will be in- 
creased to their injury. 


movement of the horse, more or less sudden, in- 
stead of being resisted by the entire weight of the 
carriage, is partially taken up by the spring and 
then gradually communicated to the vehicle ; none 
of the force is lost. 

The difference between an elastic and a lono- 
connection must be carefully noted. If the traces 
are so long that the horse, when commencing to pull 
gets into motion before acting upon the vehicle, he 
is brought up with a jerk when the trace tightens, 
and much of his power is wasted to no purpose. A 
slack connection by an unyielding trace is therefore 
objectionable. This does not apply to the case of 
a horse pulling a canal boat by a long rope, as the 
sinking and rising of the rope takes the place of 
elasticity, and the force expended in raising the rope 
before the boat begins to move, is restored b)' its 
sinking again. 

From a purely physiological point of view, a long 
continued action by a horse, the same in character 
and in amount, is undoubtedly more fatiguing than 
when it is varied, and the majority of horsemen have 
observed that in a o-iven distance, on a road with 
some undulations, a horse is less tired than on an 
even grade, no matter if that grade is the minimum 
one mathematically. 

The European roads, laid out by engineers with 
the view of having the easiest grades attainable, 
nearly all have the grave defect of long steady 
slopes for surmounting elevations with scarcely any 

CH. X 



resting-places. American roads, otherwise much 
inferior, usually have on the hills, places which are 
level or of slioht ori'a-de, and there can be no doubt 
that it is much better for the horses, to have steeper 
ofrades alternatino- with flatter ones than to have a 
minimum average o-rade for the whole of a lonor dis- 
tance. An objection sometimes made to such a plan, 
is that if horses are stopped on a hill they are some- 
times disinclined to start again, but often they have 
to be rested on the regular grade, and are then much 
more likely to refuse than if they have a short level 
on which to start. 

As a matter of fact, the increase of grade, which 
is the result of a location with short flats, is not 
great. With a steady grade of i in 25, the rise is 
2 1 1 feet in a mile ; if at every half-mile, a level of 
200 feet lono- is made, the erade of the remaininor 
portion will be i in 23 instead of i in 25. With a 
regular grade of i in 40, the rise 
in a mile is 132 feet ; a level place 
of 400 feet, in each mile will in- 
crease the remaining orade to i 



Fig. 81. 

Attachment of the Horse. — 
There are two ways in general use 
of attaching a horse to the traces 
by which he draws the vehicle. One is by the 
breast collar (Fig. 81), or Dutch collar, as it is fre- 
quently called, which was in almost universal use 



CH. X 

on the Continent until of late years ; it is still fre- 
quently seen there, and in America is used in some 
light trotting- harness. It has the advantages of 
being simple, light, and cool in hot weather, and, 
with slight adjustment, of fitting any horse. 

Its disadvantages are that with a stiff splinter-bar 
it rubs the shoulders as they move backward and 
forward within it, and, bearing upon the point at 
which the shoulder-blade joins the upper bone of the 
leg (Fig. 82), cripples the action of the joint. It 
does not enable the horse to 
hold back effectively without the 
addition of a somewhat compli- 
cated strapping, or a metal yoke. 
It may be necessary in travelling 
to use one for a time to relieve 
a horse with a sore neck, but 
moveable swindle-trees of some 
kind must be used with it, or else 
a galled shoulder is sure to result. 
The other way, is to use the ordinary collar (Fig. 
St,), a part of the harness which requires the great- 
est care and consideration, sometimes taxing the 
ingenuity of the most experienced horsemen and 
harness-makers. It must fit ; if it is too long or too 
wide it will slip about and rub the skin ; if it is too 
short it will choke the horse ; if it is too narrow it 
will pinch and gall him. These questions will be 
treated more in detail in the Chapter on Harness. 
But in this place it is proper to call attention to what 

Fig. 82. 

C'H. X 



Major DwvER '=' has so pertinently pointed out, that 
the attachment of the trace must be at that part of 
the collar which has the least motion when the 
horse, in action, works his shoulder. 

If the tug to which the trace is attached, is too 
low down, the collar will act somewhat like a breast- 
strap, the bearing will be against the moving joint, 
and the collar will stand forward at the top, away 
from contact with the horse's neck. 

If the tucr is too hi^^h, the bearinof will be on the 
thin part of the neck, where it will act obliquely 
against the skin instead of resting on the part which 
is of such a form as to o"ive a sort of seat for the 
collar. Being- too high is a 
less serious fault than being 
too low, but it should be as 
nearly as possible at the point 
(Fig. 83), where the seaf for 
the collar exists, and where 
the rocking motion of the 
shoulder-blade is the least. 

A great deal has been 
written about the angle of the 

trace, and the experiments of Morin, and others, 
indicate 1 2 degrees to the horizontal as being the 
most effective. As a matter of fact, with the usual 
point of attachment to the collar, with an average 

Fig. 83. 

* Major Francis Dwyer, 6"^^?/^ afid Sadd/es. 
Draught, Am. Ed. n.d., part iii. 

Chapter on 


horse, and with the usual height of spHnter-bar, 2 
ft. 7 in., the angle of the trace of a coach is about 
16 deofrees, and therefore somewhat exceeds the 
theoretical ano-le. The direction of the trace con- 
tinued falls above the front axle and below the hind 
axle in the way which is shown by Philipson 
[Draught, p. 18) to give the best results. It is 
obvious from an inspection of Fig. jt, (showing the 
manner in which a wheel is drawn over an ob- 
stacle), that a downward direction of the trace from 
the vehicle to the collar would be wasteful of power, 
and that a moderate upward inclination, tending to 
lift the load somewhat, is better. 

DwYER has pointed out that the direction of the 
trace should be, as nearly as possible, perpendicular 
to the collar, but no shoulder is straight enouo-h to 
bring a trace, with an angle of 1 2 degrees, at right 
angles with the collar. On a well-made horse, the 
collar will have an inclination of about 36 degrees to 
the vertical, and a trace w^ith an inclination of 12 
degrees to the horizontal will not come within 24 
deo-rees of beino- at ricrht anorles to the collar, or 

O O <z> O 

with an angfle of 16 within 20 deofrees. On a horse 
with a very sloping shoulder, the collar will be even 
less upright, and the strain on the trace will pull 
the collar up, on the neck, choking the animal and 
chafincr the skin. The correction for this is, ob- 
viously to have the splinter-bar low, and to put the 
draught-eye of the harness high. 

Close observation of passing horses will fre- 


qiiently disclose exaggerated cases of diis mistake ; 
a small horse with a sloping shoulder, attached to a 
carriage with a high bar or swingle-tree, and with the 
tug low, will have his collar pulled into an absurd 

In Fig. S;^, the angle of the collar is 36 degrees 
to the vertical, and that of the trace 1 2 degrees 
to the horizontal ; in Plate XXXI. these anoles 
are 36 and 16 respectively. 

In a trotting-wagon, the swingle-trees are usually' 
very high, in order to give the horses ample room 
for the action of their hind letrs ; this brines the 
traces nearly horizontal, but the draught is so light 
that the inaccuracy is not important. 

It is a common opinion among coaching men that 
there is a great advantage in having the horse c/ose 
to his ivork, that is, in having a very short trace. 
But this must be taken with some allowance. There 
is no absolute mechanical advantage in a short trace. 
A vehicle drawn along a surface by a horizontal 
cord and a weight, passing over a pulley, will re- 
quire exactly the same weight to move it, be the 
cord long or short ; variations in the effect can come 
only from the action of the animal. 

It is, of course, important that the motion of the 
vehicle should be as uniform as possible, and that, 
once set going, it should continue to move at the 
same speed, so that small obstacles can be sur- 
mounted or crushed by the instant action of the 
horse, before the carriage has time to stop and to 


require to be set in motion again. With very long 
traces this objectionable stoppage may take place, 
which is no doubt the foundation for the wide-spread 
belief in the advantage of putting a horse close 
to his work. Undoubtedly, on smooth roads the 
horses may be harnessed as close to the coach as 
will permit them to trot fast without the danger of 
being touched by the splinter-bar or of striking 
the wheels with their feet ; this means tight pole- 
chains to prevent the horses from getting back too 
far. But on uneven roads, with holes and ruts, such 
close harnessing will strain the horses by subjecting 
them to violent shocks from the irreo-ular motion of 
the coach. The custom, therefore, in rough coun- 
tries, such as Western America, Africa, and Aus- 
tralia, is to have a long pole and to harness the 
horses loosely by long traces and long pole-chains, 
so that while the coach cannot touch them, they are 
less affected by the movements of the coach and of 
each other. In park driving on smooth roads, with 
light loads, low speeds, and well-trained horses, both 
traces and pole-chains may be short ; but it is a 
common fault with coachmen to have them too short 
even under these circumstances and to distress their 
horses unnecessarily. Por higher speeds, especially 
galloping, and on less good roads, more flexibility is 
required and more length should be given. A short- 
harnessed team looks ' smarter,' takes up less room, 
and is more easily handled than a long one, and, 
where circumstances permit, it is proper ; but judge- 


ment must be used as to the conditions. The leaders 
should have their traces long enough only to keep 
them well out of the way of the bars, and a sJwrt 
pole with a crab the branches of which are of suffi- 
cient length to bring the pole-chains into the proper 
direction, will, by bringing the leaders well back, add 
much to the appearance of a team. 

The proper length for a wheel-trace is 84 inches 
from the tuo:"-buckle to the centre of the roller-bolt ; 
for a lead-trace, 76 inches from the tug-buckle to 
the end of the cock-eye (pp. 216, 217). From the 
tug-buckle to the front end of the trace, the length 
is 15 inches, making the whole length of the wheel- 
trace 99 inches, and of the lead-trace 91 inches. 






Harness. — The essential parts of the harness are 
the bridle, bit, reins, collar, hames, and traces. All 
other parts are accessory, and may be somewhat 
varied, and, in some cases, omitted. 

Bridle. — The bridle shown in Fig. 84 is the usual 
pattern of a coaching bridle. 

For a drag, the front should be a simple pat- 
tern of chain ; for a road 
coach, patent leather, or 
worsted, of the colours 
of the coach, plaited 
round the leather front. 
Where the front joins 
the bridle there should 
be a plain metal boss, 
preferably flat, with initial 
or crest. On a drag har- 
ness, these bosses should 
be on the inner side as 
well as on the outer side ; 
on a road-coach they are 
on the outer side only, 
and serve to indicate the oft" side or near side bridle. 
Ribbons or rosettes are out of place ; they belong to 

Fk;. 84. 



a lady's harness ; but Howers are correct at all 
times, and should customarily be worn. On a road- 
coach, only flowers in season should be used ; they 
are supposed to be given by the fair friends of the 
coachman, along the road. In winter, holly berries 
and leaves are suitable. On a drag, any kind of 
flowers may be worn, and frequently the owner 
adopts an especial flower from which he never varies. 
It is well to have it correspond to one of the colours 
of the coach. Of course, artijicial flowers must be 
used ; natural ones are too fragile. The wire stems 
should be pulled through the loop below the buckle 
which is at the top of the winker. They are worn 
only on the outer side of the bridle. In Fig. 84, 
the flower is shown as being put in the throat-latch 
buckle because the rein-ring is high and close to the 
boss ; if the rinof is on the throat-latch, the flower 
should be in the cheek-piece buckle so as not to be 
rubbed by the rein. 

On occasions of ceremony, such as Meets, it is 
usual for the owner and the g^rooms to wear bcni- 
tonniercs of the same flowers as those on the horses' 
heads, and on the road, the person driving may 
do the same. There is one occasion when ribbons 
may be used : on the last day of the season of a 
road-coach, on the last stage into town, it is cus- 
tomary to put on the horses' heads knots of ribbon 
of the coach colours, and on the pads, similar knots, 
with long- ends. 

Winkers should be square, with rounded corners ; 


round winkers, with or without metal edges, belong 
to dress harness. They should be much hollowed or 
cupped, so as to stand away from the eye. Winkers 
are unquestionably necessary in driving-harness ; a 
saddle-horse is ridden without winkers, but the rider 
is on the back of the animal, where he has good 
control over him ; driving-horses have the coachman 
and the whip behind them, and without winkers 
they will be nervously watchful of whatever hap- 
pens there. 

Were all horses driven from the first, without 
winkers, they would probably work well enough ; 
but, in using horses which have been broken to 
harness with winkers, it is dano-erous to omit them. 
They should not be close enough to the eyes to 
heat them, but they should be high enough to 
prevent the horse from seeing backward over them. 
The split strap connecting the winkers with the 
crown-piece, should be exactly of the right length 
to make the winkers set properly, neither too close 
to the eyes, nor spread apart. Care must be taken 
that, in the harness-room, the bridle is not hung on 
a sinoie hook, since this hook must come on one 
side or the other of the buckle of the crown-piece, 
and the bridle will get a crooked set, and not fit 
squarely on the head. Attention to details like 
these makes the difference between a well turned- 
out team and a slovenly one. The centre of the 
winker is a proper place for any crest, monogram, or 
device that may be used. In drag-harness, there is 


a face-drop which goes under the front, and usually 
has the monogram on it. This is entirely orna- 
mental and is omitted in road harness. On one 
side, the nose-band has a loop which goes on the 
billet of the side of the bridle to keep the nose- 
band from slipping round, and on the other side, it 
passes between the side of the bridle and the billet, 
so that it can be tightened by the buckle which is 
under the chin. Ordinarily, the nose-band is more 
an ornament than anything else, but, with a high-port 
bit on a pulling horse, it may be buckled somewhat 
tight to prevent the horse from opening his mouth 
too wide, and thereby escaping the action of the 
bit ; then, it is useful. When a side-rein is used to 
hold back a pulling horse, it may be buckled to the 
nose-band, which then acts as a cavesson. 

In the wheel-horse's bridle, the ring through 
which the leader's rein runs, is fastened on in 
several ways. In Fig. 84 it is shown as brazed 
to a flat loop or band, which slips on to the crown- 
piece, and is kept in its place by the buckles below 
it. This brings the ring close under the boss and 
above the flower. It can be readily taken off when 
the bridle is used in a pair-harness. 

Another way is to have the ring sewed on the 
throat-latch under its buckle, as is done in road- 
coach harness, as in Fig. 85 ; it is then further below 
the boss, and the flower may be put through the 
buckle over it. Thus arranged, the rein comes 
straighter to the pad-terret, but it rubs the sur- 




face of the winker. The throat-latch in this case 
should not be a part of the crown-piece, as is usual 
in pair-horse harness, but should be separate, with 
a buckle at each end, so that it can be removed 
and a plain throat-latch without a ring, substituted 

when desired. When using 
four-in-hand harness for pair- 
horse work, it is in better 
taste to remove the parts 
which are only necessary for 
four horses. It is a good plan 
to have the harness so made 
that it can be used for either 
purpose, and it keeps in 
much better order when in constant use, and is fre- 
quently cleaned and oiled, than when hung up and 
allowed to become dry. Two sets of four-in-hand 
harness, thus arranged, will serve the requirements 
of a large private stable for pair-horse work, and will 
make it possible to turn out two teams for a change 
of horses. 

Carrying the lead-reins over the heads of the 
wheelers has now gone out of fashion ; twenty-five 
years ago it was almost universal for drags, but be- 
fore that time it was being gradually abandoned on 
road coaches.* 

Fig. 85. 

* In a print, after W. J. Shaver, published in 1841, of the Duke 
OF Beaufort's road-coach, the lead-reins are through the throat- 
latch rings. This is the earliest print in which that arrangement is 
shown, that has come under my notice. 


' NiMROi),' in 1834, comments upon the fashion as 
follows {N^ortJicrn Toui\ p. 31) : — 

' It was now I found that I had taken leave of 
' coaching in anything like its proper form, at least 
' for some time to come ; for the horses were slow, 
* the coachman slower, and the stupid, unworkman- 
like, unsafe practice of running the leader's reins 
' through the throat latches instead of the head ter- 
' rets of the wheel horses was the order of the day ;' 
and again (p. 340), 'Such a thing as a leader's rein 
' runnino- through a wheeler's throat latch, instead 
' of through his head terret. is not to be seen on the 
' Defiance.' The objections to using the head-terret 
are, that when a wheeler tosses his head, he disturbs 
the lead-rein more than when it passes through the 
side ring, which is more flexible, and which moves 
without jerking the rein ; that the rein, when over- 
head, sometimes gets behind the horse's ear, and 
often in wet weather gets the foretop hair tangled 
round it ; and that it is difficult to reach up so high 
to pass the rein when changing horses. When 
a head-terret is used, it is 
screwed into a plate sewed 
into the crown piece, or, 
more frequently, there is 
a double rino- (shown at , ., 

A, Fig. 86), which to some Fig. 86. 

extent prevents the rein 

from eettine behind the ear. With a single head- 
terret the same result may be obtained by putting 


a loose ring between the buckle and the loop, or 
keeper, in front of the terret, as shown at B. 

The terrets may be kept on the top of the head 
in a road-harness, as well as the rings on the throat- 
latch, since leaders that throw their tails over the 
reins, or that are inclined to kick, will be less likely 
to do either, if the rein is kept that much higher ; 
but when the terret is near the boss, as in Fig. 84, 
pretty much the same end is attained. 

In road-harness the rine is often sewed on lower 
down than is shown in Fig. 85. In American* road- 
harness these rings are invariably on the inner side 
of the bridle, since the lead-reins are not passed 
through a terret on the wheelers' pad, and from 
the inner side go more directly to the driver's 
hand ; but it is much more difficult to pass 
the rein throuofh, at a changre. Sometimes 
the lead-rein is simply passed through the 

The strap with a ring at the end (shown 
in Fig. 84), which is sewed on the crown- 
FiG. 87. piece, is to take the short strap holding the 
ring (Fig. '^']) through which the bearing- 
rein passes, and, when the bearing-rein is not used, 
the strap and ring show very little. 

The buckle which is sewed on the cheek strap at 
the top of the winker should be a little above the 

* When reference is made to the 'American' way, the original 
fashion, as practised in the West, is meant. 




edge of the winker, so as to permit some flexibility' 
to the side of the bridle. 

Bit. — A great many different bits are fancied by 
horsemen, but, for coaching, the patterns shown in 
Fig. 88 are those most in use. The Liverpool bit, 

r " 



A, has a straight mouth-piece, smooth on one side 
and slightly fluted on the other, which plays up and 
down on the branches of the bit for the distance 
of about an inch. The portion of the branch on 
which it moves should be sqiiai^e, as well as the hole 
in the end of the mouth-piece, so that the branch 
cannot turn, or else the coupling-rein will pull the 
ring of the bit into a position to press against the 
side of the horse's mouth and hurt him. An objec- 
tion to havine the branches moveable in the mouth- 
piece is that they wear rapidly ; consequently many 
coaching men prefer to have them fixed. When 
the rein is buckled to the ring, or, as it is called. ' in 
the cheek,' the bit acts like a plain snaffle. When 

202 BIT CH. XI 

it is in one of the holes in the branch, it is said to 
be 'in the upper, middle, or lower bar,' and the 
lower it is, the more effect it has. 

The rein is sometimes buckled round the branch 
ijisidc of the ring, and below the mouth-piece (Fig. 
89), when it acts, perhaps, like a mild 
curb bit ; but this arrangement pre- 
vents the play of the mouth-piece up 
and down, and does not have any 
compensating advantage. The bil- 
let being constantly wetted by the 
horse's mouth is soon rotted. The 
branches of the bit may be joined 
at the lower ends by a bar, as shown in B. This 
bar prevents a horse from catching the end of the 
branch in the bridle of his partner when he tosses 
his head, and such bits may be used on the lead 
horses. On the wheel horses, this bar might be 
caught in the hook of the pole-chain, and it is there- 
fore better not to use bar bits on the wheel horses. 
Either style of bit may be used on all four horses, 
but bits with bars on the wheelers, and bits without 
bars on the leaders, in the same team, are decidedly 

To prevent a horse from taking the branch of his 
bit in his lips, the elbow bit, C. is used ; the bend in 
the branch serves the same purpose as a lip strap on 
a riding bridle. In this bit. the shank, if it passes 
loosely through the mouth-piece, must be square, or 
else the coupling-rein will pull it out of position. 




The Liverpool bit. having straight branches, can be 
used either with the fluted side or with the smooth 
side of the mouth-piece against the horse's jaw, but 
the elbow bit obviously cannot be so used unless the 
shank is round, so that the branches can be turned. 
For this reason, the Liverpool bit with the straight 
branch is the most useful ' all-round' bit. 

The Buxton bit, D, is considered a ' dressy' bit and 
is used on pair-horse harness : it is proper enough 
on a drag team, but not quite so simple and work- 
manlike as the Liverpool. The branch is curved to 
prevent the horse from catching 
it with his lip. 

A straight mouth-piece is not 
always suited to a pulling horse, 
since it rests upon the compara- 
tively insensitive tongue, and 
does not press much upon the 
bars of the mouth. Such a horse 
requires a mouth-piece with a port, or, as the French 
call it, liberty of the tongue, which is an arch, as at 
P, Fig. 90, of greater or less height, permitting the 
tongue to go up into it, and the canons, C C, of the 
mouth-piece to rest upon the bars. When consider- 
ably exaggerated, the port serves another purpose : 
it presses upon the roof of the mouth when the rein 
is drawn, and, if the nose-band is buckled tight, it 
presses very hard. This arrangement is one of great 
severity, and should be used only by a person of 
judgement, and with a very light hand. The action 

Fk;. 90. 


of all these bits, when the rein is buckled in one of 
the holes in the branch, depends upon the curb-chain 
which is attached to the upper eye of the bit and 
passes under the chin. The tightness of the chain 
can be regulated by engaging one or other of its 
links in the hooks. Usually, before hooking, the 
chain should be turned until all the links lie flat ; if 
it is turned so that the links are open, or ' roughed,' 
as it is called, it is more severe. There should .be 
a hook on each side of the bit, so that the chain can 
be entirely removed for cleaning, and these hooks 
should have spring points, or the chain will be con- 
stantly coming unhooked. The chain should be so 
hooked that when the bit is hanging loose, with the 
horse's head nearly vertical, three fingers can be 
passed between the horse's jaw and the chain, which 
will then lie in what is sometimes called the ' chain- 
groove,' above the cushion-like thickening of the 
lower lip. When the rein is pulled tight, the head 
of the horse beingr vertical, the branch of the bit 


should come to an angle of about 40 degrees with 
the vertical ; if it approaches nearer to the horizon- 
tal, the chain is too loose to have any effect. A 
curb-strap, with a billet at each end to buckle in the 
eye of the bit, is in many respects more convenient 
than a chain, and no hooks are needed on the bit, 
but it is not as severe as is a chain. 

Since the function of the curb-chain is to provide 
a fulcrum on which the branch of the bit acts 
in pressing the mouth-piece against the bars, a 


wide strap fulfils this purpose without hurting the 
chin ; for which reason I have always preferred the 

The action of the chain, on a pulling horse, may 
be much increased by tying the centre of it by a 
piece of cord to the throat-latch, so as to make it 
bear higher up on the jaw, or the chain may be 
passed once round the part of the nose-band which 
lies above it, with the same 

Plain snaffle-bits (Fig. 91) are 
rarely used on coach horses. y^^. 

If one horse in a team will not 
go pleasantly with any other bit, he must have 
one ; but it is dangferous to bit a team all round 
with snaffles, for if they start suddenly, it may be 
difficult to hold them, and an unnecessary risk is 
being run ; a curb bit with a light hand is the proper 

The double-ring, jointed snaffle (Fig. 92) is the 

favourite hansom-harness bit, and in severity comes 

between the plain snaffle and 

the curb. The loose rings are 

fastened to the head-stall of the 

bridle, and the reins buckled to ^ 

ru;. 92. 

the ordinary rings ; the pull 

bends the bit at its joint, and squeezes the loose 
rings together, making the bit quite severe. The 
action of the various Bits will be discussed in Chap- 
ter XV. 




The Bearing-Rein is made in the two forms 
shown in Fig. 93. The pulley bearincr-rein, A, 

requires a special snaffle, having a roller or pulley 
attached to it. The bearing-rein is buckled to a 
point or chape on the crown-piece, passes through 
the pulley (being made round for the purpose), and 
then through the ring of the gag runner, termi- 
nating in a ring to receive the flat portion of the 
rein. This flat portion is looped over the centre- 
hook of the pad (p. 220) ; its length is adjusted by 
the buckle shown at the right-hand side of Fig. 93. 


The plain bearing-rein, B, is buckled to a light 
snaffle-bit, which is not attached to the bridle, and, 
passing through the ring which is attached to the 
crown-piece by the strap already described, it loops 
the centre-hook of the pad. For the purpose of 
adjusting its length, it has the arrangement of rings 
and buckles shown in the figure. Form A, is much 
more heavy and clumsy than form B, and it is 
difficult to see any advantage in it. The double 
purchase of the pulley enables a stableman to pull 
the rein up very tight, and to make it cruel. (See 
Article on Bearing-Reins, Chapter XII.) 

The bearinor-rein is sometimes, in America, called 
the ' check-rein.' 

Collar. — Inasmuch as the collar is that part of 
the harness by which the horse does his work, it 
is of the utmost importance that it should be of 
the proper shape and should fit well, and to get a 
collar which will not rub the horse, usually ex- 
ercises all the care and ingenuity of the harness- 
maker and the coachman. If possible, every horse 
should have his own collar ; with the horses of a 
road-coach it is indispensable, for which reason 
every horse should have a number, which is usually 
branded on the hoof, and his collar should have a 
corresponding number, in brass figures, on the little 
cape which is usually on the top of a road collar, 
where they can be seen by the coachman from the 




Collars are either straight, that is, so made that 
when laid upon a table, face down, they will touch 
the table at all points (Fig. 94), or bent back (Fig, 
95). The latter shows off the horse's neck much 
better, giving it more apparent 
length, and collars for drao-har- 
ness are usually thus made. Since 
the metal hames must fit the col- 
lar closely, they must be also bent 
back, and if there is any difference 
in the degree of bending, they will 
not fit. For this reason road- 
coach collars are usually made 
straight, since any straight hames 
will fit any straight collar, pro- 
vided there is not too much dif- 
ference in size. Some coachmen think that straight 
collars are less apt to rub the neck. 

The hames rest in the groove formed by the roll 
which makes the front of the collar, and when this 
groove shows also on the inside, or neck side, of the 
collar, the collar is called a ' rim collar.' Sometimes 
the orroove does not show on the neck side, the 
lining being carried round smoothly from back to 
front. Such collars are called ' Kay collars,' from 
the name of the inventor, and. being neater looking 
than rim collars, are well adapted to drag-harness. 
In drag-harness, the outside of the collar is always 
made of patent leather ; in road-coach harness, it is 
frequently of plain, black leather, and sometimes of 

Fig. 95. 


russet leather, which last is rather ' smart' looking 
when it is dark brown. What are called ' straw col- 
lars' are really made either of split rattan, or of a 
kind of rush ; they have no particular advantages. 

The lining against the horse's neck is of soft 
leather, black or russet, or sometimes of thin and 
very smoothly worked patent leather. The latter 
has the advantage of being easily kept perfectly 
clean by sponging, and, in warm weather especially, 
is, perhaps, preferable to any other lining. 

Cloth, or woollen of any kind, is not good, al- 
though many heavy collars for carts, and the like, 
are so lined ; it absorbs the sweat, and is difficult 
to dry. A collar must be so stuffed as to be soft 
and elastic. 

The shape of the collar is, of course, of the first 
importance ; if it is too wide, it will slip about side- 
ways, and rub the shoulders ; as a rule, the width 
that permits it to go easily over the horse's head 
will be right for the shoulders. A horse with a very 
wide head and thin neck requires a collar which can 
be opened at the top, in order to put it on, or the 
collar must have a lining which can be fitted into 
it to reduce its width. This lining should have a 
roll at each edge, to prevent it from slipping out of 

A collar should be of such a length that the 
four fingers of the hand, held vertically, can be 
readily inserted between it and the neck when the 
horse holds his head in a natural position, or else 





when he lowers his head, the collar will choke him. 
If it is much longer than this, it will slip up and 
backward. It is impossible to give precise direc- 
tions as to the length ; careful observation must de- 
termine it for each horse. The proper form of col- 
lar, looking at it in front, is shown in Fig. 96. The 
top should be sharp, and not 
rounded, or it will press on the 
withers, and make a sore spot ; a 
serious and common fault. To 
CTuard ao;ainst this same fault, the 
sides, at the points marked AA, 
should be somewhat filled out, 
but not enough to prevent a solid 
bearinofon the neck at BB, where 
the draught comes. It is usually 
very difficult to make a harness- 
maker appreciate the necessity 
of attending to the filling at AA, or to the pointed 

A pipe collar is made with a hollow about three 
inches long and half an inch deep, at the bottom 
of the inside curve, so that there shall be no press- 
ure at that point on the windpipe. 

The upper ends of the rim are covered by a 
leather point, or cap, and there is sometimes a 
little cape which extends backward and covers the 
place where the collar is sewed together. On this 
cape, is the proper place for the number of the 
horse. In dress-harness the crest is put there, but 

Fig. 96. 


not in drag-harness. Sometimes a buckle is sewed 
on the collar on each side, back of the hames, and 
eight or ten inches below the top of the collar, into 
which a strap an inch wide, with holes in each 
end, called a housing-strap, can be buckled ; this 
passes over the top of the collar, from side to side, 
and over the bearing^-rein to keep it from shaking 
about ; it is now rarely used. 

The collar is really only a pad which goes next 
to the horse's neck, and is surrounded by the 
hames, which are two pieces of iron, flat on the 
inside and round on the outside, to which the 
traces are attached. The hames are sometimes 
covered w^th black patent leather, but are usually 
plated with silver or with brass, to match the rest 
of the harness mountings ; black hames are rarely 
used in coach-harness. In drag-harness they have 
eyes at the lower ends, through which passes the 
kidney-link (Fig. 97), to hold them together. The 
kidney-link, so called from its shape, 
is made open at the top, so that it 
can be taken off the hames ; it is 
better to have this opening closed by ^^ *^^^ 
a hingred piece, also shown in Fiq-. 07, 
to prevent the points of the links from 
chafing the collar, and from catchino- on the edo^es 
of the martingale. On the kidney-link is slipped 
the ring through which the pole-chain is passed. 
This rine should not be left on the link of the 
lead-horse harness, where there is 710 pole-chain, 




Fig. 98. 

althoug-h it is frequently left there by thoughtless 

■ In road-coach harness the lower ends of the 
hames have hooks (Fig. 98) and 
a chain which joins them. If the 
chain is entirely loose it is easily 
lost, and it is better, therefore, to 
have it fast to one side of the 
hames, as is also shown in Fie. 
98. It is usually made as shown 
in the Fio-ure, but it is better to 
have two links between the kid- 
ney-link and the eye of the hames ; 
the kidney-link then comes more nearly in the 
centre. Both chain and link should be very strong. 
The purpose of a hook and chain is that the dis- 
tance between the ends of the hames, and conse- 
quently their spread, can be varied to suit the collar ; 
with the drag pattern this can be done only by 
changing the link, and, for that reason, links of two 
or three different lengths should be kept on hand in 
the harness-room. 

It is obvious that, with the \oncr link and chain, 
the hames must be made in pairs, near side and 
off side, since the link and rino^ are on the inner 

In heavy diligence-harness, the hames are of 
wood, and to the rings to which the traces are 
attached, or to others below them, a leather strap 
is buckled, hanging quite slack, on the middle of 


which the pole-chain runs instead of being fastened 
into a kidney-link. 

The hames are fastened together at the top by 
the hame-strap, and this must be strong and fre- 
quently renewed, since the strain from the pole- 
chain comes upon it. The hame-strap must be put 
on with its point turned toward the inner side — that 
is, to the ojf side on the near horse, and the neaj' 
side on the off horse ; because, should a horse fall, 
the quickest way to loosen his traces and pole-chain, 
and to free him, is to unbuckle his hame-strap, which 
is much more readily done when the strap can be 
pulled toiuard the operator. This is such a simple 
way of getting the harness off, that it is strange 
that many experienced horsemen forget it and try 
to pull the traces out of the tug-buckles without 
success. The hame-strap can be cut in an emer- 
gency, with the loss of only an insignificant part of 
the harness, whereas cuttino- a trace means serious 

Draught-eye. — At a point about two-fifths of the 
whole lenofth of the hame from the bottom, the 
draught-eye is welded on, and to it is attached the 

There are several patterns of draught-eye, but 
those most in use are shown in Fig. 99 ; A is the 
most common ; B is practically the same as A, and 
is really a better design, since it is fastened at two 
points, and hence is stronger ; C has the same form 




as A, but has in addition a ring, to which the tug 
is sewed, and is generally used on road-coaches, 
while A and B are used in draor--harness ; D, called 

from its shape the olive, is almost universal in French 
cab-harness, but is rarely used in other harness, 
although it has the advantage that the tug can be 
readily detached by turning it a quarter round. It 
is not so strong as any of the other forms, C being 
the strongest of all, and, therefore, very properly 
adopted for road-harness. 

It is usual in road-harness to leave the steel end 
of the draught-eye unplated ; the brass plating is 
apt to wear at that place and look ragged ; the ring 
is also steel. 

The draught-eyes should be long and should stand 
out well, to prevent the trace from chafing the collar. 

Martingale. — The bottom of the collar is kept 
from rising by the martingale, which passes from 
it, between the fore legs of the horse, to the belly- 
band. When a horse is holding back, on a hill, 
the pole-chain pulls on the kidney-link and hames, 
and the martingale must, therefore, pass round the 




collar and inside of one side of the kidney-link, 

binding it and the collar together, as in Fig. 100. 

It is a common mistake to buckle the billet of the 

martingale to the 

kidney-link only ; in 

this case, should the 

hame-strap break, 

or be too loose, 

the link and hames 

may be pulled off 

together, entirely 

leaving the collar. 

sometimes make 
the martinp^ale bil- 
let too short to go 
round the collar, in 
which case, a new 
billet must be put 
on ; as a temporary expedient a short strap should 
be buckled round link and collar. 

Another reason for buckling the billet round the 
collar is, that if it is on the link only, it is swung 
from side to side by the action of the horse, with an 
ungraceful motion, as may be often noticed on a pair 
of horses approaching the observer. For the same 
reason the patent-leather ornament, which is usu- 
ally on the martingale, must be firmly sewed to it, 
as shown in Fig. 100, and not attached by a ring. 
Martingales should not be used on the collars of the 

Fig. 100. 




lead-harness, since the leaders have no part in hold- 
inof back the coach. 

Near the upper end of the hame is a terret, 
through which the rein passes. This terret is usu- 
ally made with the ring loose in the foot which 
attaches it to the hame. 

Tug. — The tug is a strapping of leather (Fig, 
loi). The clip, made of iron, is slipped into the 

front end of the tug as shown at A, and secured by 
rivets, the heads of which show ; or for road-harness, 
the tug is sewed to the ring, as shown at B. The 
other end of the tue takes the buckle for the trace. 


The leng-th of the tug is important : if it is too 
long, — and harness-makers are very apt to make it 
so, — the buckle reaches back of the pad and the 
belly-band and looks very awkward, as is shown 
in Plate XXV. For a fifteen-three horse of good, 
average shape, the length from the head of the clip 
to the middle of the buckle, should be 20^4 inches ; 
to the end of the buckle, 22 inches. 

Trace. — The wheel-trace is made of two thick- 
nesses of leather, and should have a narrow strip, 
shaved on both edges, inserted between the two 
thicknesses to swell it out in the middle, which im- 
proves its appearance, and diminishes its liability to 
rub off the hair. Road-traces do not usually have 
this inside piece. 

The stitching of the traces should be coarse, — that 
is, the stitches should be far apart, about ten to the 
inch, and made with strong thread ; in fine stitch- 
ing, the holes are too close together and cut the 
leather unnecessarily. Road-harness may be stitched 
throughout more coarsely than drag-harness. 

The front end of the trace is pierced by five holes, 
an inch and a quarter apart, for the tug-buckle. 
The rear end is fitted in several different fashions : 
for a drag it has a running loop (Fig. 102, A), which 
is put on the roller-bolt with the loose end on the 
outer side ; for a road-coach, what is called the 
P^rench loop (B) is generally used ; it has the ad- 
vantage of simplicity, and, if the loop of the nisiWc 




trace is made somewhat small, it will be impossible 
to get it on over the step iron, which is on top of 
the outside roller-bolt, and there will be no danger, 
therefore, of trettinor the traces on the wronor side 

Fig. I02. 

of the harness. (See Harnessing, Chapter XII.) 
It will not rattle against the under side of the roller- 
bolt step as does the metal slide of the loop (A). 
Road-coach traces frequently have chain ends about 
20 inches long, which terminate in a ring, by which 
the chain is looped over the roller-bolt. These 

chains are not as good as the F'rench loops, since, 
notwithstanding the swivels in them, they frequently 
take a partial turn and bring the edge of the trace 
against the horse. 

CH. XI PAD 219 

A good arrangement for trace-ends, lately intro- 
duced in England,* is shown in Fig. 103. On pull- 
ing the end of the short strap out of the metal loop, 
the trace is released from the roller-bolt. This is 
important in the case of a fallen horse, since to un- 
buckle the trace at the tug-buckle, or to get any of 
the ordinary trace-ends off the roller-bolt, is almost 

The near horse's traces should have the short 
straps both toward the near side, and the off horse's 
toward the off side, so as to be easily reached. This 
short strap can always be pulled out, no matter how 
much strain there is on the trace. 

The lead-traces terminate in cock-eyes (Fig. 104), 
which hook on the hooks of the lead-bars. Traces 


should be of such length that even when they are 
buckled in the shortest hole, the point of the trace 
will not project more than two inches beyond the 
last loop on the tug ; few things look more slovenly 
than six or eight inches of trace flapping about in 

Pad. — The bridle, reins, collar, hames, and traces 
constitute the absolutely essential parts of the har- 
ness, and street-car and omnibus-harness, and some- 

* Williamson & De Negri, London. 

220 PAD CH. XI 

times road-coach lead-harness, have no other parts. 
The pad is used on all wheel-harness, and on the 
lead-harness of a drag. It is usually made quite 
straight as seen from the side (Fig. 123), and has a 
centre-hook to take the bearing-rein, and a terret 
on each side for the reins to pass through. In 
wheel-harness the centre-hook is surmounted by the 
centre-terret, throuo-h which runs the lead-rein. 

In drag-harness, it is a good plan to have this 
centre-terret made to screzu into its place, so that it 
can be taken out and replaced by a small ball when 
the harness is used for a pair. Sometimes, the 
centre-terret alone, on its stem, is put on the wheel- 
pad, and no centre-hook on either wheel-pad or lead- 
pad, — on the supposition that no bearing-rein is to 
be used ; but it is better to have the centre-hook ; a 
bearing-rein may be at some time required. The 
pad has a broad strap or belly-band, by which it is 
kept in its place. This belly-band is usually one flat 
piece going round the horse, and buckling on the 
near side of the near horse, and the off side of the 
off horse. 

The shape of the pad is important. It is fre- 
quently made too flat, or too open, on the under 
side, and rests upon the spine, in which case it will 
inevitably rub the skin, especially if drawn forward 
by the bearing-rein ; it should stand up, as in Fig. 
105. To the end of the pad proper is attached the 
point-strap, which buckles into a strap running up 
from the tua--buckle. In draof-harness this is made 




as shown at A in Fig, 105, and also in Fig. 123 ; in 
road-harness it is usually made as at B, where one 
long strap goes through both the ring of the pad 

Fig. 105 

and the loop on the buckle ; this is usually called the 
Newmarket tug-bearer, or Newmarket strap. A 
false belly-band is sewed into the under loop of the 
buckle, and buckles on the outside ; its purpose is 
to keep the buckle from jumping up when the horse 
is moving, but it is of doubtful utility, and its point 
is apt to catch the whip thong. 

Pad cloths are never used with coaching-harness ; 
they are proper only with dress-harness. 

Since the lead-rein passes from the ring on the 
bridle through the pad-terret and then, at a con- 
siderable angle, up to the coachman's hand, it tends 
to pull the saddle forward, and to prevent this, the 
back-strap and the crupper are added. This does 
not apply to the lead-harness, from which the back- 




Strap and crupper are sometimes omitted ; but they 
are necessary if bearing-reins are used, and on 
drag-harness, at least, it is best to have them on all 
the horses. Road-coach lead-harness is often made 
without them. 

Back-Strap. — The back-strap of the wheel-har- 
ness is usually double (Fig. io6), but in the lead- 
harness it should be made as in Fig. 107, because 
the loose point of the double strap is likely to catch 

Fig. 107. 

the fork of the lead-reins, which is annoying and 
might cause an accident. There is no objection to 
using this single strap on wheel-harness also. The 
crupper-dock itself should be large ; it is then less 
apt to wound the tail and is a good preventive 
against kicking ; a horse when he kicks always puts 
his tail tight down, and if he cannot do so, he is very 
apt to give up the attempt to kick. Coaching-har- 
ness is usually made with the split end of the back- 
strap sewed to the crupper, which is simpler than if 
it is buckled to it, but sometimes a horse makes a 
difficulty about having his tail pushed through the 
crupper, and to obviate this, it is well to have a 
spare back-strap with buckles, or one which is split 


very far up, which will serve the same purpose. 
The back-strap should be short enough to keep 
the pad well back ; when the pad is close to the 
withers and to the collar the apparent length of the 
horse is diminished. 

Hip-straps or trace-bearers are not used on coach- 
harness, but sometimes, when driving a young horse 
on the lead, they are useful, because if he kicks, he 
takes his trace up with him and is less apt to get 
over it. It is not considered ' good form' to use 
them, but this is, perhaps, one of the cases where 
simplicity is purchased at the cost of suppressing 
what is really useful. 

For a kicking wheeler, a kicking-strap may be 
made fast to the splinter-bar close to the outer 
roller-bolt, and, passing over the horse's back, be 
buckled to the pole two or three feet in front of the 
futchells ; it should pass under the back-strap and 
be attached to it by a small strap. 

The thorough coachman must be always prepared 
with the knowledge and, as far as is possible, with 
the appliances, to overcome all difficulties. 

Breeching. — In early days, when coaches had no 
brakes, the wheel horses always had breechings to 
enable them to hold back in descending hills not 
steep enough to require the skid, and they are now 
sometimes seen on road-coaches in hilly parts of 

The breeching consists of a strap somewhat nar- 


rower than the trace (under which it is buckled in 
the tug-buckle), passing behind the horse to the tug- 
buckle on the other side, as nearly horizontally as 
possible ; it is held up by a split strap which passes 
through or under the back-strap, over the horse's 
hip. It may be doubled by a wider strap where it 
passes behind the horse. 

Since the breeching is not now in fashion, it is 
hardly necessary to describe it more in detail, but 
it may be said that if for any reason a breeching is 
used, it must be carefully put on, neither too high 
nor too low. It is apt to chafe a horse not used to 
wear it, and the modern brake and the shoe should 
be together quite sufficient. 

In the Sporting Magazine of 1830, ' Nimrod' 
speaks as if the breeching should be attached to the 
pole-pieces, and criticises the custom in Germany of 
attachingf it to the breast-collar. His remarks suo-- 
gest the arrangement that can still be seen on heavy 
wagons in New England cities, where a long yoke 
crosses the point of the pole, and to this yoke, and 
not to the trace-tugs, the ends of the breeching, 
lengthened by straps, are fastened. 

Reins. — The reins are made of russet leather 
and should all be of the same width throughout. 
One inch is a good width, suiting the average coach- 
man. Some men with long, thin fingers prefer to 
have them a little wider, while other persons, women 
especially, like them an eighth of an inch narrower. 


They should be somewhat thick, the four together 
measuring ^ of an inch, and should be made of firm 
leather. The outer, or draught-rein, runs straight 
through from the hand to the bit ; the inner, or 
coupling-rein, terminates in a buckle which runs on 
the draught-rein, the latter having a number of holes 
to take the tongue of this buckle. The reins buckle 
to the bit by billets and buckles. Usually these 
billets have three holes in them so that their places 
in the bit can be changed ; but it is better to have 
only one hole, and to make all changes in the length 
of the coupling-reins by the buckle which runs on 
the draught-rein. This is important for road-har- 
ness, because a horse keeper by buckling in the 
wronor hole of the billet will chanofe the leng-th of the 
couplings. An objection to a billet long enough 
to have three holes is, that the branch of the bit 
may get caught in the loop when the rein is in the 
middle bar. The billets ought to be frequently 
examined, and when one is found to be worn, all 
should be replaced, since the breaking of a rein- 
billet is sure to cause an accident. 

The lengths of the reins are as follows : The 
lead draught-rein should be 282 inches (23 ft. 6 in.) 
in length from the double of the bit-billet to the 
end : that is, from the bit to the end. At a dis- 
tance of 81 inches (6 ft. 9 in.) from the bit is the 
middle hole of fifteen which are punched, one inch 
apart, to take the coupling-rein buckle. The hand 
of the coachman will be 242 inches {20 ft. 2 in). 

2 26 REINS CH. XI 

from the bit, leaving 40 inches (3 ft. 4 in.) of rein to 
hang" down behind the hand. 

If this rein is made of tJwee lengths of leather, 
the first splice should be 96 inches (8 feet) from the 
bit, which will bring it behind the holes in the rein, 
and the second splice 192 inches (16 feet) from the 
bit, or 14 inches behind the pad-terret of the wheel 
horse, which is as near as it should be to the terret. 

If the rein is made oi four pieces, the first splice 
will be in the same place, 96 inches, the second one 
152 inches (12 ft. 8 in.), which will bring it between 
the head-terret and the pad-terret of the wheeler, 
and the third splice 220 inches (18 ft. 4 in.) from the 
bit, which will bring it opposite to the coupling 
buckle of the wheel-rein. 

The lead coupling-rein should be 85 inches (7 ft. i 
in.) long from bit to buckle, and, when buckled into 
the middle hole of the draught-rein, it will extend 4 
inches beyond the bit end of the draught-rein. 

This length brings the fork of the lead-reins at 
the proper place ; if it is further back, it may catch 
on the tail of the leader and cause an accident. 

The wheel draught-rein is 162 inches (13 ft. 6 in.) 
in length from bit to end ; at 98 inches (8 ft. 2 in.) 
from the bit is the middle hole of the fifteen. The 
hand will be 121 inches (10 ft. i in.) from the bit, 
and 23 inches from the coupling buckle ; and 40 
inches of rein will hancr down behind the hand. 

The splice is 86 inches (7 ft. 2 in.) from the bit. 

The wheel coupling-rein is 104 inches (8 ft. 8 




in.) long, and will then project 6 
inches beyond the draught-rein. 
If the leather used does not per- 
mit of so long a rein in one piece, 
the splice should be about 86 inches 
(7 ft. 2 in.) from the bit. 

The diagram (Fig. 108), drawn 
to a scale of 14 inch to the foot, 
shows the position of the terrets 
and of the coupling-buckles. 

Care must be taken that there 
shall be no splice in that part of 
the rein which passes through a 
terret, because, besides interfering 
with the rein's free runninor, the 
splice is likely to rip by its sew- 
ing becoming worn. Saddlers are 
often careless about this, and fur- 
nish reins the splices of which 
correspond to the terrets or come 
into the hand. 

In the diagram the proper places 
of the splices are marked : for two 
splices by a single line ; for three 
splices by a double line. 

Really good reins are expen- 
sive, since the pieces of which they 
are made must be cut out of the 
choicest part of the skin. They 
must be firm throughout ; any 





I J Buckle 






Collar 9( I 

PadcJt OPad 




Eiid End 

Fig. 108. 


soft places will stretch. The greatest wear on the 
lead-rein is where it passes through the pad-terret 
of the wheeler. 

According to the dimensions given, about 40 
inches of the ends of the reins will hang down be- 
hind the hand, which is as it should be ; if there is 
more than 40 inches, the ends will drop over the 
edge of the foot-board on the off side, and be likely 
to catch on the roller-bolt when the coachman is 
getting up. The buckles of the coupling-reins will 
be about 23 inches in front of the hand, near enough 
to be reached for the purpose of changing the coup- 
lines, and not near enoucrh to brino- the buckles 
into the hand when taking the horses up short, — 
a serious fault with coupling-reins which are too 
lone, and one which results in eettine a handful of 
buckles at a critical moment, when pulling up sud- 
denly. This is a very common fault of reins by 
even good makers. It is better to have the buckles 
too far away from the hand than too near to it ; 
there is always a groom or a guard on a coach who 
can change the couplings if necessary. 

It must be said, however, in favour of long coup- 
ling-reins, that should the horses run away they 
may sometimes be stopped by seizing the wheel 
coupling-reins in front of the buckles and pulling 
the wheelers' heads together. 

A loop is frequently sewed upon the coupling-rein 
about 10 inches in front of the buckle, through 
which the draught-rein passes. On the wheel-reins 


it does no harm, but it should not be on the lead- 
reins, because, if the coupling buckle is in the posi- 
tion given by the directions above, this loop will 
bring the fork of the reins too near the pad-terrets, 
and if the loop is at the proper place for the fork, 
the buckle must be put back lo inches, with the 
result of havincr that much more weight of rein to 
no purpose. 

This loop is a somewhat modern arrangement, 
and on pair-horse harness keeps the reins together 
at the proper point, while permitting the buckle to 
be near enough to the coachman's hand to enable 
him to alter it, and its use for a pair has probably 
led harness-makers to put it on four-horse harness. 

The keeper or loop, in front of the coupling 
buckle, should not be nearer to the buckle than 2^/^ 
inches or else it will be difficult to change the place 
of the buckle quickly : for the same reason, the 
holes should be lonor and not round. 

The reins, at the end behind the hand, usually 
have buckles, by which they can be fastened to- 
gether ; a substitute for this arrangement will be 
described in Chapter XII. 

Four-horse reins are never made of black leather, 
nor round, nor have they hand parts sepai-atc from 
the rest of the rein, as is sometimes the case in pair- 
horse harness. 

In the early days of English coaching, a sJiort 
wheel-rein was used. It was made just long enough 
to come into the hand, and hunor- on the second and 


third fingers. Its buckle was not in the middle, 
where it would have been in the way, but a few 
inches to one side, on the off rein. It went out of 
use about 1825, being- considered dangerous, be- 
cause, should a wheeler fall, the coachman might 
be pulled off his box ; and it was, no doubt, fre- 
quently too short or too long, and in either case 

According to ' Nimrod' [Bssays, p. 208), the ma- 
jority of coachmen in the early part of this century, 
drove with a short wheel-rein, and he discusses the 
question p7'o and co/i through four pages, but it is 
now only a matter of history, since it has gone 
entirely out of fashion. According to him [Bssaj's, 
p. 285), Sir Philip Agar used a short wheel-rein 
when he drove his coach at a trot round the fox 
which stood in the centre of 
Tattersall's old yard ; a feat 
referred to in several of the 
coaching books. 
|ll The wheel horses are kept to- 

i~":r~H: '^^jaLa^M gether by the pole-chains, but 
■ since the lead horses are quite 

free, one of them, by shying sud- 

|l denly, can pull his coupling-rein 

"-—' ,g'-rr^'^'^™* xvith the buckle and a part of 

® the draught-rein, through his 

Fig. ioq. ^ , , ,*" . 

partner s pad-terret, where it 

becomes jammed, with every chance of causing an 

accident. To prevent this, a piece of steel, about 




2,^2 inches long, covered with leather (Fig. 109), is 
slipped on the coupling-rein in front of the loop (as 
is frequently done on the snaffle-rein of a riding 
bridle to keep the martingale ring from catching on 
the buckle), and this bar is too lonQ- to oro through 
the terret. It must be strong, because a horse in shy- 
ing, will bring it with great force against the terret. 
It may be put upon the coupling-rein in front of the 
loop, when there is a loop in front of the buckle (it 
is obvious that with the loop a bar at the buckle 
would be of no use) ; but it will not be so strongly 
fastened at the loop as when it is supported by 
the buckle ; this is a good reason for omitting the 

Another device for the same purpose is shown in 
Fig. 1 10: a piece of steel, somewhat narrower than 
the rein, curved in section so as to increase its stiff- 
ness, and covered with leather, is fastened at one 

Fig. 1 10. 

Fig. III. 

end, by letting the tongue of the buckle pass through 
the projecting leather, and at the other end by a loop 
which holds it on the draught-rein. It will be seen 
from the Figure that if the coupling-rein should 
be pulled through the terret, it will be stopped, by 

the steel bar getting across the terret. 

The strain 


evidently comes upon the loop, and this must be 
fastened on strongly. This bar can be also put on 
the rein when there is a loop at some distance in 
front of the buckle, as in Fig. 1 1 1 . In this case the 
main loop must be very strong. 

What is known as Ward's terret, from the well- 
known English coachman who introduced it, is 
shown in Fig. 112. It is used on the lead horses 
only, and has a bar across its centre with 
iC^~^^^ an opening in it through which the rein 
can be passed edgewise into its place. 
The space in which the rein is shown, is 
too small to permit the coupling buckle 
to be pulled through it, but the billet 
and buckle for the bit will pass through the larger 

It may be noted that dar buckles, often used on 
dress-harness, but rarely on coach-harness, are dan- 
gerous on the coupling-reins, since, should a leader 
behave badly and run back, or turn round, the front 
edge of the bar buckle may catch in the throat-latch 
ring of the wheeler behind him, especially if the 
coupling-rein is too long and the buckle, conse- 
quently, far back. This happened once in my expe- 
rience, fortunately without any serious result, since, 
as we were leaving a house through an awkward 
gateway, the men were still near the horses' heads, 
and one of them instantly cleared the rein. 

A method ot buckling together the wheel-reins 
and lead-reins is used in Hungary : — 


The lead-reins are made in the usual way, but the 
wheel-reins terminate in buckles, and are buckled 
to the lead-reins precisely as a coupling-rein is at- 
tached to a draught-rein (Fig. 113), with a distance 

Fig. 113. 

of about ten inches between the buckles. In drivino^, 
the portion of the wheel-rein which is between the 
buckles, and that part of the lead-rein which is oppo- 
site to it, come into the hand. For the method of 
using this rein see page 253. 

Pole-Chains. — Pole-chains, and not leather pole- 
straps, are always used on a coach. Originally 
they were fastened to the pole-head, as they still are 
on farm wagons ; but now they are separate from 
the pole, and may be therefore considered as part 
of the harness. On a road-coach, if the pole-head 
and the fittings of the bars are black, the chains 
are black also, and are kept in condition by being 
painted or varnished. On drags, they are always 
of polished steel, and on some road-coaches they 
are also of polished steel. The approved forms are 
shown in Figs. 114. 115 ; they should have straight 
open links, and not links like a curb-chain. For a 
road-coach, one end has a ring, and the chain being 
passed through the ring of the pole-head, passes 




afterward through its own ring", making a loop. 
The hook end is then run through the ring of the 

Fig. 115. 

kidney-Hnk, and hooked into that hnk of the chain 
which will make it of the proper length (Fig. 116). 

A stout india-rubber ring, which 
has been already put on the chain, 
is pushed over the bow of the 
hook to keep it from unhooking. 

Fig. 116 

The hook must be always put on. back up, to pre- 
vent the bar of the bit, if a bit with a bar is used, 


from catching in the point. The chain should be 
somewhat short, otherwise the hook may come down 
to the pole-head before the horse is poled up tightly 

This chain may be used on a drag, but a chain 
with two spring hooks (Fig. 115) looks better. It 
may be somewhat short, so that the hook can be 
hooked into any link ; but for a private coach, it is 
better to find the exact length required, by experi- 
ment with the chain (which, when bought, is always 
too long), to cut off enough links to make it the 
proper length when both hooks are in the pole-head, 
and to have the hook properly fastened into the end 
link. No links must be left beyond that one in 
which the hook is fastened ; few thinofs are more 
slovenly on any kind of a carriage than loose links 
dangling and jingling.^' 

The spring hooks must be put on the pole-head 
with their backs up, to prevent the bar of the bit 
from catchino- in them ; but since the rino-s on the 
pole-head are usually vertical, the hooks will be 
horizontal, which serves the same purpose. Spring 
hooks are frequently so made that the small eye 

* Pole c/iaiiis should be used only on a carnage driven by the 
master or mistress, such as a coach, mail-phaeton, or lady's phaeton ; 
never on a carriage driven by a coachman, such as a landau, coupe, 
or victoria, when straps should be used. This is a custom based upon 
the fact that the working originals of coaches and mail-phaetons 
had chains ; an adherence to it marks the difference between well 
and badlv turned-out vehicles. 


opens when the tongue is pushed open (Fig. 117), 
and are thus hooked into the chain ; they are very 
hkely to pinch the fingers when put- 
tine them on, and are not so strong 
"^^ J J- as the hooks shown in Fig. 115. 

Cock Horse Harness. — Sometimes, on a road 
where a stiff hill has to be surmounted, an extra 
horse, usually called a 'cockhorse,''^' ridden by a 
man, is required. A good pattern of cock horse 
harness is shown in Plate XXIV. The riding saddle 
has one wide girth of leather or web. The upper 
eye of the tug-buckle has a short strap and buckle 
sewed into it, which buckles on one of the usual 
saddle girth straps under the flap. 

There being no necessity for changing the length 
of a cock horse trace, it is better to make it in one 
piece from the draught-eye to the bar. There is 
then no buckle under the saddle-flap, where it is 
always a discomfort to the rider. A simple loop is 
sewed under the flap to support the trace, and the 
false belly-band, which is of no use, is omitted. The 
trace should be 6 ft. 6 in. lono-, from collar to bar. 

* John Bellenden Ker says, ' Ghack-horsc, now cock-horse, 
' literally fool-horse, in the sense of one who lets another ride him. 
' The cock-horse among school-boys, is the one who is fool enough 
'to carry another astride on his back.' ArcJiaology of Nursery 
Rhymes, vol. i. p. 274. G/uick, according to Ker, is old Dutch. 
Gek is fool in modern Dutch. Ker's derivations are often fanciful ; 
this is given merely as a matter of curiosity. 



The rope, which passes between the leaders, and 
is hooked to the pole-hook on top of the main bar, 
should be lo feet long-, includincr its two hooks. It 
is a good plan to wrap the rope for a distance of two 
feet with sheepskin, with the wool-side out, where it 
comes against the shoulders of the leaders, to pre- 
vent chafing them. The hip-strap, shown in the plate 
immediately behind the saddle, is perhaps hardly 
necessary. A strap, 3 feet long, with a spring hook 
at each end, should be provided, to fasten into the 
kidney-links of the leaders' collars, across from one 
horse to the other, on which the rope may rest when 
the cock-horse is not pulling. It is well to have a 
rinpf, about three inches in diameter, in the middle 
of this strap, through which the rope is passed. 

The cock horse bridle is like the bridles of the 
other horses. 

If two extra horses are required, they have the 
regular lead-harness, with the addition of a saddle 
on the near horse, and with a set of bars attached 
to the rope ; or they may have traces 
long enough to reach back to the 
tug-buckles of the leaders, as in an 
equipage a la Daiunont, in which case Fig. ni 

the tug-buckles of the lead-harness must be made 
with eyes to take the hooks of the traces (Fig. 118), 
exactly like a tandem harness. These traces must 
be 10 ft. 8 in. long from tug-buckle to hook. 

Compare Plate VI., Rowlandson, in which the 
regular leaders are thus harnessed. 



As has been before remarked (p. 14), a coach is 
a sporting vehicle, and the harness should be plain 
and look serviceable. The illustrations which have 
been given, are taken from a set of harness carefully 
made as a standard pattern, and can be safely copied 
for a draof-harness. 

The loops through which the loose points of the 
various straps pass behind the buckles, are some- 
times replaced by ' pipes' or continuous loops, but 
there is more coaching style about the separate 

The winkers, the front (whether it has a chain on 
it or not), the face drop, the outside of the collar, 
the ornament on the martingale, and the top of the 
pad are all made of patent leather ; '•' the rest of the 
harness is made of plain, black leather, firm in 
quality, but with a smooth, velvety surface, not 
showine minute cracks when bent over the fins^er. 
The reins are of russet leather (usually called rein 
leather), even in thickness and quality throughout 
the whole length, and since such leather is difficult 
to obtain, four-in-hand reins are necessarily expen- 

English russet leather, especially such as is used 
for riding bridles (usually called tallow-tanned), is 

* Patent leather is modern : in the first quarter of this century it 
was unknown. 


better than American russet leather ; but American 
black leather, such as is used in the rest of the 
harness, is more even in surface and wears better 
than the English. 

The mountings and buckles of the harness shown 
in the illustrations, are those known to harness- 
makers as the English wire mountings, and are 
the simplest and best ; no fanciful mountings are 
admissible on coach-harness. 

Whether the mountings of a drag-harness are of 
silver or of brass is a matter of taste, but for a 
road-coach they are always of brass ; carrying out 
the old road traditions.''' 

All the mountings of harness, carriages, whips, 
&c., should be of the same metal in any one stable, 
and those of the coach must conform thereto. 
White mountings may be nickel-plated as well as 
silver-plated, and nickel has the advantage of being 
hard and of keeping its polish with but little 
cleaning ; since all cleaning of the mountings 
with powder is apt to injure the leather, this is 
an advantage. 

Among yellow metals, aluminium-bronze, one part 
by weight of aluminium to nine of copper, is strong 
and does not tarnish readily, but it is difficult to 
procure, while the common patterns of mountings 
in brass can be had everywhere. 

* ' NiMROD,' Northern Tour, p. 333, 1835, speaks of plated furni- 
ture being old-fashioned for a road-coach. 


Bits, chains, kidney-links, and the cock-eyes of 
lead-traces are always of bright steel. The loops 
of the wheel-traces are of the same metal as the 

All the steel about coach and harness should be 
white, hard, and close grained ; some steel is soft 
and blue, and will always have a leaden look, no 
matter how well it is polished and burnished. 

Spare Parts of Harness. — The following spare 
parts of harness should be carried in the coach : — 

A hame-strap, useful for many purposes besides 
its legitimate one ; a kidney-link, a curb-chain, or, 
better, a curb-strap, which is more useful, in the 
case of a curb-hook's breaking ; a simple bearing- 
rein, with its bit and the short straps by which the 
rings are attached to the crown-piece (Fig. 87) ; a 
chain-trace, — that is, a chain 6 feet long, with straight 
flat links like a pole-chain, and a ring at one end, 
so that it can be put, as required, round the 
roller-bolt, or hooked to the lead-bar, the straight 
links going into the tug-buckle ; a strap 6 inches 
lone and of the same width as the reins, with a 
buckle at each end, to be used in repairing a broken 
rein ; and two or three pieces of cord of different 

Strono", round, black linen shoe-laces, with the 
Usual metal tags on the ends, are very useful for 
temporary repairs ; the tags can be quickly passed 
through holes made in the leather. The coachman 




will not find it amiss to have one always in his 

When there is any chance of having a pulling 
horse, a side-rein should be carried. The simplest 
is a strap to buckle to the bit, and long enough 
to pass through the hame-terret of the other horse, 
and then to go into the tug-buckle. Since this pulls 
on one side of the horse's mouth, it should be used 
only when nothing else is at hand. The proper rein 
is shown in Fig. 119. The short strap, which is 
neater when round, is buckled .to both sides of the 
bit, and the ring on the end of the side-rein plays 
upon it, so that the rein draws evenly. 

In an emer- 
gency, a side- 
rein may be 
made with a 
piece of cord an 
eiohth of an inch 
in diameter, as 
shown in Fig. 
120. One end of the cord is tied to a rine, then 
passed through one side of the bit, back through 
the ring, then through the other side of the bit, 
double knotted into the ring, and the long end made 
fast to the other horse's tug-buckle. In lack of a 
ring, a loop may be made on the cord itself. 

Fig. 119. 

Fig. 120. 

Care of Harness. — On being taken off the horses, 
after even the shortest drive, all parts of the harness 



should be thoroughly wiped with a cloth, no dust 
being left under the buckles, or in the loops, every 
strap being unbuckled and cleaned throughout its 
whole length. The inside of the collars and parts on 
which sweat has lodged must be well cleaned with 
water, and dirt on other parts which the cloth will 
not remove must be ivashed off, without wetting the 
leather more than is necessary. The mountings, 
should then be polished, using as little powder as 
possible, care being taken not to smear the leather- 
round the mountings, or to scratch it with the powder. 

The harness-maker usually furnishes thin plates, 
of metal which fit round the monogram, or crests 
and protect the leather from the cleaning powder. 

The leather should then be blackened and 
polished. Much the best thing for this purpose is 
the black preparation of wax and turpentine sold by 
harness-makers, or by shoemakers for polishing kid 
shoes. It is expensive, but protects the leather 
from the effects of wet, gives a good surface, and 
does not rub off upon the hand or glove ; ordinary 
shoe-blacking is dirty. The same preparation, with- 
out the black ingredient, is the proper application for 
reins and for whatever is of russet leather, such as 
saddles and boot-tops, and is usually called saddle- 
paste. It must be applied sparingly, and well pol- 
ished by rubbing, or it will be sticky. 

Every now and then, and especially after a wetting 
in the rain, harness should be oiled thoroughly with 
neat's-foot oil, well rubbed in and well rubbed off.. 


No varnish should be used ; it hardens the leather, 
and soon cracks, and looks shabby. 

Patent leather should be wiped and polished with 
a soft rag and a little oil, or vaseline, but the wax 
preparation should not be used on it. 

In damp weather a fire is essential in or near the 
harness-room. Cleaning should not be done in the 
harness-room, but a light, airy place of sufficient 
size for the purpose is necessary to secure the best 
results. Iron rods terminating in hooked ends of 
o^ood size, covered with leather, and of such a leno-th 
as will bring the pieces of harness to a proper 
height for a man to work at them when the rods 
are hungr to hooks in the ceilino^, will be found more 
convenient for holdino- harness while it is being- 
cleaned, than the trestles or horses which are o-en- 
erally used. There should be rods of two lengths, 
a short one to hold the collar, &c., and a longer one 
to hold the bridle. When not in use they may be 
unhooked and hung against the wall out of the way. 

The steel pole-chains, bits, and curb-chains should 
be washed and dropped into a covered vessel con- 
taining lime-water, which is made by dissolving in 
water as much common lime as the water will take 
up, and pouring off, for use, the clear liquid. In 
this they can remain for any length of time without 
rusting, and the chains in every-day use may be 
kept in the vessel, and taken out only when wanted. 
They are then roughly dried and put into a long 
bag with a little sawdust and fine sand, and shaken 


until they become bright. For this purpose, a can- 
vas bag" about thirty inches long, with a strong 
handle at each end, is convenient. The curb-chains 
are usually polished by rolling between the hands. 

The bits should be taken out of the lime-water 
after the harness is cleaned ; wiped, polished, and 
put in the bit-case. If they have rusty spots, it 
may be necessary to rub them with very fine emery 
paper, but if this is done they must be afterward 

Steel articles when received from the maker, have 
a high polish, which makes them more capable of 
resisting the action of dampness in producing rust. 

The ordinary, stable method of cleaning, with 
sand or emery cloth, will not produce this polish, but 
leaves a surface full of minute scratches, and very 
liable to rust. The only way of regaining a surface 
at all resembling the original one, is by burnishing, 
which consists in rubbing with a smooth and very 
hard, steel instrument. This consolidates the surface 
somewhat, or, at least, rubs down the edges of the 
scratches, obliterating the lines made by the emery. 
Usually a sufficiently satisfactory 
result can be obtained by rubbing 
with a hard, steel chain, fastened to 
a pad, so as to be held in the hand 
(Fig. i2i). For large, fixed pieces 
of steel, like the pole-head, a long 
steel chain can be pulled backward and forward 
across it. In any case, considerable force and 




pressure must be applied, but steel cannot be made 
to look well without the burnisher. 

When harness is put away, it should be hung 
against the wall on racks made for the purpose. 
Iron racks, made open so that the air circulates 
through them, are sold by makers of stable fittings. 
A orood arranorement is shown in Fio-. 122. 

The crupper dock hangs upon a 
small semi-circle which can be raised 
or lowered, so that the back-strap 
will hang taut to the pad. 

The pad rests upon a bracket of 
the proper shape. The collar with 
its tugs hangs on a curved bracket 
at the top. Under the pad bracket, 
the bridle hangs on a bracket, also 
made to the proper curve. If the 
bracket has a rim to keep the bridle 
from slipping off, this rim should 
be cut through at the top, so that 
the face-drop will lie in the notch, 
and the bridle be kept straight, a 
precaution to which reference has 
been already made when describing 
the bridle. When a bridle is hung 
on a hook, this face-drop is, of ne- 
cessity, on one side or the other of 
the hook, and the bridle will be bent out of shape. 

The traces and the reins are hung on small hooks 
alongside of the harness. 

Fig. 122. 


Harness is frequently protected by glass doors, 
but if the room is clean, dry, and well-closed, this 
is hardly necessary. 

The bits, chains, and all steel articles, should be 
arranged in a bit-case with glass doors, which is 
lined with a bright-coloured baize or cloth. In this 
bit-case, the flowers may be kept, and it can be 
made a handsome feature in the harness-room. If 
there is an open fire, the bit-case may be placed on 
the wall above it. 

In a well-regulated stable, the harness-room may 
be made an attractive place ; the floor should be 
covered with matting, and some coaching prints on 
the walls will add to its cheerfulness. 

Small spare parts of harness, clippers, bandages, 
and new cloths should be kept in a cabinet, di- 
vided into a number of shallow drawers ; in deep 
drawers the articles most wanted are invariably at 
the bottom. 

CH. XII 247 


With a road-team, it is usually considered ad- 
\dsable to put on each horse's collar about half an 
hour before he is to go out, that it may get warm 
against his neck, and so be less liable to chafe him 
in his work. Unless, however, it is fastened back 
in some way, such as by drawing in front of it, the 
neck part of his rug, it will slip forward the first 
time that the horse puts his head down, and will 
not stay in its place to get warm. 

The collar having been put on, the hames are 
buckled on it afterward. The practice of putting 
the harness on all too-ether, with the hames buckled 
on the collar, — almost universal in private stables 
on account of its convenience, — is not a good one ; 
the collar with the hames in place, is frequently 
too narrow to go easily over the horse's head, 
and by forcing it on, the horse is hurt. After the 
harness is laid on the horse's back, the crupper 
put under the tail, and the belly-band temporarily 
buckled to keep the pad from slipping off. the 
hames are fastened upon the collar. The martin- 
gale is then buckled to the collar (see Fig. 100), 
and the belly-band passed through it. 

The traces are laid over the back, crossed, the 




outside trace on top, so that in putting-to it will 
come off first ; the habit that some coachmen have, 
of tying a knot in the trace to keep it from drag- 
ging on the ground is not a good one, because the 
knot twists the trace. 

The bridle is then put on, the reins passed 
through the terrets, the draught-rein buckled to the 

bit, and the coupling-rein 
to the throat-latch or to 
the nose-band, under the 
chin. Passinor the rein- 
billet through its loop, but 
not through its buckle, is 
sufficient to hold it. 

The rein must then be 
looped over the centre- 
terret in the manner shown 
in Fig. 123. Care must 
be taken that the rein 
which has no buckle at the 
end is put on the near 
horse. The reason for 
this is, that, when at a 
change, the reins are 
thrown over from the near 
to the off side so as to be 
taken up by the coachman, the heavy buckle end 
might hurt a person standing on the off side. It is 
therefore a rule, that, even when there is to be no 
change of horses, the reins should be thus put on, 

Fig. 123. 


and it is in this way that they are distinguished 
from each other. In some stables, it is the custom 
for the reins of a pair to be put on the other way, 
that is. with the buckle-ended rein on the near horse, 
but, in a four-in-hand stable at least, it should be 
the rule to put the buckle-ended rein on the off 
horse, so as to avoid mistakes in harnessing. 

On the lead horses, the long rein is pulled 
through the terrets in the way shown in Plate 
XXV. ; if the bi^jht of the rein, in front of the 
collar-terret, is too long, it may be loosely looped 
on itself behind the collar-terret. 

After being harnessed, the horse is turned about 
in his stall, and fastened by snapping the pillar- 
reins into the bit. His mane is then brushed and 
his foretop pulled down smoothly imder the bridle 

PuTTiNG-TO. — The coach having been run into the 
proper position for driving out, and thoroughly 
dusted and looked over, the pole is put in, the 
pole-pin put in its place, and the lead-bars hung 
on the pole-hook, with the heads of the screws 
up ; they are up so that, should one 
come out, its loss would be noticed \\t^ 

from the box-seat. ^ r^-Sr-"^ 

Pig. 124. 

The chains are put on the pole- 
head in the manner shown in Fig. 124, and laid 
across each other over the pole. 

The wheel horses are then brought to their 


places. If possible, they should be led up along- 
side of the pole from behind, instead of being 
brought with their heads to the pole and then 
pushed round, during which movement they are apt 
to strike against the splinter-bar, or to slip on the 
floor. The hooks of the pole-chains are hooked to 
the kidney-link rings ; the whole length of the chain 
allows the horse to go back far enough to permit 
the traces to be put over the roller-bolts. 

The outside trace is first put on its roller-bolt, 
to prevent the horse from turning his croup away 
from the pole, and afterward the inner trace. In 
unharnessing, the inside trace is taken off first. 

Since the pole-chains keep the horses somewhat 
close to the pole, the distance from the collar to the 
inner roller-bolt is less than that to the outer one, 
and with traces of the same length the collar will be 
pulled toward the outer side, and will bear harder 
on the outer side of the neck, sometimes rubbing 
the neck at that spot. To obviate this, the inner 
trace should be shorter by one hole than the outer 
one. The usual distance apart of the holes in 
traces (about 1 1^ inch) is rather an over-correc- 
tion, but it brings the collar more nearly right than 
when the traces are of the same length. A better 
way of making the correction is to cover the inside 
roller-bolts with several thicknesses of leather to 
increase their diameter and thus take up more of 
the length of the trace. The inner roller-bolts 
might be set back from the line of the outer ones 


about an inch, which is as nearly as possible the 
difference required. It is still better to have move- 
able swingle-trees (see page 23). The leaders' 
traces are all of the same leng^th ; the lead-bars, 
being moveable, adapt themselves to the position 
of the collars. 

If chain-end traces are used, they must be put 
on so that the chain passes from 
the outside in, as shown in Fig. 

After the traces are on the roller- 

tlG. 125. 

bolts, the hook of the pole-chain is 
passed through the kidney-link ring, so as to bring 
out the chain through the rino- from the side next 
to the pole, and hooked into such a link of the 
chain, down near the pole-head, as will make the 
chain the proper length (see Fig. 116). For very 
good roads there should be two links to play, — 
that is, the chain should be as tight as though it 
had been pulled up as far as possible, and then two 
links let out. It is better to have the chain too 
loose than too ticrht. In hookino- the chain, the 
point of the pole sJioidd not he lifted, because this 
will bring its weight on the horses' necks. For 
inferior roads, the chains should be looser, as few 
things distress horses more than being jerked about 
by the coach, in consequence of poling up too 
tightly, and it is a very common error. One ob- 
jection to an evener in place of a stiff splinter-bar 
is, that with an evener the cruidino- of the vehicle 


must be clone by the pole-chains, which must be, 
therefore, tio-ht, or else the carriasfe will run from 
one side of the road to the other. 

Since the chain of a road-coach is first attached 
to the pole-head, it cannot be readily put on with 
the wrong end up, but this may be done with the 
chains of a drag which have snap hooks at both ends. 
The mistake should never be made of putting the 
hooks into the kidncy-liiik ring, as is frequently done 
with a pair of horses by ignorant coachmen. When 
the chain is attached first to the pole and then 
passed through the ring, a man, standing in front 
of the horses, can pull with force upon the end of 
the chain and get it tight. If it is already in the 
ring and must then be passed through the pole- 
head, he has to stand under the horse's head, where 
he has no pull upon the chain, and where he is 
beslobbered by the horse. 

The wheelers' coupling-reins then should be 
buckled to the bits. 

The leaders should be brought to their places ; 
their traces hooked on, the outer ones first ; and 
their coupling-reins buckled to the bits. Care must 
be taken that the horse which carries his head the 
higher has his rein on top of the other coupling- 
rein, or else the horse which carries his head low 
will be continually pressing with his rein upon the 
mouth of the other horse and worrying him. For 
the same reason, a ring should never be put upon 
the coupling-reins where they cross. 




The lead-rein must then be seized by the end 
and passed through the throat-latch ring and pad- 
terret of the wheeler (the loop of the wheel-rein 
having been first taken off the pad-terret), and the 
near side reins thrown across the wheelers' backs 
to the off side (see page 248). If the lead-rein has 
been properly laid in the lead horse's terrets (see 
Plate XXV.), it will pull out freely when drawn by 
its end. 

The leaders' inside traces may be hooked straight 
to their respective bars, as shown at A, Fig. 126, or 

» , ^ i-...---i i 

they may be crossed, or lapped. When they are 
crossed, both of the near horse's traces go to the 
near ends of the lead-bars and the off horse's traces 
to the off ends, as at B, which equalises the draught 
of the horses, if one is more free than the other. 
It cannot be recommended, because it is better to 
make the horses work evenly by proper bitting and 
coupling. For the same reason, it is unnecessary 
to have either a link or a chain between the bars. 
In lapping, one horse is hooked up straight, — that 


is, with both his traces to his own bar, — and the 
inside trace of the other horse is passed inside of 
the first horse's trace and hooked to its proper bar 
(Fig. 126, C). Lapping serves two purposes: it 
prevents the leaders from pulhng apart, and it keeps 
the inside traces away from the sides of the horses, 
so that in muddy weather they will not chafe ; on 
the other hand, if a leader kicks over his inside trace 
he o-ets his leo^ over both traces, or if one horse falls 

o o 

it is more difficult to disentangle the pair. 

For park driving it looks better to have the traces 
straight ; neither crossed nor lapped. 

After all the reins are on the off side, they should 
be pulled through the terrets to about the right 
lenorth, straiof^htened, so that there are no twists in 
them, the ends buckled, and the loop, or bight, 
drawn through above the trace and tug-buckle from 
the front toward the back, leaving the points in front 
(Fig. 127). 

The whip should then be caught up with a double- 
thong, and laid across the backs of the wheelers, 
behind the pads and quite well over toward the 
near side, so that the weight of the handpiece of the 
whip will not cause it to fall off It is a good plan 
to pull the butt of the whip backward between the 
two parts of the back-strap, which will keep it in 

If the thong of the whip, by touching his side, 
worries the near wheeler, the whip may be laid from 
front to back across the roof-seats on the off side, 


where the coachman can easily reach it after he is in 
his seat. It should not be put in the whip-socket ; 
the ceiling- of a coach-house is rarely high enough to 
permit it, without bending or breaking the whip. 

Fig. 127. 

In driving from the stable to the place of starting, 
the stable-shutters should be up, that is, closed. 

In a road-coach they should be let down upon 
arriving at the place of starting. There is a differ- 
ence of opinion as to whether they should be opened 


or should be kept closed in the case of a drag, but 
it is more in conformity with road practice to let 
them down anci to pull up the glass, which keeps 
the dust from the inside of the coach. It is not, 
perhaps, a matter of much importance, except so 
far as uniformity is desirable at Meets, and ' stable- 
shutters down' is the rule at the Meets of The 
Coachinof Club at New York. 

At the New York Meets, since the rule is to have 
a front load only, the grooms are in the rumble, and 
there is no one inside ; at the London Meets there 
is no rule as to loads, and the coach is sometimes 
full on top and the grooms are inside ; in which case 
the windows must be open, although it is stated by 
an Officer of one of the London Clubs that it is 
understood that the stable-shutters shoulci be closed. 

In driving to races, picnics, and the like, the 
grooms are frequently inside, or there is an extra 
servant there for serving lunch, in which case the 
windows must be open. 

For the sake of uniformity, therefore, it seems 
better to have the windows open ; with the glass up 
or down as may be desired. When exercising, or 
trying horses, or giving lessons, there seems to be 
a certain propriety in having the stable-shutters 


There is a great difference of opinion among 
coachmen as to the use of bearino-reins, and while 
for road work, either public or private, they have 



been generally abandoned, they are b)^ many still 
thought to be necessary for park driving, and espe- 
cially at Meets. Where uniformity in the appearance 
of a team is important, as at formal Coaching- Meets, 
the use of bearing-reins certainly ensures uniformity 
of position of the horses' heads, since some horses 
when standing, drop their heads, and may even 
catch their bridles on the pole-head, and on su'ch 
occasions the use of bearing-reins, if they are ad- 
justed with intelligence, may be excused. In this 
connection a consideration of their action is not 

In the first place, the bearing-rein should always 
have its own snaffle-bit, independent of the driving- 
bit, to which it should never be attached, since it 
would seriously interfere with the proper action of 
the driving-bit. 

In what is usually called the 'bit and bridoon,' or 
* double bridle,' for a saddle-horse, the functions of 
the two bits are essentially different. The bit, which 
has branches of some length and a curb-chain, has 
its own head-piece and its own rein, — the curb-rein. 
The bridoon, which is a plain snaffle, is attached to 
its own head-stall, and placed high in the horse's 
mouth ; it has its own rein, — the snaffle-rein. 

The snaffle-reins are held, by most horsemen, on 
top of the forefinger of the left hand, or, in handling 
a green horse, separately in the right hand, and are 
used to raise the horse's head ; in some cases they 
are held so high as to make their action almost 



exactly like that of a harness bearing-rein. The 
curb-reins are on the lower fingers of the left hand, 
and are used to restrain the horse, and to bring his 
head in, the bit being put as low in the mouth as 
possible without touching the tusks. By a judicious 
use of the two bits the horse's head can be ' placed' 
in the position which gives the greatest control over 
the animal, and ensures what is usually called ' light- 
ness of mouth,' which is, in most cases, a matter 
of the muscles of the neck and jaw, and not of the 
bars of the mouth. 

A bearing-rein and a driving curb-bit, both prop- 
erly adjusted, will, to some extent, imitate the 
action of the two bits of the saddle-horse, except 
that there is no elasticity in the bearing-rein such 
as there is in the rider's hand. The position of the 
horse's head should be carefully studied, and the 
bearing-rein buckled at such a length as will prevent 
the horse from dropping his head too low, and at the 
same time will not hold the head in a constrained 
position. This will require judgement, as a bearing- 
rein which seems tight when the horse is standing 
still, will frequently be entirely too slack when he 
is moving. It may be said, however, that it should 
be always somewhat slack when the horse is in 
motion. With this rein properly adjusted, with the 
driving-bit as low as possible in the mouth, and with 
the curb-chain of such a length that the branch of 
the bit, when pulled upon by the rein, will come 
back to a position about half-way between the 


vertical and the horizontal directions, the conditions 
will be as nearly as possible similar to those of a 
saddle-horse, and, with a crood hand, somethine of 
the same effects ought to be obtained. 

As is described in Chapter XV., Article on 
'Bitting,' the best results with a harness-horse are 
obtained when the horse has been already carefully 
handled on foot, and the flexions, at least partially 
executed, so that the action of the two bits in 
driving will resemble that of the riding bridle. If 
adjusted and used in this way, the bearing-rein may 
be considered unobjectionable, and even useful, for 
parade purposes and in the show ring ; under other 
circumstances, and in any but the very best hands, 
it is better dispensed with. 

On the road, and especially in going .up-hill, 
horses work much better with their heads free ; at 
any moderate pace and with a heavy load a horse 
throws his weight forward into the collar and puts 
down his head, a fact recognised in some countries 
in the practice of tying down a horse's head, from 
the notion that it adds to his power for draught. 
On a level, hard road with a light load, a horse does 
not require to have his body thrown forward, and 
can assume the gathered position, with head up and 
in, and with hind legs under him, a position with 
which the bearing-rein does not interfere. 

It is hardly necessary to add, that a very tight 
bearing-rein which keeps the head constrained, and 
elevated above a natural position, is to be strongly 


condemned, but some horses have a habit of putting 
their heads down and boring on the bit so as to be 
very fatiguing to the coachman. 

On such a horse, it is well to put a bearing-rein, 
and let him pull on his own tail, instead of on the 
arms of the coachman ; but, if he is to be kept in 
the team, he should, if possible, be broken of the 
habit by changing his bit, or by such mouthing and 
handling as the skill of his owner permits. 

One of the reasons for usine bearino-reins on 
parade occasions, is, that many teams which go 
pleasantly enough on the road, pull uncomfortably 
when being driven close behind another coach, or 
when excited by the continual stopping and start- 
ing, unavoidable in crowds or at such places as the 
entrance to a race-course. In such cases, bearing- 
reins will save the coachman much annoyance and 
fatio-ue ; but it must be said that a team which 
will do all this kind of work, and look stylish, with 
heads in the proper position, without bearing-reins, 
is a better team and pays a higher compliment 
to the coachman's hand, than one which requires 

The bearing-rein will in many cases prevent a 
horse from kicking, which he will not usually do 
unless he can get his head down. As to the bear- 
ing-rein keeping a horse from falling, it is entirely 
impossible that it should do so in any sense of sup- 
porting him ; although as far as it assists in gath- 
ering him and keeping his hind legs under him, it 


may have a useful eft'ect with a horse that is incHned 
to go in a slovenly way. 

On a journey, or in driving a strange team without 
bearing-reins, it is a good plan to have in the coach 
at least one bearing-rein with its proper bit, to be 
slipped on a troublesome horse if necessary, and 
for this reason it is wise to have centre-hooks on the 
pads of all harness, even if they are not habitually 
used. In the absence of the centre-hook, the rein 
can be attached to the pad by a short strap, such as 
should be always carried among the spare articles. 
If bearing-reins are used, the lead-harness must, of 
course, have cruppers. 

As to appearance, the less leather there is about 
a horse's neck the better ; and this is especially 
true of short-necked horses. 

In nearly all cases, a properly adjusted bearing- 
rein will be somewhat slack when the horse is 
moving, and it will shake about in an unseemly 
way, noticeable from the top of the coach, if not 
from the ground ; which is the reason for having 
the housing-straps formerly used. 

Bearing-reins are made in two ways, as already 
described and as shown in Fig. 93. It is sometimes 
considered that the double, or pulley-rein, is easier 
for the horse, because the bit plays backward and 
forward upon the round part of the rein when the 
horse tosses his head, but it is much heavier and 
more complicated than the single rein, which, in my 
opinion, is to be preferred for its simplicity. 


An objection to the pulley-rein is, that a careless 
man can exert twice the power in reining up the 
horse with it, that he can with the single rein. 

Bridles sometimes have a light strap, with a small 
snap-hook on the lower end, sewed under the ro- 
sette, to hold the bit of the single bearing-rein, 
which will drop out of the horse's mouth when the 
rein is not hooked to the centre-hook. 

That instrument of torture, the overdraw-check 
(the ' Kemble Jackson' ), while it may be useful, when 
judiciously applied, in getting the highest speed out 
of a trotting horse by keeping his head high and 
his breathing organs unobstructed, has never been 
proposed for any four-in-hand team, and, except on 
a trotter, is seen only on the horses of careless or 
ignorant owners. The star-gazing position of the 
head which it enforces, should alone be sufficient 
to prevent its use. 

According to Bracey Clarke and other authori- 
ties, the bearing-rein was little used until after 1800, 
and by 1835 it began to go out of fashion on the 

Cracknell, who drove a fast coach on the London 
and Birmingham road about the latter date, is said to 
have been one of the first to give it up, and, in so 
doing, to have brought upon himself the displeasure 
of his proprietor. Mr Chaplin, who considered the 
practice of driving without it to be dangerous.'"" 

* CORBETT, p. 239. 


In the coaching prints of the first part of this 
century the bearing-rein is always shown, but it is 
not found in those previous to 1800. 

In conclusion, it may be said, that all coachmen 
should have their attention called to the abuses of 
the bearing-rein and to the serious pain and dis- 
comfort resulting to a horse from having it too 
tip'ht, although it must be noted, that these abuses 
are confined almost entirely to pairs and single 
horses, a subject with which we are not at present 

If bearing-reins are not used, the coachman must 
always keep his eye on his wheelers when they are 
standing still, or one of them may drop his head 
and, getting his bit caught on the pole-head, pull 
off his bridle. For this reason the bearing-rein is 
not out of place on a pair used for shopping or 
visitine, but it should be loose. 

In this connection, Mr Flower's admirable pam- 
phlets on Bits and Bearing Reins may be recom- 
mended to the attention of all horsemen. 


In all harness, the outside rein, usually called the 
draueht-rein, runs from the hand to the outer side 
of each horse's bit. In some rude farm harness the 
inner sides of the bits are attached to each other 
by a short rein, which couples the horses together, 
so that when one horse is pulled to one side he 
leads the other with him. This is obviously a crude 


arrangement, serving only to guide the horses, but 
not to restrain them. 

In better harness, therefore, each draught-rein has 
attached to it, a rein which passes to the bit of the 
other horse, so that a pull on the off side rein, for 
instance, will be communicated to the off side of 
each horse's mouth. It is obvious that to do this 
evenly, the inside, or coupling-rein must have a cer- 
tain definite length from the bit to the point at 
which it is buckled to the draug-ht-rein. Owinor to 
its crossing over between the horses, the coupling- 
rein must be longer than that part of the draught- 
rein which is in front of the coupling-buckle, or 
else the horses' heads will be brought too near to- 
gether. Usually, with horses of the same size, and 
at the proper distance apart, the coupling-rein will 
be four inches longer than the draught-rein for 
the leaders, and five or six inches lons^er for the 
wheelers ; and, if the saddler has made the reins 
properly, the coupling-buckle will then be in the 
middle hole of the fifteen holes which are punched 
in the draueht-rein. If the horses, when driven in 
this way, are found to be too far apart, the taking 
up of each coupling-rein one or two holes shorter on 
each draught-rein will bring them nearer together, 
supposing always that the horses are of the same 
size and that they hold their heads alike. 

On driving them, however, it will be very likely 
found that one of the horses holds his head in, with 
his neck bent, and the other holds his head out and 


forward. The coupling-rein of the former will be, 
therefore, slack, and the horse beinor less restrained, 
will go away from the pole until his inside rein be- 
comes tight. To counteract this, it will be neces- 
sary to shorten, or take up Jiis ccmpliiig\ remember- 
ing always that Ids coupling is that which goes from 
his bit to the draught-rein of the other horse. 

It may also happen that one horse is more eager 
or free, than the other, and will be too far ahead ; in 
which case the taking up of his coupling will bring 
him back, — that is, it will draw more tightly on his 
bit and restrain him. 

In both cases, however, the shortening of the 
coupling-rein will bring the horses' heads nearer 
together ; and, if their distance apart was originally 
correct and is to be maintained, luhatevcr is taken 
up in one coitpling nmst be let out in tlie othei\ 

This is shown in the diagram (Fig. 128), where the 
relative distances are exao-o-erated to show the action 
more clearly. 

Fig. 128. 

When the horses are working exactly alike, the 
reins are arranged as shown by the black lines ; A 


and B are the two sides of the off horse's bit, C and 
D those of the near horse. The draueht-reins AM 
and DN run straight to the coachman's hand. The 
coupHng-reins are BN and CM, buckled to the 
draught-reins at N and M. 

Now, if the off horse bends his neck so as to 
bring his head nearer to his body, both the reins 
which run to his bit will be too slack, and he will 
run forward and do more than his share of the 
work, while the near horse is held back. To 
prevent this, the off horse's coupling-rein BN is 
shortened by running it up the draught-rein to N', 
the last hole, until it comes just tight to the bit ; 
but this obviously leaves the off draught-rein AM, 
as slack as it was before, so that the coachman has 
to draw his hand back to bring it to bear upon the 
bit at A'. In so doing, however, he draws back the 
coupling-rein CM, and pulls the head of the near 
horse to the inside. To prevent this, the coupling- 
rein CM must be let out on its draught-rein exactly 
as much as the other coupling-rein has been taken 
up, which is equivalent to pulling back the draught- 
rein, whereupon the coupling-reins will have the 
positions shown by the dotted lines, with the buckle 
of C rein in the first hole, and all the reins will act 
evenly on both horses, notwithstanding that the 
mouth and bit of the off horse is nearer to the 
coachman's hand than that of the near horse. 

If the horses are too far apart, but otherwise are 
working evenly, the coupling-reins must be short- 


ened equally ; or lengthened equally if they are too 
near together. 

The fact that a horse, when he holds his head in, 
and curves his neck, is thereby practically lengthen- 
ing his rein and consequently doing more than his 
share of the work, must be carefully remembered ; 
simple as it appears, it is not always noticed by the 

Reins are frequently made with three holes in 
the inside billet, or in both billets, the object being 
to prevent wear by changing the places where the 
bit touches them (see Article on Reins, in the 
Chapter on Harness). These holes can be used to 
alter the length of the coupling-rein, and some coach- 
men seem to think that there is a difference between 
shortening it in this way and in moving the buckle 
up the draught-rein. A little reflection will show, 
however, that it is only a question of the distance 
between the part of the draught-rein where the 
coupling-rein is attached, and the bit, and that it is 
perfectly immaterial whether this distance is length- 
ened or shortened at one end or the other, of the 
coupling-rein. It is better to have only one hole in 
the billet ; as a matter of fact it is rarely changed 
for the purpose of preventing wear, and if there is 
more than one hole and the billet is buckled in the 
wrong one, the coupling is thereby changed without 
the knowledge of the coachman. A renewal of the 
billets when they show the slightest sign of wear is 
the best precaution, and a most important one ; 


nothino- can be more danorerous than a damaeed 

o o o 


In a coach team, the wheelers should be coupled 
far enough apart to enable them to travel parallel 
to the pole and not to be pulled in with their heads 
too near together, but since they are kept in a some- 
what fixed position by the pole-chains, care must 
be taken that their coupling-reins are short enough 
to make the bits bear evenly on both sides of their 
mouths ; it is quite possible for the coupling-reins to 
be so long that the strain will be almost entirely 
on the draught-reins. This will not happen with 
the leaders, because not beine held together ex- 
cept by the reins, they will spread as wide apart 
as the reins permit. 

Leaders should have their couplings short and be 
brought somewhat close together, in which position 
they look much better and work just as well ; at the 
same time, they should not be driven with their 
heads almost touchingr, as is sometimes seen. If 
their coupling-reins are long and the horses move 
close up against each other, the inside reins, be- 
coming thereby slack, will not command them 
quickly in case of necessity. On bad roads, in hot 
weather, or for slow, heavy work up-hill, they should 
be further apart. 

Although what may be called the geometrical 
piHnciples of the coupling-reins, as shown in the 
diagram, are simple enough, a great deal of ex- 
perience and judgement is required to adjust them 


to the best advantage, and the lack of such judge- 
ment is the weakest point of many coachmen. 

Ordinarily, the horse that is the more eager and 
free will require to be brought back by his rein, but 
horses have minds and tempers of their own, and 
purely mechanical considerations are sometimes 
insufficient. A high-spirited horse, for instance, will 
be fretted by being restrained and by seeing his 
partner a few inches ahead of him ; if his coupling- 
rein is let 07tt he may stop pulling on the bit and 
go pleasantly. This is much more frequently the 
remedy than the inexperienced coachman imagines, 
and is always worth trying, care being taken, how- 
ever, that the horse does not do more than his 
share of work. Of course, in addition to changing 
the couplings, the different place of the rein in the 
bit. and the tia-htenine or loosening: of the curb- 
chain, discussed in the Article on ' Bitting.' in 
Chapter XV., are necessary to be considered. 

It seems almost needless to reiterate remarks 
about the importance of the couplings, but so many 
teams are badly put together, that it is well worth 
while for the beofinner to master the mechanism of 
the matter thoroughly, and then to exercise his 
common sense in applying his knowledge. A team 
well put together is a delight, and one badly put to- 
gether cannot be well driven by the very best of 

As mentioned in the Chapter on Harnessing and 
on Putting-to. the horse which carries his head the 


lower must have his rein luidcrueath, or he will 
be continually bearing on the rein of his partner. 
The same horses behave differently about the car- 
riage of their heads on different days. 

Inasmuch as the coachman sits on the right side, 
the near horse's coupling-rein may have to be a 
hole longer than that of the off horse. 

To ensure the coupling and the bitting of a team 
being correctly done, the diagram devised by Mr 
Tiffany (Plate XXVI.) is useful. A number of 
blanks can be printed and filled up as occasion 
requires. The diagram in force at the time is 
posted on the order-board of the stable. 


The question as to whether the reins should or 
should not be buckled together at their ends is 
frequently discussed among coaching men, and each 
practice has its advocates. 

The arguments agfainst bucklino- are : First, that 
in case the lead-bars should become loose, either 
through the breaking of the pole-hook, or of the 
eye of the main-bar, or of the bar itself, the lead- 
reins may be pulled out of the hand, and if buckled 
together will tear off the pads and the bridles of 
the wheel horses. Secondly, that an appreciable 
amount of time is lost at a change, in buckling the 
reins before getting up, and that they must be un- 
buckled before arriving at a change. 

The aru-ument in favour of bucklino- is, that a rein 


The lioles for the bucMes ai'e counted ft-om the bit end of rein. 



N9 2S 3^^uxu^ 


N9 1S jD^djeL. 



N9 S^ 2^-^nccyii^ 




N? 10 2^a€yt(yl^ 



Diagram proposed by Mr AV. G. Tiflauy 
for noting the Bitting and Couplings of a Team. 


may slip out of the fingers and drop off of the foot- 
board beyond recovery, in which case a serious ac- 
cident is almost inevitable. It is also suggested 
that the catching of the lead-reins in the pad-terrets 
might check the leaders sufficiently to permit the 
guard or the servants to get to their heads and stop 
them, and that, moreover, a coachman has no rio-ht, 
if he can prevent it, to let two frightened horses, 
with the bars at their heels, run down the road to 
the danger of the public. 

To this it may be answered, that should the reins 
pull the harness off of the wheelers, there would be 
four frightened and unmanageable horses instead of 
two. It seems hardly possible, however, that the 
reins could tear off the pads and still remain buckled, 
so as to tear off the bridles, and the loss of the pads 
would not render the wheelers unmanao-eable. 

As to authorities in print : all appear to prefer 
buckling, except Corbett, who in An Old CoacJi- 
inaii s Cliattcr. p. 245, after discussing the matter, 
says : ' And now, gentle readers, I leave you to 
' take your choice, premising that, for myself, I lean 
'to unpinned ribbons.' 

Reynardson {Dowji the Road, p. 186) says : ' For- 
' merly [that is up to about 1825] all reins were buck- 
' led. Gradually it became the fashion not to buckle, 
'and then to have no buckles, on fast coaches.' He 
ends by saying, ' it is a safe plan to buckle.' 

' NiMROD,' in his Essay, T/ic Road, printed in 
1832, objects strongly to the practice of not buckling. 


and says : ' This is ncuu and it is a mere piece of 
'affectation, and should be put a stop to.' Also: 
' It is evident, that with the reins unbuckled at the 
' ends, should either of them drop out of his hands, 
' all command of his team is gone.' And again in 
his Essays, in discussing the merits of short and 
long wheel-reins : '•' ' In quick opposition work also, 
' lonor reins are the best, as there is no occasion to 
' buckle them until the coachman is up, and it is 
' immaterial whether they are buckled at all — a 
' consideration /// inimitc and half time. Indeed, I 
' know one or two swells who have banished the 
' buckles altogether from the leaders', as well as 
' the wheelers' reins, on the ground of their being 
' in the way of expeditious changing ; but this must 
' be awkward for their horse-keepers, as without 
' the buckles, they cannot tell the near from the off 
' rein when harnessing their horses, and then the 
' coupling-reins would be as often wrong as right.' 

Leaving the reins unbuckled was apparently for 
the purpose of shortening the time required to make 
the changes. 

The question seems to be, whether it is more 
important to guard against the consequences of 
the rein's being dropped or of the leaders' breaking 
away. There is certainly much more chance of 
the former's happening than of the latter. The 
off wheel-rein may easily slip out of the hand^ 

* In early coaching days short wheel-reins were used (see p. 229). 


especially in cold weather, and if it once leaves the 
finsfer it is sure to q-q overboard. 

The weight of argument and experience seems 
to be in favour of buckling the wheel-reins, at least. 
From its position in the hand, it is hardly likely 
that a lead-rein could be dropped. If the reins 
are to be buckled, it should be done before o-ettino- 
up, since it is at the moment of starting that the 
rein is the most liable to slip away. 

I long ago devised a way of satisfying all the 
conditions, and have used it for many years. It 
is to have (see Fig. 129) the usual loop, or keeper, 

on the near rein, but without n—^x 

any buckle, and on the off ^ — — 

rein a somewhat long point, 

with a hollow cut in each 

P ic 120 
edge of the rein behind the 

point, so that when the end of the rein (which fits as 

tightly into the loop as will permit it to be forced 

through) is once in, a considerable force is required 

to pull it out, and it is, for all practical purposes, 

the same as if buckled. 

If a rein is dropped, it cannot get away, but it 
will be released by a strong pull, and at a change 
the reins can be separated by a single jerk. 

This device has the still greater advantage, 
equally important in driving one or two horses as 
in drivine four, that should the driver be thrown 
off, he cannot be dragged by the reins, which will 
immediately come apart. 

274 CH. XIII 



Tandem. — Since tandem driving is not included in 
the plan of this book, and is, moreover, fully de- 
scribed in Hints to Yoiinz Tandem Drivers, and in 
the Badminton volume on Driving, only the mode 
of harnessine for tandem will be described. The 
shaft horse has the usual gig-harness, with the ad- 
dition of rines on the throat-latch for the lead-reins 
to pass through, and pad-terrets with horizontal 
bars across their centres to divide the lead-reins 
and shaft-reins. The lead-harness is light, and the 
traces are lono- enough to reach to the tucr-buckles 
of the shaft horse, these buckles having eyes on 
them, as shown in Fig. ii8. If the lead-traces 
are hooked to the points of the shafts there is 
more danger of the leader's pulling the shaft horse 
down in turning, than when they are hooked to the 

Lead-traces should not be extravagantly long, lo 
ft. 4 in. is sufficient ; any team looks better and is 
more handy, if compact, and, should the leader be- 
have badly, the longer the trace the more likely he 
is to get his leg over it. Lady Georgiana Curzon, 
in the Badminton volume on Driving, describes an 
arrangement of light lead-bars, which seems to 




lessen the dano-er of his so doinof. The leader 
should have a hip strap. 

The question which is the more difficult to drive, 
four horses or a tandem, is frequently discussed ; 
almost any kind of a horse can be driven in a 
team, but a tandem leader must have reasonably 
decent manners, or he will be impossible ; on the 
other hand, more strength is needed to drive four 
horses than to drive two, and a coach can be up- 
set, whereas a cart can twist about in almost any 

The position so frequently described, of a tandem 
leader's turning round and lookino- the driver in the 
face, can be usually corrected by backing the shaft 
horse until the traces become straight again. 

Since the handling of the reins is much the same 
as that for four horses, Tan- 
dem-drivinof is not a bad in- oe 
troduction to Coaching. 

Three Abreast. — Three 
horses driven abreast in the 
lead require the arrange- 
ment of bars shown in Fig-. 
35 ; when they are at the wheel, their traces are 
attached to a long splinter-bar which has six roller- 
bolts. The best way of running the reins is shown 
in Fig. 130. 

In the South of Italy, a third horse is often used 
as an out-rigger to a pair ; he is put on the near side, 

Fig. I xo. 




with his traces attached to a bar which is lashed to 
the splinter-bar (or sometimes to the foot-board) of 
the carriage. He has one forked rein which serves 
to restrain, but not to guide him. He is guided by 
a short rein running from his bit to the end of the 

Three horses at the wheel make a eood team for 
a station omnibus ; for travelling- with a coach, three 
on the lead not only give additional power, but en- 
sure still having a team of four in case anything 
happens to one of the horses. It is a favourite 
team with Swiss and Italian vettMrini (Fig. 131), but 
is a little less handy in sharp turns and narrow 
places, than four horses. An objection to this ar- 
rangement of three horses is, that in warm weather 
the middle horse suffers from the heat. 

Fig. 131. 

Spike or Unicorn. — It may be sometimes conve- 
nient to drive two horses at the wheel and a single 
leader, in which case it is necessary to have for this 
leader a pair of long reins and a single lead-bar 


with the eye large and set horizontally, or with a 
regular Q , so that it will go on the pole-hook ; all 
his harness is the same as that of one of the leaders. 
The long reins may with advantage be passed on 
the inner side of the wheelers' bridles. 

Should one of the horses of a team of four give 
out, thereby forcing the team to become a spike, 
the sino-le lead-bars should be taken off and the 
leader's traces hooked to the main-bar. 

If the hooks of the main-bar are too thick to 
permit the cock-eyes of the lead-traces to go on 
them, one of the single-bars must be used, attached 
to the pole-hook by a strap, since its eye is turned 
the wrong way to go on the hook. 

Six Horses. — When six horses are put to a coach 
in three pairs, the middle pair is called the swing 
pair. This designation is also used in the Artillery. 

The harness is exactly the same as for four horses. 
The lead-reins pass through the throat-latch rings 
and the pad-terrets of the swing horses, and then 
through those of the wheel horses to the hand. 

The swing-reins run exactly as do the lead-reins 
of an ordinary team, but the throat-latch rings on 
the wheelers must be doubled to take the additional 
reins, those from the leaders going on top, and the 
wheel pad-terrets should have a bar across them to 
keep the lead-reins and swing-reins apart. 

Either a pole or a chain may be used to connect 
the lead horses to the coach. 


The pole has, at its hind end, an eye which goes 
on the main pole-head hook under the lead-bars, and 
at its front end, a head, or crab, of the usual form, 
with bars to which the leaders' traces are attached. 
This pole should be much lighter than the main 
pole, since there is no strain upon it, except the 
direct pull, and the bars also should be somewhat 
lighter, half the weight of the pole and all the 
weight of the bars being supported by the necks 
of the swingf horses. 

An alternative similar arrangement consists of a 
light chain covered with leather, or a rope, like that 
on a cock horse harness (see Plate XXIV.), instead 
of a pole, with lead-bars. It should be suspended 
by a chain, or straps, from the collars of the swing- 
pair, and the leaders when at rest must be kept 
well forward to prevent the bars from hanging 
down. It is also well to have a strap from one tug- 
buckle of the swing horses to the other, on which 
this chain may rest. 

The swing pole or chain and the bars may be 
dispensed with altogether, by using for the leaders 
long traces going to the tug-buckles of the swing- 
pair, as shown in Plate VI. 

Posting. — In posting, the near horse of a pair is 
ridden by a postilion, who leads the off horse.* The 

* In a plate published by Edw. Orme, Bond St., London, 1816, 
entitled Paris Diligence, a postilion, on the near wheeler, is driiniig 
three leaders. 


off side harness is the same as that of a pair, with 
the exception of the reins, but the near side harness 
has a saddle Hke that shown in the plate of the 
cock horse harness. 

The bridle, collar, and traces are as usual, except 
that a long trace without a buckle is preferable to 
the ordinary one, on account of its not making- a 
lump under the saddle-flap. The saddle is plain, 
and has an iron loop on the tree behind, to take 
the back-strap, which must be shorter than in an 
ordinary harness. 

The off, or 'hand horse,' as he is called, from the 
fact that he is led, has a sino-le leadino-rein, which 
goes to the near side of his bit, and a short rein 
from the off side of the bit to a point on the lead- 
ing-rein, about fifteen inches from the bit ; in other 
words, the leading-rein is forked, so as to be at- 
tached to both sides of the bit ; the buckle of 
the short piece runs on the main rein, in order 
that the proportionate lengths of the forked ends 
can be so adjusted as to give an equal bearing 
on each side of the mouth. The near horse has a 
simple rein for the postilion, like that of a riding 

If four horses are required in posting, the leading 
horses are harnessed as already described for the 
wheelers, except that the traces are sufficiently long 
to reach to the tug-buckles of the wheelers as de- 
scribed on page 237. 

Before the days of railways, posting was the best 


method of travellinof in England and on the Con- 
tinent ; there is an interesting description of it by 
the Duke of Beaufort in the Badminton volume on 
Driving. On a journey, either a private travelHng 
carriage belonging to the traveller was used, or a 
vehicle was hired from a postmaster. In England 
the postmasters were usually hotel-keepers, and not 
employed by the Government, except in some cases, 
to handle the mails, the horses being their private 
property ; they were required, however, to have a 
license and to put up a sign : ' Licensed to Let Post 
Horses.' They paid a duty of three half-pence per 
mile for each horse used, and there was an elaborate 
system by which the toll-gate keepers checked off 
this duty. 

The stages varied greatly in length, but the dis- 
tances were all noted in the posting and road-books, 
published in those days. The charges were not uni- 
form, but were from sixpence to ninepence a mile, 
for each horse, and sixpence for the post-boy, which 
was paid him at the end of the stage, where he was 
succeeded by a new boy. 

According to the Penny Cyclopcedia, 1840 (Article 
Posting)^ the stages at that date were from 8 to 1 2 
miles in populous districts, and from 15 to 20 in 
others ; the rate of speed from 8 to 9 miles an hour ; 
and the cost of a pair, with fees and turnpikes 
amounted to about 22 pence (44 cents) per mile, 
so that posting with four horses, double the cost of 
a pair, was an expensive way of travelling. The 


charge was the same whether a carriage was fur- 
nished or not. 

On frequented roads, some one was usually on 
the watch for carriages approaching the post house, 
and since one or two pairs always stood ready har- 
nessed, a change was rapidly effected. The speed 
was frequently ten miles an hour, but depended, 
naturally, upon the hurry of the passenger and his 
liberality to the post boys. 

On the Continent, in France for instance, the 
whole system was under the control of the Govern- 
ment, and a book, Livre de Poste, giving a map of 
all the routes, distances, charges, and general regu- 
lations, was published annually by the Government 
Printing Office. The right to furnish horses to 
travellers by relays was restricted to those persons 
{maitrcs de poste) commissioned by the Govern- 

The charge for each horse was 2 francs per 
10 kilometres, equal to about 3^ pence per mile 
(6|- cents). One franc per 10 kilometres was estab- 
lished by law as the fee for each postilion, but the 
custom obtained, and was recognised by the author- 
ities, of giving twice that amo].mt, or the same as 
for each horse, 31 pence per mile. 

Somewhat elaborate regulations were contained 
in the book as to the number of horses required 
for certain sizes of carriao-es, and the number of 
passengers was also taken into account. 




Tables of charges based upon these items were 
given to obviate the necessity of computation, for 
instance : — 

Number of 

21 KiLOM. 


22 KiLOM. 

23 KlLOM. 

4 at 2 francs. 2 at 2 francs. 

25.20 francs. 26.40 francs. 27.60 francs 

One person additional . 
Two persons additional . 

28.35 francs, i 29.70 francs. ' 31.05 francs. 
31.50 francs. '. 33.00 francs. 34.50 francs. 

On certain steep portions of the road a traveller 
was required to take, and to pay for, one or two 
extra horses. 

Ordinarily a carriage was taken by the post- 
horses, only on the main road, from one station to 
another ; but arrangements could be made to go off 
of the main road to a country-house or to have 
horses sent there to take the carriage. 

In a town, the carriage was loaded at the door, 
having been brought round by men, or by a single 
horse, a short time before the hour fixed for start- 
ing, at which hour the postilions and horses ap- 

The regulations Required that postilions should 
go at a speed of not less than from 6^ to 8 miles an 
hour, depending upon the road, but there was no 
upper limit of speed prescribed. No postilion was 
allowed to pass another on the road, except when 
the carriage in front was stopped intentionally. 


Five minutes were allowed for changes in the 
daytime, and a quarter of an hour at night. 

Plate X. gives a good idea of French posting, and 
shows the dress of the postilions, with the heavy 
leather boots into which the feet were slipped, thin 
shoes and all, at the moment of mountino-. 

The English postilion was dressed in a dark 
jacket and a bright waistcoat, a high, white, beaver 
hat, breeches, and top boots. He had an iron guard 
strapped on the outside of his right boot to save his 
leg from being bruised by the pole. 

While regular posting has given way, in England, 
to travelling by rail, there are still a few job-masters 
in London who, for special service, provide horses 
and postilions, harnessed and dressed, in the regu- 
lar old-fashioned style. 

Daumont. — When four horses, ridden by two 
postilions in posting fashion, are attached to a 
private landau, or barouche with handsome harness, 
the equipage is called a Daiunoiit, or a la Daumont. 
Thirty years ago, it was not an uncommon gala turn- 
out, but it is now confined to royalties on occasions 
of ceremony. The harnessing is precisely the same 
as for posting, but the pole of the carriage is usually 
of iron and bent down in the middle so as to be 
below the leg of the wheel horse postilion to avoid 
bruising it. 

The postilions wear round caps instead of hats. 
When the same carriage is used with two horses 


instead of four, the equipage is called a Dcnii- 

A Denii-Dauniont is a handsome 'turn-out,' and 
the occupants of the carriage have a clear view, 
unobstructed by servants in front of them. 

The carriage is made, of course, without any 
driving seat, but, for full dress, there is a rumble 
occupied by two footmen. 

This equipage takes its name from the Due 
d'Aumont, a French leader of fashion, both before 
and after the Revolution. He was born in 1762 
and had estates near Rouen, where he had superb 
stables, fitted up with mahogany, marble, and Bohe- 
mian glass. During the Restoration he introduced 
this style of carriage. La Rousse [Dictionnaire Uni- 
versel du xix-^'"^ Siecle, article. 'Aumont'), says that 
the usual spelling is a la Dauinont, but also, en 
a' Aumont and en Danuiont. Eugene Sue in one of 
his novels, writes : ' Je demande si Ton attellera en 
grand'guides ou a la d'Aumont.' 

CH. XIV 285 



Getting up. — The horses having been put-to (as 
described in Chapter XII.) and the coach driven to 
the door, or ready in the stable yard, the coachman 
is prepared to start. 

Before getting up to his seat, he should walk 
round his coach and horses, beofinninor on the off 
side, going behind the coach and coming forward on 
the near side, then in front of the horses, and to a 
position abreast of the off wheeler. While doing 
this, he should make a rapid but thorough inspection 
of coach, horses, and harness, to see that every- 
thing is right, especially noting whether the reins 
are buckled to the bits in the places where he in- 
tends to have them, and whether the draueht-reins 
are outside, since sometimes the reins are turned 
over, and the coupling-reins are put outside. If the 
horses are in, for the first time, or have had their 
places changed, or if the harness is new, this in- 
spection is all the more necessary. 

Then, standing opposite to the pad of the off 
wheeler, he draws the reins from above the tug- 
buckle (see Fig. 127), where they have been looped 
by the man who has brought the coach round, or, 
if the coach is still in the stable yard, by the groom 


after piitting--to, and then taking the near lead-rein 
in his left hand, draws it until it comes tight from 
the leader's bit. He then drops his hand, slipping it 
along the rein until his arm hangs straight down by 
his side. He draws the off lead-rein with his riaht 
hand until it comes tight, and, passing it into the 
left hand, pulls it forward with the right until the 
buckle ends of the rein are even ; this makes ex- 
actly the proper amount of slack in the off rein 
and ensures both reins being of the same length 
when the coachman gets on the box. He then 
passes both reins into his right hand, holding them 
at the same point at which his left hand grasped 
them. He does precisely the same thing with the 
wheel-reins, and holds them all in his right hand in 
the proper fingers, that is, with the near lead-rein 
on top of his first finger, the off lead-rein and the 
near wheel-rein between the first and second fingers^ 
lead on top, and the off wheel-rein between the 
second and third fingers. 

This may be also done more simply by taking 
all the reins in the left hand and drawingr them as 
tight as the shortest will permit, then tightening the 
others in succession, and finally pulling out the off 
reins ten or twelve inches, after which they are 
passed properly divided, into the right hand. 

If the reins are of the proper length, as noted on 
page 226, the ends will not hang ciown too far behind 
the hand. If they are longer than there specified, 
the ends should be thrown over the right arm, from 


left to right, to prevent them from catching on the 
roller-bolt in getting up. 

These instructions may seem somewhat minute, 
but none too minute for a beginner, who will find 
the first method a good one ; the second method 
may be used later ; but the coachman should adopt 
a uniform way of taking up his reins, so that he 
can always do it quickly and neatly, and not stand 
fumbling with them in an uncertain way ; and he 
should always so take them that he will have little 
to do when he gets on the box. 

An expert can judge, at first sight, pretty fairly 
of a coachman by the way he gets up. 

If the reins have been carefully put in their 
place above the tug-buckle (Fig. 127) and have not 
slipped, they can be taken out ready to go into 
the fingers without in any way changing them ; 
when the coachman notices that they have been so 
placed, he can take them up instantly, and neatly. 
This is a reason for tucking the reins into their 
place from the front backiuard, as shown in Fig. 127, 
since they remain there more securely than when 
merely pushed through from the back. 

When the coachman has the reins in his right hand, 
with the same hand he takes the whip (which has 
been lying on the wheelers' backs, see p. 254), steps 
back, puts his left foot on the hub of the wheel, his 
right foot on the roller-bolt, his left on the step, and 
his right on the foot-board, using his left hand to help 
himself and keeping his right arm straight down. 


The moment that he reaches the foot-board he 
should sit down, but, if he is driving a road-coach, 
before doing so, and while he is partly facing his 
passengers, he should raise his hat slightly to them. 
It is awkward to remain standing while shifting the 
reins to the left hand, and there is a risk of being 
thrown off of the box. On a road-coach, the coach- 
man should not get up until within a minute of the 
time of starting. 

As soon as he takes his seat on the cushion, he 
passes the reins to his left hand in the same order 
in which he had them in his right. He catches up 
his whip, if it has become unwound, and arranges 
the driving-apron. He then adjusts the reins to the 
proper length. The man at the leaders' heads 
should keep the horses far enough forward to have 
their traces nearly as tight as if they were pulling, 
otherwise the coachman cannot readily judge how 
lonor his lead-reins should be. The reins should be 
taken in the hand at such a point that all the horses 
when they are started shall have their traces equally 

Many authorities think that the wheelers alone 
should start the coach, the traces of the leaders 
being slack, but there does not seem to be any 
good reason for this. 

Certainly, the leaders alone should not start the 
coach while the wheelers' traces are slack, but when 
the team starts, the leaders should feel their traces 
before they tighten their reins, or from the sudden 


check to their mouths, they will be apt to stop, or 
to back, with the result of having the pole run on 
them, whereupon they will jump forward to be 
brought up again by the short rein. With leaders 
inclined to rear at starting, it is best to give a good 
deal of rein, so that they shall feel their traces and 
have some work to do from the very beginning ; 
they can be easily brought back later. 

Once in his seat, with his reins adjusted, the 
coachman must glance over his team to see that 
no rein has a twist, that the coupling-reins are 
crossed, and that neither of the inside lead-traces 
is twisted ; from the box, he is better able to notice 
these points than from the ground. 

All is now ready for the start. The groom should 
be in front of the leaders, and facing the coach. 
The head man should be at the wheeler's head on 
the off side. Just before starting, the brake should 
be taken oft,'=' ver)^ quietly, the whip having been 
passed into the left hand ; the brake-handle should 
never be touched while the whip is in the right hand, 
because to do so causes a wide movement of the 
whip, which may be noticed by the horses. 

The coachman then intimates, by a nod, to the 
groom at the leaders' heads, that, if he is holding 
the leaders, he is to let go ; the man steps to the 
near side and moves back a few paces so as to be 

* For a discussion of this question of the brake, see further on, 
under Stopping. 



opposite to the man who is at the wheeler's head ; 
and as the back of the coach reaches them, both 
men get up at the same time into the rumble. 

The start should be made as quietly as possible ; 
the movement of the man from the leaders' heads, 
combined with a slight yielding of the coachman's 
hand, is generally a sufficient intimation to the 
horses. If anything must be said to make them 
start, a short exclamation should be used, such as 
' Right !' uttered sharply and only once. Some- 
times ' Pull up !' is used, but this seems to be 
hardly appropriate, since to /;/// tip, means to stop. 

In giving a rule for starting a team, it would be 
difficult to satisfy all coaching critics. Some au- 
thorities prescribe dropping, or yielding, the hand, 
to give the horses the signal, others tighten the reins 
slightly. ' Nimrod' {^Northern Tour, p. 340), speak 
ing of a doubtful-looking team at a change, says : 
* But dropping my hand to them at starting, they 
'all went away.' Beaufort (p. 10) says: 'An un- 
' workmanlike trick, which the coachman cannot be 
' too careful to avoid, is that of slackening his reins 
' and pushing out his hands before him when he 
' wants to start ; a trick, however, which is much 
' affected by many men who find themselves on a 
'driving-seat which they do not adorn.' Howlett 
teaches that the hand should be dropped or yielded 
at starting. 

Possibly, these differences are more imaginary 
than real ; since the proper action depends a good 


deal upon what has gone before it. I incHne to the 
opinion, that the proper way is, just before starting-, 
to feel all the horses' mouths by tightening the 
reins very gradually, so as to not excite any one 
of them, and thus to gather the horses, and indicate 
that something is to be required of them ; then, at 
the instant of starting, the hand should be yielded, 
decidedly, but not too far, three or four inches, for 
instance, to let the horses get off It must be said, 
however, that with another team, which has been 
differently handled, a tightening of the reins will 
have the same result ; and, in fact, no coachman can 
exactly predict what a team entirely strange to him, 
will do at the start ; and he may have to employ 
both methods in rapid succession. 

Gathering the horses and then yielding the hand, 
is more in accordance with the general rules of 
horsemanship, and the coachman's own team should 
be accustomed to that way of starting. The excla- 
mation : ' Right !' or whatever word may be adopted, 
will, usually, if heard by all the horses, make them 
start ; the clucking noise frequently made for this 
purpose is not always heard by the leaders, and it 
excites other horses which may be near the coach. 
The reins are, after all, the proper means of com- 
munication between the coachman and his horses. 

The touch of the whip is too exciting to be used 
in starting, unless a sluggish horse decidedly holds 
back, and it is successful only in practised hands. 

It need hardly be said, that the favourite news 


paper expression, ' the coachman cracked his whip 
and started off,' is entirely due to the imagination 
of the reporter ; no one ever cracks a four-in-hand 

On a road-coach, it is the business of the ouard 
to see that the passengers are seated, and when 
all is ready for the start, he comes forward, on the 
off side as far as the wheelers' shoulders, and says 
' Right, sir !' to the coachman. 

Since on a drag there is no guard, the coachman 
must be sure that no one on the coach is standing 
up when he is about to start, and if there are per- 
sons on the back of the coach where he cannot 
readily see them, it is well, as a warning, to say 
' Sit fast !' before starting. 

If a coach has only one servant with it, or if one 
of the two is driving, the man on the ground should 
hold both the wheelers and the leaders, by grasping 
the coupling-reins of the wheelers and the lead- 
reins together, with his hand passed under the off 
wheeler's neck. He can thus restrain the whole 
four ; but if he holds the leaders only, by their heads, 
and the wheelers start, they may push the leaders 
over the man and set the whole team off. 

If a team standing still, starts suddenly, when no 
one is on the box, a bystander should seize the 
heads of the luJicclcrs and not run to those of the 
leaders, as people generally do. If the wheelers 
are held, the leaders cannot well run away with 


Moving off. — There are larger opportunities for 
awkwardness in the start than at any other time ; 
even the most practised coachman will sometimes 
not know, until the team straightens out whether he 
has his reins exactly right, and for this reason a few 
moments spent in making sure that the reins are 
exactly where they should be, are not wasted. 

A beginner may sometimes have the following 
experience : when he gets into his seat he has great 
difficulty in catching his double thong, the loop will 
run down too far on the stick, and he finds his rio-ht 
hand full of loose thong ; after he has arranged this 
and has pulled his reins about a good deal before 
getting them to his liking, he nods to the men to let 
go. probably forgetting to take off the brake. 

The leaders, which always should be quick at 
starting, jump forward, and one of them, brought up 
suddenly by his draught-rein's being held too short, 
rears, or else stops while his partner rushes forward 
to the extent of his longer rein. The wheel horses, 
moving forward, run the point of the pole into the 
stern of the stopping leader, with the result of 
making him move forward again, if he does not 
kick. If he Qroes on, one lead-rein beino- shorter 
than the other, brings both leaders off to the side of 
the road, so that one of them goes up on the kerb- 
stone or on the grass ; and in his frantic endeavours 
to oret those two reins straig-ht, the coachman lets 
the off wheel-rein slip through his fingers and run 
out a couple of inches, not improving the situation. 


By this time the second groom may have reached 
the horses' heads, and straightened the animals out 
until the reins can be pushed through the fingers 
to their proper places, and a second start made 
in somewhat improved fashion, although some one 
rein will keep slipping in the most provoking 

When the coach does get fairly under way, one 
of the grooms whispers in as confidential a man- 
ner as is possible from his distant seat : ' Brake's 
on, Sir !' 

These difficulties overcome, the tyro next finds 
that in the scrimmage he has o-ot his near wheel- 
rein on top of the off lead-rein, and the two reins 
seem to be all edges while he is endeavouring to 
get them right. 

If the team pulls at all, as is quite likely after 
this little flurry, the two middle reins keep slipping 
out from between his first and second fingers, with 
the result of having the leaders off to the right-hand 
side of the road ; at last all calms down and things 
go more smoothly. 

At such a moment, the beginner is apt to think 
that driving is not so amusing as he believed it to 
be when he came out of the house, drawino^ on his 
gloves, and admiring the ' smart' looking ' turn-out' 
before him. 

All this is intended to emphasise the importance 
of having everything as nearly right as possible 
before giving the signal for starting, with the reins 


the right length and so drawn up that each horse's 
mouth is just felt, thus ensuring their being evenly 
held, or evenly released, as the hand is moved. 

Since, in taking up a load, the coach is usually 
close to a step or kerb, it follows that immediately 
after starting an inclination must be made to the 
right or left, and this is most neatly made by taking 
a point with both the lead-rein and the wheel-rein 
on the proper side (see Figs. 136, 137), which may 
be done before giving the signal to move. This 
leaves the whip hand free for a prompt use of the 
whip on a wheeler, sometimes necessary at the mo- 
ment of starting, and as soon as the desired incli- 
nation has been obtained, the points are dropped 
and the reins are again even. In driving away from 
the door of a house in confined grounds, nice hand- 
ling is required, — for instance, to go round a curved 
road, to the left out of a narrow gate, and then to 
the right into the road or street, and to keep the 
wheel tracks in the middle of the drive and not have 
them almost on the erass, first on one side and then 
on the other. 

If of two ways of going up to a door one is more 
difficult than the other, it is best to go /// by the 
difficult way, when the horses are already moving 
and well in hand, and to go out by the easier way. 

In going through a gateway, the leaders should be 
taken back and the coach guided by the wheelers ; 
then if the lead-bar touches the post, the bar will 
yield and slip by, whereas if the traces are tight, the 


bar will tear the post, or else the bar or the trace 
will be broken. 

Having got fairly on the road, a few minutes are 
spent in noticing how the team is going, and, if it is 
a strange team, what are its peculiarities ; the places 
of the reins in the hand can then be determined, 
and that having been done, the reins should be kept 
in the left hand as far as possible unchanged, with 
the right hand always free. 

The idght hand should not remain on the reins 
an instant longer than the time required to make 
a change of some kind. 

For example, in making a point with a lead-rein, 
it should be done promptly, taking enough rein and 
not too much, and, after putting the point in its 
proper place, the right hand should be taken off 
immediately ; or, if an inclination is to be made to 
the off side of the road, the two points must be 
made, or the reins shortened, for that side, but the 
right hand should not be put on the reins and kept 
there, since this action is likely to pull the reins a 
little out of the left hand, and the moment the rig-ht 
hand is taken off, the horses will run over to the left, 
and all the beauty of the movement will be spoiled. 

It seems hardly possible that there should be a 
difference of opinion as to whether or not the reins 
should be kept in the left hand in an unchanged 
position ; an unchanged position must not be under- 
stood to mean that a dead pull should be kept upon 
the horses' mouths ; the whole hand can give readily 


to the mouth just as it does on the rein of a saddle 

Some coachmen are constantly changing the posi- 
tion of the reins in the left hand, in the mistaken 
belief that they are keeping the horses' mouths 
light ; in reality, they are only worrying the horses. 

As to the wheel-reins, for example ; when they are 
once evenly adjusted, the horses are going straight ; 
if one or the other is lengthened the pair will go to 
one side or the other, which is not desired, and ex- 
actly the same is true of the leaders, as a pair. That 
the lead-reins may require to be let out or taken 
back is more likely, but even this need not often 
happen on a level road. 

The more successful the coachman is in keeping 
his reins unchanged in his left hand the better, 
always remembering that this does not mean or 
necessitate a dead pull upon his horses' mouths ; on 
the contrary, he should constantly give and take his 
luhoic hand, so as to prevent his horses from pulling. 

As a matter of fact, a man must be a very good 
coachman and his team an even one, to keep the 
reins unchanged in his left hand ; the reins will slip 
more or less and require re-arrangement by the 
riufht hand. Slicrht chanees of direction can be 
readily made by the left hand alone (see page 311). 

The perfection of driving is to have the least 
visible motion of hands or reins, and a cultivation 
of this quiet way is strongly recommended to the 
beginner ; it will worry his horses less, save him 


from fatigue, and be considered much more elegant 
by good judges, and even by those who admire it, 
without knowing exactly why. A fussy coachman is 
not necessarily a good one, although many people 
seem to think so. 

It was once said in my hearing, of a certain four- 
in-hand man, that his horses must be very well 
trained, because they always went along of them- 
selves ; as a matter of fact, he drove all sorts of 
horses, but knew how to put them together and how 
to drive them. 

As to authorities on this matter, the followino- 
quotations are interesting. ' Nimrod' {^Noi'thern 
Tour, p. 274), speaking of David Roup, a coachman 
for the famous Captain Barclav, says : — 

' His seat on his box is perfect ; his reins well laid 
' over his fingers, and as firm as if they were stitched 
' there ; his hands as quiet as if he were asleep, the 
' riofht hand never stirrino- at all till it was wanted, 
' when it was used as it should be ; and taken alto- 
* orether, there was a combination of streno^th, with 
' ease and smoothness, about his performance that 
'pleased me as much as it surprised me.' This was 
written in 1834, the best period of coaching, by an 
excellent critic. 

CoRBETT {An Old CoacJwiaii s Chatter, p. 256) 
says : ' I was once talking on this subject to 
' Charles Tustin, with whose name I have already 
' taken liberties, when he remarked that a coachman 
' should take up his reins at the beginning of a stage 




' and never have to alter them in his left hand till 
' he throws them down at the end of it. Some 
' drivers I have seen, appear to think it a sign of a 
' light hand to be constantly fiddling with their reins. 
' I believe it is more a si^n of a fidofetino- hand, and I 
' am quite sure, from experience, that hot-tempered 
' horses settle down much better without it. The 
'less their mouths are meddled with the better.' 

This subject has been treated here at some 
length because there are excellent coachmen who 
hold views opposite to those here expressed, and 
who advocate a constant playing with the reins and 
shiftine of them. 

Position of Hand and Arm. — According to the 
instructions given for getting up. the reins are 

Fig. 132. PLACES of reins in hand. 

shifted from the right to the left in the same posi- 
tions in which they were held in the right hand ; that 
is. the near lead-rein on top of the fore-finger, the 


off lead and the near wheel-reins between the first 
and second fingers, the lead on top, and the off wheel 
between the second and third fingers (Fig. 132). 

There is undoubtedly a disadvantage in having 
one rein on top of the other between the first and 
second fingers, but in what is called a full Jiand, see 
Fig. 147, where one rein is in each space, the off 
wheel-rein cannot be held strongly enough by the 
little finger, and the method of holding the reins, 
shown in Fig. 132, is that universally adopted in 
England and sanctioned by the best practice. (See 
the end of this Chapter for other Continental 
methods.) The thumb should not be closed down 
upon the lead-rein, because that tires the hand, and 
because it should be always ready to receive the 
loop of the lead-rein when making a point ; for the 
same reason the fore-finger is kept a little distance 
away from the second-finger. 

The reins are held, not by squeezing them on their 
fiat surfaces, but by the pressure of the third and 
fourth fingers on their edges. If they are too wide 
and too thick for the size of the hand, the two 
middle reins will not touch the finders, which will, 
as it were, arch round them ; if they are of a proper 
width the fincrers will touch all the edees and hold 
them fast. This is an obvious reason for havinof 
them all of the same width. With a light team, the 
pressure of the reins upon each other, and their 
friction against the glove are quite sufficient to 
keep them in place with the hand easy and open. 


While reins should not be glassy or slippery, it is 
a mistake to have them sticky with wax ; it will be 
difficult to shift them slightly, as may be required. 
The more experienced the coachman, the less he 
will care for sticky reins ; just as a beginner on 
horseback likes a sticky saddle, while nothing is 
more disagreeable to an old horseman. 

The normal position of the arm is nearly hori- 
zontal, the hand slightly lower than the elbow, 
opposite to the centre of the body, and about four 
inches away from it. The hand must be slightly 
bent at the wrist toward the body, so that the 
knuckles point straight to the front. This gives a 
lightness to the hand, from the play of the wrist, 
which cannot possibly be had if the hand is held 
out straight. The lead-rein will, in this position, 
run nearly over the knuckle. The back of the 
hand must be vertical, neither turned up nor down ; 
it is then ready to be rotated on the wrist, as may 
be required. 

If the hand is held much higher than about the 
height of the waistcoat pocket, there will be no 
room to raise it further in making a sudden stop ; 
if it is too low it will be difficult to keep it in the 
middle line of the body, and the right hand will 
have too far to go to take hold of a rein in front of 
the left ; if it is tight up against the body, there will 
be no room to draw it back in stopping or in short- 
ening all the reins together ; if it is much further 
forward than four inches, it will be too far from the 


right hand, will not be opposite to the centre of the 
body, and will induce the coachman to lean forward. 

In fact, it may be said that the normal positions 
of hand, arm, or body should be intermediate ones ; 
that is, they should be such as will permit prompt 
motion in any direction. 

During a long drive, for the purpose of resting 
the arm, the hand may be permitted to go down 
and forward as far as it will, for a time. 

Naturally, men of different mould and stature, 
will adopt somewhat different positions of the arm, 
but for the average man, the position just described 
is the correct one, since it permits latitude of motion 
in all directions and ensures the coachman's sitting 
straight to the front, which is very important. 

The proper position for the hand and arm is 
shown in the photograph facing this page, but it 
is only the average position ; a variety of causes 
may lead to a change of position. With a very 
lio-ht team and on a short drive, especially where 
appearance is important, the hand can be held 
somewhat high with the wrist rounded in. This 
crives liehtness and sufficient strenorth for the pur- 
pose. With a pulling team, on a long drive, the 
hand and arm uiust come down somewhat. One 
extreme may be when showing a highly dressed 
team in the exhibition ring ; all the horses will be 
very light, going well up to their bits and not 
pulling a pound apiece ; then a high hand, sensitive 
to the slightest touch, is proper ; the coachman is 




perfectly familiar with his team, and knows exactly 
what he can do with them. 

The Other extreme may be with a heavy, lug-ging 
team which the coachman has never before seen, 
with bad mouths and perhaps no one horse bitted 
as he should be. The coachman must then keep 
his hand down and his arm rather straight, or he 
will be tired out in a short time. 

It is just the difference between riding a highly 
trained horse with a very light hand and steering a 
pulling brute across country with a snaffle-bit. No 
doubt a fine horseman with crood hands can take 
the puller with one-half the exertion that a bad 
horseman can, and at the end of the day will have 
him pulling less than when he began ; in the same 
way an accomplished coachman will drive a bad 
team with less exertion than a poor one will, but 
he cannot keep his hand and arm as high as with 
a licrht team. 

The hand need never be higher than the elbow, 
that is, with the forearm horizontal ; even this is 
rather too high for ordinary work ; any greater 
elevation is an affectation. Every now and then 
the fashion comes up, especially in pair-driving, of 
holding one or both hands up under the chin, but 
for this there is no reason. In road work, and with 
any but the most finely dressed park team, the 
hand should come down to about the lower button 
of the waistcoat, which will eive the forearm a de- 
cided inclination downward ; and the hand must be 


at least three to five inches away from the body ; 
if it is not, there will be no room to draw it back 
for a sudden stop, and the body will have to be 
thrown back ; a most ungraceful motion. 

The evidence seems to show that the coachmen 
of 1820 to 1840, whom we suppose to have been 
the best, held their hands somewhat low and out, 
with a straight arm, as it is sometimes called. 

The left hand should be kept opposite to the cen- 
tre line of the body, so as to be ready to move in 
either direction, and not to be too far away from the 
riaht hand ; but it is sometimes a relief in a lonor drive 
to drop the arm almost straight down by the left side 
for a short time. In doing so, however, it must be 
remembered that the off side reins are shortened, 
and it will be necessary to pull them out a little, to 
prevent the team from going over to the right. 

The driving-seat must not be so steep that the 
coachman hardly sits upon it, but only leans against 
it, which is fatiguing, because the weight of the body 
does not sufficiently assist the pull of the arms with 
a troublesome team, and the coachman may be even 
pulled off the box should a wheeler fall ; neither 
must it be too flat, as that brings the knees in the 
way of the reins and diminishes the effect of the 
legs in resisting a pull. The cushion shown in Fig. 
37 and in Plate XXVII. is of a proper shape, and 
is such that the knees are somewhat bent and the 
feet rest comfortably on the foot-board, without the 
ankle's being strained, which will happen if the lower 


part of the leg is at too much of an angle with the 

The coachman should sit straight, and square to the 
front, his shoulders back, and his knees and feet close 
together, his toes not projecting beyond the edge of 
the foot-board. It is hardly necessary to add that 
he should never cross his legs or have one foot in 
advance of the other. If he sits with his feet drawn 
back, off of their proper place on the foot-board, 
he is merely preparing himself to be thrown on his 
wheelers' backs, in case of striking a stone or a post. 

The whip is held by the right hand, at the ferule 
(which is ten inches from the butt), and at an angle 
of about forty-five degrees from the horizontal, and 
forty-five degrees to the front. In this position the 
thong is above the near wheeler, and the whole whip 
is out of the way of a person on the box. If it is 
nearer to this passenger, a sudden touch on a branch, 
in passing, will drive the whip back into his face before 
the coachman can stop it. If it is too low the loop 
of the thong may touch, or catch on, passing vehicles. 

Ox THE Road. — On a road which is not crowded, 
the coach should be kept near the centre, where the 
surface is usually hardest and smoothest, and where 
the coach will not incline to one side. On a crowded 
road, the proper side should be kept, or constant 
deviations in meeting vehicles will be necessary. 
The best place, in very crowded traffic, is just to the 
rigfht of the centre line of the road ; advantaoe can 


then be taken to slip along past the vehicles which 
are in front, whereas if the coach is far over to the 
right it will be hopelessly hemmed in by the vehicles 
about it, some of which may be going at a walk. 
In driving through very crowded streets, this is of 
the utmost importance if time is to be made. 

Of course the side of the road just mentioned 
refers to America. In England it must be reversed. 
In France it is the same as in America. 

In turning out, when meetina- another vehicle, the 
rieht hand should take hold of the off reins, with the 
third fineer between them, about six inches in front 
of the left hand, and then be drawn toward the left, 
while at the same time the left should be allowed to 
go forward somewhat, so that the hands nearly 
meet (Fig. 133). 

If the right hand is moved outward or azoay from 
the left, it will inevitably pull the reins out of the left, 
so that when the movement is completed the reins, 
in the left hand, will not be even, and will require 

This is a mistake that the majority of beginners 
make, and it is a serious one. If the right hand is 
not fully six inches in front of the left on the reins, 
it is more liable to pull them out. 

The reason for letting the left hand go foi^ward is 
that the pace shall not be diminished, as will be the 
case if no rein is given to compensate for the pull. 
In fact, it must be remembered that the horses 
should be permitted to go to the rigJit, instead of 




being pulled to the right, and with some horses it is 
better to make the whole movement by letting the 
left hand go forward, not taking the right hand back. 


Some good coachmen put the whole hand on the 
off reins, with the nails downward, taking both reins 
in one grasp, between the under side of the hand 
and the thumb (Fig. 134), but it is better to take 
the reins with the third finger between them, be- 
cause the hands and reins are then exactly in the 
position to make a point with both off reins into the 
spaces on both sides of the third finger of the left 
hand, if it is desirable to do so in order to continue 




for more than a few seconds, the movement toward 
the right, or to put the right hand on all the reins 
in case the horses pull. 

Fig. 134. INCLINE TO the right (OFF REINS TOGETHER). 

It may be added, that the hands should be always 
kept with the backs vertical, and with the fingers 
pointing toward each other, in order to make the 
fingering as simple and as rapid as possible. 

Having the reins separated by a finger, permits 
either rein to be allowed to slip, if this is necessary 
to make the movement more accurate. 

The right hand must be taken off of the reins as 
soon as the movement to the side of the road is 
accomplished, and it may be necessary to use it 
immediately in the same way on the near reins to 
return to the centre of the road. 




In turning out to the left, the converse of this 
must be followed, and the right hand passed in front 
of the left, taking the near reins, separated by a 
finger, and pulling them toward the right hand. It 


is sometimes said, that the right hand never should 
be crossed over the left to seize the reins ; but it is 
not really crossed over ; only put in front ; it is 
impossible to take hold of the near reins with the 
right hand without putting the right hand in this 

Since the right hand, when on the near reins and 
in front of the left, naturally pulls toward the left 
hand, there is not much likelihood of disturbing the 
reins, but too much stress cannot be laid upon the 




fault of drawing- the right hand away from the left and 
the reins with it. — the source of much bad driving. 

The method just described occupies the right hand 
and prevents, for the time, the use of the whip, for 
the whip never must be used zahiie the whip hand is on 
the reins. There is another method which is neater 
and which leaves the whip hand free ; this is, to take 


a point or loop with both lead-rein and wheel-rein 
of the proper side in the left hand and to hold it, 
forwarding the hand slightly to make up for the 
point, until it is necessary to return to the original 
direction, when the points are simply allowed to run 
throup-h the finoers. All this time, the rigrht hand is 
free to use the whip on a wheeler, if necessary, or 
to increase for a moment, the effect of the point. 
This is much the better way of making the move- 
ment, but it requires strength in the fingers, par- 

€H. XIV 



ticLilarly for the off side reins. In turning out to 
the left to pass a succession of objects on the road, 
it is especially useful, as it also is in obliquing 
across a street, after having stopped at that kerb 
which is on the side against the traffic. 

There is another way of making a slight incli- 
nation to the right or left, with the left hand only. 
If the left hand is turned so that the back of it is 


Fig. 137. 

uppermost and at the same time the hand is drawn 
off toward the left side of the body, the off side reins 
will be shortened, the near side reins slackened, and 
the team will q-q over to the rio-ht. If the left hand 
is turned at the wrist so that the thumb comes 
toward the body, and the hand moves at the same 
time toward the right, the near side reins will be 
tightened and the team will 0-0 to the left. This is 
a very neat way of getting over from one side of the 
road to the other. 




Turning a Corner. — The next movement to be 
considered is that of turning a corner. 

Fig. i-iS. 



Turning to the /r/? is done by taking the near 
lead-rein between the third and fourth fino-ers of the 


rio-ht hand about seven inches in front of the left 


hand (Fig, 138), and looping- it at that point under 
the thiunb, holding it there (Fig. 139) until the leaders 
have got straight in the new direction, and then 
letting the loop slip gradually until the rein is 
straightened out into its original position. 

In turning to the right, the off lead-rein is taken 
in the same way (Figs. 140, 141), and looped be- 
tween the Jirst and second finger and afterward al- 
lowed to slip through. If this rein is put under the 
thumb,' the last part of the loop will snap out with 
a jerk, but from under the first finger it slides out 
smoothly, since it is all the time in the space in which 
it belong-s. 

The length of rein taken up to make the point 
depends upon the sharpness of the turn and the 
promptness with which the team responds to the 
rein. In turning an accustomed corner, horses re- 
quire a very slight hint ; but for a very sharp turn, 
especially if it is less than a right angle, or, as it is 
sometimes called, a back corner, it is well to take, 
first a small point to intimate to the leaders what is 
expected of them, and then to make another point 
a few seconds later. 

In making a point, the left hand must not go for- 
ward to meet the riofht, but the rieht must come all 
the way back to the left, for the reason that the 
forwarding of the left hand lets the wheelers rush 
forward just at the moment when they should go 
steadily round the turn. 


No harm is done by bringing the right hand all 
the way back, since in a turn, the leaders should be 



a little back, so as not to pull on the point of the 
pole ; and what is taken in the point is equivalent to 


half that amount taken back on both reins together, 
and is usually quite sufficient. If the approach to 
the turn is up-hill and the leaders are working 
strongly, while the road beyond the turn, is down- 
hill, it may be necessary to take the leaders back 
before making the point ; to do this, the lead-reins 
should be taken entirely out of the left hand, by 
seizing them with the right (with a finger between 
them) an inch or two in front of the left hand, pull- 
ing them out sideways and replacing them in the 
left by carrying the right hand behind the left. 

Opposition. — In many cases, pointing the leaders 
is not all that is necessary to be done in making a 
turn ; the wheel horses usually incline to follow the 
leaders too quickly, anci, by making too short a turn, 
to force the coach against a corner, or a post. To 
prevent this, the wheel-rein on the side away from 
the turn must be shortened. 

If the turn is to the left, after making the point 
with the near lead-rein, the off wheel-rein must be, 
for the purpose of making the opposition, piLshed 
back from in front, throuo-h the finorers, or, still bet- 
ter, looped in its proper place between the second 
and third fingers (Fig. 142). 

If the turn is to the right, the two centre reins, 
which are the off lead and the near wheel, are short- 
ened by looping them together between the first 
and second fino-ers, and then allowintr as much of 
the wheel-rein to slip, — which it will readily do with- 




out disturbing the lead-rein, — as will give the proper 
amount of opposition. Fig. 143 shows this after the 
wheel-rein has been allowed to slip so as to diminish 

Fig. 142. OPPOSITION of off wheel rein. 

Fig. 143. opposition of off wheel rein. 

its action. All this is done without keeping the right 
hand engaged. 

HowLETT teaches, that a turn to the right, for a 
sharp corner, should be made by bringing up the 
near wheel-rein between the two lead-reins, and 




hanging it over the root of the thumb before making 
the lead point (Figs. 144, 145), letting it slip off when 

no lonsfer needed. 


Fig. 145. DITTO, WITH left point. 

The corresponding fingering for the turn to the 
left, is to push back the off wheel-rein as described 

For very sharp turns, going into gateways and 
the like, this opposition of Howlett's is useful, and 
he himself employs it with great effect. 


Another way is. to point whichever lead-rein is 
required, and then, putting- the right hand on both 
the reins of the other side, in this way to control the 
turn ; the third finger of the right hand being be- 
tween the reins, the wheel-rein can be drawn more 
tightly than the other. If this turn is to the left, 
the hands will be in the position shown in Fig. 135 ; 
if to the right, as in Fig. 133, the proper point being 
made at the same time in the left hand. 

This method occupies the right hand during the 
whole of the turn, but it is very simple. 

It must be stated generally, that it is desirable to 
use such methods of finQ^erincr as will leave the rioht 
hand as free as possible, since the coachman may 
be called upon, during a movement, to use his whip, 
which he cannot do if his hand is on the reins. The 
awkward spectacle is not uncommon of a coachman 
trying to hit a wheeler while his hand is on his 
reins ; under these circumstances, to hit a leader 
is obviously impossible. 

In turning to the right, when the opposition is 
made by using the two centre reins, they can be 
shortened by pushing them back instead of looping 
them, and afterward they can be allowed to slip out 
to their proper lengths ; in turning to the left, it 
is obvious that a corresponding result will be at- 
tained by pulling the same reins out to a sufficient 
distance, but this necessitates brineine back the 
hand almost too far against the body in order to 
make up for this lengthening. 


With handy horses this is a neat way of working, 
but any method which keeps these two reins abso- 
hitely together has the disadvantage of giving too 
much opposition in proportion to the amount of 

After this description of these various methods, 
it may be repeated, that, in turning to the right the 
two reins which are between the first and second 
fingers, — namely, the off lead and the near wheel, 
— should be looped in that space together, by one 
motion of the right hand. In turning to the left, the 
near lead must be pointed first and the off wheel 
afterward, each in its proper place, and in both 
cases the opposition is quickly and simply effected. 
This is only when an opposition is required ; in 
easy turns, as out of one wide road into another, 
with no vehicles in the way, a point of the lead-rein 
is all that is required, and if sufficient point is taken, 
steadying * the team with the left hand will keep the 
wheelers in their places. If, however, the turn is 
into a narrow gateway, especially to the right, the 
coach will be close to the corner or to the gate-post, 
and the wheelers, unless properly controlled, will 
be almost certain to turn too short, especially if it 
is a turn with which they are familiar. 

Generally the most difficult place to enter grace- 
fully is one's own gateway. 

* Steadying a team is an accepted coaching expression for holding 
the horses back somewhat. 


This use of an opposition was called by the older 
coachmen pointing the leaders and shooting the 
wheelers, and must have been very necessary in 
entering the cramped archways of old coaching inns 
out of narrow streets. 

It is almost unnecessary to add that for such 
turns all possible room on the opposite side of the 
street must be taken ; but sometimes it is not to be 

In turning a corner up-hill, particularly if the road 
beyond the turn is still steeper than that on which 
the coach is, it is sometimes an advantage to let out 
the outside lead-rein instead of making a point with 
the inside one, so as to encourage the leaders to 
make some extra exertion. 

Down-Hill. — It is obvious that the leaders should 
never have their traces tiofht when oroino- down-hill, 
and judgement is required to know how much to 
take them back. They must not come back far 
enough to let the bars, or the pole, touch them. 
They should have their traces just hanging, and the 
bars entirely clear of their hocks, and this position 
should be attained immediately before the coach 
begins to descend, since few things look worse than 
to see the leaders pulling for several yards after the 
coach has begun its descent. 

It will not be necessary, however, to shorten the 
lead-reins always, or much. Usually a general pull 
upon all four reins will bring back the leaders suffi- 


ciently ; it will depend largely upon how the leaders 
and wheelers are working in relation to each other. 

In a well assorted team, the leaders should be 
somewhat more free than the wheelers, and their 
reins will be therefore a little tighter than those of 
the wheelers, so that a general tightening of all the 
reins will be sufficient to shorten the lead-reins. 
Should the w^heelers be pulling and the leaders, in 
consequence, have slack reins, it may be necessary 
to take up the lead-reins a little. 

Even with very light-mouthed horses, however, 
all the reins should be tight enough to enable the 
coachman to ' feel ' the horses' mouths all the time. 

The horses should always be 'in their bridles,' 
or, in other words, up to their bits ; else they will 
not instantly feel, as they should, the slightest in- 
dication from the hand. This is not at all incom- 
patible with slight pressure, and constitutes that 
liehtness of hand which is so desirable. 

As a general principle, after the reins are once 
adjusted to the proper place in the left hand, they 
should remain there unmoved and held tightly in 
the bend of the tJiird and fonrth fingers, as if they 
luere fastened together at that point, in front of which 
all the fingering must be done. 

The reason for pushing in any or all of the reins 
from the front is. that when the right hand is in 
that position it is just where it is needed to make 
any movement, or to do any fingering ; while be- 



///;/<■/ the left hand, it is out of the way and has to 
be brought forward to be of use. 

The fingering to be good, must be very quick ; 
a single second lost may mar it. 

In driving at night, it is more difficult to select a 
rein behind the hand than to find it in front. 

When, however, all the reins are to be shortened 
together, they may be taken between the first and 
second fingers of the right hand behind the left, and 
the left slipped forward on the reins to its new 
place. It would be difiicult to do this from the 
front, especially if a good deal of shortening is 
necessary, because the reins are too flexible to be 
pushed readily, and they separate when they get a 
short distance from the left hand, so that the right 
hand cannot take hold of them all together. 

As examples that authorities do not always agree 
as to what is proper, the following extracts are 
ofiven : — 

CoRBETT (p. 249) says : ' But I have seen what is 
' even worse. I once beheld a gentleman perform- 
' ing in Hyde Park, who, finding himself seriously 
' incommoded with the slack of his reins, stretched 
' out his right hand over the left, seizing the reins 
' in front of it, and then, like sailors hauling a rope 
' hand over hand, proceeded to pass his left hand 
' to the front and take hold of them in front of the 
' right hand. I have frequently seen this manoeuvre 
' practised by coachmen driving one or a pair, but 
' only this once did I see the trick played on a 


' four-horse box, and I should think, when it was 
' completed, that the reins must have very much 
' resembled a pack of cards well shuffled and ad- 
' mirably calculated to land the coach in the ditch 
' after dark.' 

' Nimrod' [Essays, Malet, p. 345) says: 'There 
' is an excellent way of handling reins not gen- 
' erally adopted. That is, when you want to take 
' a pull at your horses, to open the fingers of the 
' right hand and to put the reins into them. Then 
* pass the left hand, with the fingers open, in front 
' of the right hand, and receive the reins into it 
' again. Thus you get extra power over your team 
'without disturbinof their mouths.' * 

Who shall decide ? At all events, it is well to 
have charity toward those who think differently 
from ourselves. 

One of the first troubles that the beginner will 
encounter is that of havincr his centre reins, the 
off lead and the near wheel, slip through his 
fingers. He will discover that this has happened 
by finding his leaders going to the near side of the 
road, while his wheelers are eoino- to the off side, 
and it need hardly be said that at all times, except 
in turning, the horses must be exactly in front of 
each other and the team perfectly straight. This 
inequality of the reins must be corrected by push- 
ing the two centre reins in from the front, and it 

* This is what French writers call /a reprise des guides. 


must be prevented by holding the edges of the 
reins more tightly in the bend of the third and 
fourth fingers (see p. 300). 

When a team pulls so hard as to be nearly 
unmanageable, it usually happens that these two 
centre reins slip, and the leaders get far over to 
the left. For this, the remedy, for the moment, is 
to take tJiese tzvo reins in front with the rio-ht hand, 
and pull the team up by them, which will, at least, 
have the result of eettinof the horses straio^ht and 
of keeping them in the road. 

With new reins, this slipping is a frequent trouble. 

Stopping ; Pulling-Up. — In stopping straight, — 
that is, not inclining" to the riorht nor to the left, 
— it is only necessary to put the right hand on all 
the reins, with the third finger between the near 
and off pairs of reins, and to pull slowly with 
both hands, raising the left higher than the right 
(Fig. 146). 

The right hand must be put far enough forward 
to enable it to be brought back the distance neces- 
sary to stop the team without disturbing the posi- 
tion of the body, but it should not be advanced so 
far, as to require the body to lean forward to make 
the motion. Above all, in pulling-up, the coach- 
man should never lean backward, but he may 
straighten his legs ; all the pull should be taken 
without moving the body, and by raising the left 
hand and lowering- the right. If this cannot be 




done, it shows that the reins have been too loose 
before commencing to pull-up. 

With very free leaders it is sometimes well to 
brino- them back a litde before making a halt, since 
the wheelers can then more readily stop the coach 
at the last moment ; but this must be done with 
caution ; if the leaders stop too soon, the pole will 

Fig. 146. sTOPpii 

run into them, the coachman not always remember- 
ing that the coach keeps running on. This should 
be especially borne in mind at a place where the 
horses expect to stop, as at a change, or at the 
end of a drive, when the leaders will often want 
to stop before the exact spot is reached, and the 
slightest check to them then, will precipitate their 
Pulling-up with the leaders huddled back 



upon the bars and the point of the pole, is ex- 
tremely awkward. 

In stopping, and at the same time, inclining to one 
side, as in coming from the middle of the street to 
the sidewalk, a point should be taken with the two 
reins on the proper side (Figs. 136, 137), and the 
right hand kept free to use the whip. This is 
especially necessary in coming up to an accustomed 
stopping place, since some one of the horses is 
likely to stop too soon and may require to be 
touched with the whip. At the moment of stop- 
ping, the right hand can be placed on the reins in 
front of the points to finish the movement, and the 
points then allowed to slip out. 

The stop should not be made abruptly, but the 
coach should glide to its place and come to rest, 
with a gradual diminution of speed, exactly at the 
proper spot. Coming up at full speed and pulling 
the horses on their haunches, is bad coachino-, and 
happily has pretty much gone out of fashion even 
with pair-horse coachmen. A coach is a heavy 
vehicle for two horses to stop by the back of their 
necks, — for the leaders can do nothing to assist, 
— and if it runs on beyond its place the conse- 
quences may be disastrous, especially on wood or 
asphalt pavement, which is apt to be slippery. Too 
much speed in coming up may necessitate the use 
of the brake, which is very 'bad form,' because 
it shows that the coachman cannot stop the coach 
with his horses. The rattle, sometimes heard at a 


halt, of the brake-handle over the teeth of the 
rack, is enough to set those of a coaching man on 

Getting Down. — After the coach has come to 
rest, the brake should be put on very quietly and as 
hard as possible (see discussion of this, further on), 
and the coachman, shifting his reins to the right 
hand, in which he retains his whip, should get down 
immediately, in exactly the reverse way from that in 
which he got up. He tucks his reins, all kept closely 
together, into the tug-buckle bearer, in the manner 
shown in Fig. 127, and lays his whip across the 
backs of the wheelers behind the pads. 

He should get down ininicdiatcly, because there is 
nothinor more for him to do on the box, and because 
the head eroom, or the oruard, has to wait for him 
to do so, before putting up the ladder for the pas- 
sengers to descend. On a road-coach, the profes- 
sional coachman who is to drive away from the 
office, should be standing at the wheelers' off side 
as the coach comes up and receive the reins and 
whip from the person who has been driving, but the 
horse-keeper should not do so ; he ought to be at 
the wheelers' heads. With a private coach, if the 
head coachman has come from the stable to drive 
the coach away, it is he who receives the reins and 
whip, and, keeping them in his hand, mounts the 
box as soon as the people are all off the coach. 
If the head coachman has been on the coach, or is 


occupied with the ladder, or if one of the grooms is 
to drive away, the reins remain tucked into the 
harness until they are taken out by the person who 
is to drive away, and, if they have been kept to- 
gether when tucked in, they can be seized exactly in 
their proper places when taken up (p. 287.) 

There is a difference of opinion among authorities 
as to whether the brake should be put on after the 
coach stops, on a level ; all agree that it should be 
on if the coach is standing on an up or down grade. 
I must express myself strongly in favour of putting 
it on after stopping, since there are good reasons 
in favour of so doing and none that seems to me 
of any real force, against it. 

In getting down from a coach, the passengers 
cause a little shaking of the vehicle, which is apt to 
produce a slight forward movement, and this, com- 
municated to the horses, causes them to step for- 
ward, with the result of displacing the ladder while 
some one may be descending ; this, the brake pre- 
vents. At a chanore, the coachman is on the orround 
and frequently women only are left on the top of the 
coach. The consequences, should the horses get 
away under these circumstances, might be frightful, 
and they are very much less likely to do so with the 
brake on. At a change, the wheelers just put-to, 
may push over the horse-keeper at their heads, or 
there may be some carelessness in holding them. 
Several instances are on record of accidents of this 
kind, and I once witnessed one, fortunately attended 


with no serious results, which made a deep im- 
pression upon me. For a road-coach, there should 
always be a block with a long handle, ready to be 
put under the wheel, at the changes, but this is 
sometimes forgotten, and a habit of putting on the 
brake diminishes danger. The only reason for not 
putting it on appears to be that it is thought to 
look rather shnu. 

CoRBETT (p. 55) says, apropos of an accident 
which happened from the horses' running away from 
a change place at Colchester, July 1839 : ' Probably 
' this accident would not have occurred if the coach 
' had been fitted with a brake, which the coachman 
' ought to put on tight before leaving his box.' 

What should be done with the whip, on getting 
down, is also a good deal discussed. On some 
road-coaches the coachman throws it across the 
horses' backs before getting down ; this requires 
practice, and the whip is very likely to fall on the 
ground, and get muddy, or broken ; on others, the 
coachman throws it to a man waiting to receive it. 
It ought not to be put into the whip socket, or 
bucket, which indeed many coaches very properly 
are without. In the socket, it is in the way of get- 
ting up and down, and is likely to be broken by 
some one's taking hold of it. It should be taken 
down by the coachman ; and there seems, on the 
whole, no better way of disposing of it than to lay 
it across the wheelers' backs, unless, as has been 


before mentioned, a near wheeler dislikes having 
the thong hanging against him, in which case it must 
be disposed of by standing it, with its butt on the 
ground, behind, and leaning against, the lamp iron 
on the off side of the coach. 

At a change, it is usually kept in the hand, unless 
the coachman assists with the horses. 

Other Methods of Holding the Reins. — The 
method of holding the reins and of fingering, thus 
far described, may be properly called the English 
method, since, with slight variations, it is that which 
has been in use in England for at least a century, 
the only essential change having been the substitu- 
tion of the long wheel-rein for the short one, de- 
scribed on p. 229. Although this method is accepted 
as the best, there are others which should be noticed. 

Fig. 147. FULL HAND. 

In what is called the 'full hand,' Fig. 147, the 
order of the reins is the same as in the English 
method, but instead of there beincr two reins be- 





tween the first and second finQ^ers there is a rein 
in each space. The reins are 
entirely separated, but the off 
wheel-rein, on top of the little 
finger, is not firmly held owing 
to the want of strength in that 
finger, which is a serious objec- 
tion to the method. This used 
to be the manner of holding the 
reins in France not lono- ao;o, 
and is given as being the proper 
way, in Montigny's Manuel, pub- 
lished in 1865. 

Among the professional coach- 
men of Switzerland and Italy, 
where there is a great deal of 
four-horse driving to diligences 
and private travelling-carriages, 
many varieties of fingering can 
be seen, and the diagrams (Fig. 
148) show several methods which 
are certainly widely different ; it 
will be noticed, however, that in 
none of them is there a rein over 
the little finger. The reins are 
never used in both hands except 
for some momentary purpose. 

The two Italians (whose meth- 
ods are illustrated by diagrams 
A and B) are experienced drivers and masters of 


diligence. st moritz. 
Fig. 148. 



their art. The arrangement of the reins shown at 
B is the most illogical of the four ; yet it is that of 
an extremely good coachman. 

The method of the St. Moritz diligence, C (also 
shown in Fig, 149), approaches nearest to the 
English in having the lead-reins adjoining and the 
wheel-reins adjoining ; in all the others, the near 
reins are next to each other and the off reins next 

Fig. 149. ST. MORITZ diligence. 

to each other; in the American method (see suc- 
ceeding pages) this latter arrangement is adopted, 
as is inevitable in all two-handed driving. In the 
English method more importance is attached to 
being able to regulate the work of the two pairs 
of horses, and of all the methods, it is the best 
adapted to fine work, inasmuch as the reins are 
in the positions most convenient for making the 
points both for the leaders alone, and for leaders 
and wheelers combined, and for taking off the 
lead-reins in order to equalise the work of the 


As an instance of how many different ways of 
doing the same thing may be suggested, the follow- 
ing method given in Jouffret's Cojidiiite en Guides 
deserves mention : The near lead-rein is over the 
first finger, the end coming out in front between 
that finger and the next ; the near wheel is on the 
second finger, coming out in front, below that finger ; 
the off lead-rein is over the third, and the off wheel 
over the little finger, both reins hanging down. A 
worse arrangement of the reins for any useful pur- 
pose it would be difficult to imagine. 

In Walker's Manly Exercises, ed. 1835, ^ plate 
by Alken shows the near lead and the near wheel- 
reins togctJier on top of the fore-finger, but another 
plate in the same edition shows them in the accepted 
position, although the back of the hand is horizontal 
instead of vertical. The first drawing is possibly a 
mistake of the artist or the engraver ; there is no 
mention of that method in the text. 

American Method. — An American staee-driver 
holds his reins in the manner shown in Fig-s. i qo 
and 151. The near lead-rein is on top of, and 
the near wheel-rein underneath, the fourth fino-er 
of the left hand, the ends coming up in the hand 
and falling backward over the thumb. The off 
lead-rein is on top of, and the off wheel-rein un- 
derneath, the second finger of the right hand, 
the ends hanging downward in the interior of the 




When the coachman wishes to take all the reins 
in one hand, or to ' club' them, he passes those in 



his right hand into his left, so that the off lead-rein 


is on top of, and the off wheel-rein underneath, the 
first finger, the ends hanging down through the 
hand. The reins in this way cross in the hand, and 
can be pressed upon each other very tightly so as 
to prevent their slipping. The racing jockey ofi;en 
crosses the reins in his hand in the same way. With 
thick fur gloves, such as are worn by stage-drivers 
in the mountains in winter, this hold of the reins is 
strong without being fatiguing. 

For six horses, in the American fashion, the 
order is as follows : in the left hand, the near wheel 
under the fourth finofer, the near swine under the 
third, and the near lead under the second, the ends 
going up ; in the right hand, the off lead over the 
first finofer, the off swinof over the second, and the 
off wheel over the third, the ends hanoring- down. 

The American stage-driver drives habitually with 
both hands, the whip being held in the right, close 
to the butt, and resting on the reins. 

In turnincr a lone corner the near or off reins are 
frequently pulled to the proper side without changing 
their relative lengths, an operation called ' chop- 
ping' ; but in turning sharper corners, the hands 
are brouoht near too-ether, and with the thumb and 
finger of one hand, the lead-rein on the proper side 
is shortened by pushing or pulling it back ; it being 
allowed to slip out after the turn is completed. 
This serves the same purpose as making a point. 

If the road is bad or up-hill and the turn not very 
sharp, chopping is generally used, as it does not 



take the leaders back, but permits them to pull 
through the whole turn. 

For the same reason, a coachman turning on a 
steep place will let out the rein of the leader on 
the outer-side of the turn, instead of taking up the 
inner-side rein, so as to permit the leaders to do 
still more work (see p. 320). 

For further comments upon the American method, 
see Chapter XX. 

Fingering for Six Horses. — With six horses, ac- 
cording to the English method, the reins are held as 
shown in Fig. 152 ; the lead-reins and those of the 
swing, or middle horses, in the same places as those 

Fig. 152. SIX horses. 

of the leaders and wheelers of four horses, and 
those of the wheelers, which may be considered as 
a pair added, are placed below all the others, on 
the two sides of the third finger. The lead points 
are made exactly as with four horses, and if the 


swing-reins require pointing, it is done in their 
proper spaces. In fact, usually only the lead and 
wheel horses are driven ; the swins: horses follow in 
their proper places, of necessity, although in making 
sharp turns they sometimes require guiding. 

For six-horse driving the leaders must work 
evenly and be quite free, since they cannot be 
reached by the whip. In making a turn they must 
be held back somewhat, but, if a chain is used be- 
tween the swing horses instead of a pole (see p. 
278), they must not be so held back as to permit the 
bars to drop too low. 

When more than four horses are required, three 
harnessed abreast on the lead, with two at the wheel, 
will do nearly as much work as three pairs, because 
more easily handled. 

Turning and Backing. — The space in which a 
coach and four horses can be turned, depends on 
the angle at which the fore carriage will lock, and 
on the length of the perch. The angle of lock is that 
made by the pole with the centre line of the coach, 
when the front wheel is turned as far as it will go 
against the body, or against the stop which prevents 
it from touching the body. In a coach, it is usually 
about twenty degrees, rarely as much as twenty-two. 
The lareer it is, the smaller the circle in which the 
coach will turn. 

As breaks are built of many different patterns, 
their angles of lock vary, but they usually lock much 





further round than a coach, and consequently can 
be turned in a smaller space. 

By the following method the angle of lock of a 
coach is found by a simple measurement, without 
any computation : — 

Place the coach on a level floor and block the 
hind wheels, put the pole in its place, and mark 
upon it a point ii ft. 8 in. (140 inches) from the 
perch-bolt. With a pole of the usual length this 
point will be near its end. Put the fore-carriage 
hard on the lock (Fig. 153), and with a plumb-bob. 

Fig. 153. 

or any convenient substitute therefor, drop a line 
to the floor from the point marked on the pole 
and mark that spot on the floor ; then, taking care 
not to disturb the position of the hind wheels, 
put the fore-carriage on the other lock and mark 
on the floor, the spot vertically under the point 
on the pole ; measure the direct distance between 
the two marks ; the angle given in the following 
Table, opposite to that distance, is the angle of 




Example : The first position of the pole being 
indicated by the black lines, and the second by the 
dotted lines, the coarse dotted line will be the 
distance, ^ 8 feet, and the angle of lock will be 20 
degrees on each side of the central position of the 

Table for Angle of Lock. Point on Pole ii Ft. 8 In. 






































































The length of the perch also affects the space in 
which the coach will turn : the shorter the perch the 
less will be the width required. 

The following^ Table shows how much the diam- 
eter of the circle made by the outer front wheel is 
affected by different angles, and lengths of perch : — 

Perch 6 Ft. 6 In. 



37 I 


Diameter of circle, ft. in. . . . 

43 39 9 


Perch 6 Feet. 

40 I 

36 II 

34 9 


Diameter of circle, ft. in. . . . 



With a coach locking- at an angle of 20 degrees 
and having a perch 6 ft. 6 in. long, a turn can be 
made in a street which measures 44 feet in width 
without the outside leader touching the kerb ; if 
the leaders are pulled well to the inside of the 
turn before reaching the kerb, it may be done in 
a few inches less. 

Fig. A, Plate XXVIII. /•= shows the tracks of the 
wheels and the position of the horses' feet in such a 
turn. The dotted lines are the tracks of the front 
wheels and the full lines those of the hind wheels ; 
the round foot-prints those of the fore-feet and the 
longer ones those of the hind-feet. 

If there were no leaders, the space required would 
be only a few inches less. 

To turn in a road of less width than 44 feet, 
backing must be resorted to, and the narrowest 
street in which a turn can be made with a coach 
that locks at the usual angle, 20 degrees, is 24 feet 
between the kerbs. 

The manoeuvre must be executed as follows : — 

The coach should be brought into a position 
about 16 feet from the off side kerb and parallel 

* The diameter of the circle in which a coach will turn, may be 
thus found. In Fig. A, the lines of the front and hind axles, when 
on the lock, meet in the centre of the circle, the perch is the sine of 
the angle of lock, and the distance from the perch-bolt to the centre 
is the radius, to which half the length of the axle must be added to 
get the radius of the circle of the outside front wheel. The angle 
of lock is the same as the angle at the centre. 




to it (Fig;. B, Plate XXVIII.), the horses turned to 
the rieht until the coach is on the lock, and then 
backed until the hind wheels touch the kerb, which 
they will both do if the coach has been kept hard on 
the lock. The leaders must then be drawn to the 
left, and, in a street 24 feet wide, they can pass 
the kerb without touching it. As the leaders can 
be brought back more than a foot behind the posi- 
tion which they occupy when straightened out, it is 
possible to squeeze round in 23 feet. About the 
time that the leaders reach the kerb, the wheelers 
must be pulled to the left, not letting them go for- 
ward until the coach is hard on the other lock, and 
the leaders having been kept turning, the coach can 
then be drawn off in the new direction, which will 
be parallel to the kerb and 16 feet from it. 

In making a turn in this way, the coach is backed 
through an entire quarter circle. If the street is 
wider, say 30 feet, it is better to draw close to 
the right-hand kerb, and then to drive obliquely 
across the street (Fig. C, Plate XXVIII.) nearly 
on the left lock, until the leaders' feet reach the 
kerb ; the coach will stand partly across the street. 
Then putting the horses over to the right until the 
coach is on the right lock, they are backed until the 
hind wheels touch the kerb, which they will soon 
do, since before beginning to back, the coach was 
already partly in the proper position. In a 30-foot 
street it will be necessary to back through less than 
an eighth of a circle instead of a whole quarter, 


which is important, since the majority of horses dis- 
Hke backing ; they have also to back only on a part 
of the street which inclines toward the eutter, so 
that the coach runs down-hill. 

In Fig. C, the leaders could be brought back 
somewhat more on approaching the kerb, so that 
the coach could go further on, and then on being 
backed, it would come more nearly square to the 
kerb behind it. The letter ' a' shows the first posi- 
tion of the horses; 'b,' the second position just 
before backing;. 

When, therefore, the street is only 24 feet wide, 
the movement must be commenced parallel to the 
kerb and about 16 feet from it, in order to eet 
round, but for a width of 30 feet or more, it is better 
to bring the coach somewhat across the road before 
going on the lock, so as to diminish the distance 
through which it must be backed ; in a width of 
less than 30 feet there is no advantage in obliquing 
across the road, since the coach will not go far enough 
away from the kerb (on account of the leaders' 
reaching the other side) to back square against it, 
and the movement would have to be repeated. 

If the coachman, starting to make a simple turn 
in a 44-foot street, finds that he is not going to get 
round without backing, he should commence his 
backing movement as early as possible, so as to get 
the advantage of the slope of the side of the road. 
It is difficult for the horses to back a coach up even 
a slio-ht orrade. 


In the movements thus described, the coach is 
supposed to be put on the lock by one movement 
of the front axle from a straight line, but in turnino; 
into a curve from a straight line, until the constant 
angle of the axles is reached, the hind wheels will 
follow the front ones, not in a circle, but in a 
curve called the 'tractrix,' because it results from 
their being draiun by the front wheels by means 
of the perch, and, on returning from a circle to a 
straight line, it will be some time after the front 
wheels have taken the straio-ht line before the hind 
wheels will take it. The further apart the axles 
are, the more marked this will be, and this is a 
reason why a long geared carriage, like a landau, 
runs harder than a short one, after making a turn, 
the hind wheels coming into the straight line very 

In backing movements, the mistake is usually 
made of not turnino- the front wheels enough to 
one side, and the coach does not, therefore, in its 
movement, respond to the expectations of the 

In driving up to a door, it may be desirable to 
back into a position closer to the kerb than could 
be taken at first, owine to some obstacle's beingr in 
the way, and it will be found, that unless a very 
decided angle is made with the front wheels, the 
result will be unsatisfactory and very little ground 
will have been gained in the proper direction. 

Should there be an obstruction on the street at a 


point which must be passed just before reaching a 
door, the best way is to drive beyond the obstruc- 
tion, going close to it, and to draw in to the kerb 
as soon as possible, gradually bringing the horses 
parallel to the kerb. When all four wheels are 
parallel to the kerb the coach can be backed straight 
into its place. 

If, for example, the obstacle projects 6 feet into 
the street and is lo feet from the centre of the 
door, the hind wheels will have to go 20 feet be- 
yond the obstacle before they will come straight, 
and the coach must then be backed 14 feet to 
bring it opposite the centre of the door. 

In backing the horses, they should not be forcibly 
pulled back, but they should be gatJicrcd, by slight, 
varying pressures, not exactly jerks, and not by a 
dead pull, and in turning the leaders through the 
long sweep that they make in going from one lock 
to the other the handlincr should be the same ; a 
dead pull would bring them back ; they should be 
coaxed round as it were. 

In ordinary coaching, backing round in a narrow 
place will not be often required, but if the coach- 
man finds himself in a road the far end of which 
is closed, he will be, or should be, mortified if he 
is not able to turn around promptly and gracefully 
without help from his grooms, or uncertainty as to 
the result ; there are sometimes lone stretches of 
road without places sufficiently wide to turn, in the 
ordinary way, in which the coachman may have to 


drive helplessly on when he knows that he should 
have turned round lono- before, to eet his load home 
in time for dinner. 

At race-courses, country-clubs, and similar places 
it is frequently necessary to back the coach into 
position under a shed, or in an enclosure of small 
size, and although that operation usually falls to the 
lot of the professional coachman or groom, it is to 
be assumed that the owner will not expect his ser- 
vant to do anything of that kind which he himself 
cannot do as well, or better, and he may be assured 
that no small amount of practice and judgement is 
required to accomplish the feat even moderately 
well, — which may also be said of moving a carriage 
without horses, in a coach house ; some coachmen 
do it with quickness and certainty, and others only 
after many failures. 

Driving Apparatus. — A little device designed by 
me in 1892, will be found convenient for practising 
and for illustrating^ methods of fineerine. 

Two pulleys, each with two rollers, have hooks 
by which they can be attached to eyes screwed into 
any convenient wood-work, or to clamps fastened 
on the edge of a heavy table, or on the balustrade 
of a piazza. 

Over these pulleys, straps an inch in width, repre- 
senting the reins, are passed. Each strap termi- 
nates in a ring, to which is hooked a wire stem, 
long enough to carry eight weights of one pound 




each. In Fig. 154. two pounds are represented as 
on each rein. 

One pound barely keeps the rein tight. 

Two pounds on each rein represent the pull of a 
very light team. 

Fig. 154. 

Three pounds, a light but strong-going team that 
will not tire a man in good condition. 

Four pounds, as much as is at all pleasant for a 
long drive. 

Five pounds, too much to be pleasant, even when 
in good condition. 


Above five pounds represents a lugging team, 
and with eight pounds, or, in all, thirty-two pounds, 
a man's arm would soon mve out. 

Since seventy pounds is a fair tractive force for 
a coach, on a good road, it often happens with a 
pulHng team, that a large part of the traction is 
through the reins and the coachman's arms ; in 
speaking of the strength required to hold a team, 
it must be remembered that no man on the box can 
exert more strength than the amount required to 
draw the coach, for as soon as that is reached, the 
horses draw wholly by their mouths instead of by 
their shoulders, and the coachman's arms merely 
take the place of traces. 

In using the apparatus, the conical weight should 
be put on top, to prevent the weights from catching 
on each other as they move up and down. 

In discussing methods of fingering, this apparatus 
is convenient, since all the movements of the hand 
and fingers can be made, exactly as they are made 
on the coach-box. Any new fingering can be, by 
practice, easily acquired, and when one has not 
been driving for a time, the fingers and arm can be 
brought into condition by a little daily work with 
heavy weights. 

The space between the lower roller and the 
smooth round pin which connects the sides of the 
frame, permits the addition of a third rein in case 
practice in six-horse driving is desired. 

Several interesting little matters, such as the 


tendency of certain reins to slip more than others, 
will be discovered by the expert in practising with 
the weights. 

This apparatus can be simplified by substituting 
for the pulleys and weights, india-rubber bands, 
such as are sold by stationers for packages of 
papers. Such a band, five-eighths of an inch wide, 
and of a thickness of fourteen to the inch, will, 
when somewhat stretched, eive a resistance of 
about a pound, and any number may be attached 
to the end of the rein. This makes the apparatus 
portable, and a hundred or more pulls upon it 
every morning, when one has no opportunity of 
driving, will keep the fingers and the arm in good 

CH. XV 349 


Although a boy may acquire confidence and 
learn a great deal about horses and driving, by 
' knocking- about' and iindino- out things for himself, 
the beginner should not fail to take lessons from the 
most competent teacher that he can find. That man 
who thinks he can deduce from his ' inner conscious- 
ness' all the knowledge which is the result of the 
long experience, and the accumulated ingenuity, of 
generations of performers, is assuming a great deal. 
Every art is perfected by the successive inventions 
of its masters, which, observed by or communicated 
to one another, are slowly formed into a system 
much more perfect than it is possible for any one 
man to create for himself. A self-taught man inevi- 
tably contracts bad habits which he will find very 
difficult to abandon, even when he knows the better 
way, and the longer he drives without competent 
criticism the more fixed these bad habits become. 

There is no teacher so good as a professional 
teacher ; he is paid to do what even a very skilful 
friend is not willing to do : — find fault, in addition to 
giving instruction. A pupil should make up his 
mind to do precisely what his instructor tells him, 
as long as he is driving with him ; to drive with a 


teacher and to be constantly objecting to or criti- 
cisinof his methods is a mistake, althouQrh not an 
uncommon one. 

In addition to takinof all the resJ^ular lessons that 
he can get, the beginner will find it greatly to his 
advantage to observe carefully any skilful performer 
alongside of whom it may be his good fortune to be 
placed ; even when a man is well advanced, he will 
often learn much by watching another who does not 
drive as well as himself, if only by noticing mistakes. 

The time required to become a fairly good four- 
in-hand coachman will depend upon a variety of 
circumstances. If the beginner is young and strong, 
and has already had a good deal of experience with 
horses, two or three months of conscientious work 
under a good teacher will put him well on the way, 
but only years of practice will make him a master 
of the art. 

It must be remembered that there are two parts 
in all driving ; one is general, relating to everything 
connected with the management of horses ; it is the 
same, whether one, two, or four are in hand, and 
may be likened to general strategy ; the second 
resembles tactics, and must be separately learned 
in every branch of the service. A movement well 
planned and well executed is likely to be successful ; 
one well planned but badly executed is doubtful ; 
one badly planned but well executed may come out 
right, but one badly planned and badly executed is 
sure to be a failure. 


No experience in general practice is thrown away ; 
a mere knowledge of how to finofer four reins in the 
most accurate manner does not make a coachman ; 
and a man who has not been brought up among 
horses, and acquired his general knowledge through 
rough-and-tumble methods at the time in youth when 
discretion does not outweig-h rashness, will find it 
difficult, even under the most favourable circum- 
stances, to attain the highest proficiency, since he 
will be likely to lack that confidence and coolness 
which are of the first importance to a good coachman. 

It is for this reason that the old professional 
coachmen of England were so admirable : put to 
their work when boys, sometimes under pretty rough 
masters, they early became familiar with all the de- 
tails of a complicated art, and acquired an instinc- 
tive method of meeting every difficulty. Instinctive 
is the proper expression, because there is frequently 
no time to think, — the action must be quicker almost 
than the thought, like the closing of an eye against 
a missile, independent of any conscious intention. 

One reason for beginning in the right way is that 
having adopted a method, it is most important to 
adhere to it, and obviously no one should wish to 
adhere for ever to a bad method. Unless a coach- 
man has a way which has almost become a second 
nature of doing each thing, he is likely to be con- 
fused in an emergency, by trying to do two different 
things at once, and failing in both. 

It will be found that competent professional 


teachers usually have an absolutely fixed way of 
doing each thing, and are intolerant of any deviation 
from it, which is only natural, since they cannot 
teach with authority anything in which they have 
not an implicit belief. 

One often hears coachmen, those especially who 
are devoted to road work, speak sneeringly of what 
they consider ' fancy' four-in-hand driving, such as 
backing round in narrow places and turning diffi- 
cult corners, and insist that to go ahead on a 
reasonably plain road is the only duty of a coach ; 
and when asked what they would do in a difficult 
situation they will answer that a coach has no 
business to be in that kind of a place. The accom- 
plished coachman, however, will hardly be willing 
thus to restrict himself, and will prefer to be able 
to execute all movements which are mechanically 

As the temperaments of men differ, so will their 
methods of driving : one man, with great skill and 
a somewhat rash disposition, will not hesitate to 
take orreat chances, confident that he can oet out 
of a 'scrape,' which he will probably do in a bril- 
liant manner ; another, with good judgement and 
foresight, will attain his end without getting into the 
difficulty at all. In the long run, the latter method 
is preferable, as it is usually better to keep out of a 
' fix' than to get out. 

The coachman should train himself to be a good 
judge of pace : some men never know how fast 


they are going, and either lose time, or overwork 
their cattle. Four horses to a coach, on a eood 
road, get over the ground faster than they seem to 
do, to an unpractised observer. In driving a road- 
coach over an unknown road, as is sometimes the 
good fortune of a coachman, all that he can know 
of a stage is, that it is so many miles, to be done in 
so many minutes, with a hint that there is such a 
part up-hill and such a part down-hill ; and, unless 
he is able to judge accurately of the rate at which 
he is going, he must do the stage badly, arriving at 
the end of it either too early or too late. Various 
suggestions are made as to the means of estimating 
the speed, such as looking at the wheels, &c. ; but 
the only true way is to acquire, by careful observa- 
tion, a knowledge of the manner in which horses of 
different qualities and sizes go at a certain pace, 
whereupon the ability to judge will come insensibly. 
Perfect judgement in this respect is not given to all 
men, and in race-riding it is justly considered one of 
the most important and one of the rarest qualities 
that jockeys possess. 

Of importance, also, in a minor way, is the ability 
to decide upon how much time will be required to 
cover a certain amount of road in attempting to 
overtake and pass a vehicle, so as not to be forced, 
after commencing such a movement, to pull up, 
when half through it, in order to permit something 
coming in the opposite direction to go by. 

Galloping the horses to a coach may be resorted 



to, either for the pleasure of the motion, or because 
with a team, some of the horses of which cannot 
trot fast enough, it is better to gallop them all than 
to permit only one or two to do so ; horses which 
will not trot evenly can often be made to share the 
work equally by galloping them all together. 

A horse cannot trot at the top of his speed without 
soon becoming distressed, whereas he can gallop 
the same number of miles an hour, still going within 
his speed, since the majority of horses can gallop 
faster than they can trot. A gallop rests him, and 
a tired horse will break into a gallop much slower 
than his ordinary trot. 

In galloping, except down-hill, the leaders' traces 
should be kept tight, because their pulling on the 
point of the pole will keep the coach straighter 
than if the wheel horses alone pull by the splinter- 
bar, when the coach is apt to swerve about and get 
to swinging from one side of the road to the other. 
What is called rolliiiQ^ in a coach, commences in 
this way, the lateral motion soon inducing a rocking 
motion of the body, which may cause an overturn 
if it becomes too great. Care must be taken, 
therefore, that all the horses, and especially the 
wheelers, gallop evenly ; as a rule, while the horses 
must be sufficiently steadied by the reins, they 
should not be held too tightly, especially if, as in 
the case of galloping to make time, they are doing 
nearly their best. In galloping, great caution must 
be exercised that the team does not get ahead of 


the coachman ; for no man can stop four good 
horses on a level road, if once they get beyond 
his control. At the slightest indication that this is 
about to happen, they must be pulled down to a 
slower pace, without a moment's hesitation. What 
these indications are it is difficult to describe, but 
the experienced coachman recognises them by a 
kind of instinct ; to the inexperienced man they 
frequently come too late. 

Should the horses get away, on a road which has 
no traffic on it, and which can be seen for some 
distance ahead, there is one remedy which sounds 
somewhat desperate, but which, in good hands, is 
the proper one : this is, not only to let them go, but 
to urge them on, all the energy of the driver being 
concentrated on guiding them ; pulling on them will 
only exhaust him, and with no result. Horses, un- 
less they are frightened, and therefore crazy, will 
not run far at the top of their speed, pulling a coach 
with the brake on, but they must be made to go at 
the very top of their speed, or they will not tire 
soon enoucrh. If the coachman, when he finds that 
they are beginning to slacken their speed, has the 
good fortune still to have a piece of unobstructed 
road ahead of him. he may give them a little of the 
whip all round, when the pace will soon take out 
of them all desire to run further, and they can be 
stopped with the impression on their minds, that 
they have been made to do something disagreeable 
and fatiguing, which was not by any means fun. 


If nothing is broken, nor has hurt or frightened 
the horses, a runaway thus managed will not injure 
them for future driving ; but it will be prudent to 
take them carefully over that particular bit of road 
on any future occasion ; they may think that they 
are expected to repeat the performance, and a horse 
has a good memory. 

It must be borne in mind that the chance of 
success in the application of this method depends 
entirely upon the horses being driven all the time 
that they are running ; if they are allowed to get 
out of hand and to gallop along, each one on his own 
account, a leader or a wheeler may come back on 
his bar, and get to kicking, with every probability of 
a general smash up. 

In all this, a clear road has been assumed ; on a 
crowded road with sharp turns, a regular runaway 
will usually result seriously, and it is, therefore, far 
better to avoid it than to make the best of it. This 
is one reason for the excellent old rule of going 
slowly off the top of a hill ; since pulling horses are 
frequently inclined to start off suddenly when they 
are relieved of the weioht of the coach, and then to 
get beyond control. 

Horses will sometimes run away at a trot ; that is, 
without breaking into a gallop, they will get beyond 
the control of the coachman long before it may 
appear to any but an expert observer that they are 

It may be remarked that galloping is not always 


faster than trotting, although it usually looks so ; 
it is quite easy to gallop a team at a slower pace 
than their best trot. 

Coachmen differ much in the use that they make 
of the brake, and it would be difficult to lay down 
positive rules about it. The brake should not be 
used for stopping, except to avoid an accident under 
some unexpected circumstances ; on a steep descent 
it should be put on hard enough to take most of the 
strain off of the pole-chains, and on a long hill which 
is not steep (say about three per cent., that is, one 
foot rise in thirty-three) it should be put on lightly, 
so that the horses can go along at a good speed 
without having to pull or to hold back ; toward the 
foot of an incline the end of which turns, or cannot 
be distinctly seen, it is well to have the brake a little 
on, both to moderate the pace and to be prepared 
for an emergency. 

It is a bad plan to use the brake so much that the 
horses o-et out of the habit of holding back, since 
upon occasion it is of great importance that they 
should be able and willing to do so. Many pro- 
fessional four-horse coachmen on the Continent, use 
the brake to keep the traces tight in going down a 
moderate hill, so that the horses shall be always at 
the same distance from the hand ; but it is a bad 
plan, both because it keeps them at work all the 
time, and because it does not permit the collars to 
lift from the necks, — a great relief to the wheelers 
in warm weather. 


The brake may be used, howev^er, to advantage 
in descending a slippery slope, even if the grade is 
but slight ; a horse, when holding back, is apt to 
pull away from the pole, and in that position is 
likely to slip sideways on a smooth pavement. 

The person sitting on the off side roof-seat of a 
coach should never touch the brake unless he is 
asked to do so by the coachman. 

In driving in a crowd, the horses should always be 
kept 'in their bridles,' or, in more exact language, 
' up to their bits.' If this is not done, they will not 
respond promptly to an indication of the reins. In 
fact, horses well driven should always go up to their 
bits, quite a different thing from pulling or taking 
hold too much. In crowded streets, it is quite neces- 
sary to take care that the near leader be not struck 
by the wheel of a carriage which, overtaking the 
coach and passing on the left-hand side, turns in 
too soon in front of the leaders ; unless the horses 
are well in hand they cannot be pulled off to the 
right quickly enough to avoid the blow. 

The orrooms should not cret down and o-o to the 
horses' heads whenever there is a block or a slio;-ht 
stop. It indicates an habitual nervousness on the 
part of the coachman or a want of confidence in his 
skill, on the part of his men. There are occasions 
when it is necessary, and then active men who can 
get to the spot quickly, are invaluable, but the fin- 
ished coachman rarely requires such aid. In driving 
away from a difficult place, the men may linger a 


little near the horses' heads until the horses are 
fairly started, but out of the way and without inter- 
fering, merely so as to be at hand should their as- 
sistance be absolutely required ; for instance, in 
leaving a race-course, where there is a crowd, and 
perhaps a narrow passage or gate, and when the 
horses are excited, by waiting, and by the people 
around them ; but as a rule, when three persons 
are required to manage four horses, something is 

A helpless-looking man seated on the driving 
cushion, with his whip in the socket, his reins all of 
different degrees of tightness, with a man at each 
leader's head, endeavouring to make way through 
an admiring crowd, is not an edifying spectacle. 

A little quick thought will sometimes get a coach- 
man out of a difficulty. 
On a certain occasion, as 
I was drivino; a coach to t 

a private race-meeting, I 
noticed, in approaching 
the course, that the en- "* 
trance to it had been 
made by pulling down 
two panels of fence at a 
corner, making a sharp 
turn in, as shown in Fig. 155, the full black line 
being the track which the vehicles were expected 
to follow. A friend asserting that it would be im- 
possible to dri\'e in there with a coach, I offered to 

Fig. 155. 


bet that I could do it at a sharp trot, and, following- 
the line indicated by the dots, did so easily. Since 
the turn was made in a ten-acre field, there was no 
particular difficulty in the feat. 

Another time, when driving a pair of strange 
horses to a phaeton and approaching, on an upward 
slope, a narrow gate into a park, a carriage came 
suddenly out of the gate and made it necessary to 
stop. Upon attempting to start up the slope, the 
horses baulked, and refused to oro on ; the eroom, 
jumping down, ran to their heads with the intention 
of leading them, an operation which, besides being 
awkward even if successful, would very likely have 
led to an altercation between the horses and the 
ofroom. The latter beincr ordered to stand aside, 
the horses were merely turned round down the hill 
and a^ain turned at a distance sufficient to eive 
them some headway, and then went through the 
o-ate at a trot, without the slio-htest hesitation. 


Bitting and Handling Horses for Driving. — 
The bits described and figured in the chapter on 
Harness, are those most in use for driving, although 
there are many other patterns which for special 
reasons, are favourites. 

For saddle purposes, the bits are : first, the plain 
snaffle, which is a jointed bit (like that shown in 
Fig. 91), but with cheek-pieces, or horns, added to 
the rings, so that they cannot be pulled through the 
horse's mouth. This is the mildest form of bit, and 




is used on race horses and sometimes on hunters. 
With horns, and with loose rings to be attached to 
the cheek-pieces of the bridle (Fig. 92), it is an ad- 
mirable hunting bit. Without horns and as shown 
in Fig. 91, it is used, in a riding-bridle, as the bridoon, 
or accompanying bit to the curb, but it then has a 
thinner mouth-piece. Secondly, the curb-bit, which 
for saddle purposes has lighter branches than the 
driving-bit, with one ring at the top, to fasten it to 
the bridle, and one ringr at 
the bottom, for the rein. 
The mouth-piece usually 
has the form shown in 
Fig. 88, B, with a port or 
liberty of the tongue. The 
best form of this bit is 
shown in Fig. 156, 


which the canons of the 
mouth-piece are thick and the port somewhat thin- 
ner, so as to crive room for the tongue while not 
bringing the port too near the roof of the mouth. 

In Fig. 156, the port is inclined forward, from the 
line of the branches, so that when they take their 
proper position under the pull of the reins, the 
tongue will have really the most liberty, which will 
not be the case if the port is in the same plane with 
the branches.* 

* I am tempted to add an extract from a letter written to me in 
June 1872 by Benjamin Latchford, the well-known bit and spur 


Major DwYER, in his valuable book, Scats and 
Saddles, Bits and Bittinp\ orives what he considers 
the proper dimensions of the different parts of the 
bit, namely: i^ inches from the under side of the 
mouth-piece to the centre of the upper ring, show- 
ing clearly, that for the average horse this brings 
the curb-chain in its proper place on the under 
side of the jaw ; and 31^ inches for the length of 
the lower part of the branch from the under side of 

maker of London. ' Dear Sir, — Yours of 24th May last is now be- 
' fore me ; I have noted its contents. Mine is a lifelong experience 
' in, and of, the Bitting of Horses : take that for what it is worth, 
'and, believe me, you are the first and only one (as far as I can 
' recollect) that can see as I do the true position of the horse's head 
' with the bits, and the bits with the horses' heads. If you simply 
' question any breeder, trainer, breaker, hunting or driving gentle- 
' man, park or road rider, or jockey (as I have done hundreds of 
'them), you will find the idea is that the horse's head is naturally 
' horizontal, and the cheeks and the bits perpendicular, and that the 
' part in a line with the cheeks is the position to give ease and freedom 
' to the tongue ; however absurd, I have always found it the prevailing 
' idea among them. Your drawings exactly accord with my proper 
' construction of a bit with a port mouth of any sort, — i.e., the port to 
' be one-eighth of a circle (or 45 degrees) forward from the perpen- 
' dicular cheek of the bit : as you know, the horse's head is nearly 
' perpendicular ; the bit fastened to the leather hangs perpendicular ; 
' consequently the mouth-piece with a port of any kind, lies a crooked 
' bar on the tongue, unless set forward one-eighth of a circle as your 
' drawing is, in which case the tongue has the benefit of it when not 
'in use, and the greater benefit when in use.' The letter to which 
this was an answer, accompanied an order for a bit, and I was much 
pleased to find my ideas on the subject endorsed by so good an au- 




the mouth-piece to the ring to which the rein is 
attached. The measures are not from the centre 
of the mouth-piece, but from its underside, because 
that is the point about which the bit rotates on the 
bars of the horse's mouth. 

Major Dwver's opinions are supported by such 
good arguments and iUustrations, unfortunately too 
long to be quoted here, that they may be safely 

It is not so easy to give dimensions in inches for 
the ividth of the bit as for the length, since the 
widths of horses' noses differ greatly, but a good fit 
in width is even more important than the proper 
length of the branches ; no horse will work really 
well with a bit which is not of the proper width ; 
a fact so rarely recognised that out of any twenty 
harness-horses taken at random, ten will be found 
to have bits too narrow or too wide, usually too 
wide. The bit must be of such a width that when 
the curb-chain is hooked properly and the rein 
pulled back, the outside of the 
lower lip will fill the space 
between the branches without 
being pinched by them. If it is 
much wider than this, it may 
be pulled sideways in the 
mouth, and instead of the can- 
ons of the mouth-piece (C C, 
Fig- 157) resting fairly on the bars of the mouth, 
which are narrow, the point of junction of the canon 




and port, or, still worse, even the middle of the 
port, P, will bear upon one of the bars. As a rule, 
the width of the port should be about one-third the 
whole width of the bit ; bits will vary from four to 
five inches, the latter width beinor rare. 

The width of a bit may be reduced by using a 
leather washer on each side of the lips, but this 
still leaves the port too wide for the changed width 
of the bit. 

The washer prevents the horse from taking hold 
of the branch with his lip, but if he has this trick, 
it is better to put on an elbow bit (C, Fig. 88), or a 
lip strap. Of course, with a straight mouth-piece 
without a port, the use of the washer is quite satis- 
factory. A straight mouth-piece is rarely used on 
a ridinof bit, and leather washers never. 

The high port, referred to on page 203, when 
combined with a tight nose-band, which prevents 
the horse from opening his mouth, is very effective 
by pressing against the roof of the mouth ; but it 
must be used with a light hand, or with the rein 
in the cheek. 

The Pelham bit has a mouth-piece without any 
port, but with a joint in the middle (Fig. 158). 

In addition to the rincrs for the reins, which are 
at the ends of the branches, there are rings at the 
ends of the mouth-piece, and when the reins are 
buckled to these rings, the bit is practically a snaffle. 

This is a favourite ridinor-bit and is used with two 
pairs of reins, so that it acts as a curb or a snaffle, at 




Fig. 158. 

the pleasure of the rider. Battersby (p. 69) recom- 
mends it, with much justice, as a bit for cavalry, 
supplying, as it does, a snaffle-bit more convenient 
than the separate watering-bridle now 
in use. There is an advantage to a 
cavalry man in having two reins, in 
case one should be cut. 

The ordinary driving-bit is, in one 
sense, a Pelham, since, although it has 
•no joint, there is a ring at the mouth- 
piece for the rein, but, instead of having 
a ring only at the end of the branch, 
there are two or three eyes in the 
branch, to either one of which the rein can be 
buckled (Fig. 89). 

A, in Fig. 88, is usually called the Liverpool bit, 
and sometimes, by French writers, the German bit ; 
B and C are only modifications of it. D, the Bux- 
ton bit, is on the same principle, but has its branch 
curved, to prevent the horse from taking hold of it 
with his lip. 

The Mexican, or South American, bit, which is the 
same as the Turkish bit, has no curb-chain, but in 
its place a ring, which is attached to the top of a 
high port and goes under the chin of the horse ; 
it is very severe. 

These classes comprise the bits that are in com- 
mon use, but the number of forms and names is 
very great ; more than ninety are figured in Latch- 
ford's Lorincr. 


Handling. — While driving-horses in England are 
usually thoroughly handled by the dealer before 
being offered for sale, in America they are ' broken 
to harness,' as it is called, and only so far prepared 
that they can be driven with safety, but with little or 
no finish, and, for a man who likes to have his horses 
light and handy, are rarely very agreeable to drive. 

On a private coach the pleasure of driving de- 
pends greatly upon the manners of the horses, and, 
unless the owner employs some professional trainer 
who can handle and prepare them for him, he ought 
to be able to put some work upon them himself to 
make them anything like perfect. 

A London dealer has at least one man in his 
employ, to show and to handle horses, who is a 
master of his business, and who, without any sys- 
tem that he could describe, will in a comparatively 
few lessons make a pleasant horse out of a green 
one. The man himself has had good training and 
large experience, and has patience, courage, and 
hands. Usually he puts a new horse, assuming it 
to be ' broken to harness' in the ordinary sense of 
the phrase, to a dealer's break (Fig. 58), alongside 
of an old horse, 'the schoolmaster,' and soon de- 
cides upon the bit and the details of harnessing 
which suit the horse best. After a few lessons he 
puts him alongside of the horse with which it is 
desired to mate him, and, drivinof them too^ether 
with great judgement and skill, makes them fit to 
show and to sell. 


An amateur, if he has equal knowledge and 
skill, can do the same, and on our side of the water 
he usually must do it for himself. 

The breeder of a horse should begin to accus- 
tom the colt at an early age to be haltered, to bear 
a surcingle strapped on, to be led about, and to 
have his feet held up and struck as if he were being 
shod. All these things can be easily done with a 
little weak foal, which will not resent them, if rea- 
sonable care and p-entleness are used, and thus the 
way is well prepared for the after operations of 
breaking, — a word expressive of the difficulty of 
doing anything with a horse which has been allowed 
to run wild until he is so strong that only brute 
force can subdue him to obedience, — but which 
should be replaced by the word training, where 
the horse has been properly handled as a colt. 

Assuming that a coaching owner receives a horse 
as a fairly well broken animal, he will find it ad- 
vantageous to handle him in the manner about to 
be described. 

It is frequently supposed that the work done to 
prepare a saddle-horse, is wasted if applied to a 
driving-horse, and no doubt much of it would be ; 
but a certain portion of it is most useful. The 
elaborate systems of training saddle-horses, mainly 
for military purposes, since the time of Grison and 
FiESCHi, in the middle of the sixteenth century, have 
been gradually superseded by simpler methods, or, 
at least, by methods requiring fewer appliances and 

368 baucher's method ch. xv 

assistants, and the Frenchman Baucher brought 
out, in 1842, a method, not, of course, entirely new, 
which is, more or less, the basis ' of all the best 
practice of the present time. 

Baucher's method consists in placing the horse, 
by the use of the bit and the whip, or the spur, in 
such attitudes as to give the rider control of the 
horse's movements and to make him light, the 
trainer working first on foot and afterward mounted. 

The attitude assumed by a horse when he resists, 
or puts himself in a position of defence, is with his 
legfs extended somewhat backward and his neck 
and head advanced. In order to prevent him from 
exercisine this resistance, his hind leo-s should be 
brought under his body, his neck raised and bent, 
and his nose brought in. In this position he is 
said to be gathered, and is ready to respond to the 
indications of his rider, or driver, and cannot exert 
that resistance which makes a horse heavy on the 

This correct position is of more importance in a 
saddle-horse than in a driving-horse, but as the stiff- 
ness of the body affects that of the neck, a driving- 
horse well gathered, will respond more readily to 
the hand and to the bit, when being driven, than 
an untrained horse, is more agreeable to drive, and 
in every way more handy. 

This handling is the basis of what is known as 
' High-School' riding, which has always been popu- 
lar on the Continent, but never so much so in 

CH. XV baucher's method 369 

England or America, and it may be briefly de- 
scribed, as modified by successors of Baucher, 
notably by Fillis, as follows : — 

The horse, in an ordinary riding-bridle, curb, 
and snaffle, is brought to the place of the lessons, 
preferably a riding house where there is nothing to 
distract his attention. The system, when exactly 
followed, requires that preceding this he should 
have been exercised with a cavesson and the lunge, 
and we will assume that this, or something equiva- 
lent, has already been done by the breeder of the 

The trainer, standing on the near side of the 
horse, takes the reins of the snaffle together in his 
right hand, close to the bit and under the chin, the 
ends, with the w^hip. being held in the left hand, 
and leads the horse forward a few steps at a time. 
Should the horse refuse to move forward, the whip 
must touch him just behind the girth, where the 
spur would touch him if he were mounted. This 
lesson is repeated, by the trainer walking on the 
other side, reversing the position of his hands. 
The next thing is to make the horse yield, or bend 
his neck. This is done by taking the snaffle-reins 
in the left hand /;/ front of the horse's nose, holding 
the hand high ; and the curb-reins together in the 
right hand, eight inches from the bit, drawing the 
snaffle up and forward and the curb backward until 
the horse drops his head slightly and opens his 
mouth. This action on his part must be rewarded 



instantly by yielding the right hand, and should then 
be repeated, the left hand being used to keep the 
head up. (It is a fault of Baucher's method, soon 
recognised by some of his followers, and especially 
by FiLLis, that he made his horses carry their heads 
too low ; this must be carefully avoided.) This 
operation is called the ' tiexion of the neck and of 
the jaw,' and, although by some writers these flex- 
ions are treated of separately, they are usually 
obtained simultaneously. 

There are two purposes in this part of the train- 
ing. While a well-made horse may be supposed to 
assume proper positions when free and following the 
instincts which prompt his action, all horses are not 
well-made, and even those which are, have their 
equilibrium altered by being put to draught or by 
having a man on their back. The horse's head and 
neck, overhano-ine the shoulders as thev do. throw 
weight on the fore-hand, which tends to make the 
fore leofs slow in their movements, and also causes 
the horse to luo-, or to bore on the bit. Raisino- 
and drawingr back the head and neck, as are done 
by these flexions, improve the position in these re- 
spects, but, above all, accustom the horse to yield 
to the pressure of the bit, when he finds that by so 
doing he avoids the discomfort produced by it. 

Not by any means the least advantage of the 
process is that it educates the hand of the operator, 
and gives it that lightness without which no good 
riding or driving is possible. 


As the neck comes in and up, the hind legs of the 
horse tend to come in more under his body, in order 
to preserve his general balance. 

These preliminary flexions were made by Baucher 
with the horse at rest, but it is important, as Fillis 
has pointed out, to combine them with a forward 
motion, so as to prevent the horse from contracting 
the habit of retaining himself a result which is an 
objection justly urged against Baucher's method. 
The horse should be. therefore, kept moving for- 
ward while the flexions are beino- made, even when 
the trainer is on foot, and later on, when the trainer 
is mounted, the horse should be uro-ed forward all 
the time, by the pressure of the legs. 

The flexions thus described may be considered 
the only flexions of the neck necessar\' for driving 
purposes ; for saddle-horses, lateral flexions, turning 
the head to the rio-ht and to the left, are added ; but 
they can be easily overdone, and sometimes result 
in teachingr the horse a means of defence, which he 
uses to the disadvantage of the rider. 

After the neck is suppled, the next thing is to 
bring the horse's hind legs well under him. If a 
horse is obser\-ed when free in a held, it will be seen 
that in his quick movements, especially in turning, 
he brino-s his hind leers forward, so as to throw a 
considerable portion of his weight upon them, and 
this position will be quickly recognised by a mounted 
man, as making the horse more pleasant to sit and 
more responsive to the action of the rider than if he 


has his legs stretched out behind him. This placing 
of the hind legs is best accomplished by the use of 
the spur. 

The horse being- mounted, his head and neck 
having been brought as completely as possible into 
position, the tightening of the rider's legs and press- 
ure back of the eirths should induce him to move 
forward. Since, in so doing, his hind legs propel 
him, this pressure is usually first answered by the 
advance of one of his hind legs under his body, 
followed by that of the other. His forward move- 
ment being somewhat restrained by the bit, but 
not enough to stop him, he will step forward in a 
position slightly different from that which he would 
have assumed if he had been merely led forward by 
the head. Thus, the combined action of the legs 
and the hand, opposed to each other, will gather 
the horse, throwing more of his weight on his hind 
legs and lightening his fore-hand. It has been 
assumed that merely pressing with the legs will 
produce the desired result, and with some horses it 
will do so, at the first attempt ; but in many cases 
more vigorous means are needed, and for that reason 
the heel is armed with the spur, which, however, 
must be used at first with great caution, for fear of 
exciting the horse and producing a defence. 

Whatever may be the reason, a slight touch with 
the spur will induce the horse to lift and to move 
forward the hind leg on the side on which he is 
touched, and this fact is the basis of the whole use 


of the spur, except when it is employed vigorously 
as a punishment, a proceeding- not at all to be recom- 
mended, a blow of the whip being much better. 

Since the effect of the spur is to cause the horse 
to move his hind-quarters away from it, a pressure 
of the left spur will turn the croup to the right, and 
one from the right spur will stop or reverse that 

Inasmuch as the turning of the horse's head to 
the right or left by the rein, will determine his 
motion in these directions, the rider, when the horse 
is accustomed to obey all these indications, has the 
means of entirely controlling him. By the bit, he 
restrains him, places his head in a position to 
respond to the action of the hand, and turns his 
fore-hand to either side ; by the leg and spur, he 
moves him forward, brino-s his hind leofs under him, 
and turns his croup to the right or left ; and by 
skilfully combining these effects he can produce 
what movements he desires, and all the accurate 
and exaggerated movements which characterise 
Haute Ecole ridinof. 

If, in backing a horse, he is forced backward by 
mere pressure on the bit. his motion will be awk- 
ward, his hind lees beino- stretched out to resist the 
force which is urging him. The proper way to make 
him back is to begin by restraining him slightly, and 
then touching him with one spur to make him lift one 
hind foot ; a slightly increased pull on the reins will 
generally make him move to the rear, bringing that 


hind foot to the ground somewhat back of the posi- 
tion which it previously occupied. A touch with the 
other spur will raise the other hind foot, which, re- 
sponding to the pressure of the reins, will be also 
replaced further back ; the front feet will follow, and 
by alternate attacks of the spur the horse will be 
made to walk backward, all the time in a balanced 

This is one of the regular lessons, but it must be 
used with discretion, because when a horse learns to 
walk backward, he will sometimes do so as a means 
of defence. All harness-horses should back freely 
when called upon. 

Just as regular gymnastics improve the action of 
the most perfectly formed man, this training improves 
that of the most perfectly formed horse ; it is not 
an argument against the system to say that the 
horse, having been made for his own purposes of 
life, cannot be improved for man's uses. 

While, therefore, the driving-horse may not re- 
quire much training beyond the flexions of the jaw 
and neck, the further training of his hind-quarters 
will give him lightness and grace of carriage, which 
are very desirable. 

It is also true that if a horse is excited by the spur, 
the whip, or the voice, and at the same time some- 
what restrained by the bit, his energy of movement 
will be partly put into the JicigJit of his action, instead 
of its being all put into the forward movement, with 
the result of increasing his brilliancy. 


The English system of riding being based on 
hunting and racing, its principal object is to get the 
horse forward as fast as possible, without much at- 
tention to his manner of eoinof. The Continental 
system is based upon the requirements of military 
service, and, in the training of horses, the methods 
used are adapted to making the horse quick, handy, 
and obedient. 

In the eastern part of the United States, the 
English fashion prevails, but in the West, in Texas, 
and in Mexico, the Spanish style of riding, with its 
accompanying horse equipments, is adopted, because 
it is suited to the purposes for which the horse is 
there largely used : herding and catching cattle. 

English professional horse-breakers being, by 
nature and selection, good horsemen, succeed in 
giving their horses good manners, without working 
upon any system which they distinctly recognise as 
such ; but the amateur who wishes to accomplish 
the same results, should have a good system to 
work upon. 

Before Baucher's time, the suppling of a horse 
was produced mainly by riding him, and gradually 
obtaining all the required results more or less simul- 
taneously. The horse was carefully urged forward 
by the rider's legs, and restrained by the rein, until 
he partly assumed the gathered position. He was 
then ridden in a circle, which was gradually made 
smaller as the horse became more handy, the head 
being drawn in toward the centre by the inner rein. 



and the croup turned out by the pressure of the 
inside leg, until the horse moved nearly sideways, 
his fore legs being at or near the centre of the 
circle. In this way his hind legs were suppled, and 
he became much more responsive to the demands 
of his rider. This movement is called sJionlder in. 
The next movement was that of croup to tJic wall 
(the work was assumed to be done in a riding 
house) ; in this movement, the horse, with his hind- 
quarters turned to the wall and his body nearly at 
right angles to it, was moved sideways by the spur, 
while his head was turned by the rein to look 
slightly in the direction toward which he was going. 
These two movements constituted the whole edu- 
cation of the horse for ordinary purposes ; the use 
of the pillars, for teaching the ' airs' of the ' high 
school,' such as the cronpadc, the ballotadc, &c., are 
outside the limits of our present subject. 

To a certain extent, the same results are obtained 
by all the methods, and the advocates of the older 
ones contend that the horse is not restrained in his 
forward action by them as he is by training under 
the Baucher system. But the old method required, 
from the first, that the trainer should be an accom- 
plished and determined horseman, because he en- 
countered difficulties which one less experienced 
could not overcome, and much was left to his tact 
in using means the exact effect of which he imper- 
fectly understood ; whereas, Balxher has laid down 
every step with accuracy. As a fact, the horses 


trained by his method, for exhibition purposes in 
Jiautc ecolc riding, are far superior in accuracy of 
action to anything that was dreamed of by the 
trainers before his time, and the fact that many of 
the early lessons of the method can be applied on 
foot, to a horse that is too young to ride, commends 
it to the breeder. 

It is not at all my intention to attempt to teach 
here, in the limits of these few pages, any sys- 
tem of handling, or dressing, a horse, but only to 
suggest that if the driving man will undertake 
to improve his horses by either of the methods : 
Baucher's or his successors', he will reap great 
benefit from so doing in the improvement, not only 
of the animals, but especially of his own hands. 

The secret of eood drivinof is to have orood 
hands, and while good hands may be to some 
extent a gift, they are to be acquired mainly by 
practice and thought. In the saddle, no man can 
have good hands who has not a perfectly firm seat, 
so that the action on the reins may be absolutely 
independent of the movements of the body. The 
action of the hand in driving is coarser than in 
ridinor, where the hand, holdinof ligfht reins, is closer 
to the horse's mouth, and the action of the animal 
under the rider indicates to him instantly the horse's 
intentions ; but the principles are the same, and 
a good hand in the saddle means a good hand 
on the driving-cushion. Regularity and accuracy 
of pace can be much better cultivated under the 


saddle, and every riding lesson, judiciously given, 
will improve the horse for driving. 

The training of a horse which is to be finally 
put into a team, may be advantageously continued 
by driving him single, to a dog-cart, where, the 
whip replacing the spur, some of the same effects 
obtained under the saddle may be repeated ; and 
the method of training by driving on foot with 
the long reins, described by Captain Haves in his 
Illustrated Horse Breaking, may be also used with 
p-reat advantage, at all stacjes of the work. 

In our American climate, with so many winter 
days on which riding out of doors with any pleasure 
is impossible, the amateur will find that the hours 
passed on the tan of the riding house, in training a 
favourite horse, according to some good system, will 
be among the pleasantest of his ' horsey' pastimes. 

All professional riding-masters have intentionally, 
or unconsciously, made use of one or other of the 
old methods, or of a combination of them, generally 
imparted by tradition. 

When Baucher's book (translated into English 
by John Sergeant and George H. Boker, of 
Philadelphia, in 1851) first appeared in America, '=' 
some amateurs who had been workinof somewhat 
blindly on the old systems, recognised its value, 
especially when illustrated by the beautiful perform- 

* The first edition of Baucher's book was published in I'aris in 


ances of two horses trained by Baucher, and ridden 
by one of his pupils, Caroline Loyo, in the old 
Walnut Street Circus. A riding school in Sansom 
Street above Eighth Street, long since torn down, 
was the scene of the first applications of Baucher's 
method, by several enthusiastic horsemen, Judge 
Cadwalader, John D. Bleight, and others, and 
out of those pleasant meetings for companionship 
and discussion grew the TJic Philadelphia Riding 
Club, the first, and for many years the only home 
of that kind of equestrian practice in the United 

;8o CH. XVI 


Horses for coach or drag will vary according to 
the taste of the owner and the depth of his pocket. 
For a drae, horses of fifteen-three hands, all four of 
the same size, will be generally found the most useful. 
Of these the lightest and quickest should be selected 
for the lead, and the strongest put at the wheel. 
It is not difficult to find four horses of the same 
height, of which two will weigh forty or fifty pounds 
apiece more than the other two. The team shown 
in Plate XXIX, corresponds to this description. 

The extreme type of racing thoroughbred does 
not look in place to a coach, but the half-bred horse 
of the English hunter style is in every way suitable, 
although he is not always easy to drive when multi- 
plied by four. The nearer that this latter type is 
approached, the better, as far as appearance goes. 

The half-bred mare shown in Plate XXX,, fifteen- 
three hands, by a thoroughbred sire out of a trot- 
ting dam, hunted many seasons and driven as a 
leader, is as nearly as possible perfection in all her 

The hackney, as now produced in America and 
in England, makes an admirable coach-horse when 
large enough, and if his recent introduction into 



America has had no other advantage, it has raised 
the standard of form in the driving-horse. The best 
horse will be one resulting from judicious crosses of 
the hackney and the trotter, improving the form 
of the latter by giving him a finer head, a better 
carriage of it, and a less sloping rump, and by 
heightening his action without too much diminishing 
his speed. 

The free forward action, with sufficient height, 
which some exceptional trotters possess, is the per- 
fection of gait for either the road or the park, and 
in any horse, a trot approaching it, can be often 
improved by judicious handling under the saddle. 

The Morgan horse, formerly a great favourite in 
New England, is in many respects not unlike the 
hackney, both in good qualities and defects. He 
is 'near the ground,' that is, rather short-legged, as 
is shown by his heavy weight compared with his 
height, and this form, although in some eyes it 
detracts from showiness, is the best adapted to hard 
work in harness or under the saddle, as many hard 
riding hunting-men know ; legginess is a great fault 
in a horse. 

This breed, less talked about now than formerly, 
has had a strong influence upon the horses of New 
England ; it combines the good qualities of fair 
speed, great endurance, fine up-headed carriage, and, 
above all, good temper ; the defects being want of 
size, and a certain coarseness and shortness of neck. 
Having rather upright pasterns, the Morgans lack 


the springiness and grace required in a saddle-horse, 
or the highest class of drag leader, but to road-coach 
purposes they are admirably adapted, and several of 
the coaches running out of New York have been 
horsed by animals selected in Maine. 

In the New England States it is usual to describe 
a horse by weight as well as by height, and the two 
together give a better idea of him than the height 

A large sixteen-hand horse, rather clumsy for a 
wheeler, will weigh 11 20 pounds, but from 1070 to 
1090 is heavy enough for an ordinary wheeler. A 
fifteen-three horse, suitable for lead or wheel, will 
weigh from 1000 to 1040 pounds ; and one fifteen- 
two, from 950 to 990 pounds. The Morgan horses 
of 1855 (described in Linsley's Morgan Horse) 
when of fourteen-two hands, weighed from 1000 to 
1050 pounds ; of fifteen hands, 1025 to 1076 pounds ; 
and the average weight of twenty-two horses is 
given at 1040 pounds, their heights ranging from 
fourteen to fifteen hands ; these weights show that 
the horses were very short-legged, since their bodies 
were not clumsy. 

For the same breed of horses, from that date down 
to the present time, the weights are about the same.* 

There is a type of carriage-horse now happily dis- 
appearing from the show-ring and the best dealers' 
stables, — awkward and long legged, with a head of 

* Rider and Driver, January 12, 1895. 



one kind, legs of another, and body of a third, 
which is to be avoided for all purposes. 

The horses of a drag-team should have 'quality,' 
— that is, a certain fineness and distinction which 
are not at all incompatible with strength. Weedy, 
long-legged, tucked-up, thin-necked horses are out 
of place to a coach, especially at the wheel, however 
well they may suit a hansom. 

Horses over sixteen hands are unnecessarily large; 
their rumps are too close to the foot-board ; those 
under fifteen-two are somewhat small for an ordi- 
nary coach, although if they are up-headed they may 
do for leaders. 

For park driving, the leaders may have a good 
deal of action, but it does not do for lone drives, and 
is not, to my taste at least, as good as the long 
and only moderately high action which some trot- 
ters have. A coach-team, to be perfect, must have 
a sporting appearance, and look as if they were 
good for long, continuous work, and not for trotting 
all day in a space of a hundred yards. The horse- 
shows of the past few years have opened the eyes 
of judges and of the public to the fact, that good 
action is not incompatible with ability to get over 
the ground, and, in a coach-team, the combination 
is exactly what should be aimed at. 

Lord Algernon St. Maur {^Driving. Badminton 
Library, 1889, p. 192) says: 'I dislike carriage- 
' horses in a coach ; they are quite different animals 
' from coach-horses ;' this is true, but applies more 


to England and to some years ago, than to America 
in the present day. The old-fashioned, large, eight- 
spring landaus and barouches required tall, heavy 
horses, which were reined up tightly ; but the mod- 
ern landau is not a heavy nor very high carriage, 
and the wheelers of a coach look well to it if they 
have sufficient action ; and in all but exceedingly 
large establishments, it is necessary to use the 
horses for several purposes. The opinion is, how- 
ever, worth bearing in mind, inasmuch as a coaching 
man would make a mistake were he to put to his 
drag a pair of carriage-horses of the type just 

The most nearly perfect team is that which is 
the best matched in temper, size, action, pace, and 
colour. A cross team of two colours, that is, off 
leader and near wheeler alike, is always good, but 
four of different colours, require exceptional ' qual- 
ity' to bring the team into the front rank. A team 
with two horses of one colour on one side and 
two of another colour on the other, always has a 
one-sided look, and leaders matched and wheelers 
matched in pairs as to colour, look too much like 
two pairs. These remarks apply, however, to 
strongly marked colours, greys, &c. ; bays and 
browns may be put together in any way. A cross 
team of two greys and two dark horses has usually 
a gay and brilliant look. 

Some qualities are sufficient to exclude any horse ; 
a kicker is no better in one place than another ; and 


an incorrigible puller should be sold, given away, 
or shot, rather than be put in a team. A horse may 
pull, from some cause which may be removed ; if 
he can be cured, very well ; but a regular puller 
spoils all the pleasure of driving, worries the other 
horses, and makes impossible any fine handling of 
the team. 

Some coachmen advocate having the leaders taller 
than the wheelers, but it is not generally a symmet- 
rical arrangement, especially as the leaders, when 
seen from the front, will, from the perspective, 
always look the larger. 

It is the general practice to put the smaller horses 
on the lead, where they certainly look the best. In 
any case, the Iieavier horses should be at the wheel ; 
they have to control the coach in going down-hill, 
and in turns, where the leaders are held back ; and 
they may be considerably coarser than the leaders 
without hurting the appearance of the team. At 
races, when a coach is on the grass, a pair of 
wheelers that can do more than their share in start- 
ing the coach on the soft oTound, will add to the 
coachman's comfort and perhaps save a balking 

Undoubtedly, the leaders should be the freest ; 
it is disagreeable to have the wheelers free and the 
leaders slack, 'floating leaders,' as a well-known 
coaching man calls them. 

Of the two leaders, the lazier should be on the 
off side, because it is more easy to get at him with 



the whip on that side than on the other. If they 
are equally free and there is any difference in size, 
the taller horse should be on the off side, since he is 
likely to be on the side of the road, which is lower 
than the centre. 

Of the wheelers, the lazy horse should be on the 
near side, under the whip, and it is well to put the 
stronger wheeler on the gutter side (the off side in 
America and the near side in England) so as to pull 
the coach out of the low ground to the centre of 
the road, after having gone to the side in meeting 
a vehicle, and that is also a reason for putting the 
taller horse on the gutter side, since he may be 
generally assumed to be the stronger. 

It is a good plan to accustom the horses to go in 
any place in the team ; but if a horse does better 
in one place than another, it is well to keep him 
there, and this will often be the case, especially in 
a road-team, where the horses cannot be so care- 
fully selected in the beginning, as for a drag, and 
where one horse sometimes fancies a place, and 
will, therefore, work cheerfully in it, and unsatisfac- 
torily in any other. 

As to the pace : horses, to be pleasant to drive, 
should be able to go eleven miles an hour. On a 
good level road, a team should take a coach along 
at nine miles an hour for two hours, but they will 
not do this unless they can go a good deal faster ; 
a horse continuously pushed to the top of his speed 
never travels pleasantly, and soon tires, but if he 


can do eleven, he will easily do nine, which is quite 
within his powers, 

A team to a private coach not too heavily loaded 
ought to do from eighteen to twenty miles in an 
afternoon drive, on fairly level roads, and can do, 
day after day, from twenty-four to twenty-six miles, 
divided into two parts, with a couple of hours for 
rest and feed in the middle of the day. 

Horses are usually clipped in the winter ; indeed 
at any season, when they require it for appearance, 
and it undoubtedly adds much to their comfort 
when doing fast work. In our climate, however, 
it must not be forgotten that they sometimes re- 
quire the protection of a blanket when they are 
not moving ; it is thoughtless and cruel to keep 
them standing uncovered on a cold day. 

The length of the tails of coach-horses is a matter 
of fashion. In the early part of this century the 
tails of all horses were cut short (or docked), and 
p7'icked (by cutting the under sinews), so that they 
stood up very high (see Cordery's Picture, Plate I.). 
Later, the tails were banged ; that is, cut square 
just at the end of the bone, as the tails of race 
horses are now ; and the fashion has again come 
round to the very short tail, but without pricking. 
Undoubtedly, the tail being short makes the horse 
look * smarter' and prevents his getting it over the 
rein. The very long tails of the trotters of some 
years ago would certainly look out of place in front 
of a coach. 


Horses are sometimes trained, formerly more than 
at present, to stand, when in harness, with their hind 
legs stretched out. It is done to prevent the horse 
from jumping forward when he hears or feels some 
one stepping into the carriage, — an unpleasant trick, 
very damaging to hats and bonnets. A horse can- 
not do this if his hind legs are much stretched 
out, since he must gather himself before making 
the movement. The position is, however, an ugly 
one for a coach-horse, and shows at once that he 
is a carriage-horse. 


As to the actual cost of private coaching it is 
difficult to give exact figures, prices vary so much 
in different localities, but it may be said, that a well 
turned-out coach need not necessarily add much to 
the expenses of a good sized stable. Where four 
horses are kept for any purpose, it is easy so to 
select them accordincr to the hints o^iven in the re- 
marks on Horses, that they can be put together 
as a team. Four horses in a stable mean, under 
any circumstances, two men, and all that is neces- 
sary in addition is the coach, which with its vari- 
ous appointments can be had for less than three 
thousand dollars. As has been remarked in the 
Chapter on Harness, two sets of pair-horse harness, 
properly made, are right for four horses, and thus 
equipped, the lover of coaching can have as much 
of it as he desires, without interfering materially 


with other uses of his stable. Two saddle-horses 
do not make bad leaders, in fact, they often make 
the best ; and a man and his wife may have their 
driving-, their riding, and their coaching, all within 
the limits of a modest establishment, while it is 
quite certain that any man who cares enough for 
his coaching to obtain it in this way, will enjoy it 
much more than he who merely buys a team be- 
cause he thinks it fashionable or wishes to have 
something better than his neighbours. 

There is so much already in print about Stable 
Management, the Care of Horses, and Stable Ex- 
penses, that these subjects need not be touched 
upon here. 

590 CH. XVII 


While coachmen differ somewhat in their ideas 
as to the weight, stiffness, etc., of a whip, there are 
certain dimensions and characteristics which may be 
considered as standard, and from which the devia- 
tions are, after all, very slight. 

The whip best adapted to four-in-hand driving 
has come down to us from the palmy days of Eng- 
lish coaching, when thousands were made for, and 
used by the most accomplished coachmen. 

It has a straight stick, crop, or cross, with the 
thong attached by what is called the quill (from its 
being made of goose quills), which, being in form a 
prolongation of the stick, is stiff at its root, gradually 
merging into the thong proper ; the quill and the 
first part of the thong forming a bow or portion of 
a circle (see Fig. 159). -^ 

This quill is characteristic of the English whip, 
the whip of other countries having a stiff stick to 
which the thong is attached by a loop. The stick, 
or crop, is made of an elastic wood : holly, yew, 
blackthorn, lancewood, or white hickory. 

Holly is by far the most generally used, and is 
obtained from second growth shoots, six or seven 
years old. The sticks are carefully selected, the 


straightest of course being preferred, but those 
which are somewhat crooked can be steamed and 
straightened by the maker. They are cut to nearly 
the length required, and stored, seasoned, and dried 
with great care, being examined at intervals, and 
kept straight, the whole operation requiring, with 
the best makers, a period of about five years. 
They are then trimmed to their final shape, stained, 
varnished, and mounted. The varnishine is of o-reat 
importance in protecting the stick from the effects 
of dampness, and every maker has his special way 
of doing it, the work of some makers being far 
superior to that of others. 

The stick should be springy but not soft, and must 
be proportioned to the weight of the thong ; a four- 
horse whip requires to be stiffer than a pair-horse 
whip, which has a short thong. 

The whole length of the stick should be five feet, 
measured from the metal butt of the handle to the 
end, which end is marked by the knot always worked 
on the quill. Five feet, one inch and a half, is the 
extreme length that the stick should have. 

The stick usually has a handle, but some sticks 
show the wood throughout from butt to knot ; they 
do not, as a rule, balance as well in the hand as 
those that have handles. Rabbit-bitten hollies are 
much fancied ; they are found in holly plantations 
frequented by rabbits ; these animals eat the bark 
near the ground, and leave it in irregular patterns 
on the portion which is used as the butt of the 


Stick. The natural knots of the holly are usually 
the proper distance apart to look well on the stick ; 
they are filed to the proper shape, and if there are 
not enough of them, artificial ones are made by 
leaving- elevations when reducing the size of the 
stick. In some whips, the knots are left quite 
prominent, in others they show slightly ; this is a 
matter of taste. The majority of coachmen like to 
have a few knots close to the upper end of the 
stick, to keep the thong from sliding down when it 
is caught up. 

White hickory, worked perfectly plain, without 
any knots, makes a beautiful stick and looks like 
ivory. It is particularly pleasant to handle if 
properly proportioned, but unless the thong is very 
soft, it is liable to slip down the stick. Owing to 
the stick having no knots, the thong can be quickly 
freed from it for use, 

A good holly stick should have a diameter of 
six-tenths of an inch where it leaves the collar or 
ferule, and of three-tenths of an inch at its upper 
end. A hickory stick, being heavier and stiffer, 
should be very little over a quarter of an inch at 
the upper end. 

Some coachmen fancy a ' dog-legged stick ;' that 
is, one with a crook more or less square, a short 
distance above the ferule, but it is certainly not 
handsome, and usually it is not pleasant to handle. 

The handle, or hand-piece, of the whip, is ten and 
a half inches longr, includinof its ferule, or collar. 


and its cap. To make the handle, the stick is cut 
down to a cyHndrical form about four-tenths of an 
inch in diameter from the butt to the point where 
the collar is to be. and an iron tube eight and a 
half inches long, fitting this cylindrical part tightly, 
is pushed on, and cemented to it. This tube is 
of such thickness as to weigh about one ounce. 
Tow is evenly wound round the tube until it has 
assumed the shape, and nearly the size, that the 
finished handle is to have, larger at the butt than 
at the collar ; over the tow, paper is pasted, and 
over this the final covering of the handle is put on. 
The ferule, or collar, which has been slipped on the 
stick before wrapping, is pulled backward to its 
place on the covering and cemented, and the cap 
at the butt is cemented on. 

The large end of a well-proportioned handle is 
nine-tenths of an inch in diameter, the small end 
six and a half tenths. The cap will be as much 
larger as the thickness of the metal makes it, and 
the same is true of the collar, which tapers enough 
to fit over the leather of six and a half tenths and 
the stick of six-tenths of an inch diameter. 

For a four-in-hand whip the handle should be 
covered with pig-skin. It may be put on plain 
with a neat seam down its length, the usual way 
for a drag whip, or it may be wound helically 
round, which is right for a road-coach whip, and 
is somewhat less slippery when wet. 

The butt-cap and the collar should be perfectly 


plain, and made of silver or of brass, akuays of the 
same metal with which the harness is mounted. 
Their proportions affect the appearance of the whip, 
and they should be neither too light nor too heavy. 
The collar is the proper place on which to engrave 
a name or a monogram. 

A stick which has no handle. — a rabbit-bitten 
stick, for instance, — has a butt-cap, but no collar. 

The thong is of white leather made from horse- 
hide, other leather, such as sheep-skin, being too soft 
and absorbent ; it must be plaited tightly without 
being very hard, and is usually tapered regularly 
from the quill to the small end. A thong is some- 
times made with a slight belly or swell, commencing 
about two feet from the quill ; it is easier to catch 
than a tapered thong, but not so good to hit with. 

The butt-end of the thong is stiffened by several 
pieces of quill worked into it, and the stick is pushed 
into the tube thus made, until its point comes oppo- 
site to the knot worked on the thong (Fig. 162'-') ; 
the pieces of quill, and the ends of hide of which 
the thong is made, come down on the sides of the 
stick, and are bound to it by waxed silk. 

The quill has a bend or turn up, which is put on 
the stick opposite to the seam on the handle, and the 
whip must be always so held that the seam is down 
and the bend of the quill up. There is something 

* In Fig. 162 the knot shows at the point where the broad pieces 
of leather commence to separate. The two pieces of cpiill also show 
below the knot. 


forlorn about a whip without a quill, or a whip held 
upside down, in which position it can neither be 
properly caught, nor properly used on a horse. 

The stamp of the maker, which is on the stick 
above the collar, opposite to the seam and on the 
same side as the turn up of the quill, indicates the 
side of the whip which is to be uppermost in the 
hand. The pleasant feeling of a whip in the hand de- 
pends largely upon the make of the quill, and a whip 
is ruined if the quill is allowed to get out of shape. 

Good thongs can be had only from the best 
makers. The thong terminates in a point, called 
by whip-makers the lasJi. It is sometimes made of 
whip-cord, but is much better of the same material 
as the thong, since the cord, when wet, is apt to 
wrap round parts of the harness. 

Silk points, of any colour, are entirely out of place 
on a coach whip, or, in fact, on any whip thong. 

A finished whip should have the following quali- 
ties : It should feel light in the hand, springy, not 
as if it were too heavy at the point, and not 'dead.' 
With the thong caught up (as described further on) 
it should balance at a point twenty-one and a half 
inches from the butt, or about one-third of the total 
length of the stick ; accurately, 36 per cent. If the 
balancing point is further from the butt, the whip 
will feel heavy in the hand. 

The spring, or stiffness, must be measured by the 
feeling, but for the purpose of establishing a nu- 
merical standard, several whips of the best quality 




were experimented with, and were found to have 
a deflection of about eight inches at a point four 
feet two inches from the collar, or near the knot, 
when a weight of ten ounces, avoirdupois, was hung 
at that point, the whip being supported at the collar. 
The followine Table orives the details of these 
experiments : — 

Description of Whip. 

No. I. 

No. II. 

No. III. 

No. IV. 

No. V. 

No. VI. 

No. VII. 

Diameter of handle in 
looths of an incii : 
At the butt .... 








At the collar . 








Diameter of stick in 
looths of an inch : 
At the collar .... 








At the upper end . . 








Length of handle, 







Length of stick, in- 
cluding handle, to 
knot, feet and inches 

5 0/2 

5 0/, 

5 o'A 

5 ^'A 

5 iX 

4 io>^ 


Length of thong, from 
knot, feet and inches 

12 8 

12 8 

12 6 

12 10 

13 9 

12 2 

II 9 

Deflection with weight 
of lo ounces at a 
point 4 ft. 2 in. from 
collar, inches . . 








Total weight of whip, 
ounces, avoirdupois . 








Distance of point of 
balance from butt, 








Percentage of this dis- 
tance in total length 
of stick 








No. v. has no handle. Nos. VI. and VII. are jointed whips. 


Nos. II. and III. may be considered standard 

No. v., a light rabbit-bitten whip with no handle, 
^ths of an inch in diameter ten and a half inches 
from the butt (the place of the collar), had a de- 
flection of nine and a half inches. This is an 
extremely pleasant whip to handle with a properly 
proportioned light thong. It is really a tandem 

Nos. VI. and VII. are jointed whips made to 
carry on a board, as spare whips (Fig. i6o), and 
such whips, owing to the screwed joint, are apt to 
be less springy than an ordinary whip ; these two 
examples, however, are very good. On them, the 
point of attachment of the ten-ounce weight came 
somewhat above the knot on the quill, owing to the 
shortness of the stick. 

The pressure upon the thumb, of even a well- 
balanced whip, is considerable, at least as much as 
twenty ounces when the stick is held at the collar, 
owing to the centre of gravity of the whip being 
twice as far from the butt as is the collar. The 
twisting strain on the hand is caused by this lever- 
age, of ten inches against the breadth of the hand, 
which is only four. This strain is usually severely 
felt by the beginner, for which reason a light whip 
is desirable. If the butt-cap is weighted to im- 
prove the balance it makes the whole whip too 

In buying a whip, the beginner should avail him- 




self of the aid of an expert who can select for him 
one that is really good, as a 
standard by which future pur- 
chases can be made ; a man who 
has been using whips not of the 
best quality will be astonished, 
upon getting hold of something 
exactly right, to find how far 
superior it is to those which he 
has been handling. 

Inasmuch as a good whip can 
be soon ruined by being im- 
properly taken care of, it is im- 
portant to keep the quill and 
upper part of the thong in shape, 
by hanging it on a spool (Fig. 
159) fastened against the wall. 
The spool should have a V-shaped 
groove, and pulling the thong 
tightly into the groove will pre- 
vent the whip from slipping ; it is 
better also to tie the point round 
the thono- and stick together, as 
shown in the Figure. 

If the proper part of the thong, 
as shown in Fig. 159, is jammed 
in the groove the weight of the 
stick will give, and will keep, 
the proper backward curve to 
159. the quill. 


In default of a spool, a short loop of twine should 
be tied round the stick below the knot, and the whip 
hung by that (Fig. 159) ; but a whip should never be 
kept leaning against a wall or in a corner. 

A jointed whip, the pieces of the stick of which 
screw tooether, should be carried in the coach. It 
is fastened upon a board, as shown in Fig. 160. 
Two whips may be put upon the same board. 

Fig. 100. 

For carrying whips on a journey, the leather case 
divised by me for my own use, shown in Fig. 161, 
is very convenient. It is 6 ft. 5 in. long, 4^ inches 
wide, and i ^ inches deep, outside dimensions ; 
made of sole leather, with a bottom of hard wood, 
14 inch thick, on the iJisidc of the case, to make it 
stiff. Tapes, fastened to the bottom, serve to tie 
in the whips, six of which can be carried. The 
tapes round the handles must be tied so tight that 
the whips cannot slip on to their heads when the 
case is on end, or else the bows of the thongs will 
be bent out of shape. 

A whip should always be wiped, or, if necessary, 
washed thoroughly after use, to keep the varnish 
in o-ood order, and the thono- must be washed with 
soft soap (crown soap) and water, and sometimes 
rubbed with soap alone to keep it soft. Glycerine, 
vaseline, or a mixture of lard and wax, may be used, 




but to keep a thong in condition, 
there is nothing- so good as soap 
and constant use. If it is hard 
and stiff it will be impossible to 
catch it up readily or to keep it 
on the stick. Pipeclay should 
[I never be used on a thong ; it 
makes it stiff and rots it. There 
is a condition into which a thong 
gets during the first part of a 
drive in rain or fog which is just 
right, but afterward it often be- 
comes too soft, and finally, when 
dried, it is stiff and 
requires soaping or 


When a thono- is 
worn, it is best to 
put on an entirely 
new one, with its quill 
complete. Thongs 
are sold by whip- 
makers put up as 
I shown in Fig. 162, 
and a coachman can 
learn, without much 
difficulty, by examining a finished 
whip, to braid one on to the stick 
for himself The two wide strips 
of leather, which hano- below the 

Fig. 162. 





knot, must be slit so as to give four strips, round 
and between which to braid the black thread. 

A thong, otherwise good, which has been cut 
or broken, should be spliced as shown in Fig. 

The unbraided strands ' a' and ' b' of the ends of 
the broken thong, being tied round the parts of the 

Fig. 163. 

thong, as at A, the two knots are pulled tight to- 
gether as shown at B. The ends are then cut off 
and the knot rolled between two hard surfaces. 

In Fig. 163, A, the end 'a' is left in a position to 
show the knots under it, but before pulling the 
knots together, it must be pulled '■''■ tightly into the 
space between the two parts of the thong, as at 
'b,' and it then covers the knots and is jammed 
when they are drawn together, as shown at B. 

* After tucking the last ends, ' a' and ' b,' into the space between 
the two parts of the thong, it is convenient to seize them with a pair 
of nippers in order to pull them as tight as possible. 





A point may be put on in the same way, but it is 
more usually done as in Fig. 164 : — 

The end of the thonof beino- unbraided, one of the 
four strands is tied round the others, and pulled 

tight to keep the thong 
from unplaiting, and the 
end of the point having 
been unplaited is pushed 
close against the end of 
the thong. Each strand in succession is laid on 
top of a strand of the thong, and that thong-strand 
having been turned back, the point-strand is tied 
round it and the body of the thong, in a single knot 
and pulled tight. After all four are thus tied, the 
ends are cut off and the knot rolled. 

Another way of splicing a thong is to make with 
the two ends, what sailors call a 'shroud knot,' 
which can be learned from any book on sailors' 
knots. In this knot the pieces of thong are un- 
plaited and butted against each other, and each 
strand is tied with a single knot around the main 
part of the thong to which it does not belong, one 
half of all these knots coming above the joint and 
one half below it. The knots are all pulled tight 
and the ends cut off. 

The whip used in the West, and elsewhere than 
in England, has a straio-ht stick of an elastic wood, 
from 3 ft. 6 in. to 4 feet long. The thong is from 
8 to 10 feet long, rather heavy, and has usually a 


belly near the stick end ; it has nothing resembling 
a quill, but in its place there is a loop. 

The stick, or 'stock,' frequently has metal bands 
at intervals for its whole length, but it has no handle 
proper, the lower part being swelled out to fit the 
hand. A leather loop is fastened on the upper end 
of the stick by wrapping, and to it the thong is at- 
tached by its loop, exactly like a hunting-whip or 
like the thong of the long whip, or cJiambidere, of 
the circus rinof-master. 

The short stick is convenient in narrow forest- 
roads, where trees are close to the track, but the 
whole whip is stiff, and entirely inferior to the 
English whip. It is difficult to strike a wheel 
horse with it without using the whole length of 
the thonof, since a ' double-thong-' cannot be made 
with it. 

The whips used in Africa with teams of eight or 
ten animals are described as being exceedingly long, 
with a very heavy thong, and are used with both 
hands, one man driving and another flogging. 

Catching a Double-Thong. — Owing to the length 
of the thong of a four-horse whip, it is convenient to 
carry it looped on the stick, and for that purpose it 
is caught up in what is called a double-thong (Fig. 
165), with a loop of the upper part hanging on 
the end of the stick and the rest of the thong 
coming down to the hand. 

A learner who desires to master the trick of 


the double-thong should, if possible, get some one 
to teach him ; it is extremely difficult to do it from 
a description ; but the mechanism of it is as fol- 
lows : — 

If the whip is held in the right hand, pointing 
slightly upward and to the front, and moved sharply 
to the right and a little upward, with the thong loose. 

Fig. 165. 

the thong will turn over the stick, and 
slipping along it over the top, will come 
to rest in its original position, having 
gone over the stick from left to right. 

If, however, the point of the thong is held against 
the collar of the stick by the thumb, and the opera- 
tion repeated, the point not being free to run out, but 
being suddenly arrested, the bight of the thong will 
swing back to the left and will wind itself round 
the stick from right to left, the upper turns being in 
the direction of a right-handed screw and the lower 
turns in that of a left-handed screw (Fig. 166, A). 
Since the upper part of the thong has made a turn 
over the stick, there will be one more turn in the 
right-handed part than in that near the hand. If 
these lower turns are pulled out, leaving only the 
upper turns, the thong will lie as shown at B, 
Ficr. 166. 


In practice, to catch the double-thong-, the hand, 
after being moved to the right, somewhat sharply 
but steadily, that is, without a jerk, so as to give 

a swinor to the bitrht of the thone, must 
be turned upward a little, and sud- 
denly stopped, so that the thong will come on the 
proper point of the stick, the upper turn being just 
below the knot ; if it is above the knot it may strain 
the quill. 

In all this movement, the point of the whip should 
follow a line like this ^— ■*-^, supposed to be marked 
on a wall in front of the operator, but it is the turn 
of the wrist at the end of the movement which 
catches the thong, and that is really almost the 
only motion made by one who is very expert. 

The motion of the stick must be uniform, until 
the stop at the end, and the thong must be left to 
curl round the stick of itself. The thong should 
not be struck at by the stick, as is frequently 

In all movements of the whip, whether catching 
the thon^: or in hittino- a horse, it must be held 
easily in the hand, and the wrist must be free and 


loose. It should be grasped by the whole hand 
with all the fingers underneath ; to extend the 
fore-finger up the stick, results in an objectionable 

The knack of catching the thong dextrously, or 
even at all, can be acquired only by practice, and 
while sometimes a lucky man will hit upon it very 
soon, another will try without success for months, 
when it will suddenly come to him. 

After the double-thong^ is cauo-ht, the ri^ht hand 

o o o 

must be moved to such a position that the bight of 
the thonof will come under the thumb of the left 
hand ; the loiuer turns can then be pulled out by 
raising the right hand (for the left hand, with the 
reins, must not be moved), and the thong having 
been pulled down tight from the lowest of the 
upper turns, must be held against the stick by the 
thumb (Fig. i66, B). Some men take two or three 
turns of the end of the thong round the whip handle 
before placing the thumb upon it, but it is better to 
acquire the habit of keeping it straight, since the 
operation just described takes some time, and it is 
not advisable to prolong it. 

If the lower turns are not pulled out, the thong 
will come unwound too readily. 

If there are knots close to the end of the wrap- 
ping of the quill, the thong, if it is soft and clinging, 
ought to remain in its place, but it is likely to slip 
down, and this can be prevented by putting two or 
three more turns on the stick by a motion of the 


wrist. If more than two turns are put on, they will 
show in the loop, and when it is desired to hit a 
wheeler hard, they will hold the thong more securely 
together (see Fig. 167). 

As long as the consecutive motions of catching 
the double-thong are properly performed, it does 

Fig. 167. 

not make much difference in what position 
the whip is held ; that is, it can be caught 
to the right or to the left, directly in front 
or overhead, and it may be necessary at 
times to catch it in any of these positions, 
depending upon whether or not there is anything in 
the way, but in general, unless there is some reason 
to the contrary, it should be caught, with the point 
high and in front, or directly over the horses, for 
the reason that this is the direction in which the 
coachman's eyes should be always kept, and if he 
is tempted to look at his whip he will still be 
lookino- in the ritrht direction. 

What is sometimes called the 'whitewash act,' 
resorted to by coachmen who have not mastered 
the double-thong, consists in holding the whip ver- 
tically downward on the right side of the coach, 
and stirring it round and round until the proper 
number of turns are obtained ; it is effective but 
not eletrant. 


When the wind is strono- from the near side of the 


coach, or the thono- not in the best condition, the 
turns may slip down the stick ; they may be pushed 
back to their places by drawing the stick under the 
thumb of the left hand, which must not be moved ; 
but it is better to catch the thong up afresh in the 
regular way. 

Use of the Whip. — To hit a near wheeler, the 
hand must be somewhat advanced, and the stroke 
delivered by turning the thumb down and the outside 
of the hand up, striking the horse on the shoulder, 
or as far forward as possible. For an off wheeler 
the hand is carried forward to the right and down, 
underhanded, the back of the hand going down and 
the fingers up. The horse should be hit on the 
shoulder, and with the loop of the thong parallel 
to the line of the pole-chains, that is, as extended 
as possible, when the thong will be less Ukely to 
catch on the point of the trace, or on the point of 
the belly-band chape. Both of these strokes are 
made with the loop of the thong. 

An off leader is easy to reach : the thong is 
untwisted by swinging the whip on the right-hand 
side and letting go the point just as the last turn 
comes off. The unwound thong is then directed, 
with the hand in the same position as for the off 
wheeler, toward the hind legs of the horse below 
his trace. It takes an extremely long thong to hit 
a leader in front of his pad, and he should not 


be hit above his trace, which may make him kick ; 
moreover, if the thong is muddy, it leaves a mark. 

There are three ways of hitting a near leader : 
The usual one is to swing the thong over the top of 
the coach (being sure that it is swung high enough 
to avoid striking any one on the back seat), and 
then throwinor it out alongside of the near wheeler 
so as to touch the leader from the outside. An- 
other way, is to pass the whip, unwound, of course, 
to the left side of the coach, and to describe a 
vertical circle with the thong, throwing it forward as 
before, but not permitting any part of the thong to 
g'o back behind the driving-seat. This resembles 
what Scotch fishermen call a ' Spey-cast' with the 
rod ; used where trees are behind the angler ; it is 
difficult, and requires long practice. The neatest 
way is to hit the horse from the off side, under the 
bars, the point of the thong passing in front of 
the wheelers and behind the off leader, catchino- 
the near leader on his off hind leg. If the stroke 
is delivered as if aimed at the kidney-link of the ofi 
wheeler it will be successful. This is also a difficult 
stroke, but so neat that it is worth acquiring, and 
it will be hardly noticed by persons on the coach, 
whereas, owing to their necessary amplitude, the 
other two motions are conspicuous. 

Some good coachmen recommend, and practise, 
throwinor the thong- on the leaders' backs between 
the heads of the wheelers ; possibly in certain con- 
fined places it may be necessary, but it is a bad 


Stroke ; one is almost certain to touch a wheeler in 
bringing the thong back, or to get the point caught 
in the harness or on the pole-head. 

In touching any horse, and especially a leader, 
the maxim ' hold and hit' must be remembered, 
which means that the coachman must have a hold 
on the horse's mouth, because if the horse is hit 
while his rein is loose, he will rush forward before 
he can be properly restrained. No crack or whistle 
must be made with the whip ; only that horse alone 
which is hit, should know anything about it. 

After a stroke the thong must be brought back by 
lifting the point of the stick, so that the thong will 
fall on the inside of the rigrht arm, whence it can be 
allowed to slip down to the hand. There will be 
several feet of thong hanging down behind the 
hand, and this must be pulled through the right 
hand by the left thumb, until only a few inches 
remain under the rio-ht thumb, when a double-thons" 
can be caught. 

In bringing the thong back, it must not touch 
any horse, or trail on the ground so as to get 

In striking an off wheeler, the loop of the double- 
thong may catch either in the point of the trace or 
in the point-strap which is buckled into the false 
belly-band, and it will be difficult to get it out ; it 
may sometimes be released by letting the point of 
the thong go entirely off of the stick, and then 
pulling it through single. 


After striking a leader, the point may catch be- 
tween the hook and the spring of the lead-bar, and 
it will be generally necessary for one of the servants 
to get down and release it ; but a series of gentle 
jerks, or pulling back the leaders, so as to slacken 
the lead-trace, will sometimes brino- it out. To 
order a servant to get down for the purpose of 
clearing the thong, the coachman says, sharply, 
'near side' or 'off side,' as the case may be. If 
the point is wet, especially if it is of whipcord, it 
will often lap round the hook of the lead-bar or 
some part of the bar ; which is called : ' getting a 
bite ;' a little jerking and coaxing will usually free 
it. Another expression used for having the thong 
caught is : ' getting hung up.' 

Should the loop of the thong catch on a tree, the 
whip must be quickly let go entirely, and picked up 
afterward ; an attempt to pull it away may not only 
break it, but possibly inflict a blow upon the occu- 
pant of the box-seat. The balls or ornaments on 
gateposts may catch the whip unless it is held high. 

In approaching a spot where the horses may be 
troublesome, such as under a railroad bridge, the 
whip should be unwound, and only the point of the 
thong held in the hand, ready for instant application 
to a leader. In meetinor a steam-roller, for instance, 
the leaders are very apt to shy, and a quick touch 
to the off side of the off leader will keep the leaders 
in the road. 

There is an unwritten rule of the Reicnion Road 


Club, of Paris, that any member neglecting this pre- 
caution, of unwinding his whip, shall pay a fine of 
one franc to every other member who may happen 
to be on the coach. 

The whip should never remain in the socket 
(many coaches have no whip-socket, which is a good 
plan) ; it should always be in the hand ready for 
use, since the wheelers may need to be turned by it 
more quickly than they can be turned by the reins ; 
for a sharp forward movement of a wheeler, owing 
to his pulling on the end of the splinter-bar, will 
promptly take his side of the coach round. 

In galloping, it is usually better to guide with the 
whip than by the reins, because pulling a horse to 
one side will take him out of his even stride or 
cause him to chano-e his leading- leof. 

It is in the management of the whip that an 
amateur coachman is of necessity weakest, private 
teams generally requiring more to be restrained 
than to be urged, so that if he does not keep his 
right hand quiet, his horses may ' get too much 
for him ;' consequently, it is a good plan to spend 
some spare time on foot, or on a coach-box, prac- 
tising upon imaginary animals. 

In addition to the regular whip, old coaching 
chronicles tell of the 'short tommy,' or 'docker,' 
and the 'apprentice:' the former appears to have 
been a whip with a short stick and a short thong, 
with which, on a bad hill, the coachman of a night- 
coach, after putting his whip under his right leg, 


would ' lay into' his wheelers, while the guard, 
running- alongside, persuaded the leaders with a 
similar weapon, A plate by Sturgess in Harris's 
Old Coaching Days (p. 78) illustrates the operation. 
The ' apprentice' was more like a cat-o'-nine-tails. 

On a coach which has no whip-socket, when it is 
necessary for any temporary purpose to get the 
whip out of the hand, the handle is put under the 
right leg, the stick projecting horizontally to the off 
side, an eye being kept on it, that it does not catch 
in a tree. 

Reynardson tells a story, also illustrated by 
Alken, in Down the Road (p. 1 34), of * stamping 
the foot-board,' in which an old coachman, being 
in the habit of rattling his feet on the foot-board 
whenever he used the ' short tommy,' got his horses 
so used to the signal that as soon as they heard the 
noise they jumped into their collars, without it being 
necessary to apply the instrument. 

The catching up of the whip in a double-thong 
seems to date from the early part of this century, 
but not to have become general until much later. 
The pictures of the last century do not show it 
(see Plate VI.). In Alkex's well known plate TJiree 
blind '7ms and a bolter, published in 1833, and in a 
plate by J. L. A., published by Watson in 1824, the 
whip is 7wt caught up. In a picture of a coach-and- 
six, by CoRDERY, in 1803 (Coachmakers' Company, 
London), the double-thong is shown. The books 
are silent on the subject. 


The Salute. — When road-coaches meet, the 
coachmen salute each other with the whip. In 
early days, it was customary to move the whip-hand 
to the right, keeping it low, as shown at A, Plate 
XXXI. ; later, it became the fashion to raise the 
hand to the level of the face, as at B ; and finally, 
about fifteen years ago, the manner shown at C, 
which resembles a soldier's 'present sabre,' was 
adopted. Corbett (p. 248) calls the oldest fashion : 
'a neat meeting,' and the second one: 'a muffish 

A person driving a private coach should always 
make a salute with the whip to a road-coach, when 
meeting one. If there are ladies with whom he is 
acquainted, on a coach, he should raise his hat, 
passing his whip into his left hand. 

It is hardly necessary to say that a man when 
driving should always take off his hat to a lady of 
his acquaintance ; it is in bad taste merely to raise 
his whip in place of so doing. If he has not hands 
enough to spare one for his hat, he should continue 
to practice driving, until he can find one. 

CH. XVIII 415 



On a private coach there should be two servants : 
a first and second groom, or coachman and groom. 
The head man sits on the off side in the rumble, the 
other man on the near side. When the owner is not 
driving, as, for instance, when the coachman brings 
the coach from the stable to the door, the second 
man keeps his place in the rumble on the near side. 
After coming to the door, the second man goes 
immediately to the heads of the leaders and stands 
in front of them facing the coach, taking hold of their 
heads if necessary, and straightening them forward ; 
the leaders, on stopping, are very apt to hang back 
and to be too near the end of the pole. Their 
traces should be nearly tight, and while they stand, 
the man at their heads should see that they are al- 
ways in their proper places. The coachman quietly 
puts on the brake, gets down immediately, with the 
reins and whip in his right hand, draws the reins 
through the point-strap above the tug-buckle (in 
the manner shown in Fig. 16S), lays the whip across 
the backs of the wheelers, and then stands at the 
wheelers' heads on the off side. 

Should there be only men going on the coach, 
and the ladder is not required, the man who is at 


the wheelers' heads remains at his place ; if the 
ladder is to be used, it is his duty to take it down 
and put it in position, and also to get out any rugs, 

aprons, etc., that may be 
required. As soon as he 
has finished these duties he 
returns to his station on the 
off side. 

Meanwhile, the second 
man, at the heads of the 
leaders, must be looking 
toward the coach, and at a 
YiQ 1 63 nod from the person driving 

he moves to his right, that 
is, to the near side, and takes three or four steps 
toward the coach ; at the same time the head man 
takes a step forward, which brings him opposite to 
the second man. 

As the coach passes them, they take hold of the 
irons supporting the rumble, and putting up the 
inside foot first, mount to the back seat as nearly 
as possible simultaneously. 

On stopping, they immediately descend, and take 
their places, as before, at the horses' heads ; but it 
a lady is to get down, the head man brings the 

Both men should be on the alert to get down 
in case of an accident or if their services are really 
required, but they should not jump down and run 
to the horses at every temporary block in the street. 


as if the coachman were not competent to manage 
his horses. 

All the men about a four-in-hand establishment 
should be carefully instructed, that should a team 
suddenly start, the proper way to stop it is by 
seizing the heads of the zo/icci horses; there is 
always an impulse on the part of bystanders to 
rush to the heads of the leaders ; if they succeed 
in stopping them, the point of the pole runs into 
the leaders' rumps, resulting in confusion worse 
confounded. It is the wheelers alone that can 
hold the coach ; if they are stopped, the leaders 
can do but little. Therefore, the proper thing is 
to reach the wheelers first, and bring them under 

When wheelers are troublesome, the man at their 
heads can hold them by taking all four of their 
reins in his hand, about two feet from the bits, and 
every man should be shown how he can hold all 
four horses at once, by taking in his hand, or in both 
hands, the leaders' reins in addition, — a much safer 
way than merely standing at the leaders' heads 
when there is no one to look after the wheelers. 

In large establishments, the head coachman fre- 
quently brings the coach to the door, but goes no 
further, in which case, the two grooms come round 
in the rumble, and take their stations as above 
described. Under these circumstances, the head 
coachman is not in livery. He places the ladder 
and discharges the duties, described above as be- 



longing to the head man, and the principal groom 
remains at the wheelers' heads. 

When, as at races and picnics, a stable-man out 
of livery is taken inside the coach to help with 
the horses, he does not do any of the duties just 
described, but assists immediately in taking out 
the horses, holdingr them, runnincr the coach into 
position, etc. 

Dress. — The men should be dressed in breeches 
and boots, with sinMe-breasted coats not too lono- in 
the skirt, waistcoats of the striped material especially 
made for the purpose, known as 'Valencia,' or of 
any coloured material that is desired. The waist- 
coats should have sleeves, so that the men will look 
neat if their coats are taken off to do any work ; the 
waistcoats should be high enough to show an edge 
in the opening of the coat when this is buttoned. 

The scarf should be white ; there is a regular 
form of coachman's scarf, sometimes combined with 
a collar, which is sold by dealers (Fig. 
169). The scarf and collar must be 
always scrupulously clean, and it looks 
well for the two men to wear small horse- 
shoe scarf-pins exactly alike. 

The higfh silk hat should be in the mean 
Fig. 169. ^ 

of the fashion, and not exaggerated, 

but always of the best quality and never shabby. 

The oil-cloth covers, sometimes provided for rainy 

weather, are not satisfactory : they rub the hat when 


they are being put on, and are heavy. A good silk 
hat is not much hurt by rain, if, after coming home, 
it is wet all over and wiped with a wet cloth. After 
it is quite dry, it should be brushed with a hard 
brush, and then with a soft one or a velvet pad ; 
some coachmen keep a hatter's iron in the harness- 
room to improve it still further. 

Cockades are worn in the men's hats only when 
the owner of the coach is, or has been, an Officer 
of the Army or Navy, or in the Diplomatic Service. 
It is usually considered that the cockade with a fan 
belongs to military officers, and the cockade with 
only the oval body, to Civil Servants of the Gov- 
ernment. '=' 

Tan-coloured dog-skin gloves complete the cos- 
tume ; the orloves should not be white. 

A coachman's coat has flaps on the hips where 
pockets would be ; a groom's coat has not. The 
buttons are silver or gilt, corresponding to the 
mountinors of the harness, and should have, raised 
on them, a monogram or crest ; a perfectly plain 
metal button suggests a livery stable. The tails of 

* The cockade probably originated with the button used to fasten 
up the brim of the hat, and seems to have been confined at first to 
the mihtary servants of Army officers ; it has, for a long time, been 
a badge of party, as the white, the red, and the tricolour cockades of 
French history and the black or white cockades of the Houses of 
Hanover or Stuart. The cockades of Embassy, and Legation ser- 
vants have different colours : for Austria they are black and yellow, 
for Belgium, black, yellow, and red, etc. 


a livery coat, where they lap over, should be sewed 
together for a distance of about five inches below 
the buttons, to prevent them from spreading apart 
when the man is seated. The overcoat is double- 
breasted, with two rows of buttons, and should be 
long, — half-way between the knee and the ankle. 
It is usually of the same colour as the other coat, 
but it is perfectly proper to have it of drab cloth, 
whatever the other coat may be. 

The men should always have india-rubber coats, 
preferably black and with a cloth finish, not with a 
rubber surface, which looks common. 

For ordinary carriage purposes, the men have 
trousers of the same colour as the coats, but trousers 
should not be worn on a coach, with livery coats ; 
always breeches and boots. 

In a well mounted establishment the men should 
have, in addition to their liveries, morning suits, 
consisting of a sack coat, waistcoat, and trousers of 
grey or light brown material, that known to tailors 
as ' Chipping Norton tweed,' being the most suitable. 

These clothes are worn when the coach is taken 
out in the morning, or on a journey, or for trying a 
team. Instead of ordinary trousers, breeches and 
gaiters, all of the same stuff, may be worn, but 
trousers are the best on a journey, not being so con- 
spicuous when the men are walking about a town. 

The hats worn with these suits are Derby or 
pot-hats, either of the colour of the cloth, or black, 
but both of exactly the same shape. The white tie 


and collar are of course necessary. The coat 
belonging to this suit may be put on after ar- 
riving at a race-course or a horse-show, in place 
of the livery coat, and it looks very ' smart' on 
such occasions over the breeches and boots. The 
pot-hat must be worn with it, having been taken 
out in the coach. 

The colour of the boot-tops is a matter of taste, 
and varies with fashion from time to time, but the 
regular old dark brown is much the best, the pink 
and the white having a less sporting look. 

The breeches, to look well, must be made by the 
best maker and carefully put on, the buttons not too 
much to one side, but half-way round between the 
front and the side. They should not be too tight, 
but must not be at all baggy above the knee, as 
hunting-breeches are now made. In fact, livery- 
breeches and hunting-breeches are altogether dif- 
ferent articles. Breeches made of leather, are 
handsome and last for a long time, but they are 
expensive, require a great deal of care, and should 
be in duplicate, because when they get wet it is 
difficult to dry them in time for next day's use. 
The pipeclay with which they are cleaned, rubs off 
on the cushions and is a little untidy. 

Breeches are perhaps better made of moleskin, 
an elastic cassimere, which comes for the purpose. 
This may be pure white, but it usually has a slight 
grey tinge, which is quite as pleasing as a dazzling 
white. They are kept clean by washing, and must 


be dried on a breeches-stretcher, or they will soon 
get out of shape. A careful man will have an 
apron to keep his breeches clean, when doing any 
work in the stable after he is dressed. 

It is usual in Europe, for coachmen and grooms 
to have their own boots and breeches, which they 
take with them in changing a place. It is a custom 
that miofht be introduced to advantage in America, 
inasmuch as these articles are expensive items if 
they have to be furnished frequently for new men. 
Of course, wages have to be adjusted to compen- 
sate the man for providing this part of his dress. 

The owner's dress for coaching hardly demands 
remark ; it is the same that he would wear for any 
driving. For the coat, a dark grey is suitable, and 
shows dust less than black. The tails should be 
sewed together as described for the men's coats. 
A high hat should be worn in the afternoon, but a 
pot-hat is proper in the morning (unless the occasion 
is a formal one), and is also proper in the country 
at any time of day, or on any kind of coaching 

In the early days of The Coaching Club, in New 
York, the members wore white hats at the Meets ; 
but later this was changed, and now black hats are 
worn. Ten or fifteen years ago it was considered 
the proper thing for a lady, on a coach, to wear a 
bonnet, but now the rule is relaxed and hats are in 
the majority. 

Tan-coloured gloves are the proper thing for 


driving- ; light or white gloves never. If a coach- 
man wishes to be happy, he will have large gloves, 
easy about the wrist, and with very long fingers. If 
they are short, the bending of the hand will pidl the 
glove against the ends of the fingers, which they 
will tire and make perfectly numb in cold weather. 
A glove is sometimes left unbuttoned at the wrist, 
but this permits the glove to slip about and to 
catch on the cuff of the coat ; it is much better to 
have it large at the wrist, or the buttons so moved 
as to make it easy. Some men like a thin glove, 
but the majority of coachmen find a thick, soft 
glove the most comfortable, and for hard work, 
I like a soft lined glove. It is somewhat a question 
of thin or fat hands. 

A pair of cotton, or thin woollen, gloves should 
always be carried either in the coach or in the 
pocket of the waterproof cape, to put on over 
the other gloves when it rains ; when wet, leather 
gloves are slippery and most uncomfortable. 

After gloves have been wet, a thorough rubbing 
with crown soap well worked in will make them all 
right again. 

For cold weather there is nothing better than the 
ordinary drab cloth box coat, easy, but not too 
large, double-breasted, buttoning up close in the 
neck. It may have covered buttons to match the 
cloth, or pearl buttons, plain and not too large. 

A cape, either of drab cloth or of some water- 
proof material, large enough to lie outside of the 




top of the apron and over the back of the driving 
cushion, so as to shed the rain off otttside, is con- 
venient for showery weather. Any shape of water- 
proof thing which leads the rain down inside of the 
apron and into the lap is maddening. 

A cape with sleeves (Fig. 1 70) I have found 
useful. It can be thrown over the shoulders like 
a cape, while driving, and the arms, one at a time, 
thrust into the sleeves afterward ; 
the sleeve is short and very large 
at its upper end, so that the hand 
readily slips into it, but it fits 
tight around the wrist. To put 
on, while driving, an ordinary 
coat with long sleeves, is a dan- 
gerous experiment ; for some 
moments the coachman is per- 
fectly helpless. 

For public coaching a some- 
what more ' down-the-road' style 
of dress may be adopted. It is proper for the 
coachman to wear a white hat, which may be rather 
low in the crown and wide in the brim, but not 
extravagantly so. 

Russet-leather shoes with white linen spats are 
not out of place in summer ; blackened leather 
shoes, which soil the apron, are objectionable. 

A white huntine scarf and collar, with some kind 
of a coaching pin, is the best neckgear. 

A dark-grey coat is good ; as is also, for cold 

Fig. 170. 


weather, a drab box-coat with large pearl, or ivory- 
buttons, on which a coachingr device is eno-raved. 

In wet weather, an apron which can be buckled 
round the waist, reaching to the ankles and meet- 
ing behind, is a good protection, and if the coat or 
cape is put on over it, it is hardly possible for the 
rain to penetrate ; it must be confessed that in this 
o^arb, the coachman, when on the eround, looks 
somewhat like an old woman. 

In the early part of this century in England, 
when ' the road' was the fashion, not only the pro- 
fessional coachmen but the amateurs who imitated 
them, affected many eccentricities of dress. Coats 
of many capes, very low broad-brimmed hats, and 
voluminous wrappings about the neck were the 
rage, and Lord William Lennox {^CoacJiing, p. 
202) gives the following description of the dress 
of a member of ' The Whip Club' : ' A light drab- 
' coloured cloth coat, made full, sinele-breasted, with 
' three tiers of pockets, the skirts reaching to the 
'ankles, a mother-o'-pearl button of the size of a 
' crown-piece ; waistcoat blue and yellow stripe, each 
* stripe an inch in depth ; smallclothes, corded silk 
' plush, made to button over the calf of the leg, with 
' sixteen strings, and rosettes to each knee ; the 
' boots very short, and finished with very broad 
' straps, which hung over the tops and down to the 
' ankle ; a hat three inches and a half deep in the 
' crown only, and the same depth in the brim. Each 
' wore a large bouquet of flowers at the breast. 


' resembling the coachmen of the nobility on a 
* Drawing-room or Levee day.' 

In the present day the ' Driving' and ' Coaching 
Clubs' of London. New York, Philadelphia, and 
elsewhere, have a distinctive uniform for Meets, 
but it is simple, consisting of a plain dark coat of 
green, brown, or blue, with gilt buttons with the 
club device, a uniform waistcoat, and plain trousers 
of any colour. Usually a dress-coat of the same 
cloth, for evening wear, is prescribed. 

CH. XIX 427 


Driving a coach on the road between fixed points, 
according to a regular time-table, with changes of 
horses, in imitation of old-fashioned business coach- 
ing, has a great fascination for the coaching man, 
and with eood reason. It bears much the same re- 
lation to taking an afternoon drive at one's leisure, 
that playing an instrument in an orchestra bears to 
practising solos at home. In the latter case mis- 
takes are easily corrected, movements may be re- 
peated ; if one passage is not interesting another 
can be selected ; but in an orchestra, when once 
started, the performer must go on, time must be 
kept, everything must be according to rule, with no 
chance to correct omissions or mistakes. 

In fact, a coachman never detects how little he 
knows until he undertakes to drive a fast road- 
coach, or a musician until he tries his hand in con- 
certed pieces. In an afternoon drive in the park, 
if the reins are not quite right, if one horse pulls, 
if any one of many inaccuracies troubles the coach- 
man, he can stop, try experiments, and re-arrange 
matters, and as he has no time to keep, he is not 
afraid of losing any ; but on a fast road-coach it is 
very different : it is usually all that the teams can 


do, to oet over their o-round in the time allotted ; 
there is no opportunity to slow down in order to 
cool a fretful leader ; if he will gallop, he has to 
g-allop, or else to be handled with such skill as to 
bring him down to a trot without materially dimin- 
ishing the pace ; for minutes are precious. In a 
coach timed at ten miles an hour including changes, 
very close to eleven miles an hour must be made 
while moving, and a minute or two lost, by stopping 
or going slow, is hard to make up ; so that whether 
the team is going pleasantly or most disagreeably, 
there is nothing to do but to make the best of it, 
and to notice carefully how things may be improved 
on the run back, or on the next day. Horses have 
to be shifted from one stage to another to make the 
best use of them or to counteract their peculiarities. 
Some horses go best in town, others in the country, 
a bad wheeler may make a good leader, changing 
sides may turn a troublesome horse into a good 
one, and all these matters are interesting- and re- 
quire judgement on the part of the coachman. 

Quickness at the changes, smartness of the service 
generally, attention to small details by all persons 
employed, are points which interest the proprietor 
and please the connoisseur ; and the coachman 
never knows but that in his load of strangers there 
may be a master of the craft, who will express his 
opinion, on the spot or at a future time. 

The mere driving is of itself much more interest- 
ing than that of a simple afternoon outing : every 


mile of the road must be carefully studied ; a little 
piece down-hill must be used to make time and to 
compensate for a loss on another part, where for 
some reason the pace has to be reduced ; a sharp 
turn at the bottom of a hill must be remembered, 
and the horses kept well in hand as they approach 
it ; the exact minute of passing each point must be 
learned by experience, in order that there shall be 
no uncertainty as to whether or not the coach is on 
time ; the pace on certain parts must be sometimes 
modified, depending upon the weather, so that a 
long hill may be taken slowly on a hot day with the 
wind behind, even at the cost of increased speed 
over some less trying stretch. A careful study of 
these conditions makes a road more and more 
interestinof the oftener it is driven over. 

Added to all this, the variety of passengers that 
the coachman finds on a public coach is very enter- 
taining, and there is something so exhilarating in the 
motion behind four horses, through the fresh air, 
that even stupid people wake up and for once 
make themselves ao^reeable. 

If a coachman is lucky enough to get a day's turn 
on a strange coach, on a road new to him, it is most 
interesting. His only guide as to time will be the 
pace as determined by a study of the time-table, and 
he must, therefore, depend upon his own judgement 
of the rate at which his horses are going, and upon 
an occasional hint from the guard, as to whether or 
not he is keeping his time. 


Under such circumstances the loss of even a few 
minutes makes it necessary for a coachman to use 
all his skill to enable him to pull up at his change 
on time. 

In Eneland the construction of o^ood roads toward 
the latter part of the last century, the love of coun- 
try life and its amusements, and the thickly popu- 
lated state of the country, made travelling by coach 
a pleasure as well as a business. 

The same kind of talent now bestowed upon rail- 
way management, was then devoted to coaching, 
and in connection with the Post-Office system, the 
Government exercised, with an almost military uni- 
formity, a rigid supervision over the service. Able 
and highly-placed people were interested in it, as a 
business. Country gentlemen furnished horses for 
this important service, and went frequently over 
their roads, often themselves driving, for the pur- 
pose of seeing that everything was done properly. 
A fierce competition as to speed and punctuality 
sprang up on the important roads, and every de- 
tail was duly considered by the most competent 
persons, often under Government penalties as to 
performance of contracts. It was this series of 
conditions, lasting through a period of nearly fifty 
years, that made English coaching the thorough 
and complete system that it was : the standard 
for what has now changed from a serious business 
to an amusement. 

That many men fond of fresh air and horses 


should have availed themselves of the opportunities 
which the public coaches afforded of gratifying this 
fondness was natural, and many an amateur, as 
skilful as the best professional, passed pleasant 
hours on the driving cushion. 

After 1835, however, the locomotive came rapidly 
upon the scene, and one by one the coaches disap- 
peared, the coachmen dropped into other employ- 
ments, and four-in-hand driving bade fair to become 
one of the lost arts. Its traditions were kept up, 
however, by the Driving Clubs, the earliest of 
which. The Bensington Driving Club, was formed 
in 1807. Other clubs, the histories of which are 
pleasantly told in the volume on Driving, of the 
Badminton Librar^y, were formed and dissolved, 
but the ' B. D. C lasted until 1854. There seems 
to have been a short gap until 1856, when The 
Four-in-Hand Driving Club was formed, but ac- 
cording to the annals, this gap was filled by a 
solitary coachman, Sir Henry Peyton, who, with 
his yellow coach and grey horses, was a well-known 
fip-ure on the London streets. 

From 1856 until 1870 The Four-in-Hand Club 
kept Coaching in memory, and in 1870 The 
Coaching Club was formed in London with a larger 
number of members, and both clubs now maintain 
a vigorous existence. 

The Brighton Road, always famous in the annals 
of coaching, had on it, in different years, some road- 
coaches, notably 'The Age,' driven first by Clark, 


and in 1862 by the Duke of Beaufort ; and others 
run in 1866. and afterward, by a band of amateurs, 
among them Messrs Angell, Haworth, Chandos- 
PoLE, and Hoare, whose names appear frequently 
in coaching annals. 

About 1869 and 1870, at the time of what is 
usually called the ' Coaching Revival,' amateur 
coaching increased in England, and has since then 
spread to America, and to the Continent. 

Although four horses were used a great deal in 
America in Colonial days and later, both for public 
coaches and for private travelling, there does not 
seem to be any mention in the memoirs of the period 
of driving as an amusement. The roads were too 
bad to make driving much of a pleasure, and lovers 
of the horse preferred to enjoy themselves in the 

In i860, a coach, built by Mav & Jacobs, of Guil- 
ford, England, was sent to Mr Bigelow Lawrence, 
of Boston ; this was probably the first regular Eng- 
lish coach in America, unless some had been sent 
out in Colonial times. This coach afterward went 
to New York. 

It was not until after 1865 that a few four-in-hands 
driven to brakes or barouches were seen at races in 
the neighbourhood of New York and Philadelphia ; 
but from that date they rapidly increased in number, 
and the establishment of 'The Coaching Club,' at 
New York, in 1875, aided materially in increasing 
the taste for the sport. 


In 1876 Colonel A. DeLancev Kane, who in the 
previous year had driven in England, working the 
road from London to Virginia Water, put on the 
first amateur road-coach in America, running from 
The Brunswick Hotel, New York, to Pelham Bridge. 
This was succeeded by others in different parts of 
the United States, some of which are mentioned 

Putting a Coach on the Road. — It is well 
understood among coaching men that the person 
who has been working a certain road has a rioht to 
that road, and it is not in accordance with coaching 
etiquette for any one else to put a coach upon it, 
or upon any important part of it, without having 
first obtained permission of the original proprietor, 
or the assurance from him that he does not intend to 
occupy the road that season. This matter having 
been arranged, or a vacant road selected, the next 
thing is to go over the road and to study it carefully. 

In modern public coaching the distance to be run, 
is usually such that a coach starting at a convenient 
hour in the mornincr can have time for lunch at the 
end of the route and get back to its starting-place 
late in the afternoon ; or a longer route is chosen 
which requires all day, the coach going down one 
day and back the next. 

In the first case, starting at ten, a thirty-mile drive 

at ten miles an hour will allow two hours for lunch, 

with a return to the starting place by six o'clock. 



The hours of some well known coaches are mven 
as examples ; the distances are one way : — 

Brunswick Hotel, New York, to Pelham Bridge, 
Down lo A.M. to 11.30 AM, 15.5 miles. 

Up 4 P.M. to 5.30 P.M. 

Brunswick Hotel, New York, to Yonkers, 

Down 11.30 A.M. to 1. 1 5 P.M. 18 miles. 

Up 3.25 P.M. to 5.10 P.M. 
Holland House, New York, to Ardsley Casino, 

Down 10 A.M. to 12.30 P.M. 25.8 miles. 

Up 3.30 P.M. to 6 P.M. 
Berkeley Hotel, London, to Guildford, 

Down II A.M. to 2 P.M. 28.5 miles. 

Up 4 P.M. to 7 P.M. 
Northumberland Avenue, London, to Box Hill, 

Down II A.M. to 2 P.M. 25 miles. 

Up 4 P.M. to 7 P.M. 

Northumberland Avenue, London, to Virginia Water, 

Down 10.45 ■^•^^- to 2 P.M. 26.5 miles. 

Up 3.30 P.M. to 6.50 P.M. 
Northumberland Avenue, London, to Windsor, 

Down 10.30 A.M. to 1.30 P.M. ^o miles. 

Up 3.40 P.M. to 6.40 P.M. 
Northumberland Avenue, London, to Dorking, 

Down 10.45 -^•^^- tc) 1.45 P..M. 29 miles. 

Up 3.15 P.M. to 6.15 P.M. 
New York Herald Office, Paris, to Cernay-la-Ville, 

Down 10 A.M. to I P.M. 29 miles. 

Up 3.05 P.M. to 6.05 P.M. 


New York Herald Ofifice, Paris, to Pontoise, 

Down lo A.M. to 12.45 P-^^- -6-3 rniles. 

Up 3.30 P.M. to 6.15 P.M. 
New York Herald Office, Paris, to Maisons-Laffitte, 

Down 10.30 A.M. to 12.30 P.M. 19.4 miles. 

Up 3 P.M. to 5 P.M. 
New York Herald Office, Paris, to Versailles, 

Down 10.45 -^■^^- to 12.30 P.M. 14.5 miles. 

Up 4.30 P.M. to 6 P.M. (Different Road) 12.5 miles. 

The following routes are arranged for one day 
down and another day up : — 

Plaza Hotel, New York, to Tuxedo Park, 

Down 9.45 A.M. to 5.15 P.M. 47.5 miles. 

Up 10.30 A.M. to 5.30 P.M. 
White Horse Cellar, Piccadilly, London, to Brighton, 

Down II A.M. to 5 P.M. 54 miles. 

Up 12 A.M. to 6 P.M. 
New York Herald Office, Paris, to Fontainebleau, 

Down 1 1 A.M. to 6 P.M. 60 miles. 

Up I I A.M. to 6 P.M. 

On these long routes there is always a stop of 
from 35 to 40 minutes for luncheon. 

The lengths of the stages, of course, depend 
largely upon the places where stabling can be ob- 
tained for the change-horses. If they are of less 
than five miles, the time lost at the changes will 
not be made up by the increased speed which the 
shorter stages permit, to say nothing of the larger 


number of horses and men to be kept, and if they 
much exceed eight miles, they cannot be travelled 
so fast. An ideal road is one with good stabling 
ever}^ seven miles. On a twenty-eight mile road 
this would require four teams, or sixteen horses, 
but as each staee should have at least one extra 
horse to fill vacancies caused by lameness or acci- 
dent, twenty horses in all would be required as a 
minimum, and, if the pace is at all fast, four more 
horses, to rest the others, would be necessary-. 

It is usually considered that a fast coach, running 
out and in, should have a horse to each mile of 
road ; that is, for a coach going once a day each 
way, between two places thirty miles apart, thirty 
horses will be required. 

This will work out as follows, each team doing two 
stages a day, one each way : — 

Stages five miles ; one rest-horse to each team. 
30 ms., 6 stages ; 24 horses -f 6 rest = 30. 

Stages six miles. 

30 ms., 5 stages ; 20 horses -f 5 rest = 25. 
A horse to the mile would give two rest-horses to 
each team. 

Stages seven and a half miles. 
30 ms., 4 stages ; 16 horses -f- 4 rest = 20. 
A horse to the mile would give 2,j4 rest-horses to 
each team. 


Beginning- with five-mile stages, a horse to the 
mile will give one rest-horse to each team, and 
when the lengths of the stages are increased to 
six, and to seven and a half miles, the number of 
rest-horses to each team is increased to two, and to 
three and a half, respectively. 

It may, therefore, be a matter for consideration 
whether to have shorter stages or more rest-horses, 
a question obviously controlled by the location of 
the chang-e-stables. 

The Maisons-Laffitte coach of 1894, doing 191^ 
miles, with four teams, in two hours each way, or 39 
miles in the day, ran for six weeks with twenty 
horses, several of them being replaced for a day or 
two by hired horses owing to slight causes of unfit- 
ness. This was a fast coach, always well loaded, 
running six days in the week, and in warm weather ; 
five miles of the road not very good. 

It is sometimes a question whether or not the last 
team down the road should do the last two stages as 
one, a fresh team bringing the coach back over those 
two stages. This arrangement will require the same 
number of horses, but the location of the stable for 
the last change must be such as to reduce those two 
stacres together, to a distance of not over twelve 

A twenty-eight mile road, for example, would 
be usually divided as follows : first stage 7 miles, 
second stage 8 miles, third stage 7 miles, and fourth 
stage 6 miles, each team doing one stage each way. 


The last stage should always be the shortest, if 
possible, since the team which does it has the least 
time to rest between its two turns of work. 

This might be modified as follows : first stage 
8 miles, second stage 8 miles, leaving 12 miles to be 
done by the last team, which will, however, have a 
long rest ; that is, until it is required to take the coach 
back the next day ; this last stage being done back 
by the fresh team which came out the day before. 

This is not an uncommon arrangement, and has 
the advantage of suppressing one stable with its 
attendant helpers ; but, as a rule, the horses of the 
long stage are not quite so pleasant to drive, espe- 
cially in warm weather ; they are somewhat tired 
toward the end of it, but they will be entirely 
rested by their long stop in the stable and come out 
fresh the next day. 

To give an example from actual practice. The 
coach from Paris to Maisons-Laffitte in 1894. was, 
in the beginning of the season, arranged as follows, 
the proprietors of the previous season having so 
run it: First stage: Paris to Suresnes, 5.6 miles, 
35 minutes, town team ; second stage : Suresnes to 
Bougival, 5.3 miles, 33 minutes; third stage: Bou- 
gival to Maisons-Laffitte, 8.5 miles, 52 minutes, a 
five-minutes' stop being made on the terrace at 
St. Germain. The last team remained at Maisons- 
Laffitte, a fresh team bringing the coach back after 
lunch to Bougival. 

It was found, however, that the last team, after 


the stop at St. Germain, was not so pleasant to 
drive as on the first part of the stage, especially as 
it had surmounted a long, steep hill to reach that 
point. The arrangement was therefore altered ; and 
a stable was equipped at St. Germain, so that the 
last change was made there, and the horses which 
did the last staee to Maisons-Laffitte took the coach 
back to St. Germain, no horses or men remaining 
at Maisons-Laffitte overnight. A man from the St. 
Germain stable was taken in the coach to Maisons- 
Laffitte to attend to the horses while they spent 
their two and a half hours there at noon ; he was 
assisted by a local stable-man, and replaced by a 
local man at St. Germain. 

This arrangement was a decided improvement ; 
the last team was fresh and pleasant to drive both 
ways. It took no more horses, and only required 
accommodation in an additional stable for the noon 
rest, and the services of one additional man, or ot 
two local men for half a day each. 

As this coach ran in warm weather and was fast 
(19.4 miles in 109 minutes driving time, or 10.7 miles 
an hour), the fresh horses at St. Germain were very 
welcome, and since the original time-table provided 
for a stop of five minutes there, no time was lost by 
the change. 

The examples of twelve miles for a last stage, 
and of this Maisons-Laffitte time-table, are the ex- 
tremes, since the former gives a somewhat long 
stao-e and those of the latter are very short. 


A long stage, with two teams to work it. may be 
convenient in the middle of a route, if the stables are 
so situated that a uniform division is not possible. 

Inasmuch as street work in a large city is more 
trying to the horses than work in the country, and 
since the horses of the end stage have only a short 
rest between their work, these two stages (in a city, 
and at the end), should be shorter thai^ the stages 
of the middle ground. 

The divisions have been, thus far, considered as 
if the road were of the same character throughout, 
but four miles of bad or hilly road may be as tiring 
as eieht of the best, and the distribution of stagfes 
must be made accordingly. On a hilly road, where 
the pace must be slow, a long stage may be made, 
for ' it is the pace that kills.' 

Four Swiss vcttiirino horses will take a large car- 
riage thirty-five miles a day, over heavy mountain 
grades, at a slow walk when going up, and they will 
travel twenty-five miles a day regularly, but they go 
very slowly ; while an average coach team, timed at 
ten miles an hour, will find two seven-mile stages 
a day quite enough. 

An active team to a drag should be able to do 
nine miles an hour steadily for two hours on good 
level roads without fatio^ue, but that is too much 
work to be continued, at that pace, day after day. 
Three hours at seven miles an hour, would not be so 
much work, although the distance would be greater. 

On a hilly road, the time of any one stage need 


not be each way the same ; if it is all up-hill one 
way, it will be all down-hill the other, and the time 
lost in going up and that gained in coming down 
must be properly apportioned to the other parts of 
the road. 

Owing to the wide-spread fondness in the United 
States, for trottins^, an averag-e team of American 
horses will undoubtedly get over the ground at a 
faster pace without galloping than the horses usu- 
ally to be found in England or F'rance, nevertheless 
it may be desirable to arrange for one galloping 
stage on a road. Such a stage is usually very 
attractive to the passengers, and on it horses may 
be used which cannot, or will not, trot pleasantly. 
This stage should be rather level ; it is hard work 
for horses to gallop up-hill, and it may be timed 
pretty fast, — thirteen or fourteen miles an hour, if 
it is not more than six or seven miles lone. 

When Mr Tiffany was working- the Brighton 
road in 1873, he had a galloping stage, from The 
White Hart, at Reigate, to The George, at Crawley, 
a distance of nine miles, which he did in thirty min- 
utes, stopping once at a toll-gate. 

W^hen a coach runs out and in, the same day, 
the arrangement of the teams is simple, since the 
morning team out is the afternoon team back, the 
last team having the time for rest at mid-day that 
the coach has for lunch ; but if two coaches run in 
opposite directions on the same hours, each the 
whole length of the road, with a stop in the middle 


of the day of only half an hour for lunch, — not time 
enough for a team to rest, — the arrangement is more 

If long stages are adopted, each coach can take 
its teams one after the other straight through, each 
team working only once on one day and returning 
the next. This is simple, but not adapted to a fast 
coach, because the stages will be either too long 
to be done at a high speed, or each team will be 
doing less than a good day's work, it being assumed 
that a team can travel a greater distance in two 
hours than in one. 

If short stages are adopted, and each team works 
once each way, over its own ground, while the 
early morning and afternoon teams will have suffi- 
cient rests between their turns, those working in 
the middle of the day will not. 

If. for instance, the two coaches start from the 
different ends of the road at lo a.m., and arrive at 
6 P.M., meeting at two o'clock at a point where only 
a half-hour's stop is made, the team which brought 
one coach down from i to 1.45 would have to take 
the other up, starting at 2.15, without sufficient rest. 
It will be, therefore, necessary to have at this centre 
point another team for each coach, that team which 
comes in, resting until the next day. The two 
stages joining at this place would have to be longer 
than the others to equalise the work. If the whole 
road, for instance, is fifty-six miles long, or each 
half twenty-eight miles, divided into four seven-mile 

Hours — 


II 12 I 

Teams — 

A B C D 

Hours — 


5 4 3 

Teams — 

A B C E 


Stages, and supposing for simplicity that each stage 
requires one hour, the arrangement will be as 
follows : — 


G H I J 

I 12 II 10 
F H I J 

Team A 10 to 11] Team F i to 2 rests all dav 

^ ^ rests 6 hrs. r- . <. n ^ 

5 to 6 j ,, G 2 to 3 rests all day 

,, B II to 12] , ,, H 12 to I ] 

Uests 4 hrs. ^ rests 2 hrs. 

4 to 5 J 3 to 4 J 

, , C 1 2 to I 1 . . I 1 1 to 1 2 1 , 

h-ests 2 hrs. , ,^ , rests 4 hrs. 

2 to 4 J 4 to 5 ) 

,, D I to 2 rests all day ,, J 10 to 11 ") 

,, , , crests 6 hrs. 

E 2 to 3 rests all day 5 to j 

This requires ten teams, four of which, D, E, F, 
and G, do only one turn a day. 

It is evident that to equalise the work the middle 
stages should be longer than the others, and they 
mieht be divided as follows : 6, 6, 6, and lo, making 
28 miles, with the times modified to suit the changed 

The fact is, that the additional teams are necessary 
because there is no long stop in the middle, or be- 
cause the road is done in two hours less total time 
than it would have been if there were a long stop, 
although the actual drhnng time is the same. 

Of the two coachmen required to work such a 
road, one coachman, going over the whole road 
each day, will go out Monday, Wednesday, and 


Friday, and come in on the other days, the other 
coachman going in the opposite direction, and each 
one will drive the end teams every day, but each 
one will always drive the same middle teams. 

In arranorinor the time-table of a road it is con- 
venient to make a time-chart, such as is used on 

One is shown in Plate XXXII. ; the names of the 
places and the distances, are at the top, the hours 
and minutes at the sides. If a coach were to start 
from A at lo o'clock, and run straieht through 
without stopping, to F, thirty miles, arriving there 
at I o'clock, its course would be indicated by the 
dotted line representing a speed of ten miles an 

If it makes four stops of 3, 3, 5, and 3 minutes 
each at B, C, D, and E, its course will be indicated 
by the full line, the flatter angle of which indicates 
its superior speed while running. If we suppose the 
road to be varied in its character, so that, between 
C and D, the pace must be slow, the time required 
for that stage must be taken from the adjacent 
stages making them faster, or from the whole of 
the rest of the route. 

This is shown, in a somewhat exaggerated man- 
ner, by the line . If the road is 

up-hill from C to D, the speed coming down from 
D to C can be greater than on the other portions 
of the road, as shown by the return line. 


n 2 







































































































































:;: -^ 

° "^ o o o o o 




By constructing a diagram of this kind, it will be 
easy to see exactly how the time should be arranged, 
and at what moments the coach should pass any 
other points : x, y, z. 

The diagram should be made upon the engraved, 
divided paper which can be bought of any dealer in 
engineering supplies. 

After the road has been laid out in this way, a 
a Time-table is prepared, as follows : — 














Start from A at lo a.m. 









A to B . 
B to C . 
C to D . 

Stop 5 minutes. 


D to E. 

E to F . 


The ' Hour of Coach' is the time of arriving at 
each station. The time in minutes of each stage is 
from arrival to arrival, except in the first line, where 
it is from the time of starting from the initial point. 

In the old English mail-coach days the guard was 
provided with a Time-bill something in this form, 
except that it had a column in which the actual times 
of arrival had to be entered by the guard so as to 
show how the time had been kept. For this pur- 


pose he was furnished with an official time-piece 
or large watch. A number of these Time-bills are 
printed in Harris's Coaching Age, pp. 277-292. 

The following Table shows how much the driving 
speed has to be increased to make up the time lost 
at changes, with seven-mile stages : — 

At 9 miles an hour. i mile in 6 min. 40 sec. 
7 miles in 46.6 min., no stop r=r 9.0 ms. per hour 

7 ,, ,, 45.6 ,, I min. stop =9.2 ,, ,, 
7 ,. ,,44-6 ,, 2 ,, ,, =9.4 ,, ,, 
7 ., ., 43-6 ,, 3 .. .. =9-6 ,, ,, 
7 ., ,. 42.6 ,, 4 .. -. -^9-9 .. .. 

At 10 miles an hour. A mile in 6 minutes. 
7 miles in 42.0 min., no stop := 10. o ms. per hour 

7 ,, ,,41.0 ,, I min. stop ^10.2 ,, ,, 
7 ,, ,, 40.0 ,, 2 ,, ,, ^10.5 ,, ,, 
7 .. -- 39-0 ., 3 .. .. = IO-8 ., ■- 
7 .. -, 38.0 ,, 4 .. .. = ii-o .. M 

At 1 1 miles an hour, i mile in 5 min. 27 sec. 
7 miles in 38.15 min., no stop =11.0 ms. per hour 
7 .. .. 37-15 '. I min. stop = 11.3 
7 ,. ., 36.15 .. 2 ,, ,, = II. 6 
7 ,. .. 35-15 .. 3 .. .. = 12.0 
7 .. .. 34-15 .. 4 ., ,- = 12.3 

The importance of making quick changes is evi- 
dent, and also of not losing time by stopping for the 
purpose of altering couplings or of changing the 

The horses intended for the road are usually 
brought together at one point, as they are bought, 
and tried so as to arrange them in teams ; it is an 


advantage to have them all of the same type, so 
that however they may be shifted about, they will 
look well together. The town-team should be the 
best looking, and made up of handy, quick, fear- 
less horses ; a sluggish team, requiring the whip, is 
neither pleasant nor safe in the streets. As soon as 
possible the horses should be put out on the road 
and exercised over the ground on which they are to 

The men required will be : a professional coachman 
and a guard, whose duties are described further on, 
and if perfection is desired, two horse-keepers for 
each change ; but one horse-keeper and a local hos- 
tler at the change-place can do the work, provided 
it can be so arranged that the latter will not be 
called off by his other duties at the change-time. 
If there are two horse-keepers, one of them must 
decidedly out-rank the other and have authority 
over him, or there will be endless friction between 
the two ; and the chief man must have the entire 
responsibility of the feeding. Their duties are ob- 
viously those of ordinary stable-men, but they have 
to be drilled in all the points of making a quick 
and neat chano-e, so that the changes will be made 
in the same way at all the stations. 

The material furnished to each stable, such as 
buckets, sponges, forks (and, by the way, a steel 
fork should never be allowed in a stable, only 
wooden four-pronged forks being used), brushes, 
halters, rugs, etc., should be entered in a book, in 


which should be noted all purchases and losses, 
or the articles will rapidly disappear. Every man 
should have a strong canvas bag for his kit and be 
required to keep all his tools in it. Each horse 
should have a number branded on his fore hoof, 
and his collar, with a corresponding number per- 
manently fastened on it, must always go with him 
when he changes his stable, otherwise changes of 
collars will give endless annoyance due to sore 
necks. The best way to mark a collar is by a 
brass number on the small cape, which, for that 
purpose, should be put upon the top of a coaching 
collar (p. 2IO). 

Whether or not the horses should have loin rugs 
to be thrown over them while they are standing, 
depends upon the climate, the time of year, and 
somewhat upon the fancy of the owner. They are 
more important at the ends of the road, where the 
horses stand for some time while the passengers are 
getting on the coach. At the changes, if the time is 
kept punctually, they are not so necessary, since the 
horses should be brought out only a few minutes 
before the coach arrives, and they can ha\^e thrown 
over them, their stable rugs, which, when the coach 
appears, can be pulled off and laid aside, ready to 
be put on the horses which are taken from the 
coach ; rough canvas rugs are good for this purpose. 

If loin rugs are used, they should be uniform 
throughout the road; they certainly look 'smart,' 
but they are apt to fall off if the horses caper while 


being led to their places, and sometimes cause a 
difficulty. They must be laid on binder the reins. 

It is a good plan to have in each stable a diagram 
showing the coupling and bitting of the team, such 
as is described in Chapter XII. (Plate XXVI.). 

Ten days or two weeks will be required to try 
the horses and the road thoroughly, and just before 
the opening day the whole road should be driven 
over at least twice, keeping the time and making 
the changes exactly as they are to be made in 

It is usual on the opening day to have a party of 
invited guests, generally persons interested in coach- 
ing, and on this occasion everything should be done 
in the most careful manner and with scrupulous 
attention to punctuality. 

Coachman's and Guard's Duties. — The profes- 
sional coachman of a road-coach drives the coach 
from its stable to the office from which it starts and 
takes it back from the office to the stable, at the 
end of the day. He has charge of the horses, and 
should frequently go over the road to be sure that 
they are properly cared for and to arrange any 
transfers of horses from one sta^e to another, which 
may be necessary. He examines and pays the 
accounts for wages, feed, and shoeing. If he rarely 
drives the coach he has plenty of time for all these 

duties ; but if he is called on to occupy the cushion 



several days in the week, he must have exception- 
ally good horse-keepers. It is convenient for him 
to have a light wagon in which to go over the 
road, for which the extra horses will serve, and he 
may sometimes go down on the coach and, stopping 
at one of the change-places, attend to the business 
of that and an adjoining station. 

Of some of the London coaches, in late years, 
the professional coachman is the proprietor, and 
takes subscribers who pay for the privilege of 
driving on certain days, in which case the pro- 
prietor also goes on the coach, sitting on the back 
seat, and sometimes drives a staee or two if it 
is agreeable to the subscriber. At times the sub- 
scriber takes only one or two stages, out or in, at 
his convenience. 

The duty of the guard is : to receive the way-bill 
from the booking-office, to show the passengers 
their places, to see that they have their tickets or 
to collect the proper fares from those who have 
not, to take charge of baggage or parcels, to assist 
at the changes, and to transact all the business 
connected with the passengers ; ordinarily he has 
nothing to do with the horses. 

Usually at noon, the coach stops at an inn, where 
the horses are put up immediately upon being taken 
out, and the coach is drawn into the yard or left 
standing in the road near the door ; but if the 
stable is at some little distance from the stopping- 
place, or if, for any reason, the coach cannot remain 


where it stops, it is convenient to have the guard 
drive well enough to take the coach to its stable 
and brincr it back aeain, and enards who know 
anything about horses are glad to get that much 

The guard must be able to blow the horn zee//, 
not producing those melancholy sounds sometimes 
heard. To do this requires good instruction and 
much practice. The calls are given in the Chapter 
on 'The Horn,' and the propei' ones should be 
blown at the changes and stopping ; as to this, 
guards are frequently careless. As a rule, the 
guard can sound a call better when standing in 
his place on the hind boot, holding to the strap 
fastened for that purpose, to the roof-seat. 

In the country, the horn should be used to ask 
for the road, of vehicles going in either direction, 
and also, according to the taste of the proprietor, 
to enliven the journey. Guards are apt to give 
too much horn ; it interferes unpleasantly with con- 
versation on the coach. In a city it should be used 
with judgement, and the calls needed to warn other 
vehicles should be short, of a few notes only. The 
horn is a great help to driving in a crowded street ; 
but its use should not be abused ; it is particularly 
annoying to other persons driving, when suddenly 
blown, in passing, so close to a horse as to alarm 
him. It is the duty of the proprietor to see that 
the guard does not thoughtlessly commit this fault. 
In driving through small towns, there is no objec- 


tion to a free use of the horn ; there are apt to 
be obstructions in the streets, and the inhabitants 
usually welcome the passage of the coach, with its 
accompanying music, as a cheerful break in the 
day's monotony. 

Coachman's and Guard's Dress. — The dress of 
a gentleman coachman has been already described ; 
the professional of a road-coach need not dress 
very differently. He should always wear a white 
hat when driving, but when on the coach going 
to inspect the stations, this is not necessar)^ His 
dress should be plain and neat, and should have 
that unmistakable coaching or ' horsey' look which 
is difficult to describe. If the weather is cool, a 
drab overcoat, single-breasted, with pearl buttons, 
with flaps to the pockets, buttoning up rather high, 
and reachinor to within eio-ht inches of the orround, 
is very ' smart.' 

The guard's dress should be a sino-le-breasted, 
drab frock-coat, the skirt several inches above the 
knees ; with buttons on the back, and side pockets 
with flaps ; or it may be double-breasted and easy, 
having somewhat the style of an overcoat. It should 
button tolerably high in the throat, and show a white 
collar and scarf, or a regular hunting-scarf The col- 
lar of the coat may be of a bright colour. Trousers 
of the same colour as the coat are correct, or else 
somewhat tight breeches, with gaiters, all of the 
same cloth ; the latter are neater than trousers. 


With Qraiters, laced boots look best. The hat should 
be light grey, with low crown and wide brim, but not 
exaggerated ; it may have a dull felt surface or a 
nap. Tan-coloured driving gloves should be worn. 
A russet-leather case like a cartridge-box, about 
seven inches by four and a half, is carried on the 
left side by a strap over the right shoulder. It 
holds the way-bill or other papers, and has a pocket 
for the key of the coach. A small case for an 
open-faced watch is usually fastened on the front of 
it, but it is better to have the watch on the side next 
the body, where it can be easily seen by tipping the 
case outward away from the side of the body, and 
where it is not likely to be broken. If the watch 
is on the outside, it should be upside down, so that 
the guard can easily read the time when the case 
is turned up. 

The mail-coach guards in England formerly wore 
red coats, the Government livery, and the fashion is 
still retained on some of the road-coaches of the 
present day, but in America it means nothing, and 
seems to be hardly appropriate. 

Booking-Office, etc. — The booking-office should 
be at a place where some one will always be in at- 
tendance to take orders and money for seats. For 
this reason, an hotel, or a public office which is 
always open, is selected. For many years the 
starting-place of the road-coaches, in London was 
The White Horse Cellar (Hatchett's), in Piccadilly, 


an hotel and bookinof-office in the old business 
coaching days, and later a public parcels-office. 
About 1889 the coaches abandoned the Cellar and 
started from the Hotel Metropole, or the Hotel Vic- 
toria, in Northumberland Avenue ; the ' Guildford' 
Coach starts from the Berkeley Hotel, Piccadilly, 
In New York, the ' Pelham' Coach, and afterward 
the ' Yonkers' and others, started from the Hotel 
Brunswick in Fifth Avenue ; the ' Tuxedo' Coach 
from the Plaza Hotel. In Philadelphia, coaches start 
from the Bellevue Hotel, In Paris, all the coaches 
start from the office of The New York Herald, 
Avenue de 1' Opera. 

A book, properly bound, with the name of the 
coach on the outside, should be provided, one page 
being devoted to each day. These pages should be 
headed with the day of the week and of the month, 
and it is better to do this for the whole season, when 
the book is first opened. 

The following is a good form of page : — 

MONDAY, June 7, 1897. 
Coachman : Mr Thompson Dols. 

Box : Mr Jones 4 Pd. 

1 : Mr Smith 3 Pd. 

2 : Mr Broian 3 Pd. 

3 : 3Ir 

4 : Mr Robinson ojit 2 Pd. 

and so on for the other six seats, the sum at the 
foot being the amount for which the agent selling 
the tickets is responsible. When the settlement is 




made, the amount may be receipted for on the page 
of that day. 

A ticket should be given to each passenger bear- 
ing the name of the coach, the date, and the number 
of the seat. 

The seats are usually numbered as follows : — 

Box Seat I Coachman 


5 6 7 8 




In Paris, it is the custom to have the numbers of 
the front seats run from left to right. 

This diagram should be printed on the ticket, the 
seat sold being marked thereon. It is usually on 
the time-card also. 

It should be an inflexible rule that a seat is to 
be paid for when it is booked ; places merely en- 
gaged, without payment, are frequently given up at 
the last moment, to the loss of the coach and to the 
disappointment of other applicants. 

It is also a good plan to permit places to be 
booked for any date, no matter how far ahead ; it 
avoids any possibility of complaint of favouritism. 
In other words, the coach book should be open for 
the entire season to any one who chooses to select 
a date and to pay. It is proper, however, to re- 




serve the opening- and the closing days of the sea- 
son, or any day like that of a coaching Meet ; across 
the page should be written, ' no seats can be booked 
for this day.' 

For the information of passengers a time-card is 
prepared and given with the ticket. Two speci- 
mens are printed below : — 

From Monday, April lOth, until Saturday, June 3d, 1899. 

The New York and Ardsley Coach, 




DAILY, (Sundays excepted) at 10.00 A. M. 






$ .75 




1.50 : 










2 75 

3 00 



Holland House 


Washington Bridge 
*Kins:sbridge. . . 
Van Cortlandt. . 

f *Yonkers 

I Getty House 
Glen wood . . 

*Hasting5 .... 
Dobbs Ferry . . 


Ardsley Club. 

A. M. 

11 40 


p. M. 


§ .25 


will leave 

Ardsley Club 


Dobbs Ferry . . , 
.50 *Hastings . . . . , 
.75 Glen wood 

f *Yonkers . . 1 
\ Getty House . . i 

Van Cortlandt. . 

*King;sbridge . . . 

Washington Bridge 





3.00 .Holland House. 

P. M. 




The Fririleges of the Ardsley Clul: are Extended to Passengers on the Coach, 

Single Fare, !?8.00. Round Trip, !?5.00. Box Seat, $1.00 
extra each way. This coach stops to take up and set down 
pas.sengers wherever hailed, except between Holland House 
and 50th Street. 


n. b.— passenge rs are cautioned to be on time. 
* Change Horses. 




This Coach is worked with seven teams daily (including Sunday), 


River Thames, Windsor Castle, and Cliveden Woods, &c. 

On and after 6th APRIL, 1 




at lo 4S a.m. 



at 3. AS p.m., every day (Sundays included). 







Daily (Sundays included). 







NORTHUM'LAND AVENTJE, " Hotel Victoria" 


*ISLEWORTH, "Coach & Horses" 


*CRANFORD BRIDGE. " Berkely Hotel" 


*COLNBROOK, "The George" 

SLOUGH. "Crown Hotel" 

♦MAIDENHEAD, "Thames Hotel" 


MAIDENHEAD. "Thames Hotel" 

*SLOTJGH, "Crown Hotel" 

COLNBROOK, "The George" 



*CRANFORD BRIDGE. "Bedford Hotel" 
♦HOUNSLOW. "Red Lion" 

ISLEWORTH, " Coach & Horses" 

NORTHUM'LAND AVENUE. " Hotel Victoria 



10 . 45 

U . .30 


12. 5 




12 . 55 

1 .25 

1 .50 



* Cliange Horses. 

Single Journey, 10/-. Beturn 15/-. 

Box Seat, 2'6 extra each way. 

The whole of the Coach to Maidenhead and back, £8 8s. 

Places can be secured at Coach Booking Office, 
"HOTEL VICTORIA," Northumberland Avenue. 

Some cards are much more elaborate, that of the 
'Guildford,' for example, being in three folds, and 
having on the sides, descriptions of the road. 

Blank way-bills should be also provided ; a good 
form, one half the proper size, is given on the next 
page. The way-bill is filled up in the office as far 
as the seats are booked, and any additional fares 
are put on it by the guard. A way-bill is not very 




necessary on a short coach where a majority of the 

passengers go through, at least the whole of one 














1 1 


Box Seat 

Outside Seats 



Inside Seats 




II 1 lO 

1 9 1 gd 1 

1 1 

! 8 1 -^ 

1 9 1 S 1 

1 4 1 3 

\A ^ 1 



j Coach- 

Box 1 

1 1 

Paris i8g 


Changes. — Just before arriving at the change, the 
ends of the reins must be unbuckled ; if the device 
described on p. 273 is adopted, it is necessary only 
to pull them apart. 

If the passenger on the box-seat is accustomed to 
coaching, he will quietly pull up the ends of the reins 
and unbuckle them, when the chancje is in sio^ht, or 
when the euard sounds the call for the chano-e, and 
if this passenger happens to be a lady, there is a 
manifest reason for having the reins scrupulously 
clean, so that they will not soil her gloves. It may 
be also said that the tongue of the buckle should 
play loosely, the hole of the rein should be large, 
and the keeper, or loop, should be large and far back 
from the buckle, or too much time will be consumed 
in unbucklino- and bucklinof. 

The coach should pull up at the change-place 
easily but promptly, and care must be taken that the 
leaders do not stop too soon, as they almost always 
want to do. 

The coachman throws the reins on the horses' 
backs, the off reins to the off side, and the near to 
the near side. With a little care they may be so 
thrown that they will lie in a fold across the back, 
and the ends will not fall in the mud. The reins 
must not be thrown down, however, until the coach- 
man sees that some one is at the horses' heads. 

The coachman then puts on the brake, without 
noise, but as hard as possible (see p. 328), and gets 
down, taking his whip in his hand ; if he wants to 




get rid of it, he should stand it behind the lamp- 
iron and leaninor aofainst it, with the butt on the 
ground. The horse-keepers, one on each side, pull 
the lead-reins throug^h the terrets of the wheelers, 
and run them through the leaders' terrets, as is 
shown in Plate XXXIII. They then unhook the 
traces, the inside one first, and lay them over the 
leaders' backs, being sure that they are laid well 

over, so as not to fall off 
when the horses move. 
The leaders should be 
led a short distance away 
and their coupling-reins 
unbuckled ; they may be 
trained to stand still where 
they are left, or to walk to 
the stable if it is close at 

The wheelers' reins are 
hung on the centre-ter- 
rets (Fig. 171), the pole- 
chains slacked ; the traces 
unhooked, the inside one 
first ; the coupling-reins un- 
buckled (since the wheelers 
cannot get clear of the bars 
unless this is done), and the 
horses led out of the way. If a spare man, or boy, 
is at hand, he can collect the four horses and hold 
them all at once, clear of the coach. 



The wheel horses are then led to their places 
from the side or from behind. It is a bad plan 
to bring them to the pole, head on, and then 
turn them into their places. The pole-chains are 
hooked at their full IciigtJi into the kidney-link 
ring ; the traces put on the roller-bolts, the out- 
side one first ; and the pole-chain passed through 
the ring from the inside, outward, pulled down, 
hooked into the proper link, and its india-rubber 
ring pushed over the hook. The coupling-reins 
are then buckled. 

The leaders are then led to their places, with the 
coupling-reins already crossed and buckled ; the 
lead-reins are run through the wheelers' terrets, care 
beino- taken that the wheel-rein is first taken ofi^ the 
pad-terret, or it will be bound down by the lead-rein. 
Then the leaders' traces are hooked to the bars. 
The reason for running the reins before hooking 
the traces, is, that if the leaders start they can do 
no harm, not being attached to the coach, and they 
can be stopped by the reins, whereas if they are 
hooked to the bars before the reins are run, they 
might bolt and cause a serious accident. If the 
lead-reins have been properly put into the lead-har- 
ness terrets, they can be pulled through the throat- 
latch ring and the centre-terret by taking hold of 
the end, the whole rein running through freely. 
When the near side reins are ready, they are 
thrown over the wheeler's back to the off side, 
where the coachman is ready to receive them. This 


is the reason for having the point, and not the 
buckle, on the near side reins. 

The horse-keeper remains at the heads of the 
leaders ; the coachman gathers up his reins, buckling 
them and adjusting them to the proper length (see 
p. 286), and, taking his whip, gets up. He should 
glance rapidly over his horses to see that all is right, 
and especially that the coupling-reins are crossed, and 
that the draught-reins are outside and not inside, 
adjust his apron, take off the brake, and, nodding 
to the man at the horses' heads, start off as quietly 
as possible. 

Horses are more apt to give trouble in starting 
from a change-place than when they are leaving the 
office at the beginning. In a quick change they 
know that they are to go the moment that they are 
put-to, and it is usually necessary to let them go 
promptly, or they will fret and balk. For this rea- 
son, the men should be instructed to move aside 
quickly, well out of the way, and since there usually 
is, or should be, plenty of room, the horses cannot 
do any harm. 

The change should never take more than three 
minutes ; it can be easily done in two minutes if 
every man knows his business. 

For a very quick change, if there is room enough 
and there are men enough, the wheelers of the 
change should be waiting, one on each side of the 
road, in such places that they will be abreast of the 
coach when it stops. The leaders coupled together 



should be abreast of the place which they are to take 
in the coach, and standing on the side of the road 
away from the stable, so that they will not be in the 
way when the old leaders come from their places. 

For a three-minute change, the horses may stand 
in a row, with their heads out, on whichever side of 
the road is the more convenient, usually on the off 
side, and in such a position that the coach will stop 
alongside of them. In a narrow road, with vehicles 
going passing by, they must stand in front. In 
some confined places they may have to wait in the 
stable yard, but this will obviously add to the time 
of makinor the change. 

xAiccounts are given in coaching books, of changes 
made in old times in less than a minute on very 
fast coaches like the 'Wonder.' ' Nimrod' [Norih- 
ei'ii ToiLT, p. T^i'^) says that on Captain Barclay's 
famous coach, the 'Defiance,' one of the changes 
was made in a minute, and that the average did not 
exceed a minute and a half. In a road-coach com- 
petition at the New York Horse-Show in 1897, two 
contestants made a chancre of horses in the rino- 
in 58 seconds ; there were two grooms with the 
change team, and a guard and a groom on the 
coach. With a fast coach, no time must be lost at 
the changes ; as will be seen by the Table on p. 446, 
the pace has to be very much increased to make up 
such loss, especially on short stages. 

If there is only one horse-keeper, as was fre- 
quendy the case with the old coaches, the coachman 


and guard must assist if the chang-e is to be other 
than a slow one, and the o-uard of the Enorlish mail- 
coach was required, by his instructions from the 
Post-Office, whose servant he was, to assist, in so 
far as it did not interfere with his mail duties. 

On the modern road-coach, since the guard has 
no letter bags, and rarely any packages, to deliver, 
he assists regularly, and with two horse-keepers it is 
not necessary for the coachman to do anything. The 
coachman usually gets down, however, and receives 
the reins as they are thrown over to him. In rainy 
weather, if there are plenty of people to assist, he 
frequently remains upon the box to keep dry. In 
this case he keeps the whip in his hand, and hold- 
ing it to the front, the reins are thrown over it one 
by one as they are drawn through the terrets, when 
by raising the whip, they slip down to his hand. 
This was done on the very fast coaches in old 
times, and saved, at the change, all the time that was 
required for the coachman to gather his reins and 
get up. 

The question as to whether or not the coachman 
should Q-Qt down at the change, has been mooted 
lately in some criticisms on road coaching ; either 
way is perfectly correct. 

Howsoever the chano-e is made, the duties of 
each person must be carefully laid down and strictly 
adhered to, and the drill for it should be uniform at 
all the stations on the road. 

CH. XX 465 


Speed. — On good roads the proper pace for a 
road-coach is ten miles an hour including changes : 
if it is made much faster, it may be difficult to keep 
time, but if the quality of the horses, and their 
consequent cost, is no object, ten and a half miles 
may be attempted. Less than nine miles is too 
slow to be entertaining either to coachman or to 

The time of some of the road-coaches running 
in the past few years, is as follows : London and 
Brighton, 54 miles in 6 hours, — 9 miles an hour ; 
New York and Tuxedo, 47^ miles in 5^ hours 
(leaving out the time for lunch), — 9 miles an hour ; 
London and Guildford, 28^ miles in 3 hours, — 
9^ miles an hour; New York and Pelham, is}4 
miles in i^4 hours, — 10^ miles an hour ; Paris and 
Maisons-Laffitte, igj4 miles in 2 hours, — 9^ miles 
an hour ; Paris and Pontoise, 26^ miles in 2^ 
hours, — a little over gj4 miles an hour. In all 
these cases the time of makincr the chang^es is 
included, so that the actual driving time is faster. 

In old coaching days in England, the mail-coach 
rates of speed were from 9.4 miles an hour to 10.3 ; 
the majority running about 9.5. The 'Telegraph,' 



London and Manchester, ran i86 miles in iS}4 hours, 
— lo miles an hour ; the Edinburgh and Aberdeen, 
Captain Barclay's 'Defiance,' 129^ miles in 12 
hours and 10 minutes (with a 2-mile ferry at which 
30 minutes were lost and 30 minutes out for breakfast 
and lunch, making the driving distance 1271^ miles in 
1 1 hours and 10 minutes), — 1 1.4 miles an hour.'-'' A 
part of this road was travelled at the rate of 1 3 miles 
an hour. The London and Bristol, 121 miles, and 
the London and Shrewsbury, 153 miles, were timed 
at 10 miles an hour, and the same speed was kept 
up all the way to Holyhead by the Irish mail. The 
London and Devonport was also a fast mail. 

An interesting table of the mails and the coaches 
of those days is given in Corbett's OM Coachman s 
Chatter, p. 300. 

These speeds over long routes meant going very 
fast in some places ; ' Nimrod,' Road, speaks of the 
'Regulator' as doing 5 miles in 23 minutes, that is, 
13 miles an hour, and of the Devonport mail doing 
4 miles in 1 2 minutes, equal to 20 miles an hour ! 
This was in 1832. Revnardson (p. 84) speaks of 
having driven 14 or 15 miles in the hour. 

The French malle poste (see Plate VIII.) was 
timed at 10 to lo^^ miles an hour ; f it had short 
stages of only 5 miles. 

In more modern times, Mr Tiffany's Brio-hton 

* Harris, Coaching Age, p. 382. 

-j- Beaufort, p. 327, and Morin, Report, p. 410. 


coach did the 9 miles between Reigate and Crawley 
in 30 minutes, stopping at a toll-gate on the way. 

The Paris and Pontoise coach, 1891, did the 7.4 
miles from Pontoise to Acheres in 32 minutes, at 
the rate of nearly 14 miles an hour. 

Of drives against time one of the best known is 
that of Selbv. on July 13, 1888, from London to 
Brighton and back, 108 miles, in 7 hours and 50 
minutes, a bet having been made that he could 
not do it in 8 hours. This is at the rate of 13.79 
miles an hour, including changes. Selby had 8 
teams ; the 1 4 changes took altogether 6 minutes 
and 1 2 seconds ; which being taken out, makes 
the driving rate 13.97 niiles per hour. 

On July 12, 1892, Mr Eugene Higgins, having 
as his invited guests Messrs James Gordon Ben- 
nett, William G. Tiffany and T. Suffern Tailer, 
•drove from Paris to The Hotel Bellevue, Trouville, 
124 miles, in 10 hours and 50 minutes. There were 
13 teams, and, owing to the fact that better speed 
was made than had been anticipated and that con- 
sequently the horses at the later stations were not 
ready, the 1 2 changes occupied 49 minutes, leaving 
10 hours and i minute (601 minutes) actual driving 
time, which was at the rate of 12.4 miles an hour. 

This was a remarkable performance, inasmuch as 
the horses were strange, many of them had never 
before been in four-horse harness, and the horse- 
keepers along the road were entirely unaccustomed 
to their duties. 


The horses were none of them at all injured by 
the drive, and were all returned in good condition 
to the persons from whom they had been procured. 
The coach used, was built by Guiet & Co., of 
Paris, for Mr Tiffany, and is an exact reproduction 
of the old English mail. It is shown in Plate VII. ; 
its weight is 2712 pounds. M. Guiet, M. Hieckel, 
an amateur photographer, and M. Luque, the well- 
known artist, were inside passengers, Morris E, 
HowLETT guard. The time was from 6 a.m. to 4.50 
P.M., no stops having been made except for changes. 

In a drive against time, there is some difficulty in 
determining the exact distance unless the roadway 
is gone over with a very accurate odometer, since 
measurements made on even a large-scale map fail 
to include some detours absolutely passed over by 
the coach. In the account of Selby's drive. The 
Field of July 21, 1888, remarks that while the dis- 
tance is set down as 54 miles, the road-books call it 
51 by the road actually followed. Unless, therefore, 
two coaches pass over exactly the same road, it is 
not easy to compare the times made by them to 
fractions of a mile in the hour. 

In this same article. The Field mentions a run, 
from London to Brighton, of a coach taking the 
report of a speech of William IV., in three hours 
and forty minutes, which is faster than Selby's time, 
but the run was only one way. It also states that 
on May-day, in 1830, the regular coach ran from 
London to Birmingham, 109 miles, in 7 hours and 


39 minutes, which again is better than Selby's time 
of 108 miles in 7 hours and 50 minutes. 

Whitley, Coventry Coaching- (p. 13), says that 
Jack Everitt drove ' The Wonder' on May-day, 
from Coventry to London, 150 miles, in 8 hours 
and 35 minutes; this is at the rate of 171^ miles 
an hour. 

CoRBETT (p. 129) says that the Coventry coaches 
on other May-days, travelled the same distance in 
less than 7 hours, or at the rate of 15.4 miles an 
hour. This was about the year 1823. 

In all these cases the coaches were running on 
their regular routes, with horses and men in thorough 
training ; their superior speed does not in the least 
diminish the credit due to the performance from 
Paris to Trouville. 

Before the railroads to the Pacific were built, the 
United States mails were sent through by ' pony 
express,' and upon a number of occasions races 
were run by the rival Express Companies. 

In 1854 Bill Lowuen, a messenger in the em- 
ployment of Adams & Co., carried the mail saddle- 
bags, weighing fifty-four pounds, from Tahama, on 
the Sacramento River in Northern California, to 
Weaverville, one hundred miles, in 5 hours and 
13 minutes; that is, at the rate of 19.12 miles an 
hour. He had twenty-eight horses, stationed along 
the road, about four miles apart. Each horse was 
held by a mounted horse-keeper, who, when he 
heard the approaching messenger's whistle, started 


ahead at a gallop, leading the fresh horse on his 
near side. When the messenger came up along- 
side, both horses being then at full speed, he jumped 
from his horse to the fresh one without touching the 
ground, and pulled the bags after him. It was cold 
weather, December, and the last forty miles were 
ridden after dark, over mountain trails and through 
heavy timber, with a light snow falling. The first 
sixty miles were covered in 2 hours and 37 minutes, 
at the rate of 22.9 miles an hour, or of one mile in 
2 minutes and ^j seconds ; the last forty miles in 2 
hours and 36 minutes, at the rate of 16.44 niiles in 
an hour, or of one mile in 3 minutes and 36 seconds. 
This hundred miles was of course only a small part 
of the whole distance traversed by the express at 
about the same speed. The nineteen horses which 
covered the first sixty miles, averaged 3.16 miles 
each ; the nine which did the last forty miles, 4.4 
miles each, the pace being slower. 

This account is taken from a Western journal 
and was furnished by Lowden himself; while not 
exactly 'coaching,' it is interesting as a record of 
speed with relay-horses. 

Whatever may be the rate at which the coach is 
timed, punctuality is most important, and the coach- 
man should make it a point to start and to arrive 
exactly upon time, and to be at his changes at the 
moment marked for them. This accuracy is the life 
of public coaching, and no delays should be per- 
mitted nor any passenger waited for. It is a good 


plan to print a notice to this effect on the ticket and 
on the time-card and to adhere to it rigidly. 

The coach should not be taken off its reo-ular 
road or its regular time, unless (in accordance with 
a notice given in the commencement of the season) 
for some special reason, such as the holding of a 
race-meeting, at the place to which the coach runs. 
A coach which goes here one day and there another, 
is not a public-coach at all, but merely a vehicle hired 
for excursions. Public coaching is public business, 
and as such it must be conducted. 

On a public coach, persons known to be compe- 
tent whips are sometimes invited by the proprietor 
to drive, either a stage or two, or for several days 
at a time, and it need hardly be said that the most 
scrupulous care in giving such invitations must be 
taken, to avoid any possibility of accident. The 
coaches run by coaching jobmasters sometimes 
have subscribers, who pay toward the support of 
the coach, with the privilege of driving on certain 
days ; in the selection of subscribers, the same care 
ouofht to be exercised. 

In Paris, the police regulations in regard to public 
coaching are somewhat onerous. The proprietor, 
who may be the coachman himself, must be a resi- 
dent of Paris, and is responsible for damages in 
any legal action. The coachman must be exam- 
ined and licensed by the police authorities, and if 
he is not himself the proprietor, must be regularly 
registered as employed by the proprietor. This 


does not apply to a subscriber, when driving, but 
in this case the regular, licensed coachman must be 
on the coach, and is supposed to have charge of it. 

In London, the regulations are more simple, but 
there, and in American cities, licenses must be ob- 
tained, and the coaches numbered, like all other 
vehicles plying for public hire. In London, public 
coaches are not admitted to Hyde Park, and there 
are, in nearly all cities, regulations, more or less 
restrictive, in regard to Public Parks. 

On a route which occupies all day, or on a road 
where the coach runs to a place and returns, it is 
usual to make an arrangement with the hotel at 
which the stop is made, to furnish a lunch at a fixed 
price, and to send word by telegraph at the time of 
starting, or from any convenient place, for what 
number of persons lunch is to be provided. It is 
customary for the proprietor, or the amateur coach- 
man, to sit at the head of the lunch table. The 
professional coachman and the guard make their 
own arrangements for meals. At some change- 
place which is passed in the afternoon, a stop of 
six or seven minutes is made for a cup of tea. 

The fees given to the professional coachman and 
to the ofLiard belonor, of course, to them ; those which 
are sometimes o-iven to the amateur coachman are 
either handed over to the professionals or to some 

There are many notes in the books as to the 
distances driven by coachmen. Corbett (p. 134) 


says, that on one occasion, a friend of his drove 
174 miles without a rest. He also says, that Mr 
Kenvon drove the whole journey from London to 
Shrewsbury, 153 miles, without resting. Captain 
Barclay of Urie, who was famous in the early part 
of this century in all athletic sports, as well as in 
coaching, drove from London to Edinburgh, a dis- 
tance of 395 miles, straight through, with only the 
rests allowed for the passengers' refreshment. This 
was for a large wager with Lord Kennedy, and far 
exceeds any long distance drive on record. Harris, 
CoacJiing Age (p. 383), calls it 397 miles, and says 
that the time was 45 1/^ hours. ' Nimrod,' Northern 
Tour (p. 335), says that the drive was from London 
to Aberdeen, which is 495 miles, but this is, probably, 
an error ; all other authorities eive Edinbureh. I 
have spent a good deal of time in searching for 
some original or detailed account of this drive, 
but without success. 

Driving regularly one hundred miles a day is 
hard work, but with a short rest in the middle of 
the day. a man in good condition ought to be able 
to dri\'e daily seventy miles. Much will depend 
upon the horses ; a hard-pulling team taking more 
out of a coachman in one stage than easy-going 
teams in three stages, and horses lazy, or not up to 
their work are very fatiguing. 

Beside the mere physical fatigue of driving, the 
mental strain is sometimes great, and at all times 
the feeling of responsibility and the close attention 


required, take a good deal out of a conscientious 
and careful coachman. A cool temperament is an 
immense advantage to a driving man. 


The great extension of railroads in the United 
States has restricted public stage-coaching to a few 
mountain districts in the East, and to California 
and the far Western States, where it still flourishes. 

The following notes on coaching in the White 
Mountains, as conducted at the present time, are 
applicable, in the main, to all American coaching. 
The coach itself has been described in Chapter VII. ; 
there is nothing peculiar about the harness, which is 
usually plain and made of single leather, the wheel- 
horse harness having breechings. The wheel-reins 
run through the pad-terrets, but the /caa^-rems go 
straieht to the hand from the wheelers' heads, and 
consequently reach the hand at a different angle from 
the wheel-reins. Since they do not pass through 
the pad-terrets they swing about in a disagreeable 
manner. The lead-reins go through rings on the 
throat-latch on the inner sides of the wheelers' 
heads. If there are six horses, the lead-reins go 
through the throat-latch terrets of the swing-team 
and of the wheelers, but not through their pad- 
terrets ; sometimes the swing-horses have head- 

With six horses, a chain is frequently used instead 
of a middle pole, and the swing-team is sometimes 


called the chain-team or the chain-horses. As a 
rule, the ends of the reins have no buckles. 

The lead-traces are never lapped nor crossed. 
The harnessing is somewhat loose ; that is, the 
traces and the pole-pieces are long and the horses 
travel far apart. The pole-pieces are straps of un- 
changeable length (27 inches), and are fastened to 
the pole-head, a strap attached to the hames being 
passed through them (see Plate XV.). 

In the White Mountains no great speed is at- 
tempted ; the roads in many places being soft and 
sandy, with long ascents. Six horses are frequently 
driven, the load being usually three tons : — one ton 
for the coach, one for the passengers, and one for 
the baggage. The time is about seven miles an 
hour down-hill, and five, up-hill. 

In the West, on some routes, the pace is often 
fast ; the horses, small active mustano-s, beine driven 
at a gallop. 

It is doubtful whether or not it would be worth 
while to attempt any comparison between the Eng- 
lish and the American methods of handling the 
reins. The professional coachman on each side of 
the water is firm in his opinion that the man who 
drives as he does, knows how to drive, and that 
he who drives differently, knows nothing about the 

One can hardly assert that a man who, ever since 
he was a boy, has successfully driven a coach fifty 
miles a day, winter and summer, over all kinds of 


roads, is not a good coachman and does not know 
his business ; so we are forced to the conckision 
that both methods must be more or less right. It 
is undoubtedly true, however, that many persons 
who have learned to drive four-in-hand with two 
hands, have afterward taken to driving with one, 
whereas no one who began with one hand, has ever 
abandoned that method to take to two hands. 

It is interesting to note that the Austrian method 
of drivinof resembles the American. The reins are 
buckled together (as shown in Fig. 113), the hind- 
most buckle coming just behind the hand. The 
near reins are held in the left hand, the off reins in 
the right, and, in turning long corners, chopping is 
usual ; that is, the near or the off reins are pulled 
while held together, with the result of shavino- the 
corner closely with the hind wheel, the inside wheel 
horse being sometimes touched with the whip to 
keep him away from the corner. For sharp turns, 
a point is made by drawing the lead-rein through 
the fingers, behind which it makes a short loop, 
owing to the buckle which holds it, and after the 
movement is completed this loop is allowed to slip 
out. For a very sharp turn, the outside wheel-rein 
is looped in the same way, to make an opposition. 

The fino-erinor is, in fact, almost identical with that 
of the American method, but from the reins being- 
fastened together it has the disadvantage of much 
less flexibility. In the Austrian style, the wheel 
horses are poled up tightly, with their traces always 


Stretched ; the lead-bars are attached rigidly to the 
pole-head, although the draught is by a rope passing 
under the pole ; and, in Continental fashion, when 
going down-hill the brake is always on and all the 
horses have their traces tight. The length of the 
team is, therefore, invariable, whether going up-hill 
or down-hill, and the reins, when once buckled to- 
gether at the proper place, do not require to be 
changed, consequently the want of flexibility, above 
referred to, is not so objectionable as it would be 
for a team harnessed and driven in the English 
fashion. In English, and especially in American, 
driving, the horses are much more loosely har- 
nessed, and the leaders are held back on a descent 
and usually on a turn, so that an invariable relative 
lenofth of the wheel-reins and lead-reins would not 
work satisfactorily. 

Coaching in America in the past is not sur- 
rounded by that halo of romance which attaches 
to English coaching. It was always too severely 
business-like and too roughly done. The ' stage- 
waggon' (shown in Fig. 172, which is a photographic 
reproduction of an advertisement in The Pennsyl- 
vania Gazette of April 19, 1764), and the stage-coach 
(Fig. 173, from Paulsons Anierieaji Daily Advertiser 
of July II, 1812), were gradually superseded by 
coaches of more modern fashion. These old coaches 
seem to have been described much in the same way 
as the English coaches, as the following advertise- 




^ N T I Q IS !• HxsiBV GIVEN, 

TH A T the Sabfbibcr, IHttg 'm Third- ArceV next Door tp 
th^ Sign of theTHree Rea^cn, 1^ fttjft^i^S toareiucelt 
St^e^WaMom, . vkifh gp fr«^ PhSlidriphia to Ttenton Penfi 
c«cr^ MoQdaj, T<Mii«|> Tlldi-ai^ aai f lidaqr, «Ad thett d«li«cr 
Goodij «fi4 Pafl%o|Br» «» f r«fMU Holman, tn^ Daiuel CttSatf, who 
cwry^ them to N«w4Niini^ck, ' M WiUiim Rlchtrds, 9»d SimcA 
Mulfnf; whq 'ijeUver the^ ot Amboy^w £tis«bfthrTowiH whero 
Aej iHlLW received l^ AMt«w HampCoa, who >a* ooc 9f the 
tvtfk tmnmi^t 9o»^ ip cAoy them to and £rom New^ York ; the 
faU Boe|i fet out f^om New-Votk on Hifoodayt and Thiumyti 
th(^ who pleafe to f«To«& them w&h thw CoJIoip, ma; depend 
pn hebg wdl I^nrfd^ Jovatmah fii&fa; ; 

Fig. 172. 

ment in T/ic Pennsylvania Gazette of June 18, 1783, 
shows : — 

' The New York Hying Machine. The Sub- 
* SCRIBERS beg leave to inform the public, that they 
' have established A flying Stage Coach & Wag- 
' gon to perform the whole distance from this city 
' to Elizabeth Town in one day. 

' The COACH will leave the Bunch of Grapes 
' Tavern, in Third Street between Market and Arch 
' streets, precisely at 4 o'clock every Tuesday and 
' Thursday morning, breakfast at Bristol, dine at 




)»gg;i^* to be at ibe riA ol'to« awnec- ' 



Princeton,* exchange passengers with the Stage 
Coach from Elizabeth Town, and return again the 
same day to the Bunch of Grapes. 

' The Waggon will leave the tavern, at the same 
hour, every Monday, Wednesday and Friday morn- 
ing, proceed and return as the coach mentioned 
above. The price for each Passenger in the Coach 
to Elizabeth Town is S/x Dollars and Foiii'- Dollars 
for outside passengers : and One Gtihiea each for 
a seat in the Waggon. 

' Each passenger to be allowed 1 4 lb. weight of 
baggage under their seat — But One Guinea must 
be paid for every 150 lb. weight, either in the 
coach or waggon, and in proportion for any less 

* Princeton is 44 miles from Philadelphia, making the day's drive 
88 miles. 


' or greater quantity. The baggage must be de- 
' posited at the Bunch of Grapes the preceding 
' evening, otherwise it cannot be received in the 
' stages. 

' Gershom Johnston 
' Philad. June 16, 1783. Charles Besonett 

' N.B. The Bahimore Stage Waggon leaves the 
' Bunch of Grapes tavern on Monday, Wednesday 
' and Friday morning precisely at 5 o'clock, and 
' proceeds for Alexandria (in Virginia) a passenger 
' taking a seat in the stage at Elizabeth Town, may 
' arrive at Alexandria in four days, a distance of 
' 240 miles.' 

From another advertisement it appears that the 
' flying Stage waggon ' had four horses and changed 
every 20 miles. Another advertisement, of 1782, 
says, ' New Erected Stages. These Machines, 
' which are on springs, and very easy carriages, 

In the Pennsylvania Journal for Febuary 4, 1784, 
is the following : ' The stage from this city to Balti- 
' more on Monday the 19th ult. crossing the Sus- 
' quehannah on the ice, broke in, and with difficulty 
' the passengers were saved, two of the horses were 
' drowned.' 

Evidently there was sometimes a competition in 
speed, for one advertisement of 1788 says that 
' The drivers are prohibited on severe penalties 
' from running their horses.' 


These coaches carried the mail under contract 
with the Government, and a oruard in charge of it ; 
in fact, the system seems to have been the same 
as that of the mail-coaches in England, but less 

English Coaching. — The story of English coach- 
ing is thoroughly told by Corbett, Malet, Har- 
ris, Beaufort, Lennox, and Reynardson, whose 
works are mentioned in the List of Books in this 

The characteristic feature of English coaching 
was : that there were two kinds of coaches, namely 
Mails, which were under special contract with the 
Post-Office Department and carried mail guards, 
who were the servants of the Government and not 
of the coach proprietors ; on these Mails only a 
limited number of passengers were carried ; and 
secondly Coaches, which were loaded more heavily 
and which had a guard of their own, and some- 
times, on the less busy routes, no guard at all. 

Of course the original purpose of the guard 
was to protect the mails, and he was therefore 
armed with a blunderbuss ; for this reason, he was 
often called ' the shooter.' The mails usually ran 
at night. 

On unimportant roads there were no mail-coaches, 
and the ordinary coaches carried Government mail- 
bags. These coaches had places for fifteen passen- 
gers ; four inside, and eleven outside ; hence the 


expression in coaching songs, of 'eleven and four/ 
meaning a full load : — 

' As he rattles along with eleven and four 
' And a petticoat on the box.' 

Both the mails and the coaches were the property 
of coach-builders, who hired them out to the pro- 
prietors of the road or to the mail-contractors, at 
so much a mile run per month. 

On a long route there were usually several 
proprietors, who together furnished the horses, 
employed the coachmen, and managed the busi- 
ness generally, dividing the profits according to a 
monthly settlement. 

Some of the large proprietors had as many as 
twelve hundred horses, and horsed a number of 
lines of coaches and mails. Harris, in TJie Coach- 
ing Age and in Old Coaching Days, gives a detailed 
account of all this business. 

The Encyclopcedia Londonensis, 1826, p. 308, says 
that (at that date) 'there are about 170 coaches and 
' 4500 horses, employed in England for the mails ; 
'all private property,' 

The average fares were: outside, 2^^ to 3 pence 
a mile, inside, double that ; the mails were some- 
what dearer. 

The ' road game' is frequently referred to in old 
books, and it is not a bad aid to merriment in any 
coaching trip. Each person, or party of persons, 
chooses one side or the other of the road, and cer- 


tain objects as they were passed on the right or left, 
counted in a scale of values well understood among 
coaching travellers. According to Reynardson, a 
donkey counted as 7, a pig as i, a black sheep as i, 
a cat as s, a cat in a window as 10, a doe as i, a 
magpie as i, a grey horse as 5, and some other 
objects, now known to us only by tradition, had 
higher values. The party of travellers making the 
largest count in a certain time or distance, won the 

484 CH. XXI 



Few more delightful ways of travelling can be 
imaeined than that of drivincr a coach throucrh an 
interesting country. 

When a man starts with his coach and horses, 
from his own home, few preparations are necessary 
beyond laying out the route and making arrange- 
ments ahead at the stopping-places. 

It is necessary, if the party is at all large, to have 
the heavier baggage sent on by a messenger, day 
by day, but where that is not possible, it must be 
despatched to some point ahead, and the travellers 
must content themselves with modest valises. 

With a good team, carefully driven, from 20 to 
25 miles a day can be easily made over good roads, 
for an indefinite time. 

In England and in France, where the roads are 
admirable, the inns good, and the stopping-places 
near together, coaching trips can be readily arranged. 

A coach with the men, and with either one team 
or two, can be had from a jobmaster of London or 
Paris ; with two teams, twice the distance that can 
be made with one team, can be driven each day ; 
four horses being sent on by train every half-day 
while the others are working. 


A good plan for a trip with one team is as fol- 
lows : the coach starting about ten in the mornine, 
the baggage is sent by rail to the stopping-place 
for the night, in charge of a man who engages 
the rooms and stablinor and orders the dinner ; a 
stop of at least two hours is made at mid-day for 
lunch, and to rest and feed the horses ; the hours 
ot the afternoon drive may be so arranged as to 
have the most time at the lunch place or at the 
night place, as their respective interest demands. 

Barring accidents, the same horses will do this 
work for any number of days, and an unfit horse 
can be replaced by rail. One of the men hired 
with the coach, should drive well enough to take 
it to and from the stable, but if a man is provided 
who is to drive on the road, a higher charo-e is 
always made for him. 

The cost of a trip varies with the locality, but the 
following list of expenses of a drive in the West of 
England, with a party of five, will give an idea of 
the expense : — 

Coach, horses (a single team), and two men, ^42 
a week (this includes the night-stabling and feed) ; 
hotel bills, £^S ; fees at hotels, ^2 ; railway fares 
for valet with baggage, ^3 ; fees to coach men, ^3 ; 
lunches, and noon-feeds for horses, not included in 
the coach hire, £10 ; altogether, ^98, about $484 
per week. For a larger party, only the hotel bills 
will be increased, the other expenses will remain 
the same. 


Coaching Club Trips. — It has been for many 
years the custom of The Coaching Chib at New 
York to make one or two trips every year, driving 
from the city to the residence of a member of The 
Club, to spend a day there, and to return on the 
third day. A coach belonging to The Club is used, 
and teams, sufficient to cover the ground, are fur- 
nished by members. 

The distance varies from 30 or 40 miles to 80 or 
90, and one trip has been made of 317 miles, con- 
suming four days, but driving only one way. 

The first of these Coaching Club trips was made, 
on the invitation of a Philadelphia member, on May 
4th and 6th, 1878, from New York to Philadelphia, 
through Newark, Elizabeth, Rahway, Metuchin, New 
Brunswick, Kingston, Princeton, Trenton, Bridge- 
water, and Holmesburg, a distance of 90 miles. 
The time was from 6.30 a.m. to 6.30 p.m., with a 
stop of 40 minutes at Princeton for lunch, leaving 
1 1 hours 20 minutes driving time, at a rate of 8 
miles an hour. The hours on the return trip, Mon- 
day, May 6th, were from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m., and on both 
days the arrival at the end of the journey was pre- 
cisely on time. There were nine teams, the stages 
being 10, 11, 7^, 7^, 10, 10, 10, 11, and 13 miles. 
The coachmen were Messrs A. DeLancey Kane, 
Francis R. Rives, Perry Belmont, Theodore A. 
Havemeyer, Hugo Fritsch, George P. Wetmore, 
Frederic Bronson, George R. Fearing, and the 
Philadelphia member, the present writer. 


This trip was repeated in 1887, the route and the 
time being the same, with the exception that the 
time taken out for kmch was one hour, thereby 
reducingf the drivino- time to eleven hours, and that 
there were twelve teams instead of nine. Many 
other trips have been made since then in all direc- 
tions from New York, but the Philadelphia trip has 
been described because it was the first. The long-est 
trip was made in June 1894, from New York to ' Shel- 
burne Farms,' Vermont, the residence of Dr Webb. 
This required four days ; on the first day, June 6th, 
the coach went from New York to Pouorhkeepsie, 
821^ miles; on June 7th to Troy, 83^ miles; on 
June 8th to Rutland, 89 miles ; and on June 9th to 
' Shelburne Farms,' 63 miles; a total distance of 
317^ miles. There were twenty teams, the horses 
used on the first day being sent forward by train the 
second day to be driven on the third. Those used 
on the second were again driven on the fourth day. 
All the horses were sent back to New York by rail 
on the fifth day, the drive having been made in one 
direction only. The time was kept throughout accu- 
rately, no accident happened to any horse and not a 
man was out of his place, — proofs that the arrange- 
ments had been carefully made and that the disci- 
pline was good. 

The arrangements for these trips are briefly as 
follows : a route having been decided upon in re- 
sponse to an invitation of a member to visit him, 
every member is asked whether or not he will 




furnish a team ; the requisite number of teams 
having been obtained, each member is assigned a 
stage, usually by lot, and he is notified at what time 
and place, his horses are to be in readiness, on the 
road, for his change. It is customary to assign the 
last stage to the entertaining member. 

All the members going on the trip, start on the 
coach, and each one takes up his own team at its 
appointed place and drives it over his stage ; his 
men go inside the coach with their blankets and 
stable tools. 

A card for the seats is so made out that the box- 
seat is occupied in turn by each driving member, 
thus giving each one an opportunity of seeing one 
other man drive. 










Mr A, 









Mr B, 









Mr C, 









Mr D, 



























Mr G, 









Mr H, 









Mr I, 









Mr J, 








Mr K, 









Mr L, 









An example of a card is here given where there 
are twelve passengers, of whom eight drive, there 
being only that number of stages. C stands for 
coachman, B for box-seat. 

For the servants, these trips are a useful test ; it 
is no slight matter to have four horses in good con- 
dition, all the harness complete, nothing forgotten, 
at a certain spot some distance from home, ready 
exactly on the minute and everything looking neat ; 
the head coachman who can accomplish it must be a 
competent man. 

These trips are usually timed at nine miles an 
hour, which experience has shown is quite fast 
enough, and a point is made of keeping time closely, 
not an easy thing over a road unknown or only par- 
tially known, to the members driving. 

490 CH. XXII 



The rule of the road is to a great extent a matter 
of tradition and unwritten, althoug^h in some cases 
it is recognised and enforced by laws and ordi- 

In the United States, and generally on the Con- 
tinent of Europe, vehicles which meet, keep to the 
right ; that is, they have their left sides toward each 
other ; in the case of ships this rule is rigidly pre- 
scribed by the laws of navigation. In Great Britain 
and in some parts of Europe, the opposite rule is 
observed, and vehicles keep to the left, while pedes- 
trians, as far as any custom regulating their move- 
ments is observed, keep to the right. The reasons 
for this variety of customs are not easy to trace. In 
all countries when times were less peaceful than at 
present, and when nearly every man carried a sword 
or a cudgel, a pedestrian naturally presented his left 
side to an approaching stranger as giving the best 
opportunity of warding off an attack with his left 
arm while enabling- him to attack with his rioht. 
Inasmuch as those of high rank, however, usually 
insisted upon taking the wall side, this custom could 
not have been universal, although the desire to keep 
to the wall and at the same time to present the left 


side would lead to passing to the right in a narrow 
street, by all the persons moving in it. 

With persons on horseback it would be different ; 
each one would then prefer to have his sword arm 
on the side of the person approaching, and not to 
be oblieed to strike across his horse in case of an 
encounter, so that it is probable that mounted men 
observed a different rule, as knigrhts in tiltingf would 
of course do. 

In early days, when the majority of vehicles were 
guided by a man who rode, or walked beside, the 
left-hand horse, it was natural that he should keep 
his vehicle on the riorht-hand side of the road so as 
to see how much room to give an approaching 
vehicle. In all countries it is certain that horses 
were led and handled from their left side, and the 
Enoflish terms, and i\merican terms as well, of near 
side and off side indicate that this custom was iden- 
tical in both countries. 

When carriages with a seat for the driver came 
into use, the reins were held in the left hand be- 
cause on horseback they were so held, in order to 
leave the rio-ht hand free for the sword, and the 
driver sat on the right-hand side of the vehicle to 
avoid having his whip project over the road, and 
then it would be more convenient for him to permit 
approaching carriages to go on his right, so that 
he could see how near he went to them, and thus 
the present English fashion might have been, and 
probably was, established. 


Whether or not the English rule of the road was 
in force in early days in America, and if so, when 
it was changed to our present rule, I do not know, 
although I have made careful researches into the 
question. On many old bridges may be seen the 
sign, — ' Keep to the right as the law directs,' — but 
so far, although aided by the opinion of friends 
learned in the law, I have been unable to find the 
date or the text of any such statute. It appears 
that there is no general enactment in England upon 
the subject, but in both countries the custom in 
force has so far become law, that decisions in cases 
of collision and damage are usually decided by the 
Courts as if a statute did actually exist. There 
are in both countries numerous local ordinances 
regulating traffic on the road. 

Apart, therefore, from any historical interest that 
may attach to the origin of these customs, they 
have to all intents and purposes the force of law 
and must be observed by coachmen. The English 
rule is embalmed in the familiar lines : — 

' The rule of the road is a paradox quite, 

' Both in riding and driving along ; 
' If you go to the left you are sure to go right, 

' If you go to the right you are wrong. 

' But in walking the streets 'tis a different case, 
' To the right it is right you should bear ; 

' To the left should be left quite enough of free space 
' For the persons you chance to meet there.' 


As there is no ' paradox' in the American rule, 
no poet seems to have been inspired to embody it 
in verse. 

While the rule of driving is perfectly understood 
in England and adhered to, that of walking is barely 
recognised, and the lack of a rule must have struck 
all Americans when walking in London. In Liver- 
pool and in London there have been somewhat 
recently put on the lamp-posts, notices to pedes- 
trians of ' Keep to the right,' a sufficient indication 
that the public did not of their own motion suffi- 
ciently observe such a rule. In American cities the 
rule for pedestrians is usually observed with some 

The rule in driving, of keeping to the right being 
universal in the United States, it follows that a 
vehicle when overtaken should be passed to the 
left, a rule which should be always observed by 
both parties ; that is to say, the vehicle which is 
moving slowly, upon seeing that another wishes to 
pass it, should incline to the right sufficiently to 
give the passing one a fair share of the road. It is 
ill-natured to neglect to give way for a person who 
wishes to go on at a faster pace ; unfortunately it is 
a not uncommon form of incivility. 

On the other hand, the vehicle, after it has 
passed, should be driven on at the faster gait, 
and should not on any account be pulled down 
to the same pace as that of the overtaken one, 
when immediately in front of it. If the driver is 


not certain that he can go on faster than the car- 
riage he is about to pass, he should not attempt 
to pass at all. 

In a wide road or street the slow traffic should 
keep to the sides, leaving the centre for those who 
wish to go faster ; only a thoughtless or an ill- 
natured driver will go at a walk in the middle ot 
the road, thereby preventing those who wish to go 
faster from passing him, yet it is a spectacle con- 
stantly to be noticed in the public parks. In fact, a 
courteous attention to the rights of others using the 
road is the duty of all drivers. In passing two 
horses, one of which is ridden and the other led, 
it is particularly important to go on their left-hand 
side ; the led horse is on the off side of the two, 
and when a vehicle passes him on his off side he 
is likely to turn his croup outward and to kick, 
in play, or for defence, and in either case an ac- 
cident may ensue. Obviously, a man leading a 
horse, should keep well over to the right-hand side 
of the road so as to have his led horse out of the 

The introduction of street railways has somewhat 
unsettled the rule of the road, for the reason that 
inasmuch as a car cannot go to the right, the over- 
taking vehicle, if it passes to the left, may meet 
another one going in the opposite direction on its 
proper side, where there is rarely room between 
the car and the kerb for two carriages. It is there- 
fore usually necessary when overtaking a car to 



pass upon its right side where no meeting vehicle 
is Hkely to be encountered. This change of rule 
is even more necessary when there are two tracks 
on a street, because cars going in the opposite 
direction and carriages following them on the 
track are still more in the way. These move- 
ments should therefore be made with much caution. 
A car usually goes quite as fast as any one ought 
to drive in the streets, and it is a mistake to at- 
tempt to pass it even if it is stopped for a moment, 
since if it starts while the carriage is alongside 
of it, a considerable distance must be gone before 
reaching a place in front of it, with the chance, in 
the meantime, of being obliged to stop for some 
vehicle coming in the opposite direction with the 
right of way. 

In going round a corner, the proper side of the 
road should be kept throughout the whole of the 
turn. In turning to the right, the carriage should 
be driven somewhat close to the kerb all the way 
round, it will then come into the new street on the 
proper side of the way, but in turning to the left 
out of one street into another, the left-hand kerb 
must be avoided, and a wide turn made, so as to 
come into the new street on the riorht-hand side, 
going from the right side of one street to the right 
side of the other. Even fairly good coachmen fre- 
quently make the mistake of cutting close to a left- 
hand corner, thereby obstructing the traffic which 
is coming on the right side of the street, inviting 


a collision, and making it necessary to continue 
crossing obliquely to the right, to get on the proper 
side of the road, — a slovenly way of turning a 

The traffic of crowded streets is much facilitated 
by a custom, common in London and Paris, but not, 
as yet, generally adopted in American cities, of the 
coachman signalling his intentions to those about 
him. If he intends to diminish his pace, or to 
stop, he raises his whip, usually twirling the thong 
in a circle, to attract attention ; if he is to turn 
to the right or to go over to the right side of the 
road, he raises his right hand, having passed his 
whip into his left, as an intimation to those behind 
him not to come up on his right side ; if he wishes 
to turn to the left, he does the same with his left 
hand. If there is a footman on the box, he may 
make the motion to the left, as soon as he knows 
the intention of the coachman. On a coach, it 
should be made by the groom who is on the inside 
ot the turn, if he knows that the turn is to be 
made ; as, for instance, in going round a corner 
toward home. When about to turn or to incline 
to the left, the coachman intimates his intention to 
those who are ^nceting him by pushing his hand and 
the butt of his whip, horizontally to the right ; he 
can make the same movement to the left, but it is 
not so distinctly visible. 

In turning completely round, these notices should 
be given with more care than in turning a corner, 


since the movement will be unexpected by those 

Before turning a corner, out of a road which has 
several lines of traffic in it, the coachman should edge 
over toward the side to which he intends to turn, so 
as not to have any vehicle coming up behind him on 
the inside of his turn. If, for instance, there are 
three lines of traffic going each way on a wide road, 
and he intends to turn to the left, he should get into 
the left-hand line, and when he turns the corner, the 
carriages behind him will move straight on without 
his being in their way, but if he remains in the ex- 
treme rieht-hand line until he bemns to make his 
turn, he must cross two lines of vehicles and stop 
them, before he can make his turn. 

If he wishes to turn out to the right he should get 
into the rig-ht-hand line, and when he reaches his 
corner he can turn round it, without in the least 
interferine with those cominor behind. These rules 
seem simple and trite, but it is only necessary to 
w^atch for a short time, the driving in a crowded 
road to see all of them violated. 

A good horseman keeps his eyes always in front 
of him, observing all that is going on, even if he 
may be at the same time talking to a person along- 
side of him. This habit should become a second 
nature to any man wishing to be a good coachman ; 
he will then see what those approaching him are 
doing or are about to do. He must always be de- 
cided as to what he himself intends to do, and not 


chanee his mind after haviiio- commenced a move- 
ment, or else those meeting him will not know what 
he intends. This makes an immense difference in 
the ease and security with which crowded traffic 
is conducted. In the London streets, where nearly 
everyone seems to be a born coachman, and where 
anyone who does not drive well, is unmercifully 
guyed by those around him, it is easy to know 
exactly what each person intends to do. and the 
traffic moves smoothly even at the most crowded 
hours. In Paris, where cabmen and private coach- 
men usually drive badly, and without the least at- 
tention to each other's rights, it is often extremely 
difficult to foresee from his actions, what the man in 
front is going to do, and uncertain movements and 
collisions are the result. 

This is aggravated by the fashion, almost universal 
in Paris, of driving with both hands, which makes it 
difficult for a coachman to diminish his pace or to 
pull up suddenly, owing to his right hand's being 
so far from his left that he cannot use it promptly 
to shorten both reins together. The reins should 
be always held in the left hand, and the right should 
be used in front of the left, and only when required 
to make some movement. 

In American cities, although the police insist upon 
a much slower pace than is permitted in Paris, the 
state of affairs is but little better, owing to the 
prevalent idea that anyone can drive, that no par- 
ticular skill or practice is required, and to the fact 


that there is no recognised standard by which drivers 
expect to be judged. 

Besides the rules of the road, the courtesies of 
the road should be strictly observed. Every vehicle 
is entitled to one-half of the road, but it is usual for 
a light carriage to yield to a heavily loaded business 
wagon, since that cannot so readily leave the best 
part of the road, and some English legal decisions 
recognise this courtesy as obligatory. A vehicle 
going up a hill should to some extent yield to one 
coming down, especially at a crossing, inasmuch as 
it is more difficult to pull up quickly on a descent 
than on an ascent. 

Many coaching men seem to have an idea that for 
some mysterious reason every vehicle should give 
way to a coach, and are not sparing in unfavourable 
comments on those who do not accord them an 
excessive right of way ; but there are no just 
grounds for such pretensions on the part of a 
person driving a private coach. The feeling is, 
probably, traditional, arising from the fact that 
the mail-coaches and those road-coaches which car- 
ried a mail, had by law what might be called an 
almost violent right of way over all traffic. How 
strongly this was felt is shown by many anec- 
dotes, among them one told by Stanley Harris 
on p. 72 of The Coaching Age, and accompanied 
by a spirited illustration by Sturgess, in which, in 
the words of a passenger on the mail, * The sol- 
' diers wei*e marching down the military road which 


' crossed the main road. Traffic always stopped 
' for the soldiers : the mail could not Q-et throuorh, 
' and Elwin, the guard, insisted on the Queen's 
' riaht. "Damn the soldiers! drive throuo-h them, 
'Watson!" he cried to the coachman. So the 
' coachman went for them, and the soldiers had to 
' give way, amidst a fair amount of bad language 
' from the officers, which was freely and smartly 
' returned by the guard and one or two of the 
' passengers, especially as the officer had a glass 
'in his eye.' 

This sentiment undoubtedly extended itself to all 
road-coaches, which were more or less identified in 
the minds of the public with the mail service, and, 
coupled with the fact that a public-coach is running 
on time, it appeals to the sympathy of the ' horsey' 
public of England, so that a road-coach and even 
a private coach receives an amount of courtesy, 
perhaps unconscious, not accorded to other vehicles. 
The demand for the road, suggested by the horn 
of a public-coach, is usually responded to with 
alacrity and good nature in England, where it is 
thoroughly understood, but with a private coach 
it is not in good taste to demand too much. 

In a city, it is certainly not well to use the horn 
for such a purpose, but on a country road it may 
properly take the place of the voice, in intimating 
to a driver hidden under the cover of his wagon 
that there are other people besides himself using 
the road. 


In connection with this, one is tempted to enquire 
if a wise legislation ought not to prohibit any 
driver from shutting himself within a cover which 
prevents him from seeing out in any direction but 

502 CH. XXIII 


While it is often said that a man who has had 
many accidents l^nows how to avoid them and how 
to ' get out of a scrape' with the least damage, it is 
not agreeable to obtain experience in this way, and 
to avoid accidents altocrether is desirable. 

It is important, first of all, to have coach and 
harness in the best order ; it is almost criminal to 
use rotten harness or any weak tackle ; next, con- 
stant watchfulness is absolutely necessary, and no 
man is a p"ood or a safe coachman who does not, 
all the time, see what is oroing- on around him, in 
front, at his side, and among the horses, no matter 
what else is engaging his attention. His ear must 
catch the slightest unusual sound about the coach ; 
a break is generally preceded by some warning. 
He must not court danger by driving too close to 
any object or to a doubtful-looking edge of the road. 

But apart from the accidents arising from bad 
judgement or carelessness, there are many which 
even attention will not altogether avoid. 

On slippery pavements the best horse may fall ; 
against this, india-rubber pads in the front feet or 
all round, are the best preventive. 

With soft snow on the ground, balls are formed 


in the foot, which slip and render the horse quite 
helpless ; to prevent this, india-rubber balling-pads 
are used, but in their absence, filling the hollow of 
the foot with tallow or with common soap is a 
satisfactory substitute. 

Sometimes an unruly leader, held too tightly at 
startinor, will rear, and throw himself and the other 
leader down ; but they generally manage to scramble 
to their feet without any damage since they are so 
loosely attached to the coach. 

The fall of a wheeler is a much more serious 
matter ; the proper thing is to hold him down until 
the other wheeler is got out of the way to avoid 
his being kicked by the fallen horse, and then to 
release the latter by unbuckling his hame-strap, 
which will loosen all his harness and permit his 
traces to be unfastened. In cases of this kind, the 
trace-end shown in Fig. 103 is useful. 

If a leader kicks over the trace, it is, usually, 
easier to unhook the trace from the bar than to 
unbuckle it at the tug ; and an objection to the 
arrangement, otherwise good, of lapping the traces, 
is that if the horse kicks over an inside trace he has 
his lea- over both traces. 

A wheel horse's kicking over his inside trace and 
getting his leg between it and the pole, is a serious 
matter. The traces will be drawn so tight that it 
will be impossible to unbuckle them, and the proper 
way is to unbuckle the hame-strap on the top of 
the collar ; the trace will then be slackened and can 


be taken off the roller-bolt, or unbuckled ; there is 
no excuse for cutting a trace. On no account must 
the pole-chain be unhooked first ; that permits the 
horse to get back on the splinter-bar and will make 
him kick. 

A leader may kick and catch his leg between the 
main-bar and the single-bars if they are connected 
by a link or chain, — a dangerous arrangement which 
cannot be too strongly condemned. 

The breaking of any part of the harness, such 
as that of the hame-strap of a wheeler, when going 
down-hill, or of a rein under any circumstances, is 
a serious matter. 

The breaking of a trace has usually no bad 
result beyond that of delay, which need not be long 
if a chain or extra trace is carried in the coach. 

The breaking of a pole may occasion a serious 
accident if the coach is oroinof down-hill ; should it 
happen, if the brake is not sufficient to hold the 
coach, it is sometimes possible to keep the horses 
going, out of the way of the coach ; but if the pole 
is broken absolutely in two, so that the front part 
trails on the orfound, an accident is almost unavoid- 
able. The soft side of the road may be sought, to 
aid in stopping the wheels, care being taken not to 
get into a gutter, which may turn the coach over. 
A turn across the road, or up a slope, is also a 
remedy ; but while this is possible with a pair and 
with a vehicle which turns under, it is usually, for 
want of space, impossible with a coach. 


In making- a short turn, the pole may easily be 
broken by the lead horses jumping sideways when 
the coach is on the lock. When this happens, 
the break is usually through the pin-hole, in the 
futchells, and if there is only a short distance to go 
and not down-hill, by taking out the broken piece, 
the remaining part of the pole can be jammed back 
between the futchells ; then the pole-chains being 
taken up very tight and the leaders prevented from 
pulling on the point of the pole, home may be 
reached. If a piece of rope is run from the D 
of the main-bar to the futchells. the leaders can 
pull by the rope without disturbing the pole. 

A broken pole can be temporarily mended by 
pushing the fractured ends tightly together and 
then binding on, by a strong cord, two or four thin 
pieces of board, like splints. A rope should then 
be carried from the bars to the futchells (as men- 
tioned above) to prevent the leaders from pulHng 
the pole out of its splints. 

For mending breaks there is nothing so good 
as an article not often found in civilized places, 
namely : a strip of raw-hide. If this is wetted and 
bound round a joint, or a splice, it will contract in 
drying, and be much tighter than any cord can be 
drawn. Skill in tying some of the knots used by 
sailors is of great advantage in case of accident. 

The breaking of a lead-bar, or the coming loose 
of one of its ends, does little damage, unless the 
bar falls on the horse's heels and makes him kick. 


The reason for putting on the bars with the screw- 
heads of the furniture tip is, that if a screw breaks 
or falls out, its loss will be noticed by the coach- 
man. This is not an uncommon accident, and is 
best guarded against by using the rivets shown in 

Fig- 31- 

The breaking of a front axle-arm, or the coming 

off of a front wheel, is serious, and if the coach be 

going at all fast, an overturn is probable. 

The box of a Collincre axle will sometimes work 
loose in the wheel and the wheel will gradually slip 
off, but an observant coachman should detect the 
mishap before any damage is done, especially in the 
case of the off side wheel. 

I once saw a friend brinof his coach home from a 
considerable distance, after the box of a front wheel 
had become loose, by ingeniously putting the skid 
under the wheel and fastening it by its chain to 
the splinter-bar, which was protected from being 
scratched by having a horse-cloth wrapped round 
it, the coach beinof dra^o-ed on the skid ; of course 
the wheel had not come off, but had only started. 

As may be gathered from the remarks in Chapter 
IX., it is not difficult to capsize a coach, but it is an 
unpardonably careless thing to do unless something 
is broken, or the horses are running away. The 
coming off of the skid or the breaking of the skid- 
chain in descending a steep hill, may cause a cap- 
size, whence the importance of having this tackle in 
good order. 


On icy roads, the skid will slip and, with the 
brake hard on, the tire of the wheel slips also. 
The ice-skid (Fig. 49) is good for steady work ; 
a temporary substitute for it may be made by put- 
ting on the ordinary skid and wrapping a chain- 
trace or the chain of the hook, round the skid and 
the rim of the wheel so as to present a rougher 
surface to the road, as described on p. 89. 

It is possible for a wheel horse to catch his bit in 
the pole-chain hook so as to pull off his bridle, an 
accident likely to be attended with danger ; also, a 
leader, in throwing his head up and down, may 
catch the branch of his bit in the bridle of his 

Some leaders will kick violently if a rein gets 
under the tail, an accident likely to happen in the 
fly season. If the horse is dangerous in that way, 
one of the men should get down and free the rein, 
being careful to seize the tail and lift it off the rein 
instead of trying to pull out the rein. If the horse 
is not a kicker, the rein can sometimes be set free 
by pulling the leaders to one side and the wheelers 
to the other in such a way that the diagonal pull 
will draw the rein out ; the rein should be slack at 
the moment, and a slight flick with the whip on 
the horse's rump will cause the tail to be lifted, 
and so facilitate the operation. 

A way of preventing the horse from getting his 
tail over the rein, is to pass both lead-reins through 
a ring slipped on them between the leaders and the 


wheelers, which keeps the reins together, and away 
from the tails. This ring must be lashed tightly to 
one of the reins or else it will sHp out of place. 

Another way is to run the rein of the horse that 
whisks his tail, through the throat-latch of the 
wheeler diagonally behind him ; but this is obviously 
desirable for a short distance only, in an emergency, 
since it is apt to interfere with the wheeler's work. 

A not uncommon accident, which cannot happen 
if the reins are properly made, is that of catching 
the fork of the lead-reins on a leader's tail. 

Should a leader shy violently, he may pull his 
coupling-buckle through the pad-terret of his part- 
ner. For the means of preventing both of these 
accidents, see the article on ' Reins' in the Chapter 
on ' Harness.' 

Driving too fast round a turn, and striking the 
wheel against a stone, is perhaps the most common 
cause of serious accidents, since by the shock the 
coachman may be thrown off the coach. 

A horse standing unattended, by the side of the 
road, should, in passing, be watched ; he may turn 
suddenly into the road and throw down a leader. 

To have a horse balk, or jib, and refuse to go, 
can be, perhaps, hardly called an accident, but it is 
desperately annoying and very difficult to manage. 
Every horseman has his own method of inducing 
the horse to move, which he considers infallible 
until he tries to put it in practice, when it usually 


Anything which distracts the horse's attention 
from the idea which he has in his head, may be suc- 
cessful, — for instance, Hfting his foot and hammering 
on the hoof as if shoeing him. Violence of any kind 
usually makes matters worse. 

A pulling horse may be made more manageable 
by passing his coupling-rein under the throat-latch 
of his partner before buckling it to the bit. This 
is called throat-latching, frequently pronounced 
' throat-lashino^.' 

In old coaching days, wild or troublesome horses 
were sometimes 'moped,' that is, a leather screen 
or shade was fastened to the bridle and covered the 
eyes, so that the horse could see only downward ; 
' moping a leader' was an expression frequently used. 

Horses must never be left unattended ; no matter 
how quiet they may be, something may frighten 
them and disastrous results ensue. 

During fog, or falling snow, it is frequently difficult 
to see the road or what is ahead, and at niofht the 
light of the lamps shining on the fog is bewildering. 
This may be somewhat obviated by partially covering 
the lamps so that the light may shine down on the 
road, but not too much ahead. 

In driving tired horses, the work must be so 
distributed as to favour a weak horse ; under some 
circumstances the leaders should be kept as fresh 
as possible, since, as a coaching writer tersely puts 
it, ' a tired wheeler may be dragged home, but if a 
leader cuts it, you're planted.' 





Mention has been made of the Coaching Ckibs 
in England. Snnilar ones have been formed in the 
United States ' for the encouragement of four-in- 
hand driving.' The oldest is that in New York, 
established in 1875, which has for its title 'The 
Coaching Club ;' the following is a list of its mem- 
bers from the beginning ; those who have died or 
resiofned beino- marked D or R : — 

Charles A. Baldwin. 
J. D. Roman Baldwin. 
F. O. Beach. R. 
George A. Bech. D. 
Isaac Bell, Jr. D. 
August Belmont. D. 
August Belmont, Jr. 
Oliver H. P. Belmont. 
Perry Belmont. 
James Gordon Bennett. 
A. S. Bigelow. 
Frederic Bronson. 
Harold Brown. 
Neilson Brown. 
H. R. A. Carey. D. 
Charles Carroll. 
Alexander J. Cassatt. 
William P. Douglas. 
Tracy Dows. 
George P. Eustis. 

George R. Fearing. R. 
Hugo O. Fritsch. D. 
Frederick Gebhard. 
Robert Livingston Gerry. 
William C. Gulliver. 
Charles F. Havemeyer. D. 
Theodore A. Havemeyer. D. 
Theodore A. Havemeyer, Jr. 
George Griswold Haven. 
Eugene Higgins. 
Thomas Hitchcock, Jr. 
C. Oliver Iselin. 
William Jay. 
Leonard W. Jerome. D. 
C. H. Joy. D. 
De Lancey a. Kane. 
S. Nicholson Kane. 
GusTAv E. Kissel. 
Prescott Lawrence. 
N. Griswold Lorillard. D. 




Pierre Lorillard. R. 
Richard McCreery. 
George Von L. Meyer. 
Ogden Mills. 
Edwin D. Morgan. 
William Forbes Morgan. 
Edward Morrell. 
Richard Mortimer. 
Stanley Mortimer. 
Frederick Neilson. D. 
Thomas Newbold. R. 
Harry Oelrichs. R. 
E. M. Padelford. R. 
James V. Parker. R. 
George R. Read. 
Isaac H. Reed. D. 
A. Thorndike Rice. D. 
Francis R. Rives. D. 
Reginald Wm. Rives. 

Christopher R. Robert. D. 
Fairman Rogers. 
J. Roosevelt Roosevelt. 
F. Augustus Schermerhorn. 
W. Watts Sherman. 
F. K. Sturgis. 
E. V. R. Thayer. 
Nathaniel Thayer. 
Perry Tiffany. 
William R. Travers. R. 
Francis T. Underhill. R. 
James J. Van Alen. 
Alfred G. Vanderbilt. 
William K. Vanderbilt. 
W. Seward Webb. 
George Peabody Wetmore. 
Augustus Whiting. D. 
Harry Payne Whitney. 
WiLLiA.Ai C. Whitney. 

Honorary Member. 
The Duke of Beaufort. D. 

' The Four-in-Hand Club ' of Philadelphia dates 
from February 28. 1890. 

Its members are as follows : — 

J. C. Mercer Biddle. 
Edward Brooke. 
Neilson Brown. 
Edward Browning. 
Harrison K. Caner. 
Alexander J. Cassatt. 

B. Dawson Coleman. 
A. J. Drexel. 

G. W. C. Drexel. 

C. Davis English. 
Henry Fairfax. 

John R. Fell. D. 

S. F. Houston. 

H. P. McKean, Jr. 

E. Rittenhouse Miller. 

Edward Morrell. 

P. S. P. Randolph. 

Edward B. Smith. 

William Struthers. 

Barclay H. Warburton. 

J. G. Waterman. 

J. E. Widener. 




There are Clubs in other cities of the United States. 

In Paris, there is, besides 'La Cerclc des Guides' 
which is a French Chib, 'The Reunion Road Chib,' 
formed in 1893 with the object of encouraging road- 

Its members are : — 

Chester Arthur. 
Frederick O. Beach. 
O. H. P. Belmont. 
Perry Belmont. 
J. G. Bennett. 
Marquis Du Bourg. 
Frederic Bronson. 
Comte de Carcaradec. 
Henry R. A. Carey. D. 
A. J. Cassatt. 
William P. Douglas. 
George P. Eustis. 
William C. Eustis. 
Captain Pryce Hamilton. 
T. A. Havemeyer. D. 
Eugene Higgins. 
C. Oliver Iselin. 

William Jay. 
DeLancey A. Kane. 
De La Haye Jousselin. 
Vicomte de La Rochefou- 
Prescott Lawrence. 
Baron Lejeune. 
Donatien Levesque. 
Forbes Morgan. 
Henry Ridgway. 
Reginald W. Rives. 
Fairman Rogers. 
J. R. Roosevelt. 
F. K. Sturgis. 
William G. Tiffany. 
William K. Vanderbilt. 
George Peabody Wetmore. 

The rules and customs of the Meets of Coaching 
Clubs are simple, and adopted principally with the 
view of ensuring a certain uniformity. 

At the Meets of the Coaching Club in New York, 
the coaches take a front load only ; the wife of the 
owner, if he has one, takes the box-seat ; there are 
two ladies and two men on the front roof-seat, the 
back of the hind roof-seat is turned down, and the 
two p-rooms are in' the rumble. These rules are not 


observed by the London Clubs, where either a front 
load or a full load is carried. In the case of mourn- 
ing-, when the wife of a member does not, for that 
reason, wish to appear at the Meet, a lady takes her 
place, or the load is made up of men only. 

The only occasion on which the wife of the owner, 
if she is on the coach at all. is not on the box-seat, 
is when a very distinguished personage, such as 
the President of the United States, takes that seat 
on the leading coach. 

If the owner is unmarried, the lady on the box is 
usually one of his own family. 

The owner and his servants usually wear bouton- 
nieres of the same variety as the flowers in the 
horses' heads. There are no lamps on the coaches, 
and the grooms' overcoats are not on the rumble 
but, if carried at all, are inside the coach. The 
stable shutters are down (that is, open), and the 
glass windows either up or down. 

The owner wears the uniform of the Club and a 
black silk hat, as do all the men on the coach. 
Some years ago, it was considered dc rigncur for 
ladies to wear bonnets, but hats have become so 
o-eneral as to be considered correct even on a coach. 

It is hardly necessary to add that every attention 
should be paid to the proper turning out of the 
coach and to the dress and attitude of the servants. 

At a Meet of private drags, two servants in livery 
should be on the coach ; never a servant in the 
dress of a euard, as is sometimes seen in Paris. 


The time of assembling, by which time all the 
coaches should be on the ground, is usually fifteen 
minutes before the hour of starting. The coaches 
take their places in the order of arrival, either in 
one or two lines or in a single column, depending 
upon the locality. One place at the right, or at the 
head, is left for the President of the Club, and the 
Vice-President takes the rear. Inasmuch as punc- 
tuality is a coaching virtue, the start should be made 
on the minute by the President, and the coaches 
should follow at intervals of a coach leng-th ; that is, 
about forty feet. These intervals should be kept 
with great precision, since, if they are alternately 
lost and regained, the changes of pace will be much 
increased toward the rear of the column, where the 
coaches will be frequently compelled to go very 
fast, to make up the gaps. It is a good plan for 
the leadino- coach, ten minutes or so after the start, 
to stop for a few minutes at the first convenient 
place ; the horses are very apt to get fretted by the 
waiting and by the start, and an opportunity is 
hereby afforded of calming them and of changing 
the couplings or the bitting, if desirable. 

The pace should not be slow ; eight miles an hour 
is not too fast, and an even pace should be kept up 
all the time, up-hill and down ; this ensures the in- 
tervals between the coaches being properly kept, 
even if the line is lono-. 

If the route chosen permits, it is well to have a 
countermarch at some place, around a circle in a 


park, for instance ; so that the members may see 
each other's coaches ; if this cannot be arrano-ed, 
a manoeuvre adopted some years ago by The New 
York Coaching Ckib serves nearly the same pur- 
pose. At an appointed spot, the leading coach, 
and of course the whole column, halts on the ricrht- 
hand side of the road ; the rear coach then drives 
out, passing to the left of the column and takes up 
its place at the head ; the coach which has now 
become the rear one does the same, and they all 
make the movement in succession, until the Presi- 
dent, in so doing, resumes his original leading posi- 
tion and then continues the drive. At times, the 
drive occupies an hour or so, and the coaches return 
to the point of departure and there separate ; at 
other times the coaches go to some out-of-town place 
for lunch or for dinner, and return independently. 

The latter is the custom usually followed at the 
Meets of both the London Clubs ; in Paris, the 
coaches, after meeting on the Place de la Concorde, 
drive out together to La Marche or to the Auteuil 
races, and come home independently. 

In the early days of the Coaching Club in New 
York the Meet took place late in the afternoon, and 
after a drive over the whole length of the Park, the 
members and their guests returned to the Bruns- 
wick Hotel for a formal dinner. In the last few 
years, the Meets have been earlier in the day, with 
a drive to Clermont for lunch. 

Where there are Coaching Clubs, it is usual, 


on certain race-courses, to have places specially set 
apart for coaches, those for the Clubs separated from 
those for other coaches. At Jerome Park, in the old 
race days, the grassy slope at the foot of the Club 
House was reserved for coaches, and was a gay point 
of rendezvous on that most beautiful of courses. 

On several Enelish courses each Club has its 
special enclosure, opposite the Grand Stand, and 
the penalty attached to a non-appearance at the 
established Meets of the Club is exclusion from this 
enclosure. Eighty or ninety coaches, including 
those of the Clubs, are often drawn up in a line, 
opposite the Grand Stand, at Ascot. 

A few words as to the disposition of a coach on a 
race-course or at any other gathering, such as a 
horse-show, a cricket-match or polo-match, will not 
be out of place here. 

The coach should be driven as nearly as possible 
to its place, the leaders occupying the spot on which 
the coach is finally to stand ; the leaders' traces 
are unhooked, the lead-rexns thrown down, and the 
leaders moved out of the way. The bars are taken 
off of the pole-head and laid on the ground at one 
side, and the coach is drawn forward as far as pos- 
sible by the wheelers ; the pole-chains are slackened, 
the wheel-traces taken off of the roller-bolts and the 
wheel-Yems thrown down. The chains are unhooked 
from the kidney-link rings, one end being left hooked 
to the pole-head, the pole is withdrawn and the wheel 


horses led out of the way. The coach is then run 
forward to its place by hand, the grooms of other 
coaches usually assisting, until it is as close to the 
rails or rope of the enclosure as is desired. On sod, 
or on ground which is known to be soft, it is well to 
have, in the coach, four small pieces of board, which 
can be quickly laid down in front of each wheel be- 
fore the coach is brought to its final position ; the 
wheels run on these boards and are thereby pre- 
vented from sinkinof in the Q^round, which, from the 
movement caused by those who get up and down on 
the coach, they will be likely to do, with the result 
that it will be difficult to move the wheels out of these 
deep ruts when the time comes to start for home. 

While one man holds the horses, the other one 
pushes the pole under the centre of the coach, so 
that its point comes under the splinter-bar ; then, 
hooking the chains together, he hangs up the head 
of the pole by passing the chains over the roller- 
bolts, and lays the lead-bars on top of the splinter- 
bar, as shown in Plate XXXIV. He then takes 
the halters and horse clothing out of the front boot 
and assists the other man in leadinof the horses to 
where they are to be put up. 

Even for a short stop at a race or at a game, it is 
dangerous to keep the horses attached to the coach ; 
people become interested in the spectacle ; the 
grooms often forget themselves, and if the horses 
start suddenly, any one standing erect on the coach 
is liable to be thrown off with serious injury. 




The same is true, of course, of any vehicle, 
under similar circumstances, and I once saw a 
woman, who was standing on the 
seat of a buggy, thrown off by the 
sudden start of the horse as the 
racing horses passed, receiving in- 
juries which caused her death in a 
few hours. 

After the coach has been pushed 
to its place, the coachman puts on 
the brake as hard as possible, and, 
taking three or four loops of the 
bight of his whip thong, round the 
stick at the ferrule, he hangs the 
whip on the handle of the brake, 
as shown in Fig. 1 74. 

The whip may be strapped along 
the pole, instead of hanging it as 
just described, but this is a more 
troublesome way of disposing of 
it. It must not, under any circum- 
stances, be put into the whip socket, 
where it will be not only in the way 
but almost certainly broken. 

If at the termination of a meet- 
ing, the rope or rail in front of the 
coaches is taken down, it is neces- 
sary only to put the horses to, and 
Fig. 174. , . . , TT 1 • 

to drive straight out. 11 this can- 
not be done, thc^ coach must be backed by hand 



and turned into a position which will allow the horses 
to be put-to ; it is well to drill the men in doing this, 
so that the coach can be brought into position with- 
out any awkward failures. 

Starting off from a race-course requires much 
judgement, and few things show more clearly the 
good or bad coachman. The horses after standing, 
are often somewhat fractious and impatient ; other 
coaches about them are just getting off, and unless 
the coachman does the proper thing he is likely to 
get into trouble. He must be certain before he 
starts that he has his reins exactly right and that 
all his horses tighten their traces tooether, for, on 
the soft ground, it usually takes all four to pull the 
coach. If they make a false start without moving 
the coach, they will be likely to balk or run back, 
and then a good start is almost impossible. 

Everything should be done in the most quiet 
manner ; the brake must be taken off without any 
noise, the man at the leaders' heads must draw 
the horses gently forward without exciting or jerk- 
ing them, in order to tighten their traces, keeping 
his eye steadily on the coachman so as to obey any 
signal promptly. If all this is properly done, the 
team will get into motion smoothly and quickly, and 
they should be permitted to go straight on, to give 
them no chance to rebel. If it is not properly done, 
one leader will be on his hind legs and the other 
turning his croup out sideways, while a wheeler will 
be hanging back with his collar half-way up to his ears. 


It seems hardly necessary to add that a start 
should not be made unless there is room to eo 
somewhere, but one often sees an inexperienced 
coachman try it, with awkward results. 

Judging at Horse-Shows. — It has become the 
custom at Horse-Shows to make classes for Har- 
ness Horses, which classes include the vehicles to 
which the horses are shown, together with the har- 
ness and liveries ; these appointments, as they are 
usually termed, count for fifty per cent, and the 
horses for fifty per cent., in making up the number 
of points for the award. The Coaching Club in 
New York has formulated, as suggestions to Judges 
and Exhibitors, certain Rules for Judging, which are 
here reproduced by permission of the Club. These 
Rules will be found to agree with the descriptions 
of coaches and harness given in the earlier pages 
of this book, and, being a codification of the best 
practice among coaching men, may be taken as a 
guide for turning out a coach properly. 

The Rules are printed in double column, for con- 
venience in comparing drags and road-coaches : — 

The Drag. The Coach. 

The Drag should have a perch The Road-Coach should be 
and be less heavy than a Road- built stronger than a Park Drag, 
Coach and more highly finished, especially as to the under-carriage 
with crest or monogram on the and axles, which latter should not 
door panels or hind boot. measure less than two inches in 





The Drag — {continued). 

The Coach — {contimieci). 

The axles may be either Mail The axles may be either Mail 
or Collinges (not imitation). or Collinges (not imitation). 

The hind seat should be sup- The hind seat is usually sup- 
ported by curved iron braces, ported by solid wooden risers 
and be of a proper width for two with wooden curtain, but the sup- 
grooms, without lazy-back. ports may be of curved iron, as 

in a Park Drag, in which case 
a stationary leather curtain is 
used. Its seat should be wide 
enough for at least two besides 
the guard, who should occupy 
the near side, with an extra 
cushion. He should have a strap 
to take hold of when standing to 
sound the horn. 

The lazy-backs on the roof- The lazy-backs of the box-seat, 
seats should be turned down hind seat, and roof-seats should 
when not in use. be stationary. 

The under side of the foot- 
board, together with the risers, 
should be of the same colour as 
the under-carriage. 

The under side of the foot- 
board, together with the risers of 
the box and hind seat, should be 
of the same colour as the under- 

The body of the Drag and the 
panel of the hind boot should cor- 
respond in colour. 

The body of the Coach and the 
panel of the hind boot should 
also correspond in colour. 

The door of the hind boot The door of the hind boot 
should be hinged at the bottom, should be hinged on the off side 
that it may be used as a table to enable the guard to open it 
when open. from the near hind step when the 

Coach is in motion. 




The Drag — (continued). 

The Coach — (continued). 

The skid and safety hook (if The skid and safety hook must 
carried) should be hung on the be hung on the off side in coun- 
ofif side. ' tries in which it is customary to 

drive on the off side of the road- 
way, for the skid should be on 
the outside wheel, or the Coach 
will slide toward the ditch. 

It is customary to trim the out- The trimming of the outside 
side seats in either pigskin or seats should be of carpet or any 
cloth, and the inside of the Drag suitable material, not leather, 
in morocco or cloth. The inside of the Coach is usually 

finished in hard wood or leather. 

The coachman's driving-apron The coachman's driving-apron 

when not in use should be folded when not in use should be folded 

on the driving-cushion, outside on the driving-cushion, outside 

out. Passengers' aprons if carried out. 
to be neatly folded and placed on 
the front inside seat. 

A watch and case are not A foot-board watch with case 
essential, nor is the pocket in the should be provided. The driving- 
driving-cushion, cushion should have a pocket on 

the near side. 

There should be no luggage 
rails or straps on the roof between 
the seats. 

Inside, the Drag should have : 
Hat straps fastened to the roof; 
pockets on the doors ; places 
over the front or back seat where 
the lamps may be hung when not 
in use ; an e.xtra, jointed whip. 

The iron rails on the roof be- 
tween the front and back seats 
should have a lattice or net-work 
of leather straps to prevent small 
luggage, coats, rugs, etc., placed 
on the roof from falling oft". 

Inside, the Coach should have : 
Hat straps fastened to the roof ; 
leather pockets at the sides or 
on the doors ; an extra, jointed 




The Drag — {continued). 

The umbiella basket, when 
carried, should be hung on the 
near side. 

The Coach — {continued). 

The basket shall be hung on 
the near side and in front of the 
guard's seat. The horn should 
be placed in the basket with the 
mouth-piece up. 

Two extra lead-bars, consist- Two extra lead-bars, consist- 
ing of a main-bar and a side-bar, ing of a main-bar and a side-bar, 
fastened to the back of the hind fastened to the back of the hind 
seat with straps ; main-bar above, seat with straps ; main-bar above. 

Lead-bars put on with screw Lead-bars put on with screw 

heads of furniture up. heads of furniture up. 

The following articles to be 
neatly stowed in a convenient part 
of the Coach : A wheel jack, extra 
hame-straps, a chain-trace, extra 
lead-trace, an extra bit, a bearing- 
rein, a rein splicer (a short strap 
of the same width as the reins, 
with a buckle at either end) or 
two double buckles of different 
sizes, a kit of tools, comprising 
a wrench, hammer, cold chisel, 
coil of wire, punch, hoof-pick and 
knife. Two extra, large rings for 
kidney-links, or a pair of pole- 

It is usual for a Park Drag to The guard should be appro- 
be fitted with luncheon boxes, priately dressed, and should have 
wine racks, &c., also with a box a way-bill pouch with a watch 
on the roof called an " Imperial." fitted on one side and a place 
This latter is never carried ex- provided for the key of the hind 
cept when going to the races or boot, 
a luncheon. 

The following articles to be 
neatly stowed inside the front 
boot : A small kit of tools, an 
extra lead-trace and wheel-trace, 
a rein splicer or two double 
buckles of different sizes, extra 

Loin cloths for team, and the 
necessary waterproof aprons, 
should be carried in a convenient 
and accessible part of the Drag. 




The Drag — (continued^. 

The Coach — {continued). 

Lamps off. Lamps inside Side lamps in place and ready 
coach. for use. 

Park Harness. 

Pole-chains should be bur- 
nished and have spring hooks. 
The chains should be of a length 
which will admit of snapping 
both hooks into the pole-head 
ring. If too short, one end 
should be hooked in the pole- 
head ring and the other in a 
link. If too long, one end 
should be snapped in the pole- 
head ring, and the other brought 
through said ring (from the out- 
side in) and snapped in a link. 

Road Harness. 

Pole-chains should be bur- 
nished or black, but pole-head 
and chains must be alike. Hooks 
should have india-rubber rings, 
not spring hooks. Chains with 
single hooks should be put on 
pole-head from inside, out ; then 
passed through the kidney-link 
and hooked into one of the links 
of the chain. 

Cruppers, with buckles, on all 
horses preferred. 

Cruppers, with or without 
buckles, on wheelers, but not 
necessarily on leaders, unless 
bearing-reins are used. Martin- 
gale back-strap. Trace-bearers 
on the leaders from the hames to 
the tug-buckles are permissible. 

Loin-straps and trace-bearers 
are permissible. 

No loin-straps. 

Face-pieces (drops). 

Face-pieces (optional). 

Martingales around the collars Martingales around the collars 
of wheelers and not through kid- and not through kidney-links 
ney-links alone. alone. 




Park Harness — {cimtinucd). 
Martingales on all horses. 

No rings on coupling-reins. 

Road Harness — (contimicd^. 

No martingales on leaders 
kidnev-link rings on leaders. 

Mountings of coach and har 
ness and the buttons on servants 
liveries should be of the same throughout 

Mountings, preferably of brass, 
but at least all of the same metal 

Wheel-traces with metal loop 
ends, not chains. 

Wheel-traces with French loop 
or chain ends. Chain put on 
roller-bolt with chain out and 

Wheelers' inside traces shorter 

Wheelers' inside traces shorter 

than outside traces, unless the than outside traces, unless the 
inside roller-bolt is enlarged to inside roller-bolt is enlarged to 

give the same result. 

Lead-traces straight or lapped, 
not crossed. 

Eyes on ends of hames through 
which the kidney-links pass. 

Plain kidney-links. No kid- 
ney-link rings on leaders. 

Solid draught-eyes on hames. 
Clip inside of trace leather, and 
showing rivet heads only. 

Full bearing-reins, with bit and 
bridoon. Buxton bits preferred. 

Single point strap to tug-buckle. 

Metal or ribbon fronts to 

give the same result. 

Lead-traces lapped, crossed, or 

Hook ends to hames. 

Chain and short kidney-links 
or all chain. 

Ring draught-eyes on hames. 

One or more bearing-reins are 

Metal or leather fronts to 
bridles ; if ribbon, the colour bridles ; if leather, the colour to 
should match the livery waist- match the colour of the coach, 




Park Harness — {continued). Road Harness — {continued). 

The crest or monogram should A crest or monogram is not 

be on the rosettes, face-pieces, generally used in road work, but 

winkers, pads, and martingale instead, lead-bars, or a special 

flaps. Ribbon or coloured ro- device in brass, are put on the 

settes are inappropriate. winkers and rosettes. 

Hames-straps put on with the Hames-straps put on with the 

points inside, — i.e., to the off side points inside, — i.e., to the off side 

on the near horse and the near on the near horse and the near 

side on the off horse. side on the off horse. 

Reins of single brown leather. 

Reins of single brown leather. 

Draught-reins sewed in one 
piece, with end buckles only. 

Draught-reins sewed in one 
piece, with end buckles only. 

Lead-traces with screw heads 
of the cock-eyes up. 

Traces with screw heads of 
cock-eyes and chain ends, up. 

All parts of the harness should 
be double and neatly stitched. 

All straps preferably of single 

Collars to be of black patent 
leather, shaped to the neck. 

Collars may be of patent, plain 
black, or brown leather ; straight, 
thick, and full padded. 

The hames bent to fit the 
collar accurately. 

The hames straight to fit the 

Harness black. All straps 
should be of proper length, but 
not too short. 

Harness black or brown. 

When the owner or his repre-" 
sentative drives, the stable-shut- 
ters should be down ; otherwise 


Driving Competitions. — Driving competitions 
are frequently arranged with the view of deciding 
which of the contestants has the best seat on the 
box, the best method of handhngr the reins and 
whip, and the best general style of driving, while 
merely going over a simple course ; or an intricate 
course, with obstacles, may be laid out for the 
purpose of testing the skill of the coachman. In 
the first case, a figure-of-eight may be added to the 
simple course ; a moderately high rate of speed 
should be required. 

At the Philadelphia Horse-Show of 1893, the 
course was laid out as in Fig. 175. 


4«A» •\»S 

Fig. 175. 

Blocks, 10 inches square and 36 inches high, were 
placed in pairs, with a space of 8^ feet between 
the blocks, at the points i, 2, 3, and 4. The coaches, 
stationed on the short sides of the around, were 
twice driven, one by one, at a sharp trot, through 
each pair of blocks, following the course shown by 
the dotted line, thus twice making a figure-of-eight ; 
finishing at the point marked by the star. Striking 
a block was counted against a contestant, but the 





Style of driving and the accuracy of the turns were 

mainly considered. The ground was 300 feet in 

length and 125 feet in width, so that 

the turns were portions of circles of 

about 100 feet in diameter. 

For an obstacle course, the foUow- 
ino- is a eood arrangement : Barrels, 
painted a light colour, are placed (as 
shown in Fig. 1 76) 8 feet apart in one 
direction and 50 feet apart in the other, 
the coach being driven between them 
as shown by the dotted line. After 
passing through the last pair of 
barrels, a turn is made to the left 
and the coach is driven in a straight 
line between two rows of stakes 7 
feet apart, the pairs of stakes cor- 
responding to the pairs of barrels. 
With seven pairs of barrels, the 
whole space required for the course 
will be about 600 feet in length by 
120 feet in width. On a course of this length, 
two minutes is the time allowed for driving up 
one side and down the other, the time being taken 
from the moment of starting at the word 'go,' 
from a line 75 feet in advance of the first pair 
of barrels, to crossing the same line after having 
passed through the stakes. 

In counting the points to the credit of each com- 
petitor, a number is adopted, for example 30 ; from 



Fig. 176. 




this number are deducted two points for each barrel 
or stake touched, and one point for each 1 5 seconds, 
or part thereof, above the two minutes ; for each 
15 seconds, or part thereof, less than the two min- 
utes, one point is added. Four points are deducted 
for going outside of a barrel or stake, and four 
points are deducted should a groom touch the 

The following is the form in which the judges' 
card may be made : — 















Barrels touched 






Stakes touched 








Groom touching horses . . 


— I 

— 2 

+ 1 

+ 1 



— 12 



— 20 


Points to be deducted from 30 



— II 












In this example, competitor D having the greatest 
number of points to his credit, is the winner. 

The foreo-oinor are the Rules for the Drivino- Com- 
petitions at The Ra7ielagh Club, London. There, 
after passing through the barrels, the turn is made 
to the right in accordance with the English custom 
of driving on the left-hand side of the road. 

At one of the Open-Air Horse-Shows in New 
York, a pen of hurdles was arranged as in Fig. 177. 


D ; 

""^-, ,-' 



'\ ^<' ,'' 



'■' \ 



The coach is to be driven in from A in the di- 
rection shown by the arrow, passing the barrel C ; 

then backed into 
the space between 
B and C until the 
horses could be 
turned to the right 
and finally driven 
^^^" ^^^" out toward A in 

the direction opposite to that in which it entered. 
The fences, between A and D, are 22 feet apart, 
and the barrels B and C are 22 feet apart. The 
hurdle at D should be moveable, to permit a coach- 
man who is unsuccessful in backing round, to drive 
out at that end. 

In all Driving Competitions, especially when the 
turns to be made are sharp, the vehicles used should 
have nearly the same angle of lock ; a coachman 
driving a break, the front wheels of which turn far 
under, has a great advantage in being able to make 
a sharp turn without risk of an accident ; breaks 
should not therefore be admitted to a competition 
with coaches. 


Get Ready. 

-„ •' _ 

The Start. 





Clear the Road. 

i}U- jJ?] 



' JVi 

Off Side. 



Near Side. 





Change Horses. 



j i ^-rj i -Tj. 


Slacken Pace. 

^^ ^3 


m v m 




Pull Up. 

hU- hip- h i 

Higher Up. 

3 ^ 3 

a little shiver 

djcif i cirix- i r 


m _ m 


%t r 



^ 1 ^- ^r i f 

To the Right. 

To the Left. 



jliirjfrj' fijj'f i r^rrjiriJj'j- ii 

The Post-Horn Call. 

fficirm'i[[aW ^^S 



Off to Charlestown. 

:n.^^ i -'rim; i r-Nr: P^ 

. pT ^> 



: Continued.) 



MLTEj' i ^'rrirc^ i ^ri^ 

The Huntsman's Chorus 

fiii rtf nr c riJJJJ i ^^ ^ 

Buy a Broom. 


^^^/ ^imfrr^j irr-fCiri^ff^ 


Short Call. _ 

A A f> 

Short Call. 





In this Chapter are given the most useful calls 
for the Coach-Horn, together with three airs adapted 
to that instrument. 

Since the ordinary, straight coach-horn (Fig. 178) 
has no keys, only the six open notes C, G, C, E, G, 
C, can be sounded on it ; these notes are written in 

Fig. 178. 

the key of C, the first note in the list being the C 
below the stave. The high C, with which the ' post- 
horn call' ends, is difficult to produce. 

The actual pitch of the notes sounded when any 
call is played, depends upon the length of the horn ; 
a horn with a length of about 39 inches, including 
the mouth-piece, will give the sound of E flat when 
what is written as C is sounded ; one of about 
52 inches in length will give B fiat, the pitch of a 

The shorter the horn, the more difficult it is to 
piay, but the more brilliant are the calls ; the longer 
horn has a softer tone. A horn 42 inches in leno-th 
has an agreeable pitch. A horn 54 or 56 inches in 


length may be reduced to the more convenient 
length of 24 or 25 inches by being doubled on 
itself; its tone is not materially changed. 

A horn made of hard brass has a better tone 
than one made of copper, and the ' cornet ' bell is 
thought to crive a sweeter tone than the conical or 
' buofle ' bell. Ribs of brass or of orerman-silver 
are sometimes soldered lengthwise on the horn to 
strengthen it. 

Old coaching books speak of 'the yard of tin,' 
meaning the horn ; a horn made of tin and only 
36 inches long could not have been a very musical 

On some coaches, in the early part of this cen- 
tury, the guard used a key bugle instead of a horn. 
'Paddy Blake' {Neio Sporting Magazine, 1834, 
p. 102) speaks of a coachman's having a horn in 
his pocket. 

Owing to the limited number of its notes, few of 
the well known tunes can be played on the coach- 
horn, but the calls can be varied indefinitely. 

Much practice is necessary to enable a person to 
play the horn well ; useful hints and useful exercises 
are contained in the three little books by Godden, 
by KoHLEK, and by Vinoy, the full titles of which 
will be found in the ' List of Books' in the present 

CH. XXVI 533 



Two medals or tokens are mentioned in the 
Coaching books ; photographic reproductions of 
them are here given. 

The first (Fig. 179), known as the 'mail-coach 
halfpenny,' was struck soon after the introduction 
of the mail-coaches. 

It has upon the face a mail-coach, with coachman 
and guard, and four horses galloping ; above, ' mail 

Fig. 179. 


On the reverse, ' to j. palmer esq. this is inscribed 

AS A token of gratitude FOR BENEFITS REC'd FROM 

the establishment of mail coaches,' with a wreath 
of palm leaves and the letters ^. ^■ 

The second (Fig. 180) is a copper halfpenny 
struck by William Waterhouse, a coaching pro- 


prietor, whose headquarters were, about i 722-1800. 
at the Swan with Two Necks/=' Lad Lane, London. 

It has. upon the face, a swan with two necks 
turned in opposite directions ; above, ' payable at 


Fig. 180. 

w. w.,' on the reverse, a coach with four horses, and 
the legend 'speed regularity & security.' 

After a thorough search I have failed to find any 
other coaching medals. 

Of those just described, one seems to have been 
a compliment and the other an advertisement. In 
the United States, at a later period, numbers of 
stage and omnibus tickets in the form of coins, 
were issued, two of which are here shown (Fig. 
181), together with an English railway ticket. 

The copper 'road ticket' (Fig. 182). for the 
Kind's PrK^ate Road, is a badee. erantino- admis- 
sion to certain roads which were closed to the 
general public. 

* It is the custom for the owners of swans to mark them by 
one or more ' nicks' on their beaks ; the name of the tavern is no 
doubt a corruption of ' The Swan with two nicks.' 




Finally, the coin (Fig. 183) marked ' Warington/ 
called in the Coin Catalogues ' a racing token.' seems 

Fig. 181. 

Fig. 182. 

Fig. iS- 

to be a badge, or an admission ticket to some 
enclosure, since it has a number, ' N° 260,' stamped 
upon the back. 

536 CH. XXVII 



This does not pretend to be an exhaustive Bib- 
liography ; it is merely a list of books which are of 
interest to the coaching man: — 


English Pleasure Carriages ; their Origin, His- 
tory, Varieties, Materials, Construction, &c. &c., 
together with Descriptions of New Inventions. By 
William Bridges Adams. London : Charles 
Knight & Co. 1837. 8vo, 315 pages. (Numerous 
plates of carriages. The author, brought up as a 
carriage builder, afterward became a civil engineer, 
and his book is one of the first on carriage building 
in which a higher grade of mechanical perfection 
in carriages is recognised and insisted upon.) 

Apperley, see ' Nimrod.' 


Light Artillery Drill Regulations. United States 
Army. Washington : Government Printing Of- 
fice. 1896. 


Whips and Whip-Making. By W. G. Ashford, 
Birmingham. Walsall: T. Kirby & Son. 1893. 
8vo, 38 pages. 

ch. xxvii list of books 537 


Bailey s Magazine of Sports and Pastimes. Lon- 
don. (Commenced in 1825, continued to the 
present day.) 


On the Track of the Mai I- Coach. By F. E. 
Baines, C.B. London : Richard Bentley & Son. 
1895. i2mo, 351 pages. (Reminiscences of 
Post-Office matters in England.) 


Methode d' Equitation basee siir des noitveaiLX prin- 
cipes, dfc. Par F. Baucher. Paris: 1842, 8vo. 
(And many later editions.) 

A Method of Horsemanship, &c. By F. Baucher. 
Philadelphia : A. Hart. 1851. i2mo. (An Eng- 
lish translation by George H. Boker and John 
Sergeant. ) 

(There are other books by Baucher, but the 
important matters are contained in the MetJiode}^ 


Driving. By His Grace the Duke of Beaufort, 
K.G., with contributions by other authorities. 
Illustrated by G. D. Giles and John Sturgess. 
London: Longmans, Green & Co. 1889. Sec- 
ond edition, i2mo, 426 pages. (One of the 
volumes of The Badminton Library, and the 
most comprehensive book yet published on 
Coaching in general.) 

538 list of books ch. xxvii 


Carriao-es, Roads and Coaches. By S. Berd.more. 
London : 1883. 8vo. 


Brij^hton and its Coaches. A History of the 
London and Brighton Road. By William C. A. 
Blew. London: John C. Nimmo. 1894. 8vo, 
354 pages. (There is an excellent chapter on 
' The Growth of Coachmanship' at the end of 
this volume.) 

BrigJiton Road, see Harper. 


A Treatise on the Bits of Horses. By Bracy 
Clark. London: 1835. Second edition, 4to, 
63 pages. (The first edition was about 1830.) 


A Coaching Souvenir of i8go. Paris to Ram- 
bouillet, Paris to Poissy. By C. D. i6mo, 18 
pages. (A prettily printed Guide-book to two 
coaching roads.) 


The Delights of Coaching. By An Old Whip. 
Imprinted for Murphy & Company, New York, 
Cleveland, and St. Louis. 1883. With etchings 
by Stephens James Ferris. Oblong i2mo, 56 



All Old CoacJiinaiL s CJiattci\ witJi some Practical 
Remarks on Driving. By a Semi-Professional, 
Edward Corbett, Colonel, late Shropshire Militia. 
With 8 full-page illustrations by John Sturgess. 
London : Richard Bentley & Son. Second edi- 
tion. 1 89 1. 8vo, 304 pages. (This book con- 
tains some history of Coaching and a great deal 
that is very interesting and valuable about driving- 
four horses.) 

' Craven,' see Walker. 


The AtUobiography of a Stage-Coachman. By 
Thomas Cross. London : Hurst & Blackett. 
1 861. 3 vols., i2mo, 311, 312, 292 pages. (A 
somewhat rare book ; the second and third vol- 
umes contain interestincr reminiscences of Coach- 
ing in the early part of the century.) 


The Dickinson Gallery. Revised Catalogue of an 
an Exhibition of Pictures illustrative of the Old 
Coaching Days, with an Introduction and addi- 
tional Descriptive Notes by Captain Malet. Lon- 
don : Dickinson Bros. & Foster. 1877. i2mo, 
48 pages. (A catalogue of two hundred and 
sixty-three pictures and prints of Coaching sub- 



Seats and Saddles, Bits and Bitting, and the Pre- 
vention and Cnre of Restiveness in Horses. By 
Francis Dwyer. Edinburgh and London. 1868. 
i2mo, 265 pages, (There are many later editions. 
The Fourth, reprinted in America, by the United 
States Book Company, n. d., contains chapters 
on Draught which are of the greatest interest 
to the driving man. The whole book may be 
studied with profit. Major Dwyer, an English- 
man, was for a long time in the Austrian military 


Essay on the Construction 0/ Roads and Carriages. 


A Treatise o?i Carriages, etc. William Felton, 
London : 1 794. 2 vols. 

The Field. 

London. Articles and Correspondence on Coach- 
ing in Numbers for Nov. 8, 1890 ; April 16, 1892 ; 
April 30, 1892; May 14, 1892; June 11, 1892; 
June 18, 1892 ; July 9, 1892 ; July 16, 1892 ; 
July 23, 1892 ; July 30. 1892 ; Aug. 13, 1892 ; 
Sept. 3, 1892. (The pages of all Sporting Jour- 
nals contain articles on Coaching, but the refer- 
ences above eiven are useful, because the details 
of Driving are there discussed at some length.) 



P7Hncipes dc Dressage et de V Equitation. Par 
James Fillis. Troisieme edition. Paris : E. 
Flammarion. 1892. 8vo. 422 pages. (Illus- 
trated. The most satisfactory treatise on Equi- 
tation yet written, and by a master of the art.) 


The Harness Maker s lUnstrated Manual. W. 
N.Fitzgerald. New York : 1875. 


Bits and Bearing Reins. By Edward Fordham 
Flower. London: William Ridgway. 1875. 
Second edition, 8vo, 31 pages. 

Horses and Harness ; a Sequel to Bits and Bearing 
Reins. By Edward Fordham Flower. London : 
William Ridgway. 1876. Second thousand. 8vo, 
20 pages. (These two pamphlets contain admi- 
rable illustrations, which should find a place on 
every harness-room wall. The author for many 
years preached a crusade against the abuse of 
the bearing-rein, and with marked effect upon the 


The Romance of Engijieering : The Stories of the 
Highway, the Waterway, the Raihvay, and the 
Subway. By Henrv Frith. London : Ward, 
Lock, Bowden & Co. 1892. i2mo, 356 pages. 



Conference Hippiqtie, I. Les Cinq Motcvements 
Cles de r Equitation. Par Rene de Gatines. 
Paris : Le Goupy. 1894. (A good analysis of 
the Baucher method.) 

Conference HippiqtLe, II. La Giieriniere, d' Atire 
et Baucher. Paris: Le Goupy. 1896. 


Ye Coach Horn Tootlers. By Walter Godden. 
London and New York: Boosey & Co. 1894. 
Long i2mo, 20 pages. (A collection of twenty- 
five coach-horn tunes.) 


From Paris to Troiiville in Thirteen Stages. Some 
Notes on Coaching, with Reproductions of Photo- 
graphs taken during the journey, and a Descrip- 
tive Account of the Art of Carriage Building. 
By A. GuiET. Illustrated by L. Vallet. Paris : 
Guiet & Co., Coach Makers. 1893. Oblong 
8vo, 54 pages. 


The Briirhton Road: Old Times and Nezv on a 
Classic Highway. By Cilvrles G. Harper. 
London: Chatto & Windus. 1892. 8vo, 272 
pages, illustrated. 


Old Coaching Days. By Stanley Harrls ('An 
Old Stacker'). Illustrated by John Sturgess. 


London: Richard Bentley & Son. 1882. 8vo, 
279 pages, 12 full-page illustrations. Sub-title: 
Road Sketches in Bygone Days. (As its sub-title 
indicates, a history of Coaching, with anecdotes 
of the road.) 

The Coaching Age. By Stanley Harris ('An 
Old Stager'). Illustrated by John SturCxEss. 
London: Richard Bentley & Son. 1885. Large 
8vo, 16 full-page illustrations, 468 pages. (A 
continuation of Old Coaching Days, containino- 
much interesting matter.) 


Road Scrapings : Coaches and Coaching. By 
Captain M. E. Haworth. London : Tinsley 
Brothers. 1882. Small 8vo, 202 pages. (Anec- 
dotes of Coaching.) 


Illnstrated Horse Breaking. By Captain M. 
Horace Hayes. London : Thacker & Co. 
1889. (A very valuable work.) 

Riding on the Flat and Across Country. By 
Captain M. Horace Hayes. London: 1891. 


Accidents to Horses on Carriage-way Pavements. 
By William Haywood. Report to London Com- 
missioners. 1873. 


' HiEOVER.' 

Stable Talk and Table Talk ; or, Spectacles for 
Young Sportsmen. By ' Harry Hieover.' Sec- 
ond edition. London : Lono;mans, Brown, Green 
& Longmans. 1846. 8vo, 2 vols., 452 and 408 
pages. (There is a great deal in these volumes 
of importance to the coaching man. ' Harry Hie- 
over ' is the pseudonym of Charles Brindley.) 

The Sportsman s Friend in a Frost. By ' Harry 
Hieover.' London: 1857. 8vo, 416 pages. 


Notes on the Construction of Private Carriages 
in England, and Reports on the Carriages of the 
International Exhibitions of Paris, 18^^ ; London, 
1S62 ; Dublin, 186^ ; Paris, 186'/ ; London, 18 Jj. 
By George N. Hooper. London : printed by 
G. Phipps. 1876. i6mo. 


The Coaches of Colonial Ah^zv York. By George 
W. W. Houghton. New York Historical So- 
ciety. 1890. 8vo, 31 pages. 


Legons de Guides. Par Edwin Howlett. Paris : 
Pairault et Cie. 1893. Large 8vo, 154 pages. 
(Edwin Howlett is well known to American and 
French coaching men, as an admirable teacher 
of four-in-hand driving. To a natural ability for 
instructing, he has joined large practice in driving. 


and in his book he has endeavoured, most success- 
fully, to impart what he says to his pupils on the 
box. Every word should be carefully studied by 
an aspirant for coaching honours, and the author 
himself should be sought by any beginner who 
may have the good fortune to be within reach of 
his stables in Paris.) 

Driving Lessons. By Edwin Howlett. New 
York: R. H. Russell & Son. 1894. Large 8vo, 
159 pages. 

The Hub. 

A Magazine for Cai'riage Builders. New York. 
Monthly, from 1871. 


A BibliograpJiical Record of Hippology. By F. 
H. HuTH. London : Bernard Ouaritch. 1887. 
Small 4to, 439 pages. (A very complete cata- 
logue of works on Horses, Driving, etc.) 


The Old Santa Fe Trail, The Story of a Great 
Highzvay. By Colonel Henry Inman, U. S. A. 
New York and London : The Macmillan Com- 
pany. 1898. 8vo, 490 pages. (Contains inter- 
esting passages on Coaching in the West.) 


Traite de la Conduite en Guides et de V Entreticn 
des Voitiires. Par le Commandant Jouffret. 



Paris : Librarie Militaire de L. Baudoin et Cie. 
1889. Large 8vo, 149 pages, 62 wood-cuts. 
(Does not contain a great deal about Four-in- 
hand Driving, but gives many explanations of 
terms, and of parts of harness, which are useful 
to a person driving in France.) 


Hints on Driving. By Captain C. Morley 
Knight, R.A. Illustrated by G. H. A. White, 
Royal Artiller)^ London and New York : George 
Bell & Sons. 1894. i2mo, 180 pages, with 
illustrations. (Contains detailed instructions both 
for four-horse, and for tandem, driving.) 


The Coach Horn : What to Blow, and How to 
Blow it. By An Old Guard. London : Kohler 
& Son, 1893. Third edition. i6mo, 23 pages. 


La Carrosserie Frangaise. Six Livraisons par An. 
Paris : L, Lagard. (Magazine.) 

Latch FORD, 

The Loriner : Opinions and Observations on 
Bridle-Bits and the Suitable Bitting of Horses. 
With illustrations. By Benjamin Latchford. 
London: Nichols, Son & Co, 1871. Small 4to. 
(A useful, short treatise, with a large number of 
drawings of bits, and a translation of a treatise 
on bitting by Don Juan Segundo, 1832. The 


Loriners' (Bit Makers') Company is one of the 
old Guilds of London, dating back to the thir- 
teenth century.) 


Pictures of Sporting Life and Character. By 
Lord William Lennox. London : i860. 2 vols., 

Coaching, with Anecdotes of the Road. By Lord 
William Pitt Lennox. London : Hurst & 
Blackett. 1876. (Contains interesting coaching 
gossip and hints about driving.) 

Lenoble du Teil. 

Cours TJieoiHque d' Eqititatioji, de Dressage et 
d' Attelage. Par J. Lenoble du Teil, Ecuyer ; 
Professeur a I'Ecole des Haras Nationaux. Paris 
et Nancy: Berget-Levrault et Cie. 1889. Large 
8vo, 455 pages. (This book treats of a depart- 
ment of driving too much neglected in America ; 
the Jiandling and bitting of horses before they 
are put to harness, and while they are being 
prepared for driving ; the remarks upon this 
subject are useful.) 


Les Grandes Guides. Par Donatien Levesque. 
Paris : Librarie Cynegetique Pairault. 1886. 
i2mo, 180 pages. (Only three hundred num- 
bered copies printed. An admirable little book 
by a good coachman.) 


Les Guides. Par Donatien Levesque. Paris : 
Adolphe Le Goupy. 1897, i2mo, 217 pages. 


Morgan Horses : A Preinmm Essay on the Origin, 
History, and Characteristics of this Remarkable 
American Breed of Horses. By D, C. Linslev, 
Middlebury, Vermont. New York : C. M. Sax- 
ton. 1864. i2mo, 340 pages. (First edition 


Seventh Report of the Commissioners, on Road 
from London to HolyJiead. House of Commons, 
13 July, 1830. Folio, 54 pages. (The Appendix 
contains reports by Parnell, by Telford, and 
by Macniell, and a description of Macniell's 

' Magenta.' 

The Handy Horse Book ; or. Practical Instruc- 
tions in Driving, Riding, and the General Care 
and Management of Horses. By a Cavalr)^ 
Officer (' Magenta'). Edinburgh and London : 
William Blackwood & Sons. 1878. Ninth edi- 
tion, i2mo, 167 pages. (First edition 1865.) 


Annals of the Road ; or, Azotes on A/ail and Stage 
Coaching in Great Britain. By Captain [Harold 
Esdaille] Malet, 18th Hussars. To which are 
added Essays on the Road. By ' Nimrod.' Lon- 


don : Longmans, Green & Co. 1876. Large 
8vo, 403 pages. (An interesting book on Four- 
horse Driving, and especially valuable as contain- 
ing (pp. 177-387) a reprint of Essays on the Road, 
by ' Nimrod' [Charles J. Apperley], first pub- 
lished in The Sporting Magazine, London ; Vols, 
ix. to XX. New Series ; the first in 1822, the last 
in 1827. These Essays are particularly inter- 
esting because they were written by a practical 
coaching man at the time when public coaching 
was at its best in England. A coaching man 
should study them with care, and cannot fail to 
learn much from them. A large portion of the 
Chapter on ' Driving' in Walker's Manly Exer- 
cises is taken from these Essays. An admirable 
Glossary of Terms of the Road is appended to 
Malet's volume.) 


Highways and Horses. By Athol Maudslay. 
London: Chapman & Hall. 1888. 8vo, 471 


Le Pjteumatique, son Application aux Voitnres a 
Chevanx et sans CJievanx. Par M. A. Michelin. 
Paris: 1896. Pamphlet of 40 pages. (Reprinted 
from The Memoirs of The Society of Civil Engi- 
neers of France, June 1896. Contains an account 
of valuable experiments on the draught of vehicles 
with pneumatic tires.) 


Monti ON Y. 

Manuel dcs Piqueurs, Cockers, Grooms et Pale- 
freniers, a /' Usage dcs Ecolcs de Dressage, et 
d' Equitation de Fra7ice. Par M. le Comte de 
MoNTiGNY. Paris: L. Baudoin. 1891. Seventh 
edition, i2mo, 559 pages. (The first edition was 
pubHshed in 1865, under the Second Empire. 
This book treats very thoroughly of all stable 
matters, and there are instructions for driving 
pairs and fours. ) 


Nouvelles Experiences stir le Frottenicnt dcs Axes 
de Rotatiojt, faites a Metz en iSj^. Par Arthur 
MoRiN. Paris: Carilian-Goeury. 1838. 4to, 
100 pages. 

Experiences snr le Tirage des Voitiircs, faites en 
18 jy et 18 j8. Par Arthur Morin. Paris : Ca- 
rilian-Goeury. 1839. 4to, 102 pages. 

Experiences stir le Tirage des Voitiires et stir les 
Ejects Destrtictctirs qticlles exerccnt stir les Routes, 
exectitees en 18 jy et i8j8, et en i8jg et 1841. 
Par Arthur Morin. Paris: L. Mathias. 1842. 
4to ; 3 parts, separately paged: I. 188 pages; 
II. 124 pages; III. 67 pages, (The edition of 
1842 includes that of 1839.) 

Voittires employees atix Services public et prive 
autres qtie celles des Chettiins de fer. Report 
by General Morix on Class VI. of the London 


Exhibition of 1862. Published in the second vol- 
ume of Official Reports. Paris : Napoleon Chaix 
& Cie. 1862. 


The Perfect Horse. By William Henry Murray. 
8vo. Boston: 1873; New York : 1881. 

' NiMROD.' 

The Road. By ' Nimrod' [C. J. Apperley]. 
First published in TJic Quarterly Revieiv in 1832. 
(Numerous reprints of this have been made, 
among them a i6mo, by John Murray. London : 
1853. 63 pages. This covers some of the same 
ground as the Essays. The description of the 
astonishment of an old fellow who fell asleep 
in 1742, and woke up to drive on a coach in 
1832, is spirited and has been always deservedly 
popular. ' Nimrod' had a happy faculty for 
treating sporting subjects, and his famous ac- 
count of a run with the Ouorn Hounds has 
served as a model for many succeeding writers 
in that line.) 

' Nimrod s Hunting Tour in Scotland and the 
North of England, with the Table-talk of Dis- 
tinguished Sporting Characters, and Anecdotes of 
Masters of Hounds, Crack Riders, ajtd Celebrated 
Amateiir Dragsmen. London : C. Templeman. 
1857. Second edition, 8vo, 427 pages. (This is 
also called ' N^imrod s N^orthern Tour, and was 


written in 1S34-35 ^^^1 ^^st published in 1835. 
The Coaching- part is interesting and vakiable.) 


Old Coaching Days ; Some Incidents in the Life 
of Moses fames Nobhs, the Last of the Mail Coach 
Guards. Told by Himself. With a Preface by 
the Controller of the London Postal Service. 
London : No date or publisher. The Preface is 
dated December 1861. i8mo, 55 pages. (Some 
unimportant anecdotes of Coaching.) 


Le Mail-Coach eji France. Par Mortimer 
d'Ocagne. Paris: Adolphe Le Goupy. 1891. 
i2mo, 32 pages. (A short sketch of Coaching in 
France, England, and America.) 


A Treatise on Roads. By Sir Henrv Parnell> 
Bart. London: Longmans. 1838. 8vo, 465 


Pater son s Roads ; being an entirely original 
and accurate DesciHption of all the Direct and 
Principal Cross Roads in England and Wales, 
etc., etc. Eighteenth edition. London : Edward 
Mogg. 1829. 

Philipson, John. 

Harness : As It Has Been, As It Is, and As It 
Should Be. By John Philipson. With remarks 


on Traction, and the Use of the Cape Cart by 
' Nimshivich! Newcastle-upon-Tyne: Andrew 
Reid ; and London: Edward Stanford. 1882. 
8vo, 80 pages, numerous illustrations. (This 
treatise is full of valuable information, which the 
coaching man should have by heart.) 

The Technicalities of the Art of Coach-Body- 
Making. By John Philipson. London : John 
Kemp & Co. 1885. i2mo, 46 pages. 

The Art and Craft of Coach Building. By John 
Philipson. London : George Bell & Sons. 1897. 

Philipson, William. 

Draught. By William Philipson. London : 
John Kemp & Co. 1885. i2mo, 23 pages. (A 
short scientific treatise on Draught from the point 
of view of the resistance of the vehicle.) 

Prize Essay on the Suspension of Carriages. By 
William Philipson. New York : The Hub 
Publishing Co. 1889. i2mo, 61 pages. (With 
many plates. Although this is essentially a 
coach-maker's book, it is interesting to the driving 
man who cares to understand the construction of 
his vehicle.) 

Paper on Brakes for Retarding the Motion of 
Carriages in Descending hiclines. By William 
Philipson. Read before the Institute of British 
Carriage Manufacturers, August 5, 1888. Lon- 
don: 1888. 8vo, 20 pages. 



The London Quarteidy Review, October 1877. 
Article on Coaching. Anonymous. 1 7 pages, 


Down the Road ; or, Reniiniscejices of a Gentleman 
Coachman. By C. T. S. Birch Reynardson. 
London: Longmans, Green & Co. 1875. 8^'^, 
224 pages. (Eleven good coloured plates by 
H. Alken. Agreeable reminiscences, with some 
useful hints.) 


Practical Carriage Building. By M, T. Rich- 
ardson. New York : M. T. Richardson & Co. 
1892, 2 vols., i2mo, 222 and 280 pages. 

Rider and Driver. 

The Rider and Driver. Weekly, First number, 
March 7, 1891. New York. Large 4to. 


The Road. The Ridino-, Driving, and Coaching 
journal. London. Folio. Monthly. Com- 
menced April I, 1891. Edited by ' Fortinbras.' 


The Book of the Horse. By S. Sidney. London : 
n. d. 1874 (?). 4to, 604 pages. (Contains good 
Chapters on Driving and Coaching.) 


Foii7'-in-Hand Driving as a Firie Art. By S. 
Sidney, in The Neiv Quarterly Review. London : 
October, 1876. 13 pages. 

' Stonehenge,' see Walsh. 


The World on Wheels ; or, Carriages, ivith their 
Historical Associations from the Earliest to the 
Present Time, &c. &c. By Ezra M. Stratton. 
Illustrated. New York : Published by the Author, 
325 East Eighteenth Street. 1878. Large 8vo, 
490 pages, 364 illustrations. (A very complete 
history of carriages, which, with Thrupp's book, 
really exhausts the subject as far as it is of 
interest to the driving man.) 


Driving as I Fottnd it. What to Drive, Hoiv 
to D^Hve. By Frank Swales. Illustrated by 
Walter Pettie. London, Paris, Washington, 
Chicago, New York : Brentano's. 1891. i2mo, 
180 pages. (Contains some useful hints, and 
good plates of Hands. Some of the chapters 
are taken from Stable Talk and Table Talk, now 
a somewhat rare book.) 


Coaching in France. By T. Suffern Tailer, in 
Illustrated American, August 29, 1891. 


Coaching and Coachmen. By T. Suffern Tailer, 
in Illnstrated American, September 5, 1891. 
(Both of these articles are beautifully illustrated.) 

Tally Ho. 

The Tally Ho f Notes on Coaching. New York : 
Valentine & Co. 1877. Pamphlet of 28 pages, 
with illustrations by Grey Parker. 


Hints to Yonng Tandem Drivei's by an Old Hand. 
Oxford : T. Shrimpton & Son. 1875. i6mo. 
24 pages. 


The History of Coaches. By G. A. Thrupp. 
With numerous illustrations. London : Kirby 
& Endean ; New York : The Hub Publishing 
Company. 1877. 8"^^^' ^^- pages. (The title 
' Coaches' includes all carriages. This is a very 
complete and important book, and of interest to 
every coaching man.) 


Coaching Days ajid Coaching Ways. By W, 
Outram Tristram. Illustrated by Hugh Thom- 
.SON and Herbert Railton. London : Macmillan 
& Co. 1888. Large 4to, 367 pages. There is 
also a small edition, i2mo, 376 pages, 1893 ; the 
same publishers. (Mainly anecdotes and descrip- 
tions of English coach roads.) 

ch. xxvii list of books 557 


Travels in America One Himdred Years Ago ; 
being Notes and Reminiscences. By Thomas 
Twining. New York : Harper & Brothers, 
1894. i6mo, 181 pages. (Contains some notes 
on travelling by coach.) 


Di'iving for Pleasure ; or, the Harness, Stable and 
its Appointments. By Francis T. Underhill. 
New York. 1896. Large 4to. (Profusely illus- 
trated and thoroughly up to date.) 


Methode de Trompe de Mail- Coach. (Preface par 
M. le CoMTE Henry d'Yanville.) Par Victor 
ViNEY et Alexandre Passevant. Paris : Adolphe 
Le Goupy. 1893. Oblong i2mo, 88 pages. 
(Contains a collection of the regular coach calls 
and a large number of tunes and fanfares.) 


British Manly Exercises ; in which Roiuing and 
Sailing are noiu first described, and Riding and 
Driving are for the first time given in a work of 
this kind, (jfc. &c. By Donald Walker. Third 
edition. London : J. Hurst. 1835. The first 
and second editions are dated March i, 1834, and 
March 14, 1834. i6mo, 291 pages. (There are 
2 plates by H. Alken, and 53 line drawings on 


copper. Seventy pages of the book are devoted 
to driving, a large part of it drawn from 'Nimrod's' 
Essays, and from his article in The Oiiarterly 
Review. There are other editions of this popu- 
lar book ; the tenth (London : H. G. Bohn, i860) 
is edited by 'Craven' [John William Carleton], 
and has some slight additions and modifications.) 

Walsh [' Stonehenge '] . 

Riding and Driving. By J. H. Walsh. Lon- 
don : 1863. 


Hints on Driving. By C. S. Ward, the well- 
known ' Whip of the West,' London : pub- 
lished by the Author. 1870. 4to, 24 pages. 
(With a photograph of the author, one of the 
most famous Whips of his time.) 


Coventry CoacJiing and Coach Roads. By T. W. 
Whitley, Coventry. Printed at TJie Herald 
Office. 1887. i2mo, 27 pages. (A Sketch of 
Coaching in the Neighbourhood of Coventry in 
the early part of this century.) 

You ATT. 

Draught. By William Youatt. 46 pages, 8vo. 
Forms the latter part of ' TJie Horse! (By the 
same author.) London : Longmans. 1866, and 
many other editions. (This is the classical treatise 
on Draught.) 

ch. xxvii list of books 559 


The Fo7cr-27i.-hand, and Glances at the Literature 
of CoacJiiiig. By Jennie J. Young. Lippincott's 
Magazme, June 1878. 





The following French equivalents for the English 
names of parts of harness or of a coach are given 
for the convenience of persons driving in France. 
The list has been revised by Mr Morris E. How- 
LETT, of Paris, and may be trusted as giving the 
names actually used in a French stable. The gen- 
der is denoted by (w) or (/'). The figures refer to 
the cuts in the text. 

Axle-arm, 13, 14 

Back-strap, 106, 107 

Bar-bit, B, 88 . . 

In the lower bar . 

In the middle bar . 

In the upper bar 

Upper ring (of a bit) 


Bearing-rein, 93 . 


Billet (of a rein), 89 

Bit (used for a hit gener- 
erally, but especially 
for a curb-bit) . . . . 

Black leather . . . . 

Boss, 84 

Essieu {ill) 

Croupiere (/) 

Mors {ill) a barette {/) 

en bas 

au milieu 

au banquet 

CEil {VI) 

Boucle {f) a traverse 

Enrenement (;//) 

Sous-ventriere ( / ) 

Porte-mors (w) 

Mors (w) 
Cuir {ni) noir 
Cocarde {/), [Bossette 
( /) when on a bit] 




Breast collar, 81 . . . Bricole ( /") 

Breeching- Reculement (w) 

Bridle, 84 Bride (/) 

Buckle Boucle (/) 

To burnish ..... Polir a la gourmette 
Buxton bit, D, 88 . . . Wellington 
Canon (of a bit), C, 90 . Canon (;//) 
Centre-hook, A, 105 . . Crochet {in) d'enrene- 

ment {in) 
Centre-terret Crochet d'enrenement 

portant clef {f) 
Chape, A, 105 . . . . Courroie (/") de man- 

celle (/) 
Cheek-piece, 84 . . . . Montant (;;/) 
In the cheek Au banquet (or en haut), 

equally correct 
Choke-strap, 100 . . . Fausse martingale {/) 

(It is customary, in America and in England, to call, in double 
harness, a 'martingale,' the strap which goes from the belly-band to 
the bottom of the collar, as shown in Fig. loo of the text ; this is 
' fausse martingale' in French, and in America, but not in England, 
is frequently called 'choke-strap.') 

Clip (of a tug), A, loi 

Cock-eye, 104 . 
Cock horse . 
Collar, 94, 95, 96 

Chape ( /") 

Tondeuse {f) 

Mousqueton [in) ferme 

Cheval (;;/) de renfort 

Collier (;;/) 

Italienne {/), Guide {f) 

interieure, Accouple- 

ment (w) 


To cross the traces, B, 126 Croiser les traits (;;^) 
Crown-piece (of bridle), 

86 Tetiere (/) 

Crupper, 106, 107 . . . Croiipiere [/) 

Crupper-dock .... ^Culeron (w) 

Curb-bit Mors(;;^)agourmette (_/') 

Curb-chain Gourmette {/) 

To cut the tires .... Chartrer les roues ( /) 

D De (;//) 

Draught-eye (for drag 

harness), A, 99 . . . Tirage (w) a chape (/) 
Draught-eye (for coach 

harness), C, 99 . . . Tirage a anneau (;//) 

Draught-rein Guide (/) exterieure 

Driving cushion, ^j . . Coussin (/;/) de guide 

Dutch collar, 81 . . . Bricole (/) 

Elbow bit, C, 88 ... Mors(;;2)abaionnette(/) 

Face-drop (face-piece), 84 Plaque (/) de front (m) 
False belly-band, Plate 

XXV Faussesous-ventriere(/') 

Foot-board Coquille (/) 

French loop trace, B, 102 Trait (/;/) a crosse 

Front, 84 Frontail [m) 

Gag-runner, A, 93 . . . Panurge (/) 

Girth Sangle (/) 

Halter Licol (771) 

Web halter Licol de sangle 

Hames, 100 Atelles (/) 

Hame-strap, 100 . . . Curroie (/") d'attelle 

Hame-terret, 100 . . . Clef {/) d'attelle 


Harness Harnais (;;/) 

Head-stall, 84 ... . Tetiere (/) 

Hip-strap Surdos {in) 

Hole (in a strap) . . . Point (w) 

Horse clothing .... Couverture {/) de cheval 


Kidney-link, 97 . . . . Coulant (m) d'attelle (/) 

Kidney-link ring, 100 . . Anneaii (/;/) de chainette 

Lamp Lanterne {/) 

To lap the traces, C, 126 Entrelasser les traits (;;/) 

Lead-bars, 30 ... . Palonniers (/;/) de volee 


Lead-horse Cheval (in) de volee 

Lead-rein Guide {/) de volee 

Lead-trace, 104 . . . . Trait {m) de volee 

To let out near coupling- Allonger I'italienne de 

rein orai^iche 

To take up near coupling- Raccourcir I'italienne de 

rein gauche 

Off coupling-rein . . . Italienne de droite 
Link (of the pole-chain, 

of the curb-chain) . , Maille {/) 

Liverpool bit. A, 88 . . Mors {111) a ballon sans 

barette {/) 

Loin-cloth Caparagon (in) de drap 

Loop Passant (in) 

Loop, fixed or sliding . . Passant fixe, ou coulant 

Loop-trace, A, 102 . . . Trait (;//) a de (in) 

Main-bar, 30 Sommier (in) 




Martingale, 100 . 
Mountings (of harness) 
Wire mountings, 105 . 
Mouth-piece, 90 . 
Monogram .... 
Near horse .... 
Newmarket tug-bearer, 

B, 105 
Nose-band, 84 . 
Off horse .... 
Pad, 105 . 
Pad-terret, 105, 112 
Patent leather . 


Point-strap, A, 105 . 


Pole-chain, 114, 115 

Pole-head, 29 

Pole-hook, 116. 
Pole-strap (pole-piece 
Polishing pad, 121. 

Port (of a bit), 90 . 
To put-to .... 
Reins, 108 ... 
Set of reins . 
Rein-billet, 89 . . 

Martingale (/) 

Garniture [/) 

Jonc [)?i) anglais 

Embouchure {/) 

Chiffre (w) 

Cheval (w) de gauche 

Courroie [/) de man- 

celle (f) mobile 
Muserolle (/) 
Cheval {in) de droite 
Mantelet {m) 
Clef [/) de mantelet [in) 
Cuir (w) vernis 
Fourreau [ui] 
Contre-sanglon (w) de 

fausse sangle {/) 
Timon (w) 
Chainette {/) [d'acier 

Trompe {/) de timon 

Crochet (w) de timon 
Chainette de cuir 
Gourmette {/) sur buf- 

fle, Cotte de maille 
Liberte {/) de langue 
Guides ( /) 

Jeu (;;/) des guides [/) 
Porte-mors {m) 




Ring- snaffle, 92 

Filet (;;?) a quatre an- 
neaux [m) 

Paumelle [/) 

Cocarde {/) 

Cuir {ni) jaune 

Volee (/) 

Palonnier {in) 

Filet (ni) 

Ressort {m) 

jNIousqueton (;//) a res- 
sort [in] 

Roller-bolt, 125 . 


Russet leather . 

Splinter-bar, 8 . 

Single bar, 30 . 

Snaffle-bit, 91 

Spring, 27 . . 

Spring-hook (for pole- 
chain), 117 

Splice (in a rein, or in a 

whip-thong), 163. . . Anture (/) 

Swivel Pivot {in) 

Stable-shutter .... Volet {m), Store {m), 

Jalousie {/), Persienne 

To take out the horses . Deteler 

Terret, 112 Clef {/) 

Throat-latch, 84 . . . . Sous-gorge (/) 

Tongue (of a buckle) . . Ardillon {in) 

Trace, 102, 103, 104 . . Trait {m) 

Trace-bearer Porte-trait (;;/) 

Tug, 1 01 Grand boucleteau (;;/) de 

trait {in) 
Tug-buckle, loi, 118 . . Boucle a crampons (w), 

or, a mancelles {/) 
Eye of tug-buckle, 118 . Crampon {m), Mancelle 


Wheel Roue (/) 


Wheel horse Cheval (?;?) de timon (;;/) 

Wheel-trace, 102, 103 . . Trait [m) de timon (;;/) 

Whip, 159 Fouet [m) 

Handle of whip, 159 . . Poignet (;;?) 
Ferrule, or collar, of whip, 

159 Virole (/) 

Butt-cap of whip, 159 . . Cuvette [/) 

Thong of whip, 162 . . Monture {/) 

Point (of thong) . . . Meche 

Winker, 84 CEillere 


Abbott Downing Co. . . ii6 

Aberdeen coach. . . . 466 

Accessories 80 

Accidents 502 

ackerman 28 

Adam 104 

Adams ' . i 

Adams & Co. Express. . 469 

Agar 230 

Alken 33S, 413 

Aluminium bronze. . . 239 

America. Coaching in 432, 

American coach. . . 37, 116 

' ' method of 

driving. . .333 

Angell 432 

Angle of lock. . . .28, 337 

" trace. . . .189 
Apparatus. Driving . . 345 

Apprentice 412 

Aprons 98 

Ardsley coach. . . 434, 456 
Arm. Position of . . .301 

Ascot 516 

Attachment of horse. . . 187 
Austrian method of 

driving 476 


Breaking an 
Dip of arm of 
Gather of . 
Length of . 
Mail . . 
Taper . 


Back-strap. . 
Baggage net. 
Ball-bearings. . 
Balling. . 

" pads. . 
Balls. The crushing 

Bar. Splinter- 
Barclay. 298, 463, 466, 473 
Barker. 125, Plates 

XX., XXI. 
Barouche landau. . . .112 
Bars. Lead- .... 55 

Bartlett 3 

Basket 93 
















Battersby 365 

Baucher. . . 368, 375, 378 
Bearing-rein. . . 206, 256 
Beaufort. 31, no, 198, 280, 

290, 432 
Bedford experiments. . 163 
Beginner. The . . -293 

Belmont 486 

Bending lessons. . . . 369 

Bennett 467 

Bensington Driving Club. 431 

Berlin 4 

BiANCONi 112 

Billets. Rein- . . .225 
Birthday parade. . . -103 

Bits 201, 360 

Bitting 360 



10, 64, 71 




6, 117 



Blake. . 
Body. . 



" office. 
Books. List of 
Boots of coach 
" men. 
Box coat. 
" Hill coach 
" seat. 
" Position on the 
Boxes. Lunch- 
Braces. Thorough 





Brake. Lemoine . 
Break. Dealer's . 

' ' Wagonette 
Breeching. . 
Brewster & Co. Plates 


Brighton coach. 435, 
' ' road. 

Bronson. . 
Brougham. . 
Buckling reins. 
Buggy. . . . 

" wheels. 
Buttons. Club 

" Livery 

Buxton bit. . 

Cadwalader. . 
Calls on the horn. 
Cantering leader. 
Cape cart. . 

" Driving- . 
Card. Time- . 
Care of coach. 

" " harness. 
Carriage-part. . 
Catching uj) whip. 
Centre of gravity. 







, 270 





. 365 









Centrifugal force. . . -137 
Cernay-la-Ville coach. . 434 
Chain-end trace. . 218, 251 

" trace 240 

Chains. Pole- 54, 55, 233 
Chandos-Pole. . . .432 

Change 459 

Chaplin 262 

Charabancs no 

Chart. Time- . . . 444 

Check-rein 207 

Chopping 335 

Circus horse 143 

Clark 431 

Clarke 262 

Clipping 387 

Club buttons 426 

Clubbing reins. . . . 334 
Clubs. Coaching. 431, 510 

Coach I 

" and Drag. Dis- 
tinction between 1 6 
" Care of . . .126 
" Cost of . . .128 
" Development of . i 
' ' General charac- 
ter of . . . 16 
" Height of 49, 61, 120 
" Name of . . 11, 12 
" on a race-course. 516 
" Weight of . .129 
Coaching Club. New York 422, 
" " Meets. . 512 

" " trips. . . 486 

Coaching Clubs. . 431, 


Cost of . . . 


" in America. 432 


" in England. 425 


" medals. . 


Public . . . 


" Revival of . 


" trips. 


Coachman's dress. 


" duties. 


Coat. Box .... 






" horse 


" " harness. . 


Coefficient of axle - fric - 



" of rolling-fric- 





" Attachment of 

trace to . 


" Breast or Dutch 



" Form of . 208, 


Kay . . . . 


" lining. 


Rim .... 


Collinge axle 


Colonial coaching. . 5, 


Colours of coaches. . 


Comparison of coaches. . 


Competitions. Driving. . 


Computation of resist- 





Concord Coach. . 4, 37, 116 

Coned wheels 41 

Continental methods of 

driving 331 

Contractors. Mail- . . 482 
CoRBETT. 137, 262, 271, 298, 

322, 329, 414, 466, 469, 

472, 481 

CORDERY. . 9, 125, 387, 413 

Cost of coach 128 

" coaching. . . . 388 

Coupling 263 

" diagram. 270, 449 
" reins. . 225, 263 

Coventry 469 

Crab 53 

Cracknell 262 

Crest 76, 196 

" panel 76 

Cross 8, 71, 72 

Cross team 384 

Crossing traces. . . -253 
Croup to the wall. . . 376 
Crown of street. . . .178 
Crown-piece. . . 196, 199 

Crupper 222 

Crushing steel balls. . .160 
Curb-bit. . . . 201, 361 

" chain 204 

" strap 205 

Curricle 113 


Cushion. Driving- 67, 69, 

Cycling track 144 



Dealer. London 
Dealer's break. 
' Defiance.' . 
Dennet spring. 
Development of the coach 
Devices on panels. 
Devonport mail. 
Diagram. Backing- . 

" Bitting- . 

" Coupling- 

' ' Seat- . 

" Speed- 

" Turning- 

Diligence. Ghent 
' ' Swiss 

Dip of axle. 
Dish of wheel. . 
Docker. . 

Dog-legged whip. 
Doors of boots. 
Dorking coach. 
Double-thong. . 
Drag. . 
Drag -staff, 

" Action of horse 

in . 

" Angle of 

237, 283 




Experiments on 162 







40, 44 



16, 102 





Draught-eyes 213 

Dress of coachman. 419, 452 


" guard. 
" servants. . 
length of 


cushion. 67, 69, 304 
General obser- 
vations on . 349 
Methods of . 330 


Dutch collar. . 
Duties of servants 


• 67, 304 
. . 148 

• 23, 187 

• • 415 
189, 362 

Edinburgh coach. 8, 463, 466 

Elastic trace 185 

Elbow bit 202 

Eleven -and-four. . . .482 

Elliot 9 

Elliptic spring. . 9, 51, 107 

Evener 27 

Experiments on draught. 148, 

Express messenger. . . 469 

Falling. Horse . . .502 

Fares 482 

Farm wagon 2 

Fearing 486 

Fees . . 472 

FiESCHi 367 

Fifth wheel 21 

FiLLis 369, 370 

Fingering 306 

Flexions. . . . 369, 370 

Flower 263 

Flowers 195 

Fog 509 

Fontainebleau coach. . . 435 

Foot-board 68 

" boxes 74 

" brake 85 

Force. Centrifugal . . 137 
Four-and-eleven. . . .482 
Four-in-hand Club. . -431 
Four-in - hand Club of 

Philadelphia. . . 511 

French harness terms. . 560 

" loop trace-ends. . 217 

Friction. Axle- . . -157 

" Rolling- . . 147 

Fritsch 486 

Fronts 194 

Full hand 330 

Futchell 3 

" Hook under . 53 

Gag-runner 206 

Gaiters 420 

Galloping. . . . 353, 441 
Game. Road . . . .482 
Gammon-board. ... 73 
Gather of axle. ... 47 

Gauge 37 

German bit 365- 



Getting down 327 

" up 285 

'Glencairn.' .... 26 
Gloves 419, 422 


Grades 167, 186 

Grison 367 

Grooms 415 

" getting down. 358, 


Guard's dress 452 

" duties. . . . 449 
GuiET. 104, 468, Plates VII., 

Guildford coach. 434, 454, 
457, 465 

Hackney 380 

Haldeman 3 

Half-penny. Coaching . 533 

Hame-strap 213 

Hames 211 

Hammer-cloth. . . .104 

Hand on the reins. . .296 

" Position of . . -299 

Handling horses. . 360, 366 

Hang of axle 40 

Harness 194 

" Care of . . 241 

" racks. . . . 245 

" Spare parts of 240 

Harnessing 247 

Harris. 413, 446, 466, 473, 

481, 482, 499 
Hats. . . . 418, 420, 422 

Haute ecole. . . 373, 377 

Havemeyer 486 

Haworth 432 

Hayes 378 

Haywood 180 

Head. Placing the . . 369 

" terrets. . . -199 

Height of coaches. 61, 120, 


Herdic 28 


3^^^ 373 




High-flyer. . 

" school riding. 
Hip-straps. . 
Hitting a leader. . 

" a wheeler. 


Hogarth. . 
Hold and hit. . 
Holding four horses. 
Holly for whips. . 
Holyhead road. 
Hook under futchells 
Horn. . . . 93, 451 
Horse. Action in draught 
of ... . 

" Attachment of . 

" keepers. . 

" shoe pads. 180, 502 

" shows. Judging 
at . . 
Horses for coach. . 

" to the mile. 












468, 560 

Howlett's opposition. . 316 
Hungarian reins. . . -232 

Ice-skid 88, 507 

Imperial 95 

Inclination of road. . .168 
Inclining to right or left. 306 
India-rubber tires. . 37, 151 

Jack 98 

Jaunting car 112 

Jeantaud 28 

Jerome Park 516 

Jibber 508 


Judging at Horse Shows. 520 

Kane. ... 12, 433, 486 

Kay collar 208 

Kennedy 473 

Kenyon 473 

Ker 236 

Key Bugle 532 

Kicking over trace. . . 503 

" strap 223 

Kidney-link 211 

King-bolt 2 

Knife-board 75 


Ladder 92 

Lamps 89 

" not carried in 

daytime. . . 91 




Lapping traces. . 


La Rousse. 





Lazy-back. . 


Lead -bars. . 


Swiss . 


" " Three horse . 


" reins. . 



Ring on 







Laurie & Marner. 


Lawrence. . 


Lemoine brake. 


Length of drives. . 


" trace. . 



Lennox. . .112, 





Lettering of coach. 




Light hand. 



" mouth. . 


Linchpin. . 






Liverpool bit. . 



Livery buttons. 




" Angle of . 


On the . 


London. Coaching i 

n . 


" dealer . 











1 70 
163, 169 








JSIacAdam. . 
Macadam road. 
Macneill. . .1: 
Maidenhead coach 
Mail axle. . 

" coach. 

' ' French 

" Le 

' ' Model of . 

" phaeton. . 

'' The old . 
Mails. Parade of the 

" Right of way of 

the . 
Maisons - Laffitte coach 

437, 465 
Malet. 7, 25, 58, 79, 112, 

323. 481 

Malle paste 104 

Marey 185 

Martingale 214 

May & Jacobs. . . .432 
Medals. Coaching . -533 

Meets 512 

Men. Duties and Dress of 415 

Mexican bit 365 

Michelin. . . . 152, 163 

Mileage 482 

Monogram 76, 196 


Moping 509 

Morgan horse 381 

MoRiN. 104, 105, 148, 153, 

159, 162, 169, 189, 466 

Morning suits 420 

Mountings 239 

Mouthing 369 

Moving off 293 

Music 531 

Name of coach. . . 11, 12 
Net. Baggage ... 17 
Newmarket tug-bearer. . 221 
New York Coaching 

Club. . . 422, 486, 510 
Nickel plating. . . -239 

'NiMROD.' 1, 25, 58, 102, 

129, 199, 224, 230, 239, 

271, 290, 298, 323, 463, 
466, 473 

Le Noble du Teil. . . 26 
Nose-band 197 

d'Ocagne 13 

Oil 35, 159 

Omnibus 113 

Opening day 449 

Opposition 315 

Overturn. . . . 135, 506 
Oxford coach. . . . 9, 125 

Pace 386 

" Judgement of . 352 
Pad 219 

" cloths 22 1 

Pads for horses' feet. 180, 502 
Painting of coach. . . 75 



Palmer mails 102 

" medal. . . .533 

Panels 75 

Paris. Coaching in . . 438 

Parnell 129 

Patent leather 238 

Pavement. Asphalt . . 179 
" Stone 169, 175 

'* Wood . . 179 

Pedler 26 

Pelham bit 364 

" coach. 12, 77, 433, 

434, 465 

Perch 2, 19 

" bolt 2 

Peters 65 

Peyton 431 

Phaeton. High . . .112 
•' Mail . no, 133 

Philadelphia. Coaching 
Club trip 
" F o u r - i n - 

Hand Club 

Philipson. . 

" clay. . 

" collar. 
Places of reins in hand 
Placing the head 
Platform springs. 
Plumb spoke. . 
Pneumatic tires. 
Point. . . . 





310^ 3^3 


33, 249 







Point. Howlett's . -316 

" on whip. . 395, 402 
Pole 51 

" Breaking a . 

" chains. . 55 

" head. . . 

" Length of . 

" straps. . 
Poling up. . 
Police regulations. 
Polishing steel. 
Pontoise coach. 435, 458, 465, 

Pony express 469 

Position on the box. 302, 304 

Postilions 278 

Posting 278 

" French . 107, 281 
" harness. . . -279 

Postmasters 280 

Procession of mails. . -103 
Proportions of horses. . 382 
Public coaching. . 427, 470 
Pulling horses. 241, 324, 509 



Punctuality in coaching 
Putting a coach on the 
road. . 
" to 

Quiet driving. 
Quill of whip. 



Rabbit-bitten whip. . -391 
Race-course. . . 359, 516 



• 386 

• 505 

• 453 
206, 256 

225, 267 
. 241 
. 224 

229, 270 
228, 230 
232, 476 

226, 230 

• 225 
-• 255, 


Rate of driving. 
Raw-hide. . 
Red coats. . 
Rein. Bearing- 
billets. . 
Side- . 

' * Buckling 
" Coupling- 
* ' Hungarian 

Lead- . 
" Length of 
" on tug-buckle. 

" Places of, in hand 
" Short wheel- . 
" Wheel- .... 

Resilience 151 

Resistance to traction. . 147 
Reunion Road Club. 79, 411, 

Review at Meets. . . .514 
Revival. Coaching . -432 
Reynardson. 271, 413, 466, 

Ribbons. . . . 194, 195 

Riding bits 360 

Club. Philadel- 
phia .... 379 

Rim collar 208 

Ring on lead-reins. . . 507 

Rives 486 

Road-coach 16 

" coaching. . 427, 465 
" game 482 

Road making 170 

" On the .... 305 
" Rule of the . . . 490 

" surface 173 

" ticket 534 

Rock 28 

Roller-bolt 22 

Rolling-friction. . . -147 

Roof-seats 72 

Rosettes 194 

Roup 298 

rowlandson. . . . 72, 237 

Rubber tires 151 

Rugs 448 

Rule of the Road. . . 490 

Rumble 69 

Running away. . . -355 
Russet leather. . . -238 

St. Maur 383 

St. Moritz diligence. . -331 

Sailor-fashion 322 

Salute with the whip. . . 414 

Scarf. 418 

'Schoolmaster.' The . 366 

Seat-diagram. . . 455, 488 

" on the box. . 302, 304 

Selby's drive. . . 467, 468 

Sergeant 378 

Servants. Dress of . .418 

" Duties of . . 415 

Shanks. . . Plate XXIL 

Shaver 198 

Shelburne Farms. . . -487 
Shoe. (See Skid.) . . 85 




Shooting wheelers. 

Short tommy 

" wheel -rein. . 
Shortening reins. . 320, 


" of horse. 


" 'Wonder.' 

Shutters. Stable- . 

Signals in the street 
Six inside 


" horses. . .277, 336 
Skeat. . 
Skid. . 

Sleigh. . 
Snaffle. . 

Ring- . 
Soap in horse's foot. 
South American bit. 
Spare parts of harness 
Speed. . . . 444, 

' ' diagrams 
Spike team. 
Splicing thong. 
Springs. . 

" Effect of, on 

draught 164, 
Spur. Use of . 

" tools 






















" waggon. . 
Stages. Length of . 
Stamping the foot -board 


" off from a race- 
course. 359, 519 
Steadying a team. . . -319 
Steel. Polishing . 127, 244 
Stop on lead-rein. . .230 

Stopping 324 

Stratton i> 35 

Straw in boot 71 

Stretched. Horse stand- 
ing 388 

Strokes 44 

Sturgess. . . . 413, 499 

Subscribers 471 

Sue 284 

Swan with two necks. . 534 

Sway-bar 3> 21 

Swing chain 278 

" of axle 40 

" pair 277 

" pole 278 

Swinging of coach. . .167 

Swingle -tree. . 
Swiss coaching. 

• 3» 23 
I05' 331 

Tables, of coach. ... 96 
" Time- .... 445 

Tailer 467 

Tails 387 

Taking up reins. . . . 286 
Tallow for balling. . -503 





Taper axle-arm. 
Telegraph coaches. 
" springs. 

Telford roads. . 
Terret. . 199, 220, 

" Ward's . 
Thomson. . 
Thong. Double- . 
Thorough-braces. . 
Three abreast. . 

" leaders. . 
Throat-latch. . 

" latching. 
Thurston. . 
Tiffany. 65, 270, 
Time-bill. . 

" card. . 

" chart. . . 

" lost in changes. 

" table. . . 
Tipping angle. . 

" Pneumatic . 
Rubber . . 
Width of 45, 
Tired horses. 


Tommy. Short . 
Tools for stable. . 

4, 6 






i> 34 


7, 9 
, 230 

, 117 



I, 4 


, 466 






Tools in coach. 
Tops. Boot . 

" Angle of 

" Chain- . . 

" Chain-end . 

" Elastic 

" Kicking over 

" Lead-. . . 

" Length of 

Wheel- . . 
Traces. Crossing . 

" Lapping . 
Tractrix curve. 


Travelling-carriage. . 
Trips. Coaching Club 

" Private 
Trouville drive. 

Tug 189, 216 

Turning. 312, 319, 335, 337 


Tuxedo coach. 435, 454, 465 



186, 191 




2, 19 


Unicorn team. . 
Uniform. Club 
Up-hill. . . . 
Upsetting. . 
Use of the whip. 


Versailles coach. . . . 435 
Vetturino. 58, 276, 331, 440 

ViDLER 103 

Virginia Water coach. . 434 




Wagonette break. . 


Ward's terret. 
Washing a coach. . 
Watch. . . 
Way-bill. . 


Webb. . 

Weight. Distribution 

" of coach. 

" of horses. 

" of vehicles. 
West. Coaching in the 
Wetmore. . 


Buggy . 

' ' Coned . 

' ' Cylindrical 
Dish of . 

' ' Patent . 

" rein. . 

" Short 

" Size of 39, 47, 120 
Wheelers. . . 383, 385, 386 
Whip 390 

"■ American . .402 

" Balance of . -397 

" case 399 

I ip 












40, 44 



Whip. Catching . 
Club. . . 

" Crop of . 

' ' Dog-legged 

" Handle of 
holder. . 

" Jointed 

" quill. . . 

" point. . 

" Salute with 

" Selecting a 

" Splicing thong of 

" spring. 

Stick of . 

" Stiffness of 

' ' thong. 

" Use of . . 
White Mountain Coach 



Width of tire. . 45, 149 
Williamson & De Negri 
Windsor coach. 



> 399 





394, 400 






'Wonder.' Shrewsbury 62, 


Work per day for a horse. 440 

Wright 103 

Wrist 301 

Yonkers coach.