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horses, harnesses, bells, leather working, Berks County, stirrups, hames, saddles
A handwritten manuscript entitled, "Horses", compiled by Victor C. Dieffenbach, dated July 1, 1952. Within, Dieffenbach details traditional ways of maintaining and crafting various horse equipment, ranging from harnesses to stirrups and saddles.
Packet 577 a-200-128 to 577 a-200-151
1. - addenda. -(a)- “de shtriggel-box.”
This was a receptacle for curry-combs, mane-combs, cords (for brushing the tail), brushes, and various small tools used in the stable. It was usually to be found in the front part of the stable, being a recess in the wall, breast-high, and about two feet long, by a foot in height and depth; it would be open in front, with a narrow board nailed on at the bottom, flush with the wall, and a partition in the middle. In lots of stables it was built-in - that is, it was put in while building the wall, and was practically a part of the wall itself.
I remember an old comb made of a horn that had been steamed and flattened, and the teeth were sawed into it by hand. It was about four inches long, and the teeth were at least three inches long; and what beautiful manes the horses had if one had the patience to use this antique tool. Wherever it originated I do not know; but Dad said that he used it when a boy, and that it was: “der Gott ware we oldt!” (God knows how old it was.) It was as smooth as glass, and whoever made it, he spared no pains doing it. I have often regretted selling it, after he had passed on, as it was the only one I ever came across.
One side of the box in Dad’s stable had a fine set of farrier’s tools; and these were used on some supplementary jobs, when a shoe had to be tightened in a hurry, or even when one had to be nailed on.
1. - Addenda. (b) The housing - “de kummst-deck”.
This was a “skirt”, to slip over the hames, and it kept the top of the horse-collar and the horse’s neck dry, and also was cooler in very hot weather. It had holes to slip over the hames, and a hole at each side for the side-ring of the hame to come out through it. Some cheap ones did not have the latter; and when the driver would pull on the check-line, (which had to pass underneath) then these “flaps” would be elevated, and stick out at the sides, much like a very small boy riding a horse, and his short legs sticking out on each side.
The edges would be bound with soft red leather about ¼ inch wide, and sewed on; inside of this was a row of brass rosettes or “spots”, about ¾ of an inch in diameter. And in the middle one could see the owner’s initials, and in case he happened to be “somebody”, he would have the entire name put on it in shiny brass letters.
Dad used to tell of how he happened to be in a horse-shed at a hotel in Lancaster, and saw a fine matched team of Percherons; and on the housings was the owner’s name, viz. “Benjamin Franklin Fahnestock”. He used to laugh, and say: “Sell wawra grossa geil, un owver de kummet-decka wawra sheer gawr graiser os de geil”. (Those were big horses, but the housings were almost bigger than the horses.)
1. Addenda - c. The Stirrup - “der shtike-biggel.”
This was a very important part of the harness. While stirrups or riding saddles were always made of metal - either iron or brass, the big roomy stirrups of the team-saddle were invariably made of wood. A tough piece of ash or hickory was steamed, and then bent until it had the required shape. The ends would then be fastened together with a strong rivet enclosed in a sleeve; the entire stirrup was covered in front with a piece of leather, to prevent the foot from slipping through, and it also protected the rider’s foot and ankle in bad weather. The length of the stirrup-strap was determined by the length of the journey one took.
For a ride on a lazy afternoon in the country, they would be long, so the rider could almost stand and relax. For a longer and more tiresome journey the straps were shortened, so one sat in the saddle, and put some weight on the legs. But for the chase or hunt they were buckled so that the rider almost crouched on top of the horse.
It was no uncommon sight for to see the owner’s initial letter in brass on each stirrup.
I remember as a kid I went to Millersburg on the day after Christmas - “de tswelta Grisht dawg”, to see the fantastic riders that could always be seen at the various hotels. There might have been fifty riders, from different places, assembled in the square, vying with each other with their comic regalia and occasionally some well accoutred steed.
A big lout of a fellow from Hamburg was up on an immense mule, fully 18 hands high, and he was what today, in army parlance, is called: the “Big Brass”. Every inch of harness was full of bright brass spots, and that mule glittered so one could hardly bear to look at him. This “Beau Brommel” was now in the hotel, having himself a good time. Along comes a kid and looks at that mule, all bedazzled, and as he walked around him his eyes were taking in every detail of the shiny outfit.
Finally, to satisfy his childish curiosity, he lifted up the mule’s tail, looked under, and silently shook his head. Undoubtedly he was disappointed in not finding any more brass hidden, and so he gave that mule’s tail a yank. And did that kid roll; clean across the square. He got up and went into the bar-room. He told that big fellow: “Do besser nemmsht dei grosser glittsericher aisel doe haus weck. Ich hob der dunner heilich awegagoakt, un Ich bin um-gfolla!“ (You better move your big shiny mule out there. I looked at him and I fell over.) This remark so pleased the crowd, that the kid had more ice-cream and candy than he could eat. Luckily, having been so close to the mule, he wasn’t injured but keeled over, and badly scared.
1. Addenda - (d) - “der tsurick-henk-reema”.
This tie-back-strap was used for tying back a too-ambitious horse - one that was continually forging ahead of its mate. It was a strong leather strap, possibly an inch and a half-wide, and about ten feet long; it had a strong snap sewed at one end; a heavy buckle was now put on it in the middle, the other end was slipped through another snap and passed through two sliding leather loops, and was then fastened to the buckle. It was now about 2 yards long, and for 2/3 of its length it was double; it was punched full of holes so as to be easily adjusted to the needs of different horses. A ring of iron was slipped over the rein of the off-side worker, and the rein was hooked over the inside hame only; the double end was snapped into the ring, and the other end was snapped into the trace of the lead-horse, at such a point that the two singletrees would be even; hence the name “evener”.
Personally I never liked such a strap; it will cause the horse to bend his neck sideways, thus putting extra pressure and strain on both nerves and muscles, and when used on a high-strung horse it will be more of an impediment than a help. The evener, proper, will be found to be much superior. This is a double tree, made out of a tough piece of plank. At each end it has the ordinary double-tree irons - “de shella”; but in the middle it has a row of holes, spaced one inch apart, and into these is fastened an iron clevis, by a ¾ inch iron pin. As soon as one horse starts to go ahead of the other one, you shift the clevis to the next hole on the side towards the willing worker; this shortens his end of the evener, and he must use extra energy just to keep his end in line. But he is not tied in an unnatural position, is not curbed in his ambition, and is free to have it his own way.
Almost needless to say - this can be used on either horse; whereas the above-mentioned tie-back cannot be used on the leader-horse, as, once his head would be tied back, he wouldn’t be free to be guided with the jerk-line.
An ordinary doubletree can be used by just slipping the middle-iron to one side; but it is not so dependable, as it may slip back again. I have repeatedly used such an evener on a too-fresh horse, and after several weeks of steady work, have found him to be gentle and not needing any tieback any more. The horse is unwittingly weaning himself of the habit, simply by putting extra push back of the collar. Yes, a horse always pushes a load - he never pulls; but his back and his hind quarters push that horse-collar ahead.
1. – Addenda. – (e) - “gsharra-schmeara”.
This used to be an annual job on the farm. Some time during the Winter, when no other work was pressing, was the time to do this. All the harnesses were carried into the upper part of the old spring house, and taken apart. Some of the dust and accumulated filth, sweat, hair, etc. was scraped off with a dull knife. Then they were thoroughly cleaned with warm water and harness-soap; this soap was black, and while much resembling the saddle-soap of the present time, yet it seemed to be different. It dissolved or loosened the dirt. Usually three or four or more would be employed on this job; while one did the soaking and scrubbing, another one might be employed in giving some especial part a second scraping. Finally all dirt and soap was wiped off with a rag.
Some one would now sort out all parts that needed repairing; a torn strap, a broken or badly bent buckle would be replaced.
“Will, grick mull de soddler-huck”, my Dad would tell Will Morgan, who came just as we started on this job, and offered to help. He suggested that if he helped us then perhaps Dad would help them to mend their work-harness - “de shoff-gsharra”. The Morgans lived on an adjoining 240 acre farm, and had 14 horses and mules; then he rented another farm of 150 acres, just across the road from the first one, and later bought that one, and quit renting. That spring he had a public sale - “feudue”- to dispose of surplus stock. And here we are back on the stage.
A plank about 16-18 inches wide, and ten feet long was laid on a saw-horse, and a beer-keg. A fire had been built in the old stove, and a can of harness oil placed near it so as to warm it up and thin it. Dad would take an old skillet and pour in about a quart of oil. A lump of bees-wax like a walnut, and a bit of dry lamp-black on the end of an old table-knife. He had his own way of doing things, and woe betide the one that tried to say him nay.
All this was heated on the stove, and thoroughly stirred and mixed. The “black” gave the leather a nice new-looking finish, and the wax partly waterproofed the pores in the leather, making it more resistant to soaking and stretching in the rain; it also gave a nice smooth finish to the job.
Each strap or piece of harness was now laid on the plank, and a good coat of oil applied with a brush. As each piece was oiled it was hung on a pole back of the stove. This usually was the tying-pole- “der wiss-baum”, used in haying time to tie down a load of hay.
I remember the time that Geo. Riegel worked for my Dad, and was told to fetch a pole to hang the harnesses on. There were two poles in the barn on the barn floor, back of the hay-bed; one of them had been broken off for a few feet at one end; the other one was brand-new, and that was the one Geo. brought in. The pole was at least 20 feet long, and the shop was only 18 wide. So instead of putting it in lengthwise, or fetching the shorter pole, what does Geo. do but get a saw, and cut it off.
Dad and I had both gone out for some reason; but I can still hear the resulting dialogue when we came back on the scene. Dad hollered at Geo.: “Do dummer dunnerweeter! Ferwas husht dew neya pole obgsaikt?”
“Eei, wile er tsu-tsu tsu luug waur!“ (Geo. would stutter when excited.)
“Ferwos husht en net du brugawake rei; no het er ols nuch lenger sei kenna?“
“Ya, usht mull doe Jeck! Doe waur shundt des foss un der buch reddy gshtonna!“
(You dumb thunder head! Why did you cut off that pole?”
“Why, be-be-because it was too long!”
“Why didn’t you put it in lengthwise - then it could have been longer yet?”
(“Yes, but look here, Jake! The keg and the buck already stood there!”)
A fire was kept burning day and night so the oil would soak in, and soften the leather. Once we had a start on it, it was real fun. Dad would generally do the sewing. And here we come to 1 - Addenda. - (e) - “de sile” - “der bech-drote”, un de soddler-bunk 1 (The awl) (2. The waxed-thread) and 3 (The Saddlers-Bench.)
1-(e)- 1. De Sile. (The awl.)
And I had better say: “de seila (the awls) for there were dozens of them; they were naturally home-made from a piece of steel, forged, and then filed and ground to a thin point. The handles were nicely turned from apple or beech-wood, on my great-grandfather’s lathe.
“Ya, des sin seila-lecher-net rodda-licher“, (yes, these are awl-holes - not rat holes) Dad would say as he pulled the thread through. The holes should always be a trifle scant or small, so the leather binds on the thread; and now comes
1. (e) 2, “Der Bech-drote”, (The waxed-thread.)
This was no wire, the word “drote”, meaning that it (the thread) had been “ge-drayt”- (twisted.) Two nails were driven in the wall, one on each side of a window; the big ball of “drote-gawrn”- (wax-thread) was now taken down from its perch above the window, and a thread was wound around the nails, three times around; then it was cut off, and the strands hung on a nail; another set was cut, and so on, until enough to complete the mending had been cut. Dad now got a piece of soft leather, and put a ball of “bech” (saddler’s-wax) on it, by melting it at the stove. Taking three strands of thread in his left hand, he would grab them with his right hand and the wax, and briskly pull it out over the thread several times. Then he’d reverse the thread, and wax the other ends. Now he’d sit down and take a thread in his left hand, and place it on his knee, and with his right hand he would roll that thread so fast you could hardly see it move. He first placed the ball of the hand on the thread, and pushed downwards; then he reversed the thread, end for end, and repeated the process. Next the thread was hung over a nail, firmly grasped at each end, and rapidly drawn back and forth over the nail. The friction of the thread passing over the nail heated the nail, and the hot nail melted the wax on the thread until it was incorporated among the fibers, and finally it very much resembled wire, and was almost as strong.
Each end was now cut off, frizzled up with an awl, and a hog’s bristle pushed in between the threads; it was again twisted and waxed, and was ready for sewing. A number of these would be on a nail, ready when needed.
And here comes Will Morgan with the
“Soddler Bunk”. (Saddler’s bench.)
1. (e) 3
This bench was made from a plank three feet long, and a foot wide at the ends, in the middle it was hollowed out until only 6 inches wide. It had four strong legs of oak. At the front end was a wooden clamp, or post, securely mortised into the plank; this was one side of the clamp. The other side was fastened to this one at the bottom by a hinge. About ¾ of the way from the bottom there was a slot in this post, crosswise, and a leather strap went through this and was fastened to the other half of the clamp; it passed down thru another slot in the bench, and the lower end was fastened to a treadle operated by the saddler’s foot. A rein that was torn off was now laid on the work-bench, and the end nicely tapered off to almost paper thickness; a new piece of the proper length was likewise thinned, and the two were lightly tacked together to keep them in place.
1. - (f) Dad would now mount the bench; he put the strap in the clamp so that just enough of it stuck up so it could be sewed. He put his foot on the lever and pushed down, and the strap was firmly locked in the clamp. A quick, sidewise and backward jerk of the foot, and the lever was securely locked in a toothed iron rake along one leg of the bench. Grasping the awl, he bored a tiny hole in the strap, took the thread from where it hung on the nail, and pushed a bristle through the hole. The thread was now pulled exactly half-way through, and another hole was pierced with the awl. Now comes the craftsman, that gives the mark of the expert to the job, once it is finished. One bristle is pushed through the hole from the right, and the other one from the left, and both are pulled tight. The next hole is made 1/8 of an inch further away, and so it goes on until the strap is sewed. A careful worker will make it appear as if done by machine. Naturally, in sewing a long strap, the strap will have to be moved once it has been sowed the width of the clamp, which varied from three up to six inches. For a greater width the pressure was insufficient to hold it, and the clamp would be worse than useless.
Nowadays, when no saddler’s bench is available, a vise can be used in an emergency.
When all mending had been done, these parts also were oiled. The hames would be painted a bright red, and all the brass spots and buckles and rings cleaned and burnished. After several days the surplus oil was wiped off, and the harnesses were put together.
Altogether, it was a lot of work; but harnesses in those days, were made of the best of leather, and if well taken care of, more than one farm-boy heard his Dad say: “Doe, do consht de gsharra hovva - de sin nuch goot. De sousht do nuch lung usa.” (Here I’ll give you these harnesses - you can have them - they are good yet, and you can use them a long time yet.)
1. Addenda - (g) 1- Collars. 2. Sweat-pads.
Horse-collars. - “de kummetter.”
These naturally were of various sizes, and also of different patterns. They were made of the best leather that could be secured; and in those days they were made entirely of leather, and were all of them stuffed with hair. Later came the ones with a back, or inner-side made of twill or canvas. Also came the hair-face - made with a layer of hair next to the horse’s shoulder, and the rest of it stuffed with finely-chopped straw - “hexel”. And to fulfill the demand for a cheaper product, was the all-straw-filled collar.
At the top they were closed with a strap on one side, and a buckle attached to the other side.
I can still hear my Dad making some very crisp remarks as he was converting one of these good “old-timers” into a more modern style by removing the buckle, and sewing on a wire-clasp. This was much handier to close, and rather than open and close that buckle each time he would take a collar, hold it upside down, and slip it up over the horse’s head in that position; then, when it was over the head, and around the horse’s throat, he would deftly twist it into the right position.
There was one style of collar made especially for horses that had sweeny, or rather to prevent them from getting it. These were always called by that name - “de schwinna kummetter”. Instead of having one slope from the top downwards, they were cut out in a cone-like form a short distance from the top; in other words, the top was of the regular pattern; then came the curve, where the collar was much narrower than an ordinary one. This kept the collar from pressing on the bony ridge of the horse’s shoulder (often the cause of a case of sweeny) and from there on down it flared out again to ordinary dimensions.
Sweat-pads, as we youngsters (?) know them, were not in vogue in those days. The old “londts-mann”- (farmer) was not in that much of a hurry. If there was only one thing of which they had plenty, it was time; or at least they took their time to do things. Whenever our horses had been idling for some time, like waiting for a rain to come along, and make the plowing so much easier, then, when we would start plowing, Dad would tell us: “Now take it easy at the start; stop at each end of the furrow, and let your team breathe. And don’t forget to pull the collars away from their breast, so the air can get underneath, and cool them off!” He was a stickler for those things, but he seldom had horses with a collar-gall. Before the collar was put on the horse, it had to be cleaned of all dirt, sweat, hair or crust, so it really looked clean.
Years ago I had an old man for a neighbor who let on as though he was very religious or pious. He had a horse that continually had a collar-gall the size of a silver dollar. One day when I offered to treat and heal the mare, he refused, and said: “Sell mind see net!” (She don’t mind or feel it.) But when we were sowing clover-seed, and his rubber-boot raised a blister on his heel, he raised an awful holler. Years have passed since he went to his rest (?) and I am not yet informed as to whether there is any clover being sowed “in the beyond”.
But I do know that the same man, (when bedridden for more than a year) complained that he was not going to stay in that bed any longer - there was something coming to his bedside, day and night. Finally, after much persuasion by all the family, he told the Doctor - he only said the one word - “horses!”
There used to be a trite old Pennsylvania Dutch saying - “Luss de doota rooga!” (Let the dead rest.) “Ich will usht Gott-huffa er doot!” (I only hope to God he does.)
1- Addenda - (h) - “micka-gawrn.”
Fly nets were a nuisance, and never afforded one half the protection they were supposed to do. On numerous occasions I would stop the team and swat a fly that had alighted on the horse “inside” the net. And they were a bother and a torment to handle. For the benefit of the un-initiated I had better describe a fly-net.
It was made of 5 strips of leather - thin, and about an inch wide, and the length of a horse. At intervals of an inch, two slots were cut in this strap, lengthwise, and only about ½ inch long. Through these slots were pulled leather strips 3/16 of an inch wide, leaving the strip between the slits humped up; at the ends some had a strip the same as the long ones, but most did not have this in the rear. But in front they had an extension to go up over the horse’s neck; and this also had strings hanging down. When it was placed on the horse, it was tied at several places to keep it from falling off. The buckles from the line would catch in it, and tear it.
Some were made of fabric and cords instead of leather. Then there were the lighter varieties for Sunday use, or for light-harness use. These had leather strips not much larger than the lead in a pencil, and the strings were round.
Later on they invented muslin caps for the horse’s ears; they slipped over the ears, and had a hood or flap to go over the neck. It also was a bothersome thing to tie on, and have it catching on anything. They also had straw hats for a while, but these did not last long, as some horses would eat them as soon as they got close to one.
1. – Addenda - (i)- “der soddler.”
This usually was the farmer himself. I remember a man coming to our home one wintry afternoon with a very skinny horse in a buggy. He said he was an expert saddler, and being out of a job, and in need of money, he decided he would tour the country side and do any odd jobs he could get a hold of. Just to let us see that his work would excel most others, he put a piece of an old line in the vise, and he stitched it so it looked exactly like machine sewing.
It was a rare occurrence when Dad did not have some leather in the shop; and although he had never learned any trade, he was an adept hand with an awl and a thread. When one of the old harnesses tore all to pieces one day in a runaway, he looked at the mess, and said: “Mer kust harticher en neyes mocha as we sell flicka”. (One could sooner make a new harness than mend the old one.) And that is what he did. I still have the old gauge which he made for cutting the leather into strips so they would be nice and straight, and of the same width. It has a sliding arm holding the knife, and it is fastened with a tapered peg or key, and has a pistol-grip, all carved by hand from a piece of cherry wood.
1. – Addenda - (j) - Old style line.
This is very old, and was in use before check-lines were invented; some called it “a double line”. A single line or strap (oft-times a rope) went from the driver to the outside bit at each horse’s mouth. A strap or rope went from one horse’s mouth to the other one, thus coupling them together. A jockey-pole was fastened to the hame-ring of the horse on the left - “der hondt-goul”, and to the outside bit-ring of the off-horse - “der naiva-goul”. While one could guide a team in this way, yet they were more awkward or clumsy to handle, and a spirited or lively team could hardly be controlled with such a line.
I remember when some farmers had ropes for lines, instead of leather; usually these were used on the farm, and whenever any hauling was done on the road, the leather line was used. But with a well-trained lead-horse - “en line-goul”, I have worked for days in the field, and all the lines were at home in the barn. So there is quite a difference between a single-line leader, or a leader; the latter requires no line.
There used to be a saying, current among horse-men and teamsters, to wit: “En gooter fuhrmann dar mocht sich en line-goul.” (A good teamster will make (train) him a leader.)
Nowadays the Amish are about the only ones that persist in using horses, both for farm-work and for driving. And the writer would hesitate if a man offered to trade a brand-new tractor on a crack team of draft-horses.
1. - Addenda. - (k.) Bells on the hames.
When the farmers and freighters (as they were sometimes called) went on the road with their four, six, or eight-horse teams, the lead-span had each a set of small bells fastened to the hames, so one could hear them coming along the road at night. They would seldom be out that late; but at certain times they would be delayed or have to go a few miles further for lodging, as the hotel or inn was already full. In all of my lifetime I’ve only seen one man using them - Aquilla Spannuth, the veteran miller, at the extreme western end of Berks County. He used a set of them in his big delivery wagon, years ago. It was a metal strip fastened to each hame, and bent upwards in an arched frame; across the top part, which was almost straight, was a set of four small bells, fastened to it on the underside of the arch; they were of bell-metal, and had a clear, silvery tone.
Irwin G. Peiffer, and later on Rob Dieffenbach, were drivers of that team for years; to my dying day I can hear the melodious tinkling of those bells, and visualize those enormous Percherons plodding the dusty country-side, the big swaying, canvas-covered wagon with several tons of flour, feed, etc. on it.
When coal was first discovered in Schuylkill County, my grandfather, who was a carpenter-contractor, had three gangs of carpenters engage in building houses in Pottsville, Penna. As there were no rail roads, he would drive up through the mountains with a horse hitched to a sulky. One night while crossing the mountain north of Bethel, before daylight, he heard the bells of a team coming down the mountain road. Roads in those days were very narrow, especially at some very rocky spurs of the mountain. So he tied his horse to a bush alongside the road, and with his lantern in hand he walked ahead until he met the man with a four-mule team, and a load of coal. They found the road was too narrow to pass, and where the sulky was, there was a cut; so he turned his horse around and went back a short distance where the road was a trifle wider, and was almost level.
Here the man halted his team, and as he led grandfather’s horse past the team, my grandfather held up the outer wheel of the sulky - it was wider than the road for a few roads, and would have upset. Then both proceeded on their way, rejoicing, and, as he often remarked: “Mer hen net amohl nonner gsawdt we mer haisa!” (We not even told each other our names)
John Freyberger was a German, and a blacksmith in Millersburg long ago. When he had caught up with his work he would pick up all the old horseshoe-nails lying around and put them on a shovel and place it over the fire in his forge; when they were hot, and he saw a bunch of the town-boys approaching, he would take the shovel, and with one twisting movement he would scatter those red-hot nails all over the shop, in the dust and litter on the floor. When the kids came in and stepped on them with their bare feet, and started to jump and yell, old John would laugh at them.
(m.) Years ago, when I had just bought a horse on a sale in Lebanon, I told Harry Stoudt, the horse-dealer that I was glad I had not bought another horse on a farmer’s sale a few days before. I said that it was an old horse, and thin, and had a lump at its tail. Harry said: “Waar hut der schimmel cot?” (Who had this grey horse?) I asked how he knew of the horse having been of that color, and he replied: “Wile er seller gnupp om schwontz cot hut!” (Because he had that lump at his tail.) Then he told me in this way: “Won en ‘micka-schimmel’ mull gons weiss wert, os er ken schwortsa blocka may hut, no gate oll selly farrel tsumma uff a blocka - eu grupp naiva om schwontz un sheer immer uff der linksa side.” (When a spotted grey horse turns white all over, so he don’t have any black spots any more, all that black color will draw together in a lump, at the side of the horse’s tail, and usually on the left hand side.
And the term “micka-shimmel”, is applied when once a grey horse ceases to be dappled, but is all over white, and is covered with small black spots, looking as if he was full of flies. Greys are of a peculiar color, being black when born, and then an occasional white hair, here and there, until a fair sprinkling can be seen; this is called “en eissa-grey”- (iron-grey); later more white will appear in a curious pattern, giving the name – “oppel-grey” (dapple-grey) and still later changing into a “schimmel.”
Another peculiar color is “der schwortz-fuchs” - (black-sorrel). This is no bay color, being much darker, and still not being entirely black, having a rusty tinge or overlay to it. Many of these would be pie-bald, and have four white feet and also white legs or “stockings”.
The Eblings, who farmed several adjoining farms near the Blue Mountain north of Bethel, when I was a kid, had several horses that nowadays are called Palomino. Where they got them I do not know; but they had them for years. They were yellow in color and had long white manes and tails. They were the only ones that I ever saw in all this section except what one sees nowadays at County Fairs and Horse shows.
July 1st. 1952 Der Oldt Bauer
English and Pennsylvania German
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Dieffenbach, Victor C., "Dieffenbach on Horses: Equipment, July 1, 1952" (1952). Alfred L. Shoemaker Folk Cultural Documents. 275.
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