Whether you were using a team of one, two, three or four horses on the farm for wagons, ploughs, harrows or cultivators “The Whippletree” was an essential piece of a shire horse harness. The reason being that the exerted pull by the horses would be concentrated at one central point of the implement or wagon. Traces whether made of chain or leather would be connected to a hook which was part of the metal hames fitted to the horses collar on either side, then back to the Whippletree.
The old Whippltree’s were made of ash and fashioned in such a manner, that the pull was with the grain of the wood. Later they were fashioned in with a double flat curved piece of steel to gain even more pulling power and slightly lighter in weight. Today, where they are still used, the material is much lighter and stronger still.