The Ox Yoke PlanI've begun with a little internet study of Ox Anatomy 101.
appears to have some distinct advantages.
|Jacques-Raymond Brascassat - "A Bull Fight" (1855)|
detail from original (link)
|Oxen Withers, Anatomical Shoulder, and Angular Musculature|
For my yoke, I will concentrate on taking the power off the ox at the base of the neck and the front of the withers. It seems to be the logical position for pulling moderate loads for sustained periods of time.
Ox walking, stride, 6 ft. (c1881)
digitally altered background
The muscles at the base of the neck, and the withers, are relatively stationary while the ox is walking.
|Skeleton of the Ox as Covered by the Muscles|
Cattle and their Diseases, by Robert Jennings (link) annotations added by me
|Withers Yoke (Link)|
I will extend the yoke seat down the sides of the neck as far as possible without interfering with the for-and-aft movements of the ox's shoulders while walking. This in theory will help solve the side-to-side instability of the single ox yoke, as well as distribute the pressure of the working yoke over as large an area as possible.
|The Muscular Anatomy of the Ox|
(private collection, annotations added by me)
Cow Anatomy Dorsal Skeleton
Das Rind (link)
annotations added by me
|Ox with Britchen Harness on Single Yoke|
A "bow" will keep the yoke from being thrown off, and a britchen harness will keep it from sliding down the neck when the ox put's his head down, or when he is holding, or pushing back a load.
Metal eyelets will accommodate the reins and serve to attach the pull chains. There will be three possible positions to allow adjustment of the height of the hitch point.