Spiller, the Chariot and the Rulley

Their history, construction and use.


Spiller - a sickly looking foal born in September. Thanks to my wife he was diagnosed as being short of vitamins owing to being born so late (5th September 2009) after a dull summer with no sunshine. He had an immediate injection of A,D and E vitamins.

Spiller not long after birthA nearly new-born Spiller.

Three weeks later and he was a different horse.

Spiller at three weeksSpiller at three weeks.

I spent the next three years playing with him daily and generally making friends with him. By then he had nearly achieved his full height of thirty six inches!

Spiller in harness

During the winter of 2012 I built a very rough but strong sledge, and, using a breast strap from an old horse harness, I attached Spiller to the sledge and walked alongside him using a head collar and lead rope while he pulled it.

Spiller's first time in harnessSpiller's first time in harness

He amazed me by doing this with no trouble or fears. I had him drag through snow, over gravel, through mud and on cobbles. The different noises never bothered him.

On the strength of this performance I bought a cheap webbing harness, and altered it to fit him. Then I dragged the sledge round a bit more, sometimes with a 40 kg load.

This worked too, so I bought him a bitless bridle, and altered that to fit him.

Richard Petter

About Richard Petter

Richard is an ex dairy farmer from the north Riding. Now retired, Richard has a smallholding of 5 acres in North Lincs where he keeps sheep, goats, two Shetlands and inevitably some hens!

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