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Breeching Question

There isn’t any in this six-horse hitch. (?)

Is it because this isn’t the actual Jubilee State Coach? (pictured below)

220px-State_Opening_of_Parliament_(14157340870) (1)

Where’s @goodhors ?

My thoughts - as an admitted Not Expert - are the style of harness dictates if breeching is used.
Style of carriage is also involved.
Can’t tell from your pic, but the carriage with postillion riders might not have collars on the horses & that may be another reason for breeching.

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The night vehicle probably has brakes. There are people sitting in the front seat that can operate the brakes if needed. Horses could stop it’s lighter weight with just the collars, should the brakes fail. This is a PRACTICE run with an “expendable” vehicle if the worst happened. Horses are NOT USED TO NIGHT DRIVING. I expect everyone is on edge for this first practice.

The State Coach has brakes operated by footman on the rear of coach, because there is no Coachman to operate any Coach brakes. Horses are hitched Postillion, riders control each Pair, so they need breeching to stop the HEAVY State Coach. Both vehicles are hitched using Postillion riders on the horses for practicing the route. The horses used with the State Coach will be wearing collars on both horses of each Pair, which will aid the breeching, in stopping the Coach.

Corrected my post, to footman controlling Gold State Coach brakes, after learning and seeing photos in the other Gold State Coach post. It is good to learn something new and interesting every day! Ha ha


Cool. Thank you very much.

Thank you very much.

That wagon is pretty light, I have driven a few light horses in “fine harness” where there is just the crouper to brake the wagon. what is more interesting to me is that the lead horses do not have an evener, they are hooked like I hook the tandem, just x2. is this a 6 or just a 4?

just saw the other pictures, it is a 6, all hooked the same.

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Scroll down through the photos for the one showing the full 6-horse team.

Look at the other photos in the link I posted in my OP. There is at least one showing the full team. That’s why I posted the link.

Well done you! :slight_smile: That’s why I posted the link to the article. Lots more pictures there. You actually looked at them!

Found another picture of the harness used with the State Coaches, side view and the Postillion manner of harnessing is not what is seen on 4-6-8 horse hitches used elsewhere or like American Military cannon postillion hitches.

The wheel horses have a pole between them to control the carriage, but not any of the other Pairs have a pole or lead bars. The front Pairs of horses’ traces are attached to the rear horses long collar tugs that end at the harness saddles. So all horses have direct pull straight back to the coach. They all six appear to wear a decoratzive breeching, but only the Wheelers would be effective in stopping the coach using their breeching. So harness is both impressive, flashy, and matching on all horses. Matching closely is much desired in big hitches, Royal displays of power, might, horses in mounted regiments wearing amazing uniforms!

I am looking at the Diamond Jubilee Coach, not the extremely heavy Gold State Coach which takes eight horses to pull and is a terrible ride acording to a couple historical Royals. Still no coachman in a seat, though there are footman riding on the back of the Diamond Coach. It may have hidden brakes, but nothing visible in my photo, so Wheeler horses may still need to stop it with breeching and pole straps. It is the newest Coach in the Mews, but was YEARS in the making, so older technology might be present in the braking system.

I presume this unique Postillion method of attaching horses to the coach is historical, perhaps for faster unhitching to change horses on a journey. Certainly Royals would have the most ostentatious presentation on the roads! Then add in guardian Troopers, grooms on spare Team horses, footman riding on the back of carriage, all accompanying the Coach, and it would be quite the sight!!

Post boys were employed/hired to drive rich people using coaches on Post Roads (toll roads with surfacing) as the fastest means of travel, way before trains. The Post boys rode the Pairs of horses, no coachman driver. Horses were changed every 10 to 15 miles, to fresh horses. The Postillion term was used to cover the system of driving, hitching, as opposed to an actual coachman driving the carriage/coach.

With military horses, unhitching/disconnecting the limber from the gun quickly is REALLY critical in getting cannon set up, horses away, to begin firing if needed. Poles and lead bars would get in the way, slow things down, make it impossible to move the gun if parts got broken somehow. Postillion style hitching had men in charge of Team horses during removal or return to the gun, no horses spooking/leaving during firing. Gun crew would quickly rehitch limber with horses to move gun on. There are U-tube videos of the guns and horses doing displays. They are called the King’s Troop, Royal Horse Artillery.

American Military used Postillion riders on their mobile cannons, but all their Team horses are saddled, ready to carry gun crew riders away if needed. Gun crews usually rode the limber when moving the gun. Both UK and American guns were pulled by a limber (like a forecart), which was detached for firing. Horses could also be unhitched from the limber quickly, then separated for riders, if the gun had to be abandoned. No long reins to deal with or tangle. Horses wear riding type reins.



Cool. I knew about some of that from my father and his Field Artillery manual. But not all of it. So thank you. I’ve been meaning to go back and read more of it ever since the posts about it here last fall but I just haven’t.

I’ve read that both the Jubilee State Coach and the Gold State Coach will be used in the Coronation processions. So a lot of the Windsor Greys will be out. I wonder if any of the Cleveland Bays will be used. I also wonder if this will be (one of) the last appearances of the royal coaches. …

Windsor Grey’s can only be used by the the reigning Royals I believe. There are bound to be some Clevelands among the horses on parade as Trooper horses and driving animals. Look for the horses with the biggest ears!! Ha ha The “ears” are proportionate to the horses, large and notable when picking horses out of a group.

Owners of Clevelands, both Purebred and Partbreds get adept at spotting other Clevelands by their ears, in a horse herd, from a distance.