Working Horse Welfare, Nineteenth-Century Style

Dandy cart at National Railway Museum, York. By Rosemary Forrest.

Dandy cart at National Railway Museum, York. By Rosemary Forrest.

While I’m housebound working on book two, Mum is filling in as our roving reporter on horse history. Here’s a “Dandy Cart”, snapped at the National Railway Museum in York. Working-horse history is intertwined with the history of the railways, so it’s no surprise to see a horse or two in this museum. According to the caption, it wasn’t just steam-engines that used railways. Sometimes genuine horse power was used for haulage. Of course, when the wagons were coasting downhill, there wasn’t much for the horse to do, hence the dandy cart. The horse would be loaded up for an easy ride down the slope, and recoupled to the freight wagon at the bottom.

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