Diagram of a Horse Buggy Parts

A horse buggy is a two-wheeled vehicle pulled by a horse or pony. A horse-drawn cart or buggy is used to transport goods, passengers and people on a scenic journey. The two main parts of a horse buggy are the shafts and singletree. The singletree is attached to the shaft crossbar and represents the steering mechanism. The shafts flank the horse and represent the driving force that moves the cart. The horse pushes against the shafts to turn and pulls on the singletree mounted to the shaft crossbar.

Shaft length is measured from the tips of the shafts to the front of the shaft cross bar — the bar that connects and stabilizes the two shafts near the buggy or cart — which is about 87 inches long for draft horses, 75 or 76 inches for most saddle horses and 60 to 65 or 66 inches for ponies. Accurate measurement is important to ensure the shafts fit the horse.

The dock, or tail, extends from the back of a horse below the croup. The muscles and vertebrae surrounding the dock move the tail to help steer, balance and communicate with other horses. Often, it is used to swat insects and other nuisances. To measure a horse’s height, hold a flat edge such as a ruler or piece of cardboard against the top of its withers. Hold it steady so you can get an accurate measurement. Then, measure from that point to the ground.