Saturday, July 19, 2008

More On Origin of Chariot

1275–1325; ME <>char car 1 -iot dim. suffix

Naturally one can always find a good deal of information on Wikipedia starting with the keyword:Chariots  and then moving on to Chariot Racing   for a start.

One more reference, the following was found in the online Christain Classics Ethereal Library underEaston'sBible Dictionary.:I cited this because Biblical references have some interesting information.


The first mention of the chariot is when Joseph, as a mark of distinction, was placed in Pharaoh’s second state chariot (Gen. 41:43); and the next, when he went out in his own chariot to meet his father Jacob (46:29). Chariots formed part of the funeral procession of Jacob (50:9). When Pharaoh pursued the Israelites he took 600 war-chariots with him (Ex. 14:7). The Canaanites in the valleys of Palestine had chariots of iron (Josh. 17:18Judg. 1:19). Jabin, the king of Canaan, had 900 chariots (Judg. 4:3); and in Saul’s time the Philistines had 30,000. In his wars with the king of Zobah and with the Syrians, David took many chariots among the spoils (2 Sam. 8:410:18). Solomon maintained as part of his army 1,400 chariots (1 Kings 10:26), which were chiefly imported from Egypt (29). From this time forward they formed part of the armies of Israel (1 Kings 22:342 Kings 9:1621; 13:7, 14; 18:24; 23:30).

In the New Testament we have only one historical reference to the use of chariots, in the case of the Ethiopian eunuch (Acts. 8:282938).

This word is sometimes used figuratively for hosts (Ps. 68:172 Kings 6:17). Elijah, by his prayers and his counsel, was “the chariot of Israel, and the horsemen thereof.” The rapid agency of God in the phenomena of nature is also spoken of under the similitude of a chariot (Ps. 104:3Isa. 66:15;Hab. 3:8).

Chariot of the cherubim (1 Chr. 28:18), the chariot formed by the two cherubs on the mercy-seat on which the Lord rides.

Chariot cities were set apart for storing the war-chariots in time of peace (2 Chr. 1:14).

Chariot horses were such as were peculiarly fitted for service in chariots (2 Kings 7:14).

Chariots of war are described in Ex. 14:71 Sam. 13:52 Sam. 8:41 Chr. 18:4Josh. 11:4Judg. 4:313. They were not used by the Israelites till the time of David. Elijah was translated in a “chariot of fire” (2 Kings 2:11). Comp. 2 Kings 6:17. This vision would be to Elisha a source of strength and encouragement, for now he could say, “They that be with us are more than they that be with them.”

Write or call if you have any other questions.

Klavohns Oreo Delight

AMHA/AMHR registered mini, Klavohn's Oreo Delight was foaled in 1998. She is permanently registered at 32.50 inches.

She has been bred to Boone's Buckeroo Fancy Pants for a 2009 foal.

When I bought her she obviously had foundered at sometime in her life, but with proper diet her feet remain fine. She should not be let out on pasture all day as she will over eat.

DQ (what I call her) has a nice head and neck and tends to pass these traits on to her offspring. DQ has a great disposition, is friendly and easy to catch.

This black and white pinto has had several nice foals for me. I am sure she is heterozygous for pinto as she has produced at least one solid foal for me.

Sire: HCM Navajos Bold Innovation (33.00") by Calibers LIttle Navajo (AMHA, 31.50") out of NFC Tiny Mites Delight (AMHA, 33.50")
Dam: Klavohn's D. Q. Double Delight (31.00") by Star' Sunburst (28.00") out of Sunshine Sweet & Low (28.00")

Sunday, July 6, 2008

TBD Day of Defense

This photo was taken late November, 2008.
Yes, this is a strange name. TBD is an acronym for "To Be Determined."
TBD was foaled on 6/22/2005, and named after two important events that occurred that day. It was the day of the shower for my daughter who was expecting her first child. They used the letters TBD when referring to the baby, since it seemed a good option since they did not know the sex of the child. Day of Defense, well TBD was born the day I defended my dissertation.I call TBD a liver color, but am not really sure what the color is. The photos are accurate color. I believe she has the cremello genes and that is somewhat masking her base color. She is a nice pinto, good disposition and has had one months show training. I sometimes send my horses for a month's training when I think I will keep them for a while.
Sire: Toad Hill's the Great Gatsby (33.25", dapple grey pinto) by S Bar S Sire Prince (32.25", black) out of Koch's My Angel Baby (32.50, chesnut and white)

Dam: Toad Hill's Marshmellow (33", Smutty palomino) by Spragues Buckeye (30.25", buckskin) out of Toad HIll's Bunny (35.75", cremello).

TBD has been now permanently registered (01/12/09) at 35.75".

The Modern Chariot (Part 1)

The three part article is provided by Jim Walsh.
Suppose, for the sake of the exercise, that we needed to design a racing chariot for competition, and that competition was as tough as it is in light harness racing throughout the world. What characteristics would we be looking for? In no particular order, I would suggest they are:

* Lightest possible weight consistent with structural integrity,
* Least possible aerodynamic drag,
* Lowest rolling resistance consistent with -
* Reducing the draft animal’s energetic cost of locomotion to a minimum.

Chariots have been around for a long time - 4,000 plus years - and for a fair bit of recorded human history the planet’s top brains, it’s “rocket scientists” if you like, were engaged in optimizing the chariot’s role as the supreme instrument of warfare from 2,000 BC to the time of Alexander the Great at around 300 BC. As with most things, it is a good idea to look at the design of vehicles of similar purpose during the eras when the very best brains were designing them.

Let us start with Egyptian chariots in the era 1500 BC to 1,000 BC. An Egyptian battle chariot weighed (with harness) around 34 kg (75 pounds), but that was designed to carry two men in battle. The Egyptians also had a need for long-distance high-speed communications, and that need was filled by a single person chariot of much lighter weight and therefore higher speed. Like this:

From, “Wheeled Vehicles of the Ancient Near East” Littauer & Crowley.

The platform of the chariot is strung, tennis racquet style, with rawhide thongs, giving a bearing surface, which was light, strong and - very importantly - provided a degree of shock absorption between the vehicle and its driver. This reduced the shock loading on the delicate wheels on rough terrain, contributing significantly to the service life of the 4-spoked wood and leather wheels.

Note that the chariot was connected to the horses by a pair of neck yokes (the inverted “Y” devices in the above illustration). These were placed above the neck and in front of the withers, and were held in place by the downward pressure exerted by the weight of the chariot’s pole resulting from the center of gravity of the chariot being well forward of the axle. Added to that downward pressure was the contribution of the driver, who had no option but to place his feet in front of the axle. This downward pressure increased the load on the horse’s feet and therefore increased the amount of energy those horses had to expend to move at any velocity above zero.

The Hittites of ancient Anatolia made a much heavier three-person chariot which moved the axle to the middle of the floor and revised the hitch, moving the yoke attachment point behind the withers and combining that with a girth strap and a breast strap. This reduced the downward load of the yoke to zero when moving at a constant velocity on level ground.

Around 700 BC, the Greeks combined the lightweight chariot of the Egyptians with the balance of the Hittites and added an improved “dorsal hitch”. The end result of the Greek innovations was a lightweight chariot with a reduced load on the feet of the horses compared to the Egyptian chariot, an increased load on the wheels of the chariot, and a net increase in efficiency. In plain language - more speed for the same effort or less effort for the same speed than either the Egyptian or Hittite chariots.

The balance system of the Hittites and Ancient Greeks is known as “neutral balance” and along with the dorsal hitch was adopted by the later Romans. Every chariot that ever raced at the Circus Maximus in Rome used the dorsal hitch, a fact you would not appreciate if you went by the movie “Ben Hur”, since in that movie NONE of the racing chariots used the dorsal hitch.

The dorsal hitch is optimum for light to medium loads and only passed out of common use after the decline of the Roman Empire and with it the system of smooth roads built and maintained by the Romans. When the first high-speed road was constructed again in England in the 17th century, no coachbuilder (apart from a few in Italy) knew anything about the dorsal hitch, and so vehicles built for speed were by and large lightweight versions of the existing heavy vehicles designed for passage over rough terrain.

The Modern Chariot (Part 2)

And so it continued right into the 20th century, where lightweight single-seat race sulkies continued the practice of using two shafts and attaching those on the sides of the horse. When a high speed vehicle was needed for two horses, they used the same pole design of heavy haulage vehicles with this result:
In the latter half of the 20th century (1969), a Project Engineer with NASA, Joseph King, re-introduced the dorsal hitch to racing with this vehicle:

The Single Shaft Sulky (“SSS”), as it was called, dramatically increased the speed of harness racers, typically by around 6 seconds over the mile. Given that a harness horse covers around 14 meters per second, horses using the SSS had a 84 meter advantage over the common race distance of one mile, or 1609 meters. The King sulky had two major performance advantages over others of its era:

1) The dorsal hitch, which offered greater animal freedom than any other hitching system, then or now, and
2) Negative balance. King placed the sulky’s combined CG well behind the axles so that the sulky tended to lift the horse by his girth strap. This reduces the load on the horse’s feet, reducing its energetic cost of locomotion, and contributing significantly to th e greater speed of the vehicle.

In 1974 all single shaft sulkies were banned, allegedly because the horse could turn under the shaft and actually face the driver, and this was held to be a potential danger in standing start races. There were many who felt that such a ban may have been somewhat ingenuous because:
a) No such incident had ever occurred in either standing start or any other type of race, and
b) If there was to be a ban on that ground, the SSS could have been restricted to the much more common mobile start races, in which the problem simply did not arise, and
c) The horse could have been fitted with a belly band and trace such that it could not turn more than, say, 30 degrees from strict fore-aft alignment with the sulky.

But King’s sulky was patented, had an overwhelming advantage over conventional sulkies, and was a definite threat to established manufacturers, so it was banned world-wide. However, not to be so easily defeated, King then created a two-shafted steel sulky with the same negative balance, calling it the “modified” sulky, and it too out-performed the neutral balance sulkies of the opposition. But negative balance had been introduced to racing in the mid 1960s by a German psychiatrist by the name of Weber. It failed to make a major impact until the SSS, but in 1974, with the banning of the SSS, everyone started making negative balance “modified” sulkies, and in the first year in which they became widely used, the number of sub two-minute miles run in the USA increased by a massive 300 per cent.

The Modern Chariot (Part 3)

In 1992 the writer was asked to design and build a pairs sulky with which Australian horses of inferior ability could beat the world records established by the late Stanley Dancer in the USA in 1989. The world’s first negative-balance dorsal hitch sulky was the result. Horses using it - at least one an unraced maiden - proceeded to break all eleven world pairs records over the mile; to set two outright track records, and on five occasions to beat the previous best speed of the faster of the two horses pulling it.To this day no other pairs sulky has set an outright track record (i.e. faster than the fastest horse in a single-horse sulky); no other has even once gone faster than the previous best speed of the best of the two horses pulling it, and no other has set eleven or more world mile records.

In 1999 a customer complained that no existing vehicle would allow him to drive his miniature horse in off-road conditions, and asked the writer to create one that would. Given that the aim was to be an all-terrain vehicle of unprecedented efficiency, the writer decided to start with a clean slate and answer the question, “What is the simplest combination of independent suspension, a seat and a chassis that it is possible to build?”After about two hours of thought, a totally new design of sulky was created, and ten days later the prototype stood on the floor of the factory.

Designed and built in late December 1999, and first sold in the year 2000, it was called the “Millennium Mini”. It did indeed allow a miniature horse to easily pull an adult male over rough terrain and, as a side benefit, allowed the owner of any small draft animals with a combined weight over about 40 Kg to easily and quickly train the animals to pull a sulky.

In 2003 a smaller version, called the “City Mini” was released, to rave reviews from owners all over the world. In no time at all own ers were reporting hitherto undreamt-of speed, culminating in a highest recorded speed (so far) of 64.8 kilometers per hour (40 mph) in January 2007, with a 42 kg giant schnauzer pulling a 96 kg driver in an 18 kg sulky.

This is the combination:
So, getting back to our chariot design, we now know we need to have:
a) A dorsal hitch hitching system, and
b) Negative balance, and
c) Light weight, and
d) Low aerodynamic drag, and - if we are going to use it off-road.
e) Independent suspension.How might such a combination look?

Perhaps something like this:
This chariot was a 2-person vehicle, weighed 34 kg, and was built of stainless steel and designed for Standardbred horses. It was convertible between one and two horse draft (dorsal hitch when two horse) and demonstrated just how easy chariots are to drive compared with sulkies. A single person chariot would have a narrower “box” or cockpit.That is, of course, on a sulky and not a chariot, but only the shape of the pole would vary between the two applications.

James Walsh

About the author.

Jim Walsh is the Managing Director and Product Designer of R.J. Walsh & Son P/L, manufacturers of the “REGAL” line of racing, training and recreational vehicles. The company is based in Sydney, Australia. Over the last 20 years horses using Jim’s vehicles have set ten times more world records over the mile than the total of all other Australian manufacturers combined since white settlement, and by hugely increased margins of up to seventeen times the previous best. Jim’s products have been featured on the ABC’s “The New Inventors”, The Australian Technology Showcase, the Questicon Science Museum and will shortly (August 4 - 31, 2008) be exhibited at the ABC’s Ultimo headquarters as part of Science Week in Sydney.

A member of Australia’s oldest scientific association, The New South Wales Royal Society, Jim is also a director of the NSW Harness Racing Club. He is a former director of Harness Racing NSW, former Plant Identification Officer with the Sutherland Branch of the Society for Growing Australian Plants, former secretary of the NSW Sport Aircraft Association, holds a Private Pilot’s Licence with a Command Instrument Rating and aerobatic endorsements, and has worked with prof. Chris Johnston of the University of Upsalla in Sweden on the construction of a mathematical model of the oxygen consumption of horses under stress. He is the only Australian author of a peer-reviewed scientific paper on race track design to be published in the USA, and co-author of the first scientific paper demonstrating the link between improved race track design and reduced rates of race horse injuries.His E-mail address is <> and his company’s web site is <>

Call This A Preview

As surprised as I was, I wrote Jim Walsh and he wrote back to me!! I asked him to write a little about modern chariot design and he sent me an article which will be on next blog. Just to give you more details about Jim, I found this on YouTube...a movie of Jim with the sulky he designed. Of course I am thinking mini horses, but there are a lot of dog owners that might like this idea.

For you dog carting enthusiasts, check out:

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Toad Hill's Grapenuts

Foaled in 2006, this two year old is a dun colored pinto that appears to exhibit features that would indicate she is homozygous for tobiano. (I know she does not look dun in the photo but I can provide more current true color photo) The photos were taken in 2007 when as a yearling Grapenuts received a month's worth of training and was shown on one weekend. She was officially measures in 2007 at 30.0". Oh, her eyes are black, I haven't perfected removing the red out.

Sire: Toad Hill's the Great Gatsby (dapple grey pinto, 33.25")
Dam: Toad Hill's Kibbles N Bits (dun pinto, 33")

Danielle showed Grapenuts only one weekend (2007), but placed 1st under one judge in the multi-color mare class, and 2nd under the other two. She also was shown in yearling mare...can't remember how she placed because after she beat Kate in multi-color I decided to not show her the rest of year. I did not need two of my horses competing for multi-color in the same class.

From her pattern I believe she is homozygous pinto.