Collection : Photothèque des Mines de potasse d'Alsace (MDPA) / Association Groupe Rodolphe

Horse pulling deep in a potash mine in Alsace.

In 1868, a new harnessing tool became mandatory for mining horses: the barrette, or leather helmet. This large layer of thick leather was attached to the harness's front and headstall. Its purpose? Protect the horse's neck and the front side against repeated collisions with the often low gallery ceilings. It appeared in the wake of numerous injuries to the animals' heads. At times the bridles also had blinders for protection. Hitching to the collar was the most common method to pull convoys.