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The shoulder collar revolution
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By resting on the shoulders of the horse, unlike the neck collar or the 'bricole', the shoulder collar transferred the pressure exerted by the straps from the neck and chest to the shoulders, allowing the horse to breathe freely. Present in China since the Tang period (7th century), it appeared around the year 1000 in Europe and revolutionized agriculture. It made it possible to pull heavier couplings and asymmetrical plows by distributing the traction force evenly around the neck of the draft horse without injuring it.
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