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Discussion Starter #1
I've been experimenting with a travois, a pack frame used to carry loads overland using either dogs or horses to pull them.

Jess and I got together and built a prototype a while back and I've been working on figuring out a good harness. In photos of Native Americans from the early 1800's, most travois are pulled using just a chest/neck strap and maybe a belly strap, which is my current harness setup seen below. I plan on coming up with a better, less restrictive, and more comfortable harness for "modern" travois use but do want to build a period-correct travois to use in French & Indian War reenactment where it will be mostly a display piece and not actually used to carry loads.

Here's a little video from today of Ronja pulling the travois in the snow, using a harness similar to those seen in old photos. This is working pretty okay and has been a lot of fun today. Ronja did great pulling it, too. :)

 

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That is so cool!! Beautiful Ronja does like to work doesn't she?!!
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Beautiful Ronja does like to work doesn't she?!!
She's not opposed to working, but pulling a travois is a new thing for her, I am still working out some harness issues, and I probably should have had her wear her boots today because she kept stopping and doing the "my paws have ice between the pads" dance.
 

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Beautiful dog. It's hard to see all of her really well, but she looks just like our Cass.
That looks like a great "natural" rig.
It must be tough to keep everything centered on her back with the blanket.
 

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It must be tough to keep everything centered on her back with the blanket.
It is. Which is one of the reasons I am still working out some of the kinks and trying to figure out the best way to set this up.

I think the sheepskin cover needs to be turned the other way around, to where the fur is against her back, and it needs to have its own straps to stay on her without the travois on, so it is more stable as a blanket and won't slip.

I also need to take the saw to the front end of the travois and cut that down a little, and even out the back of the poles, right now one is slightly longer than the other.

This is what Ronja looks like in better lighting. :) She's also the one in my avatar.

 

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'she's pretty. It must have been the lighting in the video...Cass is black.

Have you messed around with making like a mini-horse travois and have the poles stay straight and not cross above the shoulders.
That would mean more of a pack harness rig on the dog and more strapping. You might also be able to shore a straight pole type up more with a chest strap. It also allows you to let the poles out or pull them in depending on the load.
I'm sure you've messed with all of this. (Just kind of exciting to see this)
I just started skijoring with Cassie and we've been messing with some stuff for that. Now you've got me wanting to build something like this.
I've never done any work on a dog travois and it's been almost 30 years since I used horse travois.
 

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She is very pretty. I've seen her life and she's a gorgeous girl, always wanting to work. The Travois turned out pretty good, Chris.

We got to get together again. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Have you messed around with making like a mini-horse travois and have the poles stay straight and not cross above the shoulders.
I haven't, because it would not be historically accurate for the French & Indian War time period. If I ever build a thoroughly modern one (which will use PVC poles or aluminum poles instead of wood), I may consider going that route, but for a period-style one, it will need to cross over her back.
 

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I didn't know there was difference in the ones used during different time periods. Learned something else today........lol.
At least she looked comfortable pulling with the crossed poles over her back. That's a good sign.
You guys should have a lot of fun.
Enjoy.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I didn't know there was difference in the ones used during different time periods.
All the references I have found regarding Native Americans using travois on dogs in the 1700's and 1800's have been talking about or showing travois with crossed poles on both dogs and horses.

Like this one of a Lakota woman and her dog.

 

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i think it looks good. but i also dont know much. THOUGH i now have a project idea i want to try now!
 
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