I spent a long time pondering the realism I’m trying to exhibit in my horse statue. Originally I intended to sculpt a harness and shafts for the cart it would be pulling. This was poached from a sculpture I did many years ago and it was thought it might work. I sculpted a small miniature clay sketch see if I could capture what is very difficult to show in a photo. And something I’ve wanted to do since I showed a horse at the Royal Winter Fair and experienced first had what it’s like to see a horse bound through the air in front of you.
An issue with the smaller version was the horse was moving forward but bowed up in his neck and bouncing along the ground but not the frame a horse in harness would be doing. So I thought the neck wouldn’t exactly work with a side check on the horse. After some more thought about the plausibility of a horse trotting at the stride he’s at in my design, the adornments on his neck, his docked tail and show shoes, he wouldn’t be carrying his neck like my statue exhibited without the side check keeping his neck artificially high.
So the problem could be solved by adhering to the reality of a horse in tack without a check and drawing himself up and moving forward in his stride without his head strapped in the air and no rider or driver in the design. I went on a Google search to find some information on the older type stallion harness, or stud tack which is a surcingle and bridle with side reins and used only on stallions.
I looked at some interesting illustrations of these harness pieces and found no side check. Excellent! This solved my problem. I can show the horse as it would be exhibited in a breed class showing a classic style hackney in stud tack. This also solved a very big issue with the detail in the tack and the risk of damage to the sculpture. So I can tack him up, and let him loose and I may even put a loose rein attached to the bit to show the horse has gotten lose from his handler. Something intimated in the illustration in the George Ford Morris painting.