A good harness-room is an indispensable adjunct to every stable, and, where a number of hunters are kept, a saddle-room also is necessary. These should be placed as centrally as possible to the whole group of stalls and loose-boxes. One of these rooms is often a suitable place for the stairs giving access to a man's room above, and to the range of lofts. There should always be a fireplace, which is best fitted with a small range containing a large boiler to supply the hot water which is so often required in stable work. By continuing this boiler round both sides, as well as at the back of the fire, a very large supply will be always available.
Fig. 579. - Pad Bracket for Single Harness.
Fig. 580. - Saddle-holder.
In small establishments the harness-room sometimes adjoins the coachhouse, and a slow-combustion stove is placed in an open niche between the two. This may be sufficient to keep both places fairly warm and dry, but is of little use to give a supply of hot water, or for cooking. A harness-room may also, with convenience, contain a washing-sink, unless there is a separate cleaning-room, when it is better there. The tap over this sink will often be of service if the yard-cock is temporarily stopped by frost or other causes. The walls of harness-rooms should, if possible, be boarded, both for dryness and for the facility of securing pegs, hooks, etc.
Fig. 581. - Saddle-bracket for Lady's Saddle.
Fig. 582. - Collar-holder.
Fig. 583. - Whip-rack.
The furniture of a harness - room is now of infinite variety. Formerly it was entirely of wood, and tended often to be somewhat clumsy, but a combination of wood and iron has the advantage in strength, lightness, and appearance. Harness, being almost entirely of leather, and much exposed to damp both from the weather and the horse's body, requires, when hung up, to have the parts separated from each other and open to a free circulation of air, in order to ensure rapid drying and to prevent mildew. It is impossible, within the limits of our space, to describe all the varieties of brackets for harness, saddles, collars, bridles, girths, whips, bits, reins, etc. Figs. 579, 580, 581, 582, and 583 will give some idea of the principles which guide the manufacture and use of such articles. A contrivance for airing the inside of a saddle before the harness-room fire is shown in fig. 584. This, when not in use, will fold up, and can be hung against the wall. A saddle-and-harness cleaning-horse, which combines a press and drawers for horse clothing and cleaning articles, with provision for opening out the saddle-horse to form a table, may be found very useful where space is confined. There are also many other conveniences, if not requisites, for the harness-room, such as brush- and sponge-drainers, chamois-leather and brush boxes, wall-brackets to hold carriage-lamps when not in use, etc.