The Headcollars or Halter


Headcollars, had already been documented in the Original Domestication of the Horse about 5500 to 6000 years ago. They are one of the most basic tools used when handling livestock. Farmers found out early that working with an animal is easier with a loop of rope around the animal’s head. Yet, little is known about headcollars, while there are numerous documents about artifacts of headstall for riding with bits or documented in multiple documents and captured colorfully in art.

By THL Gesa van Wellenstein

The Hoof-Pick

18th C Hoof Pick

The hoof pick is a common tool that has been used for centuries to clean the hooves of horses. Proper hoof maintenance is essential for keeping a horse healthy and mobile. Without healthy hooves a horse is not able to walk properly and might become lame. A tiny stone imbedded in the sole of a hoof can develop into an abscess, which requires more intensive care and many days of stall rest. It is standard practice to clean (pick) the hooves before and after riding a horse to ensure comfort and avoid injuries. Most equestrians have more than one hoof pick in their tack boxes. Yet, there is very limited, if any, documentation about hoof-picks before the 18th Century.

By THL Gesa van Wellenstein

The Amulet Necklace of Birka Bj. 968

A reconstruction of the necklace found in Birka grave Bj. 968

A reconstruction of the necklace found in Birka grave Bj. 968 with an analysis of the possible meaning of the amulet pendants found on the necklace and their significance to the overall identity of the wearer.

By Æsa Helgulfsdottir