men did the ploughing, because you have to have very strong arms, and
women often walked behind the men, planting the seeds. Ploughing too
is a communal affair. The heavy wheeled plough needed for northern
soils is expensive, as are horses to pull it.
So a team of horses
and plough works successive strips of an open field for different
peasants. The long narrow shape of the strips reflects the
difficulty of turning the team at each end.
use of horses for ploughing. Horses are faster and have greater
endurance than oxen and can be controlled by voice commands,
eliminating the need for an additional man in the plough team to guide
the ox or oxen with a sharp pole. Several innovations were needed to
make use of horses, however: horseshoes to keep the horses' hooves
from softening in the wet earth of ploughing time, the horse collar,
since horses do not have well-defined shoulders like oxen, and
The heavy, or mould-board, plough. This plough had an iron
ploughshare that could cut through the earth and a mould-board that
turned the sod over. The mouldboard plough that produced a deep furrow and turned the earth
after it had been cut by the coulter and share. The mouldboard was
the device for guiding the plough and turning the earth over.
Rye, Olive Trees,