Yoking Oxen

When Ford demonstrates the historical method for yoking a well-trained team, he places his oxen—in this example, Thor and Zeus—side by side in the driving position. Standing beside the team, he tells the ox on the left, or nigh side, “Move your head, Thor,” and Thor responds by swinging and holding his head far to the left. With the nigh ox’s head out of the way, Ford steps in front and places the beam over the neck of Zeus, who is standing on the right, or of side. He lifts the other end of the yoke up over the nigh ox’s neck and tells him, “Move your head, Thor,” and Thor returns his head to the natural forward position. The beam now rests on the team’s necks. Ford fts the bow under the neck of the of ox, Zeus, and secures it with a pin, then repeats the process with Thor. “This process is done very quickly and is very spectacular for the novice to watch,” he says, “since it shows the degree of exact obedience the properly trained ox team has, and it is done with a surprisingly small amount of effort on the part of the drover.”