This horse drawn, walk behind, hay rake was used prior to putting the same principle to use and putting wheels on it.
The operator would walk behind the rake, holding onto the lever that is the “trip” mechanism. When the tines were full of hay the operator would lift the lever, locking it into a cog, and continue to lift until the tines would catch into the ground and roll over, dumping the hay and ready to load another rake full.
The hay would typically be arranged in rows making it easier for a hay wagon to come alongside to pitch the hay in by hand.
It must have been a very laborious task, for the fields were not perfectly smooth, and the operator would have to deal with an animal’s disposition to boot. Hence the invention of a horse drawn rake made of metal, with wheels that could be ridden and dump the hay by hitting a trip mechanism with your foot.
Everything on this rake was replaceable with wood, barring a few pieces of metal for the cog etc.
Dave Probert Co-Chair of the Pownalborough Stewardship Committee