A spon is an object used in donkey carts. Spons are usually common in Asia and Africa where donkey use is prevalent. Spons are mostly made using metal. However, some types of woods are now being used to make them. A spon is mainly used to give a donkey cart balance especially when it is loaded to capacity. A spon is mostly used in areas where carts are pulled by two or more donkeys.
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Most donkey owners rely on spons to find out which donkeys are less productive. Spons can be used for a long time depending on the level of their care. History indicates that spons were first used in the Sahara desert regions. Some excavations have shown that spon use dates back to the seventeenth century. It is also assumed that ancient Egyptians tried to use spons with horses.
It is thought that the reason for abandoning this practice was because using a spon on a horse cart slowed down the horses. Surprisingly, history indicates that the use of spons was particularly popular with ox-driven carts during the early eighteenth century. However, spons are almost exclusively used with donkeys nowadays. It is thought that the Arabs invented the spon.
In the early days, it was considered an addition to the cruelty donkeys were usually subjected to. Spon use never caught on in the western world. This is because by the time it was introduced to farms in Europe, an aggressive revolution was already going on. Spons come in two forms. There is the wooden and the metal type. The metal type is more common.
Wooden spons are rare and they are a latter development. Spons are primarily used to make sure that the cart’s load is evenly distributed amongst the animals pulling a cart. This even distribution ensures that all the animals perform at full capacity. When carts are constructed, it is done in such a way that their alignment may change depending on the strength of the animals pulling them.
When a spon is used, it is possible for the person operating the cart to arrange the animals in a manner that increases efficiency. For instance, a weaker animal can be put between two stronger ones. A spon uses the principle of balance to operate and it is usually sophisticated. It can also be dismounted from a cart. It is possible to adjust a spon according to the number of animals in a cart.
Currently, spons are only used in carts with three or more animals. Animal right activists are in favor of spons. This factor is mostly attributed to the fact that when spons are used, it is easy to indentify an animal with a problem. Spons also make the work easier for the animals involved. Animal right activists recommend spons to be used in carts with two or more animals.
They have also recommended that spon technology be incorporated into ploughs. Unlike carts, spons are manufactured more professionally. In areas where use of donkeys is common, spons can easily be found in hardware stores. The companies that manufacture spons also manufacture other farm tool like ploughs and hoes. Spons are likely to continue being used as long as donkeys remain in use.