That other way was a horse anchor. Yes, you read that right, a horse anchor. And yes, it is exactly what you are trying to picture – a big, metal something that rested on the ground for you to secure your horse to. Although the image I described above was that of a single riding horse being tied, the horse anchor was more typically used for horses drawing a buggy or carriage. The weight would be placed before the horse, while he was tied securely to the chunk of metal. I guess you then either knew your horse didn’t have strong enough neck and shoulder muscles to move that anchor, or you hoped the horse wasn’t concerned enough to try and move it.
The horse anchor in our collection is actually made of lead. It resembles a lead box, as it is all hollowed out, that has a wire attached to it that would be used to tie reins or a rope around. (Perhaps the anchor was hollowed out so one could toss some grain or treats into it for their horse to nibble away on?) The anchor appears to be homemade, which we can assume is true, as many times a local blacksmith would whip one together, or perhaps the horse owner himself depending on how handy he was.
We can’t offer you much more for details on this treasure, as we don’t know too much ourselves. Again, though, we just wanted to highlight another interesting part of our history that most people would probably overlook as it would have simply been part of an everyday happening, rather than some extraordinary artifact from a fascinating day in history.