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Cole Harbour Heritage Farm Museum

Twister, Nose


Accession number: 1986.14.01
Date: 1880 – 1980
Materials: Wood, rope
Measurements: 53.7 cm L x 3.5 cm Diameter
Narrative: Used to control a horse when medical attention was being administered among other things. It was twisted tightly around the horse's lip causing a great deal of pain. The horse would become so focused on the pain that it would allow itself to be manipulated in whatever way was necessary. Clarence Astle, living on Shore Road, Eastern Passage, referred to this as "Grin", used to twist horse's upper lip.
Description: This twitch is a cylindrical piece of wood with a hole drilled in one end and a short piece of rope attached, tied in a circle.
History of Use: A Twitch is an animal husbandry tool.  The rope was put around the horse's upper lip and a twisting of the handle applied enough uncomfortable pressure to keep the horse in line for giving medication, filing teeth or anything else needed.  In 1986, then director, Elizabeth Corser was buying harness from Clarence and saw this artifact on his barn wall.  She asked and he gave it to her.  This tool is also sometimes called a 'nose twister'.