The horse collar was invented by the Chinese, in approximately the fourth century BC. Other inventions of ancient China include the wheelbarrow, seismograph, paper money and the moldboard plow.
The Chinese invented a breast strap known as the "trace harness" or "collar harness." This harness moved the strap of the "throat and girth harness" to the chest, so that the weight of the load was carried by the horse's chest and collar bone. The earlier harness caused the weight to be borne at the throat, reducing efficiency and choking the horse. The collar harness allowed one horse to pull a load weighing up to a ton and a half. In the sixth century, the horse collar arrived in Europe and by the eighth century could be found throughout the continent.