The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 23.088 Monday, 4 March 2012
Date: March 3, 2012 6:42:37 PM EST
Subject: Re: SHAKSPER: Cruppers
I suspect that Harry Berger, who first raised the question about a “crupper full,” knows more than he’s letting on—namely, what a crupper is. It’s not the bag that catches the horse’s dung; it’s a leather belt that loops under the horse’s tale to prevent the saddle or collar (depending on what the horse is bearing) from slipping forward, as the OED makes clear, and as anyone who knows horse harness knows perfectly well. (Ask an Amish farmer.) Harry’s point, I think, was that you can’t fill such a belt with anything.