Constable was familiar with working life in the country, and he had a particular interest in farm equipment. As a young man he had spent several years working in his father’s milling business, where he learnt the practical aspects of rural life. This drawing of a cart and two horses with a carter and a dog is one of a number of oil sketches he painted of specific details of farming life – details he later used in his exhibition pictures. He probably painted this sketch in September or October 1814, as a related oil sketch of the cart and two horses (Victoria and Albert Museum, London) is dated 24 October 1814.
He referred to this particular oil sketch when painting the cart and horses and dog at the manure heap in The Stour Valley and Dedham Church c.1815(Boston Museum of Fine Arts), which he showed at the Royal Academy in 1815.