Sunday, October 2, 2011

Threshers Day….. V Draft Horses


The monster horse, does not pull the beer wagon, it pulls the plow and other equipment.  Draft horses are monster horses, they will come close to weighing in at a ton, 1500-1900 pounds.  15 hands tall to big ones over 18 hands.  The average horse is 11-12 hands, 1000 to 1100 pounds.  It is amazing to watch these big brutes work.  They are so gentle and easy to be around.

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As I watched them work, it was not easy for the horses to plod over the dirt clods.  They would stumble at times but they maintained their balance.  At a nice even pace they walked the field.


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I finally got this young lady to pose for me.  She is not a small person but she is dwarfed next to the horse.

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As one hooks up the the buggy another keeps the horses still so they do not walk away from the tongue.  Working behind horses is a tricky business and many do not do.  Yet these handlers worked with ease behind their horses.

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There were different horses there and there was a set of mules there.

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Surprisingly the mule will out work the big horses.  Their stamina is longer and they don’t need the rest like a horse does.  They also tend to be stronger then a horse.  After the oxen the mule was the next preferred beast of burden for plowing or hauling wagons.  The horse is the glamour animal, the worker is the mule.

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What was neat to watch was this little girl.  She appeared to be about 12 years old.  She was guiding these big horses around with ease.  A jiggle of the reins, a clicking of the tongue and the animals moved at her command.  It might of been an older brother and little sister, because he was walking with her and talking to her and the horses.  Around the yard they went.

To look over the backs of these animals, one has to be about 6’6” or get a ladder to stand on.

Have a good week.

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