Horse on a FarmFarm horse
Advantages and disadvantages of horse husbandry -Sustained agriculture
Agricultural practices: Advantages and disadvantages of agriculture with equidae compared to agriculture with implements. Or, does horse-drawn agriculture - the driving force - have a convenient place on the farm today? I have a small dairy with 15 to 20 cows," says Bill Gibbons, 300 acre, Ontario. I' m using two Belgian crews to distribute crap, carry corn juice, plant and harken everything, carry my own dog, my own dog, and my own dogwood.
" I breed cows, rehabilitate carriages and work in a wood yard," says Pat Miller, 160 acre, Montana. Whenever possible I use Percheron, mostly for sowing and harrowing. I could do anything with a horse if I didn't have field service. I hardly ever get a horse to go on a farm in cold weather, but instead give my whole livestock a horsefuck.
" 7-a-hour vegetable yard, 55-hour willow and hey, Maine: "In my agricultural work I use four, sometimes five Belgians - ploughing, cultivation and heying. Driving forces have performed well in this area. That farm has never been worked with tractors before. "Robin Reading, 1,500 acers, Alberta: "I am a stockbreeder, raising 120 animals and 120 veal each year.
In the 60' we had almost no horse left, but then we got a great deal of snows and could not give the dogs tractor fed. I now have 10 Belgians and use them for about a fifth of my farm work. "Chris Haugsten, 30 acre grape, California: I' m also doing a little woodcutting with the ponies, taking care of most of my haywork and earning a little more cash with my pram rides.
" 100 a.m., Washington: "I' ve got 65 mauve, about 12 mauve oat and 5 mauve of vegetable. I have been working here for about 15 years and I use my horse for all my work: four Belgians when I plough and do other work in the fields and two on the vegetable.
How many men work with a horse? As the publisher of a well-known horse magazine says: "Who knows? "Most of these "mixed-power" builders regard the two train springs as complementar. Some peasants like Gary Eagle and Paul Birdsell show, however, that you can only work with horsepower.
This is the contrasting image embodied by the two magazine journalists. Draft Horse Journals publisher Maurice Telleen says: "I was out processing eight hectares of oat this mornings. I' m a three-horse chaser. "Lynn Miller of Small Farmer's Magazine explains: "We plough up to 40 acre, trim 80 hectares of straw and sign out 50 of them.
We' re using six Belgian guys to do all this. "Then there are the thousand amic peasants who work with horse and only use traction in their land. Undoubtedly, the American are a driving force behind the series. Keeping their farmhouses and municipalities alive - they have almost quintupled their numbers over the last two centuries - at a period when the decline of the farm is taken for granted. However, the farm is still in decline.
It is the horses themselves that the American attribute a great deal to the horse that they keep their ranches on. One time Wendell Berry (author, essaysist, writer and draught horse breeder in Kentucky) listened to a Mennonite peasant say to an Amalian peasant: "I wish I could talk you guys into using air tyres for your gear.
This would also be a saving for equipping and riding a horse. I want my kids to have a farm. "His point, Berry says, was that if the descendants were hoping for a farm, they would have to work with them. This is one of the most intriguing facets of the use of draught horses:
Driving a horse is only effective near home. It is not possible to work with a horse when you are "widow 40s" far away; it is too long for them to run there. The farm must therefore be relatively small (most horse ranches are under 200 acres) and small. In general, the horse is more sluggish than a tractor - a further limitation to the farm area.
Driving a horse is most economical if you take full benefit of the ancillary advantages it offers. The fact that their fodder can be grown is one of them. That encourages a varied operation with willow, straw and grains. This not only reduces a farmer's costs and increases his autonomy (no calculation for traction fuel), but also encourages soil-friendly variety and crop rotations.
Maurice Telleen: "The use of draught horse stands in contrast to mono-culture. "Once you use the country for the production of horse fodder, the next stage is simple and natural to breed other cows. In fact, most draught horse breeders breed cows, ovine or other domestic pets and their working males.
As a rule, two types are more effective than single horse pasturing. Driving forces deliver nine to 15 tonnes of slurry per year. Slurry is so precious for ground fecundity that growers like Chris Haugsten claim: "You can't have an eco-farm without them. "Fifth draught horse does a better job. No.
Wendell Berry commented after the examination of horse and agricultural fields: "I can say without hesitation that the agricultural machinery works quicker, but not better. During these difficult agricultural periods, it makes good business sense for some to have a closer and more economic operation. Working with a horse also has some disadvantages.
Workhorses are more physical exertion than riding a trailer. The most important thing is that additional engagement is required from the horse. They can take the keys out of a tractors and keep them alone for two whole week, but the horse needs to be given a lot of care every day, whether they work or not. I' dumped the ponies in the shed, soaked them.
I have to unhitch her again this evening, chill her and give her food. "Horse keeping requires more skills. Cookson ( "Buying a horse is the simplest thing in the game. "They need to know how to correctly nurture, work on, provide their progeny and take charge of their horse's medical needs.
Birdsell: "When you work with a horse, you always have to know what to look for and foresee possible problems. She publishes the Small Farmer's Journal (subscriptions $15 per year; $5 samples from SFJ, Eugene, OR) and is the writer of the Work Horse Handbook ($14.45 paid from the same address).
Maurice Telleen edited the quaterly draft Horse Journal ($14 annual subscription; trial edition $3. 50, from DHJ, Waverly, IA7) and typed the draft Horse Primer ($12. 95 from the same mailing address). Miller's mag is exclusively agricultural; Telleens also provides show and retail coverage.
Look for one in your municipality, register in one of the educational establishments mentioned in the design of the horse magazine and make an apprenticeship for a horse -run farm year. In this way the ponies can be your trainers. This practical knowledge will also help you to see for yourself what many growers think is either the primary benefit or the drawback of keeping them.
As Jack Carver (Belgian, 60 acre, New Hampshire) puts it: "Oh, I can give all the' good' reason to run this way to folks, but the reality is that I like to use them. "Ken Demers (Percherons, 150 Acre, Massachusetts): If I take the leashes and ride a couple of ponies, I'll be about six-foot.
" There are noisy tractor noise. The horse is spirited, individual, attention-grabbing.... society. When you find that you don't like working with a horse, don't do it. They will soon be burdened by all the additional diligence and attentiveness they require.