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Small Farmer's Journal
PO Box 1627
Sisters, Oregon 97759
800-876-2893
541-549-2064
agrarian@smallfarmersjournal.com
Mon - Thu, 8am - 4pm PDT

Pferdestarke

German Version of Horse Progress Days: Pferdestark

Enough already, then already! Pferdestark

by William Castle

There is a rather neat phrase in German – ‘wenn schon, denn schon’ – which literally translates as ‘enough already, then already;’ but what it actually means is ‘if a something is worth doing, it is worth doing well. That would be a fitting description of Pferdestark, the German version of Horse Progress Days, not just because of the abilities of the individual teamsters, but also because of the organisers’ achievement in attracting teamsters from far and wide and putting together a wide ranging, interesting and enjoyable event.

For sheer variety of different breeds of draught horses, regional and national harness styles, or for that matter, languages or hats, it would be hard to beat Pferdestark, but the main point of the event is to show what horses can do and to showcase new machinery. This year the event also hosted the finals of the European Logging Championship as well as ploughing matches and main ring displays of dressage, driving and pulling competitions, draught horse football and horseback gymnastics, so there was plenty to see and entertain the casual visitor as well as the dyed-in-the-wool work horse enthusiast.

In comparison with North America, the number of working horses in western Europe is relatively small, so the use of forecarts with tractor machinery is common, and there were plenty in evidence at Pferdestark, though there does seem to be a movement towards using more implements made specifically for horses, especially for work in vineyards, for logging, and other work using a single horse. Given that working horses are spread thinly across many countries, Pferdestark is an important event, bringing together working horsepeople and enthusiasts, idea-smiths and invention-makers from all points of the compass, from Norway to Italy, the Czech Republic to Ireland.

What the pictures cannot convey is the great atmosphere at Pferdestark. From its beginning in 1995, an important objective was that the participants should enjoy the whole experience. In achieving that aim they have also done something more – they have created almost a family atmosphere as the teamsters, the helpers and designers of machinery worked together. As the enthusiastic and knowledgeable commentators with their roving microphones explained the features of different implements, introduced the horses and their drivers, or explained why a field is ploughed in the way it is, each part of the event moved from being a spectacle to an education, from an education to a communal gathering; and in that process drew everyone into the world of the working horse.

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The HISKO hitch cart with the new ground driven hydraulic PTO, made by horse farmer and inventor Kurt Ohrndorf, seen here driving his pair of Rheinisch-Deutsch geldings who had an easy job running the four rotor tedder.

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Herbert Heussler’s Black Forest gelding with a light Y-shaped ‘singletree’ underneath the belly to avoid catching the vines

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Amongst the equipment designed to work independently of tractor tools, another Polish company, Handmet, who make a large variety of carriages, exhibited their vehicle for collecting rubbish/recycling. This has a covered seat for three people and a mesh cage ideal for light materials such as paper or plastic bottles, and when full the body can be tipped backwards or to either side with the battery powered hydraulic tipping gear. The tipped body shows the light but rigid construction of the under frame. Vehicles such as this are in use in over a hundred French towns.

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On the hitch cart front, the new kid on the block this year was Christoph Schmidt, who also farms with horses, with his ground drive forecart designed for easy draught and the comfort of the horses, here seen with Kay Stolenberg and his Boulonais team easily running a four rotor tedder. The extra pair of wheels on the forecart were not necessary for this set up. Later this same machine but with three horses successfully powered a baler. To operate hydraulics, Christoph offers either a battery powered hydraulic facility or a hand pump.

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The Spreewaldhof hitch transporting barrels of pickled gerkins

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The Pioneer Homesteader does its job in the maize

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Daniel Hoffmann and his three abreast relax as they wait to demonstrate the heavy duty GD forecart and trailed mower by I and J Manufacturing.

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The binder makes its first cut of oats whilst more people wait for the start of the hay making demonstrations.

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Mattias Brüning’s Rheinisch –Deutsch gelding waits patiently while Klaus Strüber explains the features of Albano Moscardo’s cultivator, seen here holding the handles.

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Øystein Lien from Norway with his Fjord wearing Scandinavian harness moving forward after negotiating the obstacle where the log is pulled over a fixed log just enough so it balances.

Spotlight On: How-To & Plans

The Milk and Human Kindness Making Camembert

The Milk and Human Kindness: Making Camembert

by:
from issue:

Camembert is wonderful to make, even easy to make once the meaning of the steps is known and the rhythm established. Your exceptionally well fed, housed and loved home cow will make just the best and cleanest milk for this method. A perfect camembert is a marvelous marriage of flavor and texture. The ripening process is only a matter of a few weeks and when they’re ripe they’re ripe and do not keep long.

Horseshoeing Part 4B

Horseshoeing Part 4B

Forging is that defect of the horse’s gait by reason of which, at a trot, he strikes the ends of the branches or the under surface of the front shoe with the toe of the hind shoe or hoof of the same side. Forging is unpleasant to hear and dangerous to the horse. It is liable to wound the heels of the forefeet, damages the toes or the coronet of the hind hoofs, and often pulls off the front shoes.

Horseshoeing Part 2C

Horseshoeing Part 2C

The wear of the shoe is caused much less by the weight of the animal’s body than by the rubbing which takes place between the shoe and the earth whenever the foot is placed to the ground and lifted. The wear of the shoe which occurs when the foot is placed on the ground is termed “grounding wear,” and that which occurs while the foot is being lifted from the ground is termed “swinging-off wear.” When a horse travels normally, both kinds of wear are nearly alike, but are very distinct when the paces are abnormal, especially when there is faulty direction of the limbs.

Farm Drum #30 Blacksmithing we Pete Cecil Basic Techniques

Farm Drum #30: Blacksmithing with Pete Cecil – Basic Techniques

Pete Cecil demonstrates basic blacksmithing techniques through crafting a hook in the forge.

Build Your Own Butter Churn

Build Your Own Butter Churn

by:
from issue:

Fresh butter melting on hot homemade bread… Isn’t that the homesteader’s dream? A cheap two-gallon stock pot from the local chain store got me started in churn building. It was thin stainless steel and cost less than ten bucks. I carted it home wondering what I might find in my junk pile to run the thing. I found an old squirrel cage fan and pulled the little motor to test it. I figure that if it could turn a six-inch fan, it could turn a two-inch impeller.

Fencing for Horses

Fencing for Horses

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from issue:

The first wire we tried was a small gauge steel wire which was not terribly satisfactory with horses. Half the time they wouldn’t see it and would charge on through. And the other half of the time they would remember getting shocked by something they hadn’t seen there and would refuse to come through when we were standing there with gate wide open. We realized that visibility was an important consideration when working with horses.

Audels Gardeners and Growers Guide

How to Store Vegetables

Potatoes may be safely stored in bits on a well drained spot. Spread a layer of straw for the floor. Pile the potatoes in a long, rather than a round pile. Cover the pile with straw or hay a foot deep.

Horse Powered Snow Scoop

Horse Powered Snow Scoop

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The scoop has two steel sides about 5 feet apart sitting on steel runners made out of heavy 2 X 2 angle iron, there is a blade that is lowered and raised by use of a foot release which allows the weight of the blade to lower it and then lock in the down position and the forward motion of the horses to raise it and lock it in the up position. This is accomplished by a clever pivoting action where the tongue attaches to the snow scoop.

The Horsedrawn Mower Book

Removing the Wheels from a McCormick Deering No. 9 Mower

How to remove the wheels of a No. 9 McCormick Deering Mower, an excerpt from The Horsedrawn Mower Book.

Homemade Beet Grinder

Homemade Beet Grinder

by:
from issue:

This is my small beet grinder I built about 6 years ago. It has done nearly daily duty for that time. The beet fodder is added to my goat and rabbit rations which are largely homemade. Adding the pulp to the grain rations has aided me in having goat milk throughout the winter months. My beets are the Colossal Red Mangels. Many grow up to 2 feet long. I cut off enough for a day’s feed and grind it up each morning. Beets oxidize like cut apples. Fresh is best!

Horseshoeing Part 5B

Horseshoeing Part 5B

Hoof nurture comprises all those measures which are employed to keep hoofs healthy, elastic, and serviceable. The object of hoof nurture is to lessen or entirely remove all these injurious consequences of shoeing and stabulation. It comprises, therefore, not only the proper shortening of the hoofs every five to six weeks, but careful attention to cleanliness and moisture. Both are insured by dry straw and daily picking out and washing the hoofs.

The Milk and Human Kindness Stanchion Floor

The Milk and Human Kindness: Plans for an Old Style Wooden Stanchion Floor

by:
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The basic needs that we are addressing here are as follows: To create a sunny, airy (not drafty), dry, convenient, accessible place to bring in our cow or cows, with or without calves, to be comfortably and easily secured for milking and other purposes such as vet checks, AI breeding, etc. where both you and your cow feel secure and content. A place that is functional, clean, warm and inviting in every way.

Box Jaw Tongs & the Cow Poop Theory of Blacksmithing

Box Jaw Tongs & the Cow Poop Theory of Blacksmithing

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Making a pair of tongs was a milestone for a lot of blacksmiths. In times gone past a Journeyman Smith meant just that, a smith that went upon a journey to learn more skills before taking a masters test. When the smith appeared at the door of a prospective employer, he/she would be required to demonstrate their skills. A yard stick for this was to make a pair of tongs.

Choosing a Gas or Coal Forge for the Small Farm Shop

Choosing a Gas or Coal Forge for the Small Farm Shop

by:
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After you’ve built a small farm blacksmith shop, one of the first decisions that you’ll need to make is which type of fuel you’ll be using. Most people choose either gas (propane) or coal, however, wood fired forges are also an option. All three fuel types have pros and cons. The final decision will likely be based on the type of forging that you plan to do and the local availability of the fuel.

Horseshoeing Part 6B

Horseshoeing Part 6B

Wounds of the velvety tissue of the sole or of the podophyllous tissue of the wall, caused by nails which have been driven into the hoof for the purpose of fastening the shoe, are usually termed “nailing.” We distinguish direct and indirect nailing; the former is noticed immediately, the latter later.

Henpecked Compost and U-Mix Potting Soil

We have hesitated to go public with our potting mix, not because the formula is top secret, but because our greenhouse experience is limited in years and scale. Nevertheless, we would like to offer what we have learned in hopes of showing that something as seemingly insignificant as putting together a potting mix can be integrated into a systems approach to farming.

How To Prune

From Dusty Shelves: Pruning Guide from 1917

Small Farmer's Journal

Small Farmer's Journal
PO Box 1627
Sisters, Oregon 97759
800-876-2893
541-549-2064
agrarian@smallfarmersjournal.com
Mon - Thu, 8am - 4pm PDT