Horse Progress Days 2003
Horse Progress Days 2003
Robert C. Yoder drives his four excellent Belgians on a White Horse Machine Shop hydraulically-operated two-way riding plow. Robert was on this year’s event committee and pulled long days doing double duty as teamster and organizer. He’s one of a legion of today’s most masterful teamsters and a good friend. It is the day before the public trials and someone from White Horse is tweaking the adjustments. Over the last few years this unit has proven itself throughout the Amish communities and, as the letters in this issue will attest, even beyond. It is an exceptionally well-designed, and completely modern, field tillage implement which would give any fortunate horsefarmer several lifetimes of good use.

Horse Progress Days 2003

Mt. Hope, Ohio

photos and text by Lynn R. Miller of Singing Horse Ranch

It’s been like this for ten years now. Fourth of July weekend, well placed within a strong Amish settlement somewhere in the American heartland, dozens of work animals and thousands of farmers gather to show and see what can be done with a hitched horse, mule or ox. And in the background a wide array of goods and services, spread out in trade fair fashion.

Horse Progress Days is an annual event which has, over time, evolved into primarily an Amish community effort. And it has evolved into the largest and most significant event of its type any where in the world. Though some bright red and familiar green/ yellow might suggest otherwise, this is an event about small business, about cottage industry, about homeshop inventors and designers, about and for people swimming against the stream of industrial agribusiness. It’s not a political gathering nor is it meant to be a political statement. It’s an economic gathering and an idea exchange. It’s a place to watch a Haflinger mare pull a specially designed loaded manure spreader, all by herself. It’s a weekend when those in the market can watch several plows be field demonstrated and then purchase the one of their choice and take it home. For many it is a once in a lifetime opportunity to watch one man and twelve head of draft horses pull large tillage implements. It’s a chance to hear new and old ideas presented, to compare work horse breeds, to see and feel thousands of people all looking in a shared direction.

Horse Progress Days 2003
Mose Hershberger and Willis D. Miller put their Belgians together to do the twelve horse demonstrations. They shared driving. This is Mose. A big man with great gentle hands and an infectious good humor. As these photos only suggest, HPDays rotates around teamsters; outstanding teamsters with subtle power, clear focus and total connection to the job at hand.

There is, for my money, no more dramatic, clear view of the powerfully pertinent and viable future of the work horse than Horse Progress Days. And I was fortunate to have a dandy view. This year I was honored and graced to be asked to assist in announcing the field trials at Horse Progress Days 2003 in Mt. Hope, Ohio. Floyd Bontrager, Dale Stoltzfus, Raymond Yoder, and I shared the field microphone in an auctioneer’s pickup for two glorious days. Having attended previous events, I was smart enough to come a day early, before it was open to the public, and borrow a ladder from the Hershberger family. I had a plan and it worked rather well. I wanted to be in the field before thousands of folk from all over the world cascaded in to watch. I wanted to get photographs that actually showed the horses, hitch gear and equipment rather than all those hats and bonnets and sunglasses (lovely and important as they are). And it worked! (Perhaps too well, I suspect some enterprising lad next year might be renting step ladders.) As some of these photos will show, during the phenomenally successful official two days, the crowd was huge, so big it was difficult to count (estimates range from 15 to 20 thousand). Though there was a gate charge and a ticket count was available, we could see from the announcer’s truck people streaming in over the wide fenced perimeter of the event.

There are almost a hundred photos on these next pages and yet they don’t begin to illustrate all that was there. I was busy working during the demonstrations of the vegetable and the hay equipment, and during the seminars and presentations, and was unable to get photos of these important aspects. And the trade fair covered such a wide area, inside and out, that I missed most of it. So I offer this taste and I tip my hat in gratitude to the many hard working people who gave so much to make this important event a reality. You are too numerous to list, and you know who you are. Thank you.

At the end of this article we offer a somewhat complete list of the teamsters and the people who brought equipment to field test.

Horse Progress Days 2003
Henry V. Raber’s calm but steady focus joined with the great power and long strides of his magnificent Percherons.
Horse Progress Days 2003
Willis D. Miller handles the lines of the Hershberger/Miller twelve hitched to a White Horse Hydraulic Forecart and big field disc plus harrow.
Horse Progress Days 2003
A four-up of Percherons were ornamented by the drivers’ two grandsons squeezing the hame balls as if they were horns.
Horse Progress Days 2003
Catching all of the Hershberger/Miller twelve in a close-up photo frame was downright difficult, especially with a 35mm camera. So I attemped to outsmart myself and get them, from the ladder, in two frames to splice together. I didn’t quite get it. But the details and the mass of moving equines portrayed in the somewhat incomplete splice are worth sharing. Please note the rope and pulley hitch gear and how the front two spans (4 x 4) are snatched back to a double block affair at the wheelers. One pulley equalizes the lead four against the swing four. Those eight are then equalized by double pulleys against the wheel four. This extension of the rope and pulley hitch was worked out by Horse Progress Days director and ingenious Indiana farmer Floyd Bontrager.
Horse Progress Days 2003
Not sure whose excellent Percheron 6-up hitch this was but they walked along easily with the Gen-Til Aereater.
Horse Progress Days 2003
This big big span of Belgian mules were a sight to behold, and even more so when the story was told of how their owner, Ed Kerr, went the expense and trouble of having college veterinarians and specialists save the one Mule from a hole in its’ heart. Here Ed allows another man a chance to plow with the Pioneer Walking plow.
Horse Progress Days 2003
When you take pictures from a tall ladder it can sure throws things into a curious perspective. The field was actually flat. And, yes, that is the ubiquitous Rich Hotovy with his superb Fjord team hitched to the new Yard Hitch 3 point cart with single bottom plow. Rich is another hard working member of the event committee. He’s not Amish but he’s handsome enough to be one.
Horse Progress Days 2003
Horse Progress Days 2003
Horse Progress Days 2003
Horse Progress Days 2003
Horse Progress Days 2003
Horse Progress Days 2003
Horse Progress Days 2003
Each evening, right out in the open flat parking area, the crowd stood around in a big circle and watched the Parade of Breeds horse show which featured Clydesdales, Shires, Suffolks, Belgians, Percherons, American Creams, Spotted Drafts, Haflingers, Fjords, Mules, ponies, a Freisian and a fancy rodeo act of six leopard Appaloosas running around hitched to a reproduction stagecoach. It was a grand show and obviously the result of a lot of hard work by a lot of people. The photos above were all taken of that event. It would have been hard to do without the Hershberger ladder.
Horse Progress Days 2003
Two Haflingers hitched to a new Kota disc manufactured by B.W. MackNair.
Horse Progress Days 2003
From the Carolinas, Tommy Flowers drives his imported Beligans on a new Groffdale disc. Tommy is a Horse Progress Days regular and it is always a joy to watch him and his lovely daughter with their gentle horse ways.
Horse Progress Days 2003
Six black Percherons pull four sections of Pioneer spring tooth harrow with raker teeth.
Horse Progress Days 2003
Here six Percherons dig in with the Pleasant Valley 3 point hitch cart hooked to a big two bottom plow setup. They are employing the rope and pulley hitch system which when working well will have all horses pull equally.
Horse Progress Days 2003
Horse Progress Days 2003
Above are two more views of Robert Yoder and the White Horse two way plow. The White Horse representative was along to demonstrate plow features and answer questions. Notice, on the left, the two individual hydraulic cylinders which raise and lower the plow bottoms. And on the right, the articulating tongue and swinging hitch to facilitate side hill plowing and changes in bottoms.
Horse Progress Days 2003
Horse Progress Days 2003
Horse Progress Days 2003
Above are three views of a new innovative option for the Pioneer sulky plow, the addition of the European bottom. The longer moldboard, offering a more gradual yet wider turn to the plowed soil, is felt to have great advantage in breaking new ground as well as in certain sticky soil types. Another exciting example of how the several small businesses manufacturing horsedrawn technologies are constantly experimenting with new and improved approaches.
Horse Progress Days 2003
This forecart with two-way plow was designed, engineered and built in a farm shop by Basil Scarberry and brought to HPDays to share. A perfect example of the best that HPDays has engendered.
Horse Progress Days 2003
First a view of the six-up Percheron hitch and White Horse forecart with 12V hydraulics.
Horse Progress Days 2003
Next an overhead view of the entire Gen-Til Aereater implement.
Horse Progress Days 2003
Horse Progress Days 2003
And finally closeups of the aereating knives providing a cutting/ perforating action which would aid in water transference, soil oxygen and overall tilth.
Horse Progress Days 2003
Horse Progress Days 2003
Horse Progress Days 2003
Horse Progress Days 2003
Horse Progress Days 2003
Horse Progress Days 2003
Horse Progress Days 2003
Horse Progress Days 2003
Day before the event got underway everyone had their goods well placed for the next morning’s crowd. From lawn mowers to mower parts, from discs to manure spreaders, to carts and wagons to forecarts and more. It was all there.
Horse Progress Days 2003
Horse Progress Days 2003
Above, two views of a new forecart design offered by White Horse Machine. The lever allows you to move the axle forward or back thereby balancing the load and ride.
Horse Progress Days 2003
Horse Progress Days 2003
(Above) Pioneer Equipment offers a wide assortment of forecarts with about every option you could ask for (except a coffee cup holder). Pioneer also offers a serious lineup of outstanding motorized forecarts.
Horse Progress Days 2003
Horse Progress Days 2003
The White Horse sulky plow offers a spring loaded hitch which offers just enough give to help avoid breakage with roots and rocks.
Horse Progress Days 2003
(Above) Three views of White Horse Machine’s excellent basic sulky plow which is offering some competition to the long standing leader, the very popular Pioneer sulky plow. It is just such competition, and the best results of same, which should lay to rest any notion that the future of the work horse is doomed. If such were the case, why would we see a healthy growth in the number of companies offering an ever widening assortment of excellent tools? Forgive the commercial pun but it is a question of going ‘back to the future’.
Horse Progress Days 2003
I & J Company’s fine lineup of tillage tools were very well represented at HPDays.
Horse Progress Days 2003
Horse Progress Days 2003
Horse Progress Days 2003
Of course, horses and mules of every size and type were in attendance.
Horse Progress Days 2003
During most of the field trials there was one unfortunate pest who kept insisting that what was missing in all the fine tunings and innovations of the field implements was a cup holder. He seemed to think that the forecarts, riding plows, cultivators, transplanters, mowers, and wagons would all be vastly improved if the farmer had a place to secure his cup of coffee!
Horse Progress Days 2003
Horse Progress Days 2003
Mascot Sharpening once again demonstrated its ingenious line of lawn mowers.
Horse Progress Days 2003
Twelve Belgians wait for the sea of people to allow them through!
Horse Progress Days 2003
White Horse Machine has sold many thousands of these rope and pulley hitch systems around the continent.
Horse Progress Days 2003
Two views Robert Yoder’s four Belgians on the big White Horse hydraulic two way plow.
Horse Progress Days 2003
Spotted Drafts on a White Horse sulky plow.
Horse Progress Days 2003
Horse Progress Days 2003
Up and down: Belgians coming and going with White Horse sulky.
Horse Progress Days 2003
Henry Raber’s six Percherons pull a big subsoiler hooked to a White Horse forecart.
Horse Progress Days 2003
The four bottom plow retro-fitted by Pioneer Equipment to use with the twelve horse hitch.
Horse Progress Days 2003
Six Percherons come into the field with the Gen Til Aereater.
Horse Progress Days 2003
Horse Progress Days 2003
(Above) Eight Belgians in field trials. Note the use of the two jockey sticks. Lines appear to go to left three.
Horse Progress Days 2003
Basil Scarberry’s homemade two way plow follows the White Horse sulky plow. The Scarberry plow was most interesting in its simplicity and effectiveness. It is not offered to the public for sale, he brought it to share his innovation.
Horse Progress Days 2003
Farmer (Jim) Brown with Dick and Charlie on a renovated walking plow. I was greatly honored to be allowed by Jim to plow a bit with these wonderful horses. Jim’s comment to me afterward was, “you plow like my Dad”. I hope that he meant it as a compliment.
Horse Progress Days 2003
Twelve head of Belgians, six lines and the hands of Mose Hershberger.
Horse Progress Days 2003
With the Hershberger/Miller twelve hitch every horse was in top field condition and outfitted with a perfect fitting collar. Note the jockey sticks to outside horses. Team lines went to middle pair.
Horse Progress Days 2003
Standing on the four bottom plow I split the wheel team picture to get a full view of the hitch rigging. Between these two shots I have placed the view from behind me looking down at the four bottom plow. When you drive this outfit you are standing directly above the plowing action. Note that each single tree end is fitted with a pulley.
Horse Progress Days 2003
This photo dramatically illustrates the one main fault I can find with the rope and pulley hitch. Should something get tangled it is a dangerous place to be.
Horse Progress Days 2003
Dean Hoskins with his striking team of Spotted Drafts hooked to a renovated Oliver sulky plow.
Horse Progress Days 2003
The big mules again with the Pioneer walking plow.
Horse Progress Days 2003
An almost complete view of the twelve Belgians hitched to disc and spring tooth combination, with White Horse forecart inbetwixt.
Horse Progress Days 2003
Twelve into the rope and pulley hitch. Note how the wheelers have a double block setup with rope going from tug around pulley forward around pulley and back to beginning.
Horse Progress Days 2003
Horse Progress Days 2003
Twelve have to work at it to pull this big field disc with deep set field cultivating teeth.
Horse Progress Days 2003
Top line goes to leaders, middle line to swing team and bottom line to the wheelers.
Horse Progress Days 2003
Horse Progress Days 2003
The rope and pulley hitch is laid out for an eight horse setup. With it prepared this way the horses can be led or driven in place and hooked quickly.
Horse Progress Days 2003
A motorized Pioneer forecart is hooked to a finger rake.
Horse Progress Days 2003
Jake Yoder drives his four Percherons hooked to a Pioneer motorized PTO forecart propelling a John Deere baler with bale elevator and bale basket wagon. And they were working up a grade!
Horse Progress Days 2003
Horse Progress Days 2003
For me, it has always been the little innovations at HPDays that have the most profound effect. Take for instance Jake Yoder’s line holder. Clamps on forecart headboard and features two offset-loaded hard rubber bushings. He designed this so that when he went to the field with a big hitch, after everything was lined out, he could take the wheel lines (for the span of animals closest to him) and slide them between the rubber bushing and the flat plate. They clamp in there, and are easy to tighten or remove quickly. This allows his hands a chance to rest during those long spells when handling all the lines isn’t absolutely necessary. Sweet little apparatus and I think it just might lead to other ideas that will make the teamster’s work ever more satisfying. (Hey, Jake, how about a cup holder for my coffee?)
Horse Progress Days 2003
This is how Jake held the lines for six-up (3 x 3), wheelers down under, leaders next spot up.

Hard to imagine now, but I almost missed this year’s Horse Progress Days. Would have too, if it hadn’t been for several phone calls from my dear friend Wayne Wengerd of Pioneer Equipment. He and the event committee made it possible for me to attend, and the Wengerd family graciously handled selling books and magazines for us. And another bunch of good friends, the Jonas Raber family, took me in, fed me, and carted me around. Thank you all.

Next year, Fourth of July weekend, HPDays will be held on the farm of Floyd Bontrager in Indiana. We, once again, will have advertising for you in coming issues, and will pass on all advance information we may get. I’ve put it on my calendar and hope to drive the whole family back. Maybe I can rent some horses and a brand new implement all with the perfect excuse to show off my own personal (pat. pending) hydraulically operated fully adjustable black and chrome coffee cup holder! LRM

Horse Progress Days Field Demonstrations Directory

Field Trial Teamsters

Willis D. Miller
Mose Hershberger
Willis R. Miller
Elvin S. Miller
Junior Hershberger and son Robert
Robert C. Yoder
Jake L. Yoder
Abe Raber
Merle Yoder
Gary Kisemore
Aaron Yoder
Dean Hopkins
Edwin D. Kerr
Mac McCrary
Paul Smucker
Bill & Joel Troyer
Rich Hotovy
Tom Flowers
Alvin S. Miller
Dave Keys
Henry V. Raber
Lou and Paul Sutton
Donny Smucker
Freeman Miller
Robert Eicher
Henry Kline
Johnny Adams
Jim Brown
Brandt Ainsworth

Demonstrated Equipment

Boontown Sprayer
3384 TR 606
Fredericksburg OH 44627
Harry E. Miller, Manufacturer
Field Sprayer
Honey Wagon Spreader

Brookside Machine
CR 367 General Delivery
Berlin OH 44610
(330) 893-9212
Titus Slabaugh, Manufacturer
1 Horse Manure Spreader

Conestoga Manufacturing
422 Mount Sidney Road
Witmer PA 17585
(717) 293-2716
Henry Esh, Manufacturer
25 Bushel Ground Drive Spreader
50 Bushel Ground Drive Spreader

Direnzio Equipment
8813 CR #3
Freedom NY 14065
(585) 567-4876
Logging Cart

Easy Skid Log Carts
15235 Nash Road
Burton OH 44021
Bill C. Fisher, Manfacturer
Logging Cart

E.M. Equipment
1964 TR 178
Baltic OH 43804
(330) 897-6006
Emanuel J. Yoder, Dealer
No. 9 McCormick Mower
2 Star Tedder w/Engine
4 Star PTO Tedder

E-Z Spreader Manufacturing
1951 CR 70
Sugarcreek OH 44681
(330) 852-2666
Mose Erb, Jr., Manufacturer
35, 55, 75 Bushel GD Spreaders

E-Z Trail Manufacturing
7525 Harrison Road
Fredericksburg OH 44627
(330) 287-6992
Eli Hershberger, Manufacturer
Round Bale Carrier
Standard Forecart

Farmer Brown’s Plow Shop
10809 Davis Road
Hunt NY 14846
(585) 567-8158
James Brown, Dealer
Wiard Walking Plow
Leroy Walking Plow
Oliver Sulky Plow
Logging Arch

Forest Manufacturing
906 Daffodil Road
Reynoldsville PA 15851
(814) 894-5713
David E. Miller, Manufacturer
Logging Cart

Gateway Manufacturing
7656 E Colonville Road
Clare MI 48617
(989) 386-4198
Alvin Yoder, Jr., Manufacturer
20, 25 & 75 HP PTO Power Carts

Gingerich Tractor
6128 SR 39
Millersburg OH 44654
(330) 674-0456
Mahlon Gingerich, Dealer
4 Spinner PTO Tedder
H & S Wheel Rake

Groffdale Machine
194 S Groffdale Road
Leola PA 17540
(717) 656-7657
Alvin, Manufacturer
4’ Double Disc w/Sulky Kit
5’ Double Disc

Hogback Produce
10221 Hogback Road
Fredericksburg OH 44627
John A. Miller, Manufacturer
Ground Drive Fertilizer Spreader
Walking Cultivator
Plastic Mulch Layers
Produce Sprayer
Sweet Corn Sprayer
1 Horse Sicklebar Mower
McD Trailer Gear Mower

Horrisberger Implement
PO Box 142
Walnut Creek OH 44687
(330) 893-2351
Eli Mast, Jr., Dealer
9’ Case IH Haybine
New Idea Square Baler

Hostetler Manufacturing
6622 S Carr Road
Apple Creek OH 44606
(330) 698-1913
Aaron Hostetler, Manufacturer
Plastic Mulch Layer
Deluxe Plastic Mulch Layer

Neil M. Hostetler
130 E CR 200 N
Arthur IL 61911
(217) 543-2217
100 HP Tiller

I & J Manufacturing
5302 Amish Road
Gap PA 17527
(717) 442-9451
Jacob Blank, Manufacturer
2 Row Cultivator
Riding Garden Cultivator
Walking Garden Cultivator
10” 3 Point Plow
Garden Harrow
7’ Sicklebar Mower/Engine
2 Spinner Tedder w/Engine
Ground Drive Rotary Rake
Standard Forecart

Imko Systems
2980 W Fenner Road
Troy OH 45373
(937) 339-5197
Monte Swank, Manufacturer
Horse Drawn Log Loader

Joe’s Repair Shop
9108 Mount Hope Road
Apple Creek OH 44606
Dan Schlabach, Manufacturer
85 Bushel Ground Drive Spreader
14” Sulky Plow

Knob View Spreader
4155 CR 59
Baltic OH 43804
(330) 897-1106
Roman Miller, Manufacturer
Ground Drive Spreader

Ron Mack
4399 Seville Road
Seville OH 44273
(330) 769-2960
Ground Drive PTO Cart

Mascot Sharpening
434 Newport Road
Ronks PA 17572
(717) 656-6486
Omer S. Fisher, Manufacturer
Riding Gang Mower
Trailer Gang Mower

Mill Machine
7684 SR 514
Big Prairie OH 44611
Ervin E. Yoder, Manufacturer
Logging Cart

Lloyd Miller
5438 TR 353
Millersburg OH 44654
(330) 674-4267
Square Bale Stuffer/Wrapper
9’ New Idea Discbine

Miller Repair Shop
2945 S 050 W
LaGrange IN 46761
(260) 463-2352
Mervin Miller, Manufacturer
1 Horse Manure Spreader
2 Row Cultivator

Vernon Miller
10311 Trail Bottom Road NW
Dundee OH 44624
(330) 852-4691
Vernon Miller, Dealer
7 Shank Disc Chisel
2 Spinner PTO Tedder
Claas Round Baler

Willis D. Miller
8457 CR 77
Fredericksburg OH 44627
(330) 674-0603
John Deere Round Baler
72 HP Pioneer PTO Cart
Round Bale Wrapper

Mullet Repair Shop
7705 W 450 N
Shipshewana IN 46565
(260) 768-7935
Enos Mullet, Manufacturer
Rotary Plow Packer

Pequea Planter
561 White Horse Road
Gap PA 17527
(717) 442-4406
Gideon Stoltzfus, Manufacturer
Conventional Corn Planter

Pioneer Equipment Inc.
16875 Jericho Road
Dalton OH 44618
(330) 287-0386
Wayne H. Wengerd, Manufacturer
14” Walking Plow
14” Sulky Plow
12” Gang Plow
14” Gang Plow
4 Bottom Oliver Plow
Grader Blade
12 Ft. Spring Harrow
15 Ft. Spike Harrow
Haflinger Forecart
Standard Forecart
Heavy Duty Forecart
25, 27, 41, & 72 HP PTO Carts

Pleasant Valley Inc.
1302 County Line Road
Venus PA 16364
(814) 354-6109
Monte Miller, Manufacturer
3 Point Hitch Carts
Farm Logging Cart

RK Sales Inc.
8155 Ryan Road
Seville OH 44273
(330) 769-2731
Richard Stoll, Manufacturer
Gen-Til Aereater

Raber Equipment
5150 CR 229
Fredericksburg OH 44627
(330) 695-6793
Abe Raber, Dealer
Round Bale Wagon

Basil Scarberry
RR 2 Box 319
Ona WV 25545
(304) 762-2438
2 Way Turning Plow
Ground Drive PTO Cart

Trail Farm Supply
3251 TR 414
Dundee OH 44624
(330) 893-1908
Nelson B. Weaver, Dealer
Pequea Ground Drive Tedder
Pequea Rotary Rake w/Engine
Pequea 25, 50, 85, & 110 Bushel
Ground Drive Spreaders
Pequea 80 Bushel PTO Spreader
Pequea 125 Bushel Spdr w/Engine

White Horse Machine
5566 Old Philadelphia Pike
Gap PA 17527
(717) 768-8313
Melvin and Henry King, Manufacturer
14” Sulky Plow
14” 2 Way Plow
14” 2 Bottom Trailer Plow
2 Shank Subsoiler
Standard Forecart
Heavy Duty Forecart
Forecart with Hydraulics

Yard Hitch Inc.
RR 3 Box 112
LaCrescent MN 55947
(507) 895-8024
Gene Gunderson, Manufacturer
3 Point Hitch Cart

Yoder Equipment
19887 Jade Avenue
Bloomfield IA 52537
(641) 664-2797
Ivan Yoder, Manufacturer
Round Bale Grabber
Round Bale Spear

Jacob L. Yoder
5894 TR 606
Fredericksburg OH 44627
(330) 695-2340
E-Z Trail Bale Basket

Merle R. Yoder
5145 CR 172
Sugarcreek OH 44681
43 HP Kubota PTO Cart

Robert C. Yoder
12161 Dover Road
Apple Creek OH 44606
(330) 857-0404
Round Bale Wagon w/Lift Arm