Back Issue Vol: 25-3
I commend you, first for being concerned about these seemingly minor infractions, and second for not wishing to jeopardize what your mares are doing well. If for no other reason, safety requires that our horses obey our commands to stop, and do so promptly. We can certainly have a wreck going backwards with horses, just as we can going forwards. Seemingly insignificant, little sloppinesses like you’ve described have a way, sooner or later, of escalating into significant problems, or causing a wreck. “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” – is perhaps never more appropriate than when working with horses.
Conserving rare livestock breeds is a challenging venture, and conservation of some of the rarest breeds can be a costly undertaking. Most people who keep rare breeds must balance breed conservation with the need to make a profit. David and Jennifer Ozborn, along with their three sons have an eighty acre farm in Brandon, Mississippi where they work to maintain herds of four rare livestock breeds that are native to the Southeast. Over seven years they have had excellent success in conserving these rare breeds while at the same time keeping their farm in the financial black.
We like to think that the bio-extensive approach to market gardening minimizes the risk of overloading the soil with nutrients because the fallow lands make it possible to grow lots of cover crops to maintain soil structure and organic matter rather than relying on large quantities of manure and compost. However, we are now seeing the consequences of ignoring our own farm philosophy when we resorted to off-farm inputs to correct a phosphate deficiency.
We were inspired to try no-tilling vegetables into cover crops after attending the Groffs’ field day in 1996. No-tilling warm season vegetables has proved problematic at our site due to the mulch of cover crop residues keeping the soil too cool and attracting slugs. We thought that no-tilling garlic into this cover crop of oats and Canadian field peas might be the ticket as garlic seems to appreciate being mulched.
Spring 2000 found David Baker harrowing a five acre field in Ovingdean, England with three Percherons and one Suffolk Punch. The church in the background was built in 1086 AD. and the flint wall was constructed by French prisoners of war after the fall of Napoleon.
Summer morning. Out changing irrigation pipe. The ocean wind spills over the Cascade mountains and funnels through our canyon. Tickles the young legume blossoms – the trefoil, alsike, alfalfa, white clover and crimson – releasing honey bees and yellow butterflies and invisible flying insects in bouncing low steps. The swallows dart and duck and snatch at the bugs. The sound is wind, some would say strong breeze. The soft blue sky is a floating blanket.
The Grape is probably the oldest of domesticated fruits. It is probable that wine was made from it before the species was brought into cultivation. It seems to have been cultivated at the dawn of history. Its product was certainly no rarity in Noah’s time. The Grape of history is the Old World Vitis vinifera, the “wine-bearing Vitis,” probably native to Asia. The paramount use of the Grape always has been the production of wine. A subsidiary value is the production of raisins; and another is the production of fruit for the dessert and for culinary uses.
It was the weekend before the fourth of July and ten thousand people descended on Montgomery, Indiana for the 8th annual Horse Progress Days. There can be no doubt that this revolving event is the premiere international showcase for animal-powered agriculture. The previous two years it was held in the Lancaster area of PA. Before that, two years in Mt. Hope, OH and before that Indiana. The governing committee for the event has wisely chosen to revolve or rotate the location through Amish communities.
From time to time, someone will ask me what method I use for skidding logs. My answer is: “Whatever fits the situation”. To me it is not about skidding logs, it’s about working horses in the woods. To that end, I have spent fifteen years logging, and learning how to employ different types of equipment that augment the efficiency of working animals. I have two logging carts, a bobsled, a set of bob-wheels, a scoot, and I have twitched many logs with a single horse, as well as with a team of horses, or oxen.
The breast collar style harness is by far the favored harness style amongst carriage drivers. Fitting of a neck collar is a crucial study and a simple, well-fitted breast collar is by far to be preferred over a poorly fitted neck collar. If you are new to neck collars, plan to do a lot of experimenting, spend some money, and try to find someone knowledgeable who can help you. Fitting breast collars is a simple matter, and one breast collar will fit a great variety of horses.
Here are some pictures of a recent field day outing where several neighbors convened to plow 10 acres in preparation for oats, which happened to be the first public display of Tom’s Six in rope eveners. Even without signs advertising, “Caution, Grown Men At Play Ahead” a steady stream of vehicles turned in the driveway to either reminisce or gawk in wonder at the six plows and 18 horses all in one field. While every farmer hopes for – and needs – a bumper crop, shocking 10 acres of 100 bushel oats puts a strain on backs and good will for miles around. All the same, here’s wishing everyone a bin-buster.
In this Cummington Fair event teamsters must work alone with their team, load an unruly log onto a wood-shod sled and then take the loaded sled through an obstacle course, watching out for tennis balls on pylons. Competitors start with 100 points and lose points for mistakes. Some are eliminated by the judge for reasons such as: tipping the sled over or team unable to load the log or move sled. This is a timed contest which often decides the winner.
A careful observation of the horse will give clues, as we try to determine how his gait is affected and then try to figure out where the pain is coming from – which part of that leg is sore. Every horseman should become familiar with the way a sound horse moves, especially at the walk and trot, in order to more readily detect when a horse is “off.” Lameness is merely an alteration of gait as the horse tries to reduce the pain of weight-bearing on a certain part of his leg structure.
For those not familiar with this tasty, nutritious weed, purslane can be a real challenge to manage in vegetable crops for a number of reasons. The seeds of this weed remain viable for many years in the garden, and generally do not germinate until hot weather — that is, after many of the market garden crops have already been planted. To make matters worse, this succulent plant often reroots after cultivation. Purslane also grows so close to the ground that it is impossible to control by mowing.
There exists a need in every part of the country where there is passenger transportation by rail or water a necessity for a vehicle for the comfortable conveyance of travelers, transient or commuters, of sufficient size to accommodate four grown persons at least, in addition to the riders on the driver’s seat. The large wagonettes serve the purpose fairly well, but all excepting those who occupy the driver’s seat must sit on seats that parallel the length of the body. To many this is decidedly objectionable from the standpoint of comfort, as well as from the restriction of vision to passing objects instead of the much longer view that is obtained by facing the direction in which the vehicle is moving, or by the continued view when looking rearward.
Okay what we’d like to do, just following right on the heels of that perfectly, is start with a question that somebody submitted and it’s a very good question but it wasn’t one I was expecting. I was expecting technical questions, training questions, access questions. This question is very simple and should be pretty helpful in getting us introduced to you. This question reads as such: What is your favorite memory as a horseman?
As people on the street of a tourist town pass a team or single horse and buggy, they may be transported back in time and experience a twinge of history as they gaze admiringly at the fancy horses. They may not realize that the horses themselves have a rich history, a past and a story to tell. This is the tale of one such team called Bobbi and Beauty.
Water is an important ingredient of the horse’s diet, since it is crucial for proper function of the body. This “nutrient” makes up 65 to 85 percent of a foal’s body weight, and about 68 to 72 percent of an adult horse’s body weight. A 1000 pound horse’s body contains about 80 gallons of water. Even small changes in total body water can have a negative impact on a horse’s health and well being. Water is contained within all body cells, between cells, and is an important component of blood, joint fluid and lymph.
Despite Frank Dean’s 84 years he is still a practising farrier, and determined not to allow the Queen Mother’s 100th birthday to pass uncelebrated he could think of no better way to mark the occasion than with the blacksmith’s tradition of firing the anvil, watched by close friends and villagers at his forge in Rodmell near Lewes.