Ole’s Log Building and Horse Logging
by Donna Getz of Pink Mountain, BC, Canada
previously printed in the Horselogger’s International Newsletter
The Broma Lake Band and Prince George Nechacho Aboriginal Employment and Training Association (PGNAETA), sponsored a Horse Logging and Log Building course, from May 20, 1997 to October 3, 1997. Ole Getz of Ole’s Log Building and Horse Logging, was hired to instruct the students. Ole has over 25 years experience in horse logging and log building. He has instructed in the Northwest Territories and Northern BC.
The Horse Logging course was held May 20 to July 11. The students learned the basics of horse care, how to harness and unharness horses, care of the harness, how to drive single and with team, cutting and maintaining trails, directional felling for horse logging, skidding single and with team, select logging methods, selecting building logs, setting roads and landings on logging blocks.
The students learned to skid in an open field to gain confidence in handling the horses. No one had handled draft horses previously. To start with, when a horse turned his head, the students would jump back. The students learned to drive first, then skid a log in the open. Stakes were set up in different patterns for them to skid a log through. Then they were taken into the bush to learn skidding. One student said, “You don’t expect us to skid a log in there do you?” Ole asked him where he thought he would be skidding logs from. This student became one of the best skidders.
We had a team of green horses along to show the difference between an experienced team and a green team.
The students were taken up to the Maxan Lake Reserve to select logs for the Log Building Course. The students selected, fell, skidded, decked and peeled the logs. Four students completed this course.
The logs were then hauled to the Palling Reserve where the Log Building Course was held from August 8 until October 3. Three students took the course.
The students learned to scribe, notch and fit logs using a full scribe fit. Before starting on the main building, poplar logs were used to practice on. Different notches were practiced. The saddle notch was used on the building.
The use and care of log building tools was taught. The main tools were used and discussed as well as introduction of other tools.
The logs were put up onto the building using skids, rope blocks and a horse or truck to pull the logs up.
Discussions on other mechanical methods and practical methods were held. Most of the students wanted to learn a method for out in remote areas as there are needs for trappers cabins.