White Horse Plows
by Lynn R. Miller
photos by Steve Martin
White Horse Machine, in Pike Gap, PA, is an excellent Amish implement company that has been around for a very long time. They advertise with us regularly. Year after year, their innovations have created quite a stir at the annual Horse Progress Days. White Horse is one of a dozen or so successful and responsible horsedrawn equipment companies in the U.S. They offer an ingenious forecart design with many options. Their line of plows is especially good.
Above: their single bottom riding plow with a new standing platform option. Note the wide yellow leaf spring, employed with levered framework for reset, to allow plow bottom to raise up over a buried rock and then return to working position. You can also trace, in this good photo, the arrangement of levers and linkage that offer excellent plow-depth and draft-line adjustments.
White Horse engineered and offers its own Keystone series plow bottoms which are made to provide optimal residue and cover crop inversion and coverage.
The White Horse model 715 sulky plow is seen here in standard form and features the Keystone #4 Sod Bottom with coulter and skimmer combination. Three black Percherons pull this great plow forming long, perfect Pennsylvania furrows. Note the complete coverage of the crop.
The photo above shows the Model 607 forecart with six Belgians pulling the model 725 two bottom gang trail plow. This unit also features the leaf spring reset on each bottom. Pulling the rope raises the plow at the end of the furrow or, on the return, trips the plow to set in the ground. The horses are hitched with a rope and pulley evener system and they all wear brichenless plow harness.
Pages 50-51 features the White Horse model 732 two way riding plow. Again this model comes with the leaf spring resets. If this new plow looks somewhat familiar to old horsemen it may be because the design follows on the structural and operational patterns of John Deere, International and Oliver two way plows. Or it may be because White Horse had been building two way plows for several years. This unit features two bottoms engineered to operate separately. You set one down, plow the course and on the other end of the land you raise that bottom and engage the other bottom for the return down the same furrow. Some farm equipment historians believe that the original idea behind the implement was to be able to permit a farmer to plow on a hillside with all furrows running the same direction. It was quickly found to be useful when plowing smaller fields as it left no depression or dead furrow. For the small farmer with odd shaped and/or hillside fields the model 732 would be just the ticket.
Note, in these pictures, the remarkable job those Keystone bottoms do with turning the soil for complete coverage of residues and green manure crops.
White Horse Machine is one reason that the future of intelligent, efficient and productive animal-powered agriculture has the brightest future.
WORLD-CLASS ENGINEERING: There is a fascinating side story I want to share, but must note up front that I have not been able to find any formal corroboration. As legend has it, years ago Melvin, and the folks at White Horse, developed a hand-pump hydraulic accumulator for use with their line of fore carts. This unit was so effective and efficient that the design, it is said, was used by NASA on the Mars Rover. Such in the level of engineering brilliance applied to their plow designs.