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Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by jackie c, Oct 21, 2004.
How many of you out there use animal power to help with farm chores?
I have a horse and buggy if that counts . My wife and I go for buggy rides in the summer to pick rasberries and black berries. In the fall we go down country roads and pick up black walnuts along the road . Next spring I hope to learn how to plow with her . We do not live far from a large lake and we plan on taking are lunch and stay for the day fishing next spring .
Country Friend Jack Bunyard :yeeha:
Maggie, my miniature horse, helps me with the stuff 450lbs and under.
My Icelandic was in training to pull and do draft work. But Right now she is at a friends house because we moved and the fencing here is not safe for horses.
My minis are here though, so I have some help.
Nothing machine like on this Farm works,, so we need the animals help.
" Next spring I hope to learn how to plow with her "
Gosh, I hope you mean the horse and not the wife!
Can you plow a few acres with the miniature horse? Of course I'm talking a well tilled feild, I could use a little power now and then as well, nothing that I would need a draft horse for. Would a pony be better? or a cow?
I think a team of minis could do it,, once they are trained that is... here is a link to folks that honestly use their miniatures with some farm work.
I have been wanting a gang reel mower for my minis,, just have not had enough money yet. Yes,, there are some Amish folks that have them sized for minis and small ponies to pull. Pretty neat in my books!!
Down the road from me there are people that raise Belgian and I believe Percheron horses. I've seen these used in plowing a garden field. They had two in harness doing this. In the 'olden days' around here they tell stories of using the large hoofed and hairy draft horses for pulling lumber out of logging camps. If you perhaps had a smaller version of one of the draft horses would be ideal. They also are pretty gentle and love to work. That's what these folks say. They also use them in festivals locally to pull sleighs. I bet some of those sleighs hold 20 or more kids and adults. They're certainly a horse meant for pulling.
I use Molly my belgian for logging. If I know that I am going to be out with her for at least a half day, I harness her up and use her to pull up the logs that are cut in the spring to the woodyard to cut up. She also will plow and drives and rides.
If something is going to less time, like maybe an hour or less, I use the tractor. But for long days, she's better as she's quiet and reliable and knows her job better than I do sometimes. Ha! She eats a lot less than my TBs do, and there is something about having a horse doing the work that is more calming that a machine.
jan , i was hoping her meant the horse too ,glad to see im not the only with wicked sense of humor ! :lol:
Uuuummmm, I once tied cardboard boxes to my border collie so she could drag them down the hill for me to be burned. It was a long STEEP hill, and there were tons of boxes, ok? I couldn't do it all myself, would've taken all day.
One doesn't just have to use big horse "Breeds" to do only draft work.
Any animal, be it goats, dogs, Oxen, mules, Donkeys,, and yes even miniature horses can do draft work on their scale. (BTW, majority of miniature horses in this country are from old shetland pony stock,, in the Shetland islands, they used them to move peat, work the mines, work the farm and carry their children)
Many small Farms now a days, do not need or can't afford the big Chunks, so use animals sized to their Farm or homestead.
I plain can't deal with the big ones any more, body just can't handle it, so I use the smaller equines.
They are not over loaded,, and enjoy their work.
With an animal with a good working temperament, some good basic training, a well made harness, and some know how,, can be used to help you with what needs to be done.
Have seen some neat old (1920/30) pictures over the years of folks using Goats to plow small gardens,, love watching Oxen pulls....
So,,if you want to use smaller livestock,, I say,, go ahead,, read, listen and find as much info as you can on how to do it with safety in mind. And most of all, have fun!!!