Find More
Archived posts for the ‘Draft Horses’ Category

Plowing on Grand Island

By Laura

Spent a glorious sunny day down at Grand Island with my friend Neal McCool learning to plow with his mules Bart & Bonnie. The mules with a walking plow are much lighter on the ground than a tractor would be, but even so – those are some amazing soils down there! Where else along the 45th parallel could you be plowing in January?

Farming with Horses Winter Workshop

By Laura

This winter we are privileged¬†to have my long-time draft horse teamster mentor Doc Hammill spending the winter on the wet side of Oregon. From Dec-April he’ll be teaching a monthly workshop with a small group of horse farmers from up and down the west coast. Brad, Sarah and I met up with the group for the first time last weekend at Ruby & Amber’s Organic Oasis in Dorena, Or. This incredible farm belongs to Kris Woolhouse and Walt Bernard and is named for their original team of draft mares. They now have a greatly expanded herd of draft horses at various stages of training who help them cultivate organic veggies, flowers, berries and small grains.¬†

Here I am working with Doc last summer at the beautiful BBar Ranch in Montana

Here I am working with Doc last summer at the beautiful BBar Ranch in Montana

Doc started the workshop with an explanation of gentle or natural horsemanship principles. There are lots of practicioners using these principles with riding horses, but very few demonstrating practical applications with driving horses. And it is different. Sitting astride a horse you have an almost unlimited number of ways to cue with your legs or by shifting your weight. Walking behind your horses with only the lines to communicate with is much more challenging. Last weekend, I watched some folks work magic down the lines. I also really appreciated how patient Walt and his horses were with the rest of us. Read the rest of this entry »