Tuesday, March 29, 2011

2011 Small Farmer's Journal Horsedrawn Auction & Swap

April 13-16, 2011 Jefferson County Fairgrounds, Madras, Oregon
This is a very fun, informative and exciting annual event. In Lynn Miller's words, "Right from the beginning the concept was to do an event that was one part auction, one part education, one part theater, one part street market, and one part reunion. And that’s just exactly what’s occurred. I can say without reservation that we are very proud of the event. It has evolved and matured to become a thing unto itself. Thirty some odd years worth."
What will be happening there?
  • 2nd annual Jethro Tull draft horse and mule plowing competition!!!
  • Horsedrawn Field Trials for new and restored implements
  • Swap meet and trade fair peppered with demonstrations, clinics and meetings
  • Horse market fair .
  • Auction: Horsedrawn carriages, wagons and items, antiques and collectibles, harness
  • Teamster Roundtable with these famous Teamsters: John Erskine, Walt Bernard, Chuck Baley, Lisa Hube, Bob Olson, Doc Hammill, moderator. Question and answer format. 6:00pm, April 13 and 14, Maccie Conroy Building.
  Stop by Doc's booth and say HELLO to Doc and Cathy!  We will be playing Doc's educational DVDs and slide shows of 2010 Workhorse Workshops.  We will have available:

  •      Doc's DVD's
  •      Doc’s 2011 Driving Workshop and Clinic Information
  •      Doc favorite Horsemanship DVDs and Books
  •      Safe Driving Equipment
  •      Horsemanship and Safety handouts
 Discount on 2011 Workhorse Workshops at Doc and Cathy's Montana ranch

Real People + Real Horses + Real Work= Real Fun


Saturday, March 19, 2011

Horse-Logging with Draft Horses: Natural Horsemanship in the Woods

Cathi and I love to work in the woods. It’s even better if we can work with our horses in the woods. On March 8 we had some fire wood logs ready to skid out and each of us took a horse to do the job. Here we have Kate and Ann, our Suffolk Punch Draft Horses.

Kate was very relaxed, comfortable, and interested as I prepared the first log to hook to her.

However, when she started off with the first small “warm up” log she became a bit anxious and was not very responsive to my attempts to calm her and slow her down. As so often happens, a training opportunity (not a problem) presented itself.

After stopping several times, letting her relax, and then attempting to start her again in a more relaxed and easy way I realized she was not able to control her anxiousness.

I was not willing to hold Kate back with the excessive force that would have been necessary I asked Cathi to bring Ann over and drive her in front of Kate - to set an example of a relaxed and comfortable working pace.

Not to mention creating a moving physical barrier as we each drove our respective horse down the skid trail.

Kate was not happy with the slower pace initially. However, once she realized she would not be allowed to go around (“pass”) Ann she started to relax and accept the job on my terms. We made it difficult for her to do the “wrong” thing and easy for her to do the “right” thing. Thanks to Cathi and Ann I was able to avoid heavy pressure and harshness on the bit in order to get the job started at a safe and comfortable pace. It doesn’t matter that Kate has done this type of pulling in a relaxed way many times before, what is important is that for whatever reason (and they always have a good reason as far as they are concerned) she became anxious on this particular day, in this particular location, at this particular job. Rather than fight with her we used some gentle “creative horsemanship”.

Thanks for checking up on us on our blog,


Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Plowing Snow with a team of Horses

Here is a video of Doc plowing snow in Montana with Belgian mares, Molly and Dolly.

What are you doing with your horses this winter?  Please send us photos and stories that we could consider posting on our blog...