Team Work: Berea College Looks Back & Sees the Future
A pair of large, rusty-brown Suffolk draft horses lean into their collars, muscles rippling in the sun, their broad hooves seek traction on the rain-saturated trail. A log arch lifts one end of a large section of poplar which had been selected, felled and bucked that morning. Using line and voice commands, the driver softly directs the team forward and they move steadily down a path far too wet for conventional logging equipment to maneuver. These drivers, from the Berea College Department of Forestry, are new to this task; skills acquired over the past five days are now being put to the test. Berea College President Lyle Roelofs and other interested members of the Berea College community are in attendance, watching the log pile grow quickly as two harnessed teams alternate their delivery. While Kentucky woodsman Ben Burgess supervises the horse teams, Jason Rutledge, Consultant and Director of the Healing Harvest Forest Foundation, discusses the week’s progress with the onlookers as well as possibilities for future collaboration in restoring and sustaining the Berea Forest. Then, Ben invites Dr. Roelofs to join him atop the log arch and off they go. Smiles all around attest to the week’s great success. Read more
2016 Horse Progress Days Complete Coverage
The meteorologists must have been confused, because Horse Progress Days (HPD) is "supposed" to be hot. But with highs in the low seventies on both days of the event, it was far from it. In fact, it was downright comfortable–among the event's best weather in 23 years. But more than just the weather made this one a standout. The Michiana Event Center (MEC) proved a superb venue for HPD, easily housing all 200-some vendors, with ample space for clinics and seminars, a food stand, plus stalling for the horses. In fact, if anything was missing at HPD this year, it was tents!
Speaking of the MEC, it is literally within a stone's throw of the second longest interstate highway in America, I-80. The very sight of its endless stream of semis transporting food across the country, while modern horse-drawn equipment is being demonstrated, seminars on growing organic produce are being held, buying and eating local is being promoted, etc. is what they call a "paradox."Read about it in the Autumn 2016 issue.
Listen to the August 4 Episode of Horses In The Morning!
This Monthly Draft Horse Episode includes Lynn Telleen from Draft Horse Journal, Clydesdale Breeders Association secretary Cathy Behn, 40 horse hitch legend Paul Sparrow and Clyldesdale breeder and judge Wes Gordeyko. Listen in…
Val Barnica, Ken Spann & The Y Bar Suffolks
I was paging through a regional tourist magazine while on a trip out west last year. There were the usual glossy pages depicting happy hikers on trails through gorgeous scenery and thrilled rafters being bounced through frothing rapids. Then I turned a page and was looking at a picture of horses that could have come from my own pasture–beautiful red Suffolk Punch horses. I had to know whose they were. Read more
How to Measure Up (Determining The Height of a Horse – It's Easy!)
The ability to measure accurately is neither difficult nor complicated, however, as with most skills, consistency is key. A couple of pointers can help keep you on track. First off, make sure you understand the units and the lingo. Read the article in the Summer 2016 Draft Horse Journal!
Letter to the Editor
I would like to take this opportunity: the Draft Horse Journal’s fiftieth year in publication: to acknowledge and bestow gratitude upon, not only the founders of this fine magazine, but the current editor and his team who relentlessly strive to unify our industry through their quality quarterly publication.
The draft horse industry is not a product-driven industry. We do not yield an item that humans willingly wish to consume; like milk, meat, feathers or fur. Except for a rare sliver of history, when naturally-synthesized premarin was of value, the draft horse has contributed little in the last 75 years... Read more
History of Draft Horses
The Industrial Revolution proved to be responsible for both the rise and collapse of the heavy horse in America. Demand for draft animals was spurred on by the growing transportation, construction and agricultural needs of the nation. The last half of the 19th century made draft horse breeding both essential and profitable. Massive importations from Europe took place. The period also ushered in the development of the present day breeds of heavy horses. The number of horses and mules in The United States peaked in 1920, at about 26 million. The groundwork for today’s agriculture had been laid.
The horse lost the battle of the streets to the automotive industry rather quickly. As for the battle of the agricultural fields, it fought very tenaciously, but eventually yielded in most cases to greatly improved tractor power. By 1950, it was indeed, on thin ice... Read more
History of The Draft Horse Journal
The post WW II years were not kind to the draft horse and mule. Both horse numbers and horse use plummeted. The number of animals being exhibited dwindled and many shows dropped heavy horses altogether. The industry needed a boost and it got one when the first issue of The Draft Horse Journal was published in May 1964. New interest was stimulated and the heavy horse has since made a convincing resurgence. From the 28 pages in the first issue to over 300 in recent ones, The Journal has grown, evolved and progressed right along with the draft horse trade.
In addition to the magazine’s traditional content, covering breeding, raising, showing, selling and using all breeds of heavy horses, the modern version includes veterinary advice from “America’s Draft Horse Vet,” Dr. A.J. Neumann; historical accounts by the publication’s founder, Maurice Telleen; legal advice from Ken Sandoe;... Read more