I can remember this question being debated by horse and mule owners as far back as when I was a little boy hanging onto my dad’s overall-leg at prestigious gatherings of farmers who owned and used these animals. “Why, my span of black mules are much smarter than any of your horses” was quickly rebutted by “your jackasses couldn’t stand in the shade of a pair of my roan mares!” As I remember, these arguments were often in fun and did not become heated enough to cause the kettle to boil over. So, to get a handle on the answer…
Rarely would you think that a sunny September day would become so significant. The date was September 18, 1990, and the location was the Remlap Farms Dispersal Sale in Schomberg, Ontario. If you were present, as I was, you would have seen some top quality Belgians being sold by one of the best known breeders and exhibitors of the previous few decades. What was significant about that day was that it was the first time a lot of people had ever seen E.J.G. Barb, a 2-year-old filly included in the dispersal. It was also the first time that most people…
From the Breeder's Gazettes of January, February and March, 1931, general news sources, and maybe even a photo or two of some 1930 winners. (With bits and pieces–all true–about National Anthems interwoven throughout this entire "Days Before" section.) So how would you describe in ten words or less that stretch of time, overall? I don't need that many words, one will do. BLEAK. Overall, it was bleak and going to get bleaker and bleaker. That is not to say that nobody was happy anywhere. Take, for instance, the football warriors from the University of Alabama who trounced the boys from…
(From my memory in this case.) As usual for those times, virtually nothing (good, anyhow) was happening in the draft horse world. Even the parade of stock trucks heading to the kill plant in Estherville up in northwest Iowa, filled with perfectly serviceable drafters, was petering out. The reason I didn't use "young" in that description of their loads is that breeding had gone to pot way back in the '40s. So a "young" draft horse had become somewhat of an oddity, except at the home of a breeder. So many dog food cans to fill–and so little time. I…
(From general news sources and the Spring 1981 Draft Horse Journal.) January 20 was inauguration day for an incoming president, Ronald Reagan. He got off to an auspicious start. At the very time he was taking the oath of office, the 52 American hostages that had been seized by Iran almost 14 months prior, were boarding planes to return home. The timing could not have been more dramatic ... and Reagan knew something about dramatics! The whole show was in contrast to outgoing President Carter's tastes and methods. Carter and his brood, for example, had walked the route down Pennsylvania…
Disclaimer - This article is intended as general discussion and information on the topic covered, and is not to be construed as rendering legal advice. If legal advice is needed, you should contact an attorney. This article may not be reprinted or reproduced in any manner without prior written permission of the author. By the time this article goes to print we will be thinking about April 15, and the Internal Revenue Service. Many horse owners spend a lot of time and money in advertising their product for sale. Paid advertising draws people and potential customers to the business and…
Legislation which will preclude the slaughter of horses in the United States has sounded alarm bells throughout equine circles–This with good reason. There is no question that horsemen and women–we draft horse breeders included–must become proactive rather than reactive. There are several ways to achieve this goal. I suggest the following as a starter: Politicians and bureaucrats, who are key to the success at the federal level, should receive our national breed publications, i.e. The Clydesdale News, The Percheron News, The Belgian Review, The Shire Newsletter, The Punchline, The Spot Light in America; The Belgian Banner, The Clydesdale Contact and…
Sometimes the best advice one can get is the least appreciated. I’m reminded of this observation when I hear of the honest, some would say cruel, comments the English judge Simon makes to mediocre contestants on American Idol. But blunt doesn’t necessarily have to be cruel. I had a nice visit with a fellow New Mexico State alumni who was a student when my father was the Dean of Agriculture. This man, we’ll call him Don, was six months into a Master’s program with the idea of becoming a college professor. Don told me he received a call from the…

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