There are as many ways to train draft horses as there are trainers to do the job. Some methods work well and others don’t. Some training programs are long in duration and others are short. Some require more than one individual to administer while others can be handled by a single party. Horses are much like people in that there are individuals who will learn fast and there are those so-called “slow learners.” To compound the matter, the draft horse is often trained to perform a variety of different jobs such as the work it must do on the farm…
Extremely Intriguing Action, action, action! Presence, presence, presence! That's what the show ring has been emphasizing, what the judges are insisting upon. Consequently, that's what the market is demanding. Which means, that is exactly what the breeders are striving for. It has already effected Percherons, Clydesdales and Belgians in terms of which bloodlines are popular. Right, wrong or otherwise, our industry bends to the prevailing winds of trends, fads and fashions. They have come in the form of color, size, type, even breeds at certain points. There's no mistaking the latest craze. And there's no ignoring it. I recall the…
(From the general news sources of the period, December 1933 Breeder's Gazette and the 1933 International Live Stock Exposition album.) On October 14, Adolf Hitler was firmly in the saddle in Germany. He even complained that the rest of the world was treating him like a second class citizen! If so, that was being generous to a fault. He dissolved the Reichstag (the German government). He then withdrew his country from the League of Nations and committed Germany to rearm. German voters were completely left out of these shenanigans (a good Irish word). The mad dog was not only on…
(From the general news sources of the period.) On January 3, 1959, Alaska became the 49th state in the United States. It is a big, cold place and per square mile instantly became the largest state in this union of ours. The final vote in the senate was 64 to 20. I don't know where the opposition came from, but I assume that the two senators from Texas were among the minority and probably knew the outcome well in advance. Why not? If the numbers were never in doubt, why make your own constituents angry just for the heck of…
(From general news sources of the day and issues of The Draft Horse Journal.) It was a tense time for our country as the days dwindled down to a precious few with a full plate of worries besides getting ready for the Thanksgiving turkey and Santa Claus. As mentioned in the previous column; Cuba, next-door-neighbor to Florida, had recently fallen to the forces of Fidel Castro. By late October, 1983, President Reagan had had enough already and sent a force of about 1,900 marines to storm the shores of a small island in the Caribbean called Grenada. The mission was…
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. A recent decision out of the State of Wisconsin could turn the law of livestock sales upside down. “Buyer Beware” has been the legal maxim forever. At least until June 25, 2008, when the Wisconsin Court of Appeals published its decision in Michael and Marsha Wilson v.…
Draft horse breeders have often been ridiculed for their use of Scotch Bottom shoes, and for the manner in which successful heavy horsemen trim their horses' feet. Farriers in growing number state, popular shoeing practices can create unsoundness. Chronic lameness, contracted heels, navicular disease, etc., purportedly, can be a consequence of popular shoeing. Heavy horsemen traditionally kept the front toes of their draft horses squared. Some depth of horn was left on the front heels. This encouraged the front feet to spread. Front feet trimmed otherwise, like those that are neglected, become pointed at the toes and narrow at the…
The livestock industry and rural veterinarians are becoming resigned to the lack of newly graduated vet students interested in practicing food animal medicine. FACT: only 5% of DVMs graduating from U.S. vet schools in 2007 entered predominantly large animal practices. This shortage is manifested by the difficulty of rural veterinarians to hire new graduates. It is also a problem for cattle farmers nationwide who run a small herd along with crops. These small farmers are the 80% who oversee 20% of the cattle. Granted, big cattle operations; dairy, feedlot or purebred breeders are often willing to pay extra, or hire…

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