Bring back the horse

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Bring back the horse

Post: #152564 Davy stephenson
Mon May 04, 2009 10:41 am

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Last edited by Davy stephenson on Tue May 26, 2009 2:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Annpan
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Re: Bring back the horse

Post: #152566 Annpan
Mon May 04, 2009 10:56 am

I think a horse actually takes a lot less to keep and run it compared with a tractor... the main issue would be that Farms as they work now would just not be practical to be run with horses. Even if a small farm subsists with only a single tractor, that tractor has maybe 150 - 200 horse power.

In my opinion there is a much bigger case for getting our farms restructured to consist of small holdings run by families with co-operatives running larger farms for cereal crops (which, from what I have read are just not practical on small scale)
After re-introducing smaller 'farms' then the practical use of horses over oil powered vehicles is more easily tackled.


Of course this also requires a return to daily markets etc - changes in how we grow, how we sell, how we shop and what we eat... so yeah, totally do-able :geek:
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pumpy
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Re: Bring back the horse

Post: #152619 pumpy
Mon May 04, 2009 6:40 pm

If ever you are on you-tube, look out for Jethro Tull; a track called "Heavy Horses" says it all.
it's either one or the other, or neither of the two.

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Re: Bring back the horse

Post: #152622 Clara
Mon May 04, 2009 7:32 pm

This article on the revival of horse logging really made my day...
baby-loving, earth-digging, bread-baking, jam-making, off-grid, off-road 21st century domestic goddess....

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Re: Bring back the horse

Post: #152627 cathode
Mon May 04, 2009 9:06 pm

I think that it's a question of slowing down - a good team can do the same job as a tractor, sometimes better (they can get into tighter corners, don't plow up boggy ground the same) but takes longer. But no fumes, free fertilizer and a friendly presence...I'm all for it. Better for the soil as well, so maybe not a big drop in production. Anyway, we produce plenty food, it still doesn't get to those that need it most, so the whole system needs to be questioned.

In Poland it's really only the very poor south that still uses predominantly horse power and it is seen as backwards. Now they're in the EU they've realised that their 'backwards' farming methods can be used to their advantage - most of our organic herbs come from Poland and bring in a premium price, not that they chose to be organic but generally fertiliser was too expensive and seen as unnecessary. Lets hope horses are saved by the same sort of realisation. It's certainly brilliant to see horse drawn plows, carts etc but one old man told me it was the worst bit of his life, having to drive a cart 12 miles into town every week through the winter. So all relative!

Myself I'd love a horse to work the land but hay and grazing so expensive - they need a lot of grazing. The gypsies get the kids to walk their horses along the verges to graze and say that's far healthier than over-grazed fields. Again, takes a lot of time, hours every day. It's my lifetime's ambition to earn enough to support a horse, I'd be happy with a wee grumpy shetland!

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Re: Bring back the horse

Post: #152633 dave45
Mon May 04, 2009 10:52 pm

It was only 10 or 15 years ago here in Lancashire that our doorstep milk delivery was by horse and cart. One day maybe it will return...

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Re: Bring back the horse

Post: #152653 Clara
Tue May 05, 2009 7:43 am

There is still plenty of horse-power here too (though people mainly use mules because they cope better with the rocky terrain).....a lot of ploughing is still done mules and being off-road we've had all our building materials delivered by mules (though they were worked not by some local old-boy, but by my young english neighbour). And then there's our Morris, tiny beautiful Morris who converts our grass into fertiliser and prevents us from using petrol driven strimmers.
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Re: Bring back the horse

Post: #153036 tiggy
Fri May 08, 2009 3:41 pm

My OH remembers working horses on his uncles Cumbrian farm and also the arrival of the first tractor but that is another story.Back to horses,they had to be fed and tended every day and unlike a machine cannot just be left in a barn till wanted.If farming returns to horsepower the working hours will be long and hard for man and beast,compare the joys of walking up and down a field behind your team in all weathers to sitting in a tractor cab.Farming is hard skilled work now,years ago it was harder and more people were needed .
Also consider the fate of the old horse no longer able to work,no retirement homes just the one way journey.
As a little lad my husband used to take the horses to the smithy,he and his cousin had to climb up a gate to get on the horses back to ride to the forge.While there the boys had to work the bellows and be usefull.Afterwards they would ride back to the farm.They only took the 2 older steadier horses, the younger one could be a bit lively.Happy memories for a 78 yr old

confused
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Re: Bring back the horse

Post: #153499 confused
Tue May 12, 2009 4:24 pm

The big problem now would be trying to get people to do the hard graft, walking behind a pair of horse turning over the new sod , ahh ! sounds great , but the reality is that it is hard graft, 11miles a day, with your back bent, trying to coax, threaten, cajole, two horses to work as one unit, trying to hold/steer the plough straight, whilst every rock in gods kingdom is trying to wrench it out your arms, then it's time to go home superb!!! oh i nearly forgot , the horses ! still to groom,feed,muck,bed down, and mind and give the harness a wee rub for the morning , i would love the chance to try, but ------- i dont think i could ever fill my old mans boots but then again he was my dad ! and a one off :thumbleft:

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Re: Bring back the horse

Post: #210667 confused
Sat Oct 02, 2010 9:54 pm

well i have been and gone and done it , a 2 year old clydsedale mare unbroken , i'm of my trolley, now i have to convince my mate that she will do the buisiness for him , i want her to go to the forestry eventually, untill then i will attempt to get her going over the winter , then let her run on the grass next summer with a view to giving her a bit work in the backend of 2011, i'm crazy i know but it has been a life time ambition , and i'm 60 so who knows what will happen in the future , so i will just go for it now, i have fixed up livery with the stable owner willing to give her a look on the days i cant make it, in return i will help out with some maintenance around the yard , and some poop collecting in the paddocks, which i wanted to do anyway for the allotment, i will keep you informed with my progress .

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Re: Bring back the horse

Post: #210681 oldjerry
Sun Oct 03, 2010 7:13 am

pumpy wrote:If ever you are on you-tube, look out for Jethro Tull; a track called "Heavy Horses" says it all.



Exc ellent!..though sadly Aqualung more resembles reality now...

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Re: Bring back the horse

Post: #210716 ina
Sun Oct 03, 2010 2:01 pm

Congratulations, Confused - I'd love to work with a Clydesdale one of these days... But my, the size of them... A friend of mine rents the park they keep sheep in to the local owner of a couple of Clydesdales (used for driving and riding), and last time I went in there counting sheep, the two huuuuuge horses followed me, noses trying to investigate the contents of my pockets! Believe me, it was somewhat intimidating.
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Re: Bring back the horse

Post: #210815 grahamhobbs
Mon Oct 04, 2010 6:20 pm

Oh I have to salute you Confused, it has been my dream for the last 20 years to have a pair of heavy horses. In the past, I've done some ploughing with them, it's hard work but a lot nicer than sitting on a noisy old Furgusson. But I've turned 60 now and so it's going to remain a dream for me. But I salute you for making your dream come true.

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Re: Bring back the horse

Post: #210882 old tree man
Tue Oct 05, 2010 4:48 pm

When we worked on some sensitive areas in cumbria and yorkshire we used to use horses to pull out our timber, i was such a privalege to work with such powerfull and noble beasts who respond so well to encouragement and kindness, they really enjoyed thier work as did i working with them, over the months working together all it took was a nodd or a glance and we knew what each other wanted, they showed me much affection as i did them it was truly a joy and something that will stay with me all my life :flower: :flower:
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