Monday, March 3, 2014

Amish Roots Shine

Winter decided to remind us that it is not over yet with another snow storm. This one had less snow, but more ice. After a two hour drive, we found a car off the driveway blocking the way. I got out to see what the situation was and to start working on the horses. Eventually, Mom was able to make it up the hill to park. We left the horses inside since rain came before the snow. They all were hungry, but settled. I gave them some hay to tide them over and started on the stalls.
I cleaned DaVinci and Roscoe's stall into our little spreader and Mom had pitched to doorways to pick up later. The snow prevents us from being able to use our tractor to pull the spreader, so normally we would have this sitting until the snow clears. I started thinking about rigging something for me to drag the manure out to the big cornfields to dump. We have a bucket of the wheelbarrow Winston broke when he fell last year. As we talked about how to use it, we contemplated having Rosemary drag it for us. The wheels began to turn.
Peggy gave us a single tree awhile ago that can be used in situations like this. So we ran a rope through the holes in the wheelbarrow and tied to the metal loop on the single tree. I would have loved to have a solid clip to use, but we did not have one at hand. Her traces attach to the tree on the ends. To test it out we just put hay in the wheelbarrow to put out in the fields. Mom put on her blinkers and breast collar, the only pieces of harness needed. Then we used a lunging surcingle to hold on a quarter sheet. It was freaking cold so that was a necessity. A halter completed the set up. We attached the traces and began to asked her to move.
Spur of the moment, after a night inside, not having driven in ages, Rosemary took to the task like she had done it before.
Short video of the first run:
The traces hit her legs, the wheelbarrow made noises, but she listened so well. Heck the hardest part was keeping up with her. She powered through the snow. Her Amish workhorse roots were definitely shining. She was so happy to do the work. Success!

We took off her harness pieces and put a cooler on over the quarter sheet to keep her warm while we finished stalls and fed the horses. To help with the next load we put trace extenders, little pieces with buckles, on the single tree. This way when we need to detach from Rosemary it is easy as unbuckling the traces. With three stalls loaded in the wheelbarrow, I pulled it out of the barn beyond where the vehicles were parked while Mom got her dressed. Then we had to wait for the snow blower to go away. She cocked a leg, waiting to go.
This time went just as smoothly as the first. We made to the cornfield, unbuckled her and I dumped the load. We let her go back without pulling. I took that job. The funny thing was that she was better behaved when she was hooked. The night spent inside showed itself on the walk back to the barn, silly girl.
I love that we can utilize her training for practical purposes and she is so satisfied with the work.


  1. I am just now getting around to the things I bookmarked this week to comment on later. Oops! This is very cool, I love horsepower!