Draft horses and mules among the Amish of North America
About speaker, Dale K. Stoltzfus:
I was born in 1951 on a dairy farm in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. My father and mother and my 5 sisters and I all worked hard to take care of the 45 dairy cows and their replacements as well as the 2000 laying hens we kept. We carried all the milk from the cows in buckets to pour into the bulk tank in the milk house and we carried all the eggs in baskets to be washed and packed into cartons to send to a wholesale egg processor. I spent many happy hours playing with my dog Lady too.
I spent 11 years managing my own retail food business and then 25 years as a Realtor helping people to find homes and farms. I have always had a special affinity for animals, especially horses. In 1988 I bought a pair of Belgian mares. I chose heavy horses so that I could further my latent horse interests by taking my family and friends on wagon rides. As I learned more about heavy horse activities that were going on around me, I became more drawn into life-fulfilling experiences I could not have imagined. These include my volunteer work with Horse Progress Days and my work with the annual Pennsylvania Draft Horse Sale, both of which have had major impacts in the Draft Horse culture of North America. I grew to adulthood in a community-at-large that, because of a major Amish presence, has always taken the presence of Draft animals for granted, but my own interest has always been extra keen; partly because of the horses and partly because of the unlikelihood that a group of Christian religionists who relied on horsepower to farm could exist and thrive in modern times; this in a country that prides itself on what it defines as progressive innovation in all things. Furthermore, my involvement with Horse Progress Days has unexpectedly opened my life experience into developing friendships and acquaintance with people from many parts of the world. Lately I have become aware of the "Millenium Goals" of the United Nations to eliminate hunger throughout the world by the year 2030. I believe draft animal power could play a major role in this effort if it is recognized for what it is and what it has to offer. My latest efforts include working toward a cultural exchange program supported by a partnership between Horse Progress Days and the international aid organization Mennonite Central Committee that is making plans to bring a Tanzanian agricultural engineer to eastern PA to work with local Amish shops to develop equipment and harness for oxen and donkeys to be made with components that are readily available in Tanzania. I also take great pleasure in working with my own horses making hay on our own land and on the lands of a neighboring Amish farmer.
Fourth (and last) part of the webinars about the education of a young working horse (in French).
De Meulenaer Manu, 1955, Flemish, Belgian and proud of being.
The horse has always galloped in his head. Young he saw the last working horses in the fields and streets. He reads a lot on the horse for lack of the "true". From these 25 years, he gives free rein to his passion and emotion "horse". In Germany he learned the Achenbach system at 2 and 4, in Hungary the Hungarian system and others at Fülöp Sandor. He became a driving instructor in Holland, Ad Aarts. He competed from 1982 to 2004 at 2.4 and in tandem, his personal hobby. He focuses especially on the instruction of the driver and the young team horse first but very quickly on the young working horse. He is the co-author of several driving manuals. But his greatest pleasure is training young work horses to harness. The horse instructs him on the techniques to use, but he trains them first alone ... they must walk on their own legs ...
Third part of the webinars about the education of a young working horse (in French).
Jean-Louis Cannelle is undoubtedly one of the best known figures in the world of draught horses in France. He was born on a farm and never stopped breeding, training and using Comtois horses. Many drivers attended his training courses and for decades he is fighting for the recognition and the promotion of animal traction.
This webinar is an exposition of the conflicting definitions, meanings and practical realities of sustainability. These issues and some of their profound implications will be illustrated through attitudes to, and understanding of, the role of working animals.
By Dr Roger Cutting:
Education Lead for The Donkey Sanctuary, UK.
Visiting Research Fellow for the University of Plymouth
Second part of the webinars about the education of a young working horse (in French).
Henri was a school teacher, an agricultural engineer and one of the last cavalry officers trained by the Swiss Army. For 38 years he produced milk on his farm in the Swiss Jura, at an altitude of 1.200 m above sea level. He did all the farmwork with Franches-Montagnes horses, but also bred and trained horses, mainly of this Swiss breed. The FM breeding society elected him as it’s first chairman. He also trained people and all his life he was a strong supporter of animal traction, for ecological, societal and mental reasons. Today his activities still are closely linked to the use of horses: riding, driving a horse-drawn sledge for tourists, giving training courses in logging etc.