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Posts Tagged ‘draft horses’

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On the long weekend, we had some rain on Saturday and Monday, but Sunday was a beautiful day, and we took advantage of the good weather to attend the Perth Fair. Over the years, we have been to most of the fairs in the area, but this was the first time we made it out to the Perth Fair.

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There’s always lots to see at a country fair. Most feature classes for various farm animals, sheep and cows and sometimes poultry and pets. There are classes for the best vegetables, the biggest pumpkin, the tallest sunflower, the best hay.

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There are displays of handiwork and I like to look at the quilts. The skill and creativity always amazes me. All the quilts were beautiful, but I especially liked this fishy design, a bit out of the ordinary as patterns go.

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And of course there is a midway, with rides and games and lots and lots of booths featuring hot dogs and cotton candy. I like to check out the horses on the merry-go-round. These were well-maintained and pretty, but rather unimaginatively painted, with all the horses white.

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But it is the horse show that I enjoy the most. On Sunday, there were three separate events underway. The Team Penning is held in a pair of circular rings joined by a gate. A herd of eight cows waits in one of the pens and each cow is numbered. Pairs of riders wait at the gate and when the judge calls out the number of a cow, the team must separate that cow from its mates and move it into the empty pen.

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Additional cows must then be cut out and moved, in successive order from the first number called, with the goal of moving as many cows as possible in the correct order in 60 seconds. If a cow with a wrong number slips into the second pen, the team is disqualified.

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In another ring, an Obstacle Race attracted a lot of competitors. Each horse and rider is judged as they tackle a course of obstacles and tests. Above, a horse and rider walk through a screen of streamers.

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Horses have a very sensible aversion to stepping into or onto surfaces that might be dangerous, so crossing a hollow bridge can be scary.

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Horses had to back through a U-shaped pathway without dislodging the barriers.

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The horse is required to stand still and wait while his rider moves a wheelbarrow between two points. It’s fun to watch each horse’s reaction to each of the tests. Many did very well. Others clearly thought that their riders showed a distinct lack of judgement.

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And then there was the harness show, that featured heavy draft horses, lighter commercial drafts, and miniature horses! The mix of classes allows competitors time between events to harness their teams. Here is a four-horse team of heavy draft horses.

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Here is an eye-catching four-horse entry in the commercial class for lighter draft horses.

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And here are the four-horse minis!

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It really was a pleasant day of horse-watching. I’ll leave you with a couple of photos of the six-horse hitches, a very impressive sight indeed.

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Nettie, Rosebud and Mark

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Windy Winter Day

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The Leeds County Draft Horse Club was formed in 1986. The club welcomes all types of draft animals, from traditional horse breeds such as Belgians, Clydesdales and Percherons, heritage breeds such as Canadians, Shires and Suffolk Punches, or more recent arrivals to North America, such as Fjords, and Halflingers. Even mules and oxen have participated in Club events. Its mission is to promote the proper care and use of draft horses, whether it be for agricultural or recreational endeavours. Its motto is: Sharing a Wealth of Experience. That experience was on display at the club’s spring field day on Saturday, May 23rd.

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Ken and Tiny pulling a walking plow.

Ken and Tiny pulling a single furrow walking plow.

Single furrow seated plow

Single furrow seated plow

Drawing logs

Log skidding

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I met this neighbour giving his two horses some exercise. He called them his Gentle Giants.

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