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Fantastic Demonstration Of Horse-Drawn Equipment
At the same time that tractors are getting more sophisticated and powerful, it's getting easier to use horses to pull nearly every type of modern farm equipment including mowers, balers, planters, drills, and even large rototillers.
Modern horsepower was put on display at the second annual Horse Progress Days held last summer, at the Floyd Bontrager farm near Middlebury, Ind. The Draft Horse Journal, which reported on the event, said it was "the most fantastic demonstration of modern horse and mule-drawn equipment ever". The event is sponsored by the Draft Horse and Mule Association.
Field demonstrations showed how horses and mules can be adapted to nearly any piece of modern machinery using a variety of ground-driven pto carts or by mounting engines directly on the towed equipment. Everything from ground-driven manure spreaders to engine-equipped mowers and pto-driven round balers were on display.
A similar demonstration of equipment will be held at this year's Horse Progress Days on July 5 and 6 at the 4-H fairgrounds in LaGrange, Ind. For more information call Floyd Bontrager (ph 219 642-3629), Bill Connelly (ph 219 463-3243 days) or George Miller (ph 812 988-8120 evenings).
Maschio Rototiller: An 80-in. wide Maschio rototiller on a four-wheeled, 3-pt. "forecart" equipped with a 120 hp motor. It did a great job of one-pass tillage, according to observers, and was probably the most talked-about implement at the show. A single team can handle it.
Deere 7000 4-row planter: Four Belgians were used to pull a Deere MaxEmerge planter, equipped with no-till coulters. It was demonstrated in both tilled soil and alfalfa sod, controlled by a 12-volt hydraulic system.
New Holland 489 haybine: Equipped with a 28 hp, 3-cyl. Kubota diesel engine, four Percherons were used to pull it. The haybine had a set of castor wheels attached to the end of the tongue and a seat for the driver mounted midway back on the tongue. It was also fitted with a 12-volt hydraulic system. "Easy to operate and did a good job of mowing," noted one observer.
Great Plains 10-ft. no-till grain drill:
Pulled by a White Horse hydraulic
forecart, four Belgians were used. The cart
has foot pedals to control the hydraulics.
New Holland 630 round baler:
Hitched to a power forecart, four Belgians were used, but it could have been pulled by just three or even a single team on level ground.
New Holland 565 square baler: With factory-installed engine, four Haflingers were used to pull it behind a Pioneer forecart. The baler was easy to hitch and operate, according to observers. It makes nice tight square bales and had a curved bale chute to load the bales onto the bale wagon pulled alongside by a team of Percherons.
Forecarts are available from a number of manufacturers including Pioneer Equipment Inc., 16875 Jericho Rd., Dalton, Ohio 44618; White Horse Machine, RD 1, Gap, Penn. 17527; and Teamster Forecarts, 17645 Harbaugh Valley Rd., Sabillasville, Md. 21780 (ph 301 447-6865).
The Draft Horse Journal is a bimonthly publication that features state-of-the-art horsedrawn equipment. For a sample copy, send $5.50 to: The Draft Horse Journal, 2700 Fifth Ave. N.W., Box 670, Waverly, Iowa 50677 (ph 319 352-4046).
Text and photos reprinted courtesy of Draft Horse Journal. Photo credit Lynn MacVey, Draft Horse Journal

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1996 - Volume #20, Issue #3