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Modernized Horse-Drawn Equipment
Horse-drawn implements are no longer just refurbished, restored or copies of antique equipment. New products are exploding onto the market as demand grows in the U.S. and across the globe.
“Since 1995 we have seen astounding and unique advances in Europe, where materials, engineering principles and manufacturing realities have freed the inventors to be most imaginative,” says Lynn Miller, Small Farmers Journal. “Europe is ahead of North America, but the work of Amish businesses and manufacturers like Pioneer Implement, White Horse Machine, and I & J is rapidly catching up.”
For the past 45 years as a magazine and book editor, Miller has championed the use of draft horses by farmers and ranchers and the equipment they use. He has an even longer history as a practitioner of the art and science of horse power on his Oregon farm. Both have given him a great appreciation for companies specializing in the equipment, but also for the individual craftsman.
“Shade tree mechanics throughout the so called undeveloped universe have made fantastic appropriate-tech advances that, while seeming minuscule and less attractive to a historical narrative, have had valued impact on the actual production of food,” says Miller.
Early 20th century tractor-powered implements were based on 19th century draft animal implements. Today, innovative horse-drawn farm equipment is being modified and adapted once more.
“Within certain circles (e.g., viticulture, market gardening, silviculture, etc.) the scale and applicability of horse-drawn implement designs lend themselves to being drawn with ATV’s,” says Miller.
Miller largely credits the Amish community for preserving animal drawn technologies in North America. He points to his own publication and others, such as Draft Horse Journal, encouraging that preservation and also promoting draft horse use to others. He notes that Europe has no such cultural influence.
“Europeans had to play catch up and they have done so with a vengeance,” says Miller. “Because of our work to get information out, these cultural arenas are affecting one another in beneficial ways. The attention to detail of European efforts - Schaff mat Päerd (Work with Horses) - has not been matched stateside, with the notable exception of the writings and test work of Eric and Anne Nordell of Pennsylvania.”
Paul Schmit, Schaff mat Päerd (SmP), has been the source of numerous new horse-drawn implements presented in FARM SHOW magazine in recent years.
“We just finished testing a weed harrow developed for maintaining gravel paths,” explains Schmit. “We call it Kombi-Éig, which means combination harrow. We plan to also fit it with other tines and shares for weed control or cultivating in gardens.”
For a list of worldwide manufacturers of horse-drawn equipment, visit www.equidpower.org/manufacturers.
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Small Farmer’s Journal, P.O. Box 1627, Sisters, Ore. 97759 (ph 541 549-2064; toll free 800 876-2893; www.smallfarmersjournal.com).

Brevetto Furtuna Rake
Side delivery rake made by Repossi and adapted for single-horse use by SmP. Features include reversible bevel transmission gear in oil bath and 5 bars, each with 13 double tines and 80 to 90 rotations per minute.

Pioneer Logging Cart
The Logging Cart arch handles up to 34-in. logs that lift off the ground as the cart moves forward. The drawbar handles leverage the log chain taut. A spring-loaded latch system locks the chain in place, and a hands-free, foot pedal releases it. Options include a fiberglass-lined chainsaw scabbard.

SmP Harness
Part of an ongoing research project at SmP, harness features include a bitless bridle for improved breathing and reduced potential mouth problems. Rigid front traces free shoulder movement and don’t constrict the shoulders during the pull. A 3-piece back pad with 2 leather pads and a stainless steel arch prevent direct pressure on the backbone. Lateral pads on both sides of the belly are designed to lower shock traveling by the shafts or draught rings.

SmP Kombi-Eig Combination Harrow
This weed harrow-type implement was developed by SmP for maintaining gravel paths. It is being evaluated for use with alternative tines and shares for weed control or garden cultivation.

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2021 - Volume #45, Issue #1