Over the River & Through the Woods
How Thunder Bay Golf Resort Added Heavy Horses to Their Business Plan A few miles from the Mackinac Bridge in northern Michigan, sits a perfectly groomed 18-hole golf course. The Thunder Bay Resort, nestled in a beautiful landscape near the village of Hillman, boasts of at least one feature unique among golf courses: horse-drawn sleigh and carriage rides that carry guests quite literally over the river and through the woods to view a herd of majestic elk. Their ultimate destination is a rustic log cabin where a gourmet five-course dinner and wine-tasting awaits them. Read more
From the Gate at the NABC8
For five days this past October the spotlight was on the Belgian draft horse at the North American Belgian Championship 8. Thousands of eyes were tuned in as the best of the best of North America’s most versatile draft breed hitched, haltered, plowed, rode and pulled (and boy, did they pull … but more about that later) their way to their World Championship moment under the spotlight at the Eastern States Exposition Center in West Springfield, Massachusetts. The challenges in putting on a show that only happens in the U.S. every eight years are formidable–especially this time around–but the organizers didn’t just hit the ball over the wall on this event; they hit it clean out of the ballpark. This was truly a showcase event. Full resulst and coverage are in the Winter 2016-17 issue of The Draft Horse Journal!
Listen to Horses In The Morning!
Team Work: Berea College Looks Back & Sees the Future
A pair of large, rusty-brown Suffolk draft horses lean into their collars, muscles rippling in the sun, their broad hooves seek traction on the rain-saturated trail. A log arch lifts one end of a large section of poplar which had been selected, felled and bucked that morning. Using line and voice commands, the driver softly directs the team forward and they move steadily down a path far too wet for conventional logging equipment to maneuver. Read more
2016 Horse Progress Days Complete Coverage
The meteorologists must have been confused, because Horse Progress Days (HPD) is "supposed" to be hot. But with highs in the low seventies on both days of the event, it was far from it. In fact, it was downright comfortable–among the event's best weather in 23 years. But more than just the weather made this one a standout. The Michiana Event Center (MEC) proved a superb venue for HPD, easily housing all 200-some vendors, with ample space for clinics and seminars, a food stand, plus stalling for the horses. In fact, if anything was missing at HPD this year, it was tents! Read about it in the Autumn 2016 issue.
Letter to the Editor
I would like to take this opportunity: the Draft Horse Journal’s fiftieth year in publication: to acknowledge and bestow gratitude upon, not only the founders of this fine magazine, but the current editor and his team who relentlessly strive to unify our industry through their quality quarterly publication.
The draft horse industry is not a product-driven industry. We do not yield an item that humans willingly wish to consume; like milk, meat, feathers or fur. Except for a rare sliver of history, when naturally-synthesized premarin was of value, the draft horse has contributed little in the last 75 years... Read more
History of Draft Horses
The Industrial Revolution proved to be responsible for both the rise and collapse of the heavy horse in America. Demand for draft animals was spurred on by the growing transportation, construction and agricultural needs of the nation. The last half of the 19th century made draft horse breeding both essential and profitable. Massive importations from Europe took place. The period also ushered in the development of the present day breeds of heavy horses. The number of horses and mules in The United States peaked in 1920, at about 26 million. The groundwork for today’s agriculture had been laid.
The horse lost the battle of the streets to the automotive industry rather quickly. As for the battle of the agricultural fields, it fought very tenaciously, but eventually yielded in most cases to greatly improved tractor power. By 1950, it was indeed, on thin ice... Read more
History of The Draft Horse Journal
The post WW II years were not kind to the draft horse and mule. Both horse numbers and horse use plummeted. The number of animals being exhibited dwindled and many shows dropped heavy horses altogether. The industry needed a boost and it got one when the first issue of The Draft Horse Journal was published in May 1964. New interest was stimulated and the heavy horse has since made a convincing resurgence. From the 28 pages in the first issue to over 300 in recent ones, The Journal has grown, evolved and progressed right along with the draft horse trade.
In addition to the magazine’s traditional content, covering breeding, raising, showing, selling and using all breeds of heavy horses, the modern version includes veterinary advice from “America’s Draft Horse Vet,” Dr. A.J. Neumann; historical accounts by the publication’s founder, Maurice Telleen; legal advice from Ken Sandoe;... Read more