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So as not to hijack another thread, I will answer a question about hitching three horses. Klaus asked about my photo on the Rural Heritage desk top calendar. The horses and I are on February.
I choose to work a three horse hitch quite often, because i have three horses. This keeps them all at about the same level of fitness. I rarely need three horses for the work that I am doing, but if I need to rest a horse or one has an off day, I can use any of the three in any position. I also don't have to listen to the "horse in the barn" whinnying while we work. In the spring when the snow melts and we are still gathering maple sap, a three horse hitch makes the job easy as we slog through mud or pull over sticky semi-dry ground.
I must confess that my old plan will now be altered because I bought a fourth horse, giving me two teams. I have recently started training my new filly. I am using the three horse hitch. The youngster is in between my two geldings. They are the gas pedal and the brakes. She gets driven constantly because of the way I hook my lines. She must go and stop when the geldings do. She will learn to work anywhere but, for maple season, she will work where she stays out of trouble and can be easily controlled while staying safe for all involved.

Klaus Karbaumer says 2017-02-13 11:31:33 (CST)

I thought so, Ralph. Fun and practicality! And avoiding to have to listen to the left behind horse whinnying its heart out. Congratulation on your fourth horse. Two teams are nice to have if you can provide them with the necessary work.
On Saturday I disked again for a couple of hours and it was a lot of fun to see those horses perform like they never had had a winter break. In winter except for occasionally pulling a big round bale into the pasture there is little to do, we have no snow for sleigh rides and most of the small work around the farm I do with our Haflinger who by the way is much more easily harnessed than the big Percherons. I hope to plow by next week. It looks that winter is basically over around here.

1 year ago via Forums | Front Porch Forum

BrianL says 2017-02-16 18:23:20 (CST)

Ah yes, the "one left behind" syndrome. We have a 32 year old Appaloosa that the former owner was going to euthanize, so we took him in. (He's sound, just old.) He goes bonkers when I take my team of mules out. Looking to add a third mule which means Appaloosa might have a friend if I work a tandem or goes 50% more bonkers if I'd work a triple. Of course, after he's gone that means one mule might get left behind, which means I'll need a fourth. My, how these things multiple!

1 year ago via Forums | Front Porch Forum

Ralph in N.E.Oh says 2017-02-18 21:05:19 (CST)

BrianL, you are so very right. I do think once I retire from my off farm job, having a second team will be a good thing. I will have plenty of horsepower for big jobs. I will also have a team to work one day and a different team the next or perhaps split the day at lunchtime.
I am glad that I grow all of their feed, I will say that :)

1 year ago via Forums | Front Porch Forum

K.C. Fox says 2017-02-19 22:44:14 (CST)

I have never hitched 3 but I do hitch 4 one broke team the other something less. I put the broke team on the pole use jockey sticks to keep the unruly horses off the top of my broke horses. Before the drive is over the new team is pulling and the broke team is just going along for the drive and brakes. It will surprise you how quick the broke team just keeps the tugs a little slack and let the new team do all the pulling at least until they get tired. In not to many days you have a new team that is almost fully broke. But that is just my opinion. I do it my way you do it your way neither one is wrong just different. Good luck to you and yours.

1 year ago via Forums | Front Porch Forum

Ralph in N.E.Oh says 2017-02-20 21:40:45 (CST)

K.C. I agree 1000% your way and my way do not have to be the same. The only thing that matters is that we and the horses are safe. Your method is one I have seen work many times.
Thank you for posting, it is always great to have two or more options for the "next " guy.

1 year ago via Forums | Front Porch Forum

Wes Lupher says 2017-02-23 19:46:56 (CST)

I use three abreast and awful lot here on the ranch. Typically I put two three horse/mule teams out on meadow drags all spring and use three head on one of my rakes in the hayfield (6 wheel rake).
Occasionally I use four abreast on the 24' drag as well when dragging big pieces and I'm short on teamsters. Also 4 abreast or 4 up when hauling hay to the stackyards with the 20' wagon.

1 year ago via Forums | Front Porch Forum

Klaus Karbaumer says 2017-02-24 10:57:01 (CST)

I am glad, Wes, to see your post. I wondered if you had disappeared or got lost in the snow in Wyoming. How many are you hitching up for feeding?

1 year ago via Forums | Front Porch Forum

Ralph in N.E.Oh says 2017-02-24 19:08:08 (CST)

I bet your snow is deep Wes. It's sure nice to have horsepower when you need it!

1 year ago via Forums | Front Porch Forum

Wes Lupher says 2017-03-01 09:07:26 (CST)

It's been a crazy winter. 38 below zero, 45 above zero all in the same week.

As calving approaches we're hoping to get some bare ground.

I've mostly been using pairs this year. Hooked four up for a while and then split my cow herd into two bunches and fed with a pair of mules in one end and a pair of horses in the other end.

Rotated through 3 teams and a spare so far. WIll get another team worked in so we can have enough horses and mules hard for spring work.

I picked up another 160 acres of hay meadows and will need to drag them. Planning on using 4-6 head on big drag at one place. Should be fun.

1 year ago via Forums | Front Porch Forum

Ralph in N.E.Oh says 2017-03-01 20:47:08 (CST)

Wow, Wes, you are a busy guy.
I bought Pioneer's new 4 horse equalizer for my plow. The new equalizer allows one horse to walk in the furrow and the rest to walk on the land. No body has to walk on the plowed ground. I don't know how it's going to work, but we shall see. They (Pioneer) do a real good job of product development, so I expect it to work as advertised. I have not hitched 4 horses yet, so that too will be new to me.

1 year ago via Forums | Front Porch Forum

Wes Lupher says 2017-03-02 15:42:31 (CST)

That sounds like a worthwhile setup. Hope it works for you Ralph.

I made a few 4 horse eveners for use on drags and carts. Mine were either too heavy to be handy or were too weak and wound up getting bent or broken.
I finally broke down and got one from Pioneer. Very well made, just heavy duty enough and not overly bulky. Great stuff.

1 year ago via Forums | Front Porch Forum

K.C. Fox says 2017-03-05 22:37:32 (CST)

I make my double trees I use 1" square tube for the single tree, and 1"x2" for the evener they all have a rod down the backside of them for a stiffener and for more strength, 4 horse evener the same only heaver. neck yokes are the same and have only broke one neck yoke they ran away and ran into the back of the horse trailer, I only walked 400 yds and they were still standing there at the back of the horse trailer when I got there.

1 year ago via Forums | Front Porch Forum

Wes Lupher says 2017-03-07 07:57:53 (CST)

Pretty much how my home made evener was built KC.

I snapped it when I had four abreast on my big bobsled with 3 ton loaded and dropped a runner through a weak spot in the creek ice.
It was partially bent up and then forward. Lots of lift on a bobsled.

1 year ago via Forums | Front Porch Forum

K.C. Fox says 2017-03-07 23:14:38 (CST)

I hate it when that happens, then I try and go back and reinforce all the rest of them so I don't think it will happen again I'm using the heavy tubing now. That is why I'm always building or repairing some of my horse equipment. You think that will hold and something gets stuck then your teams show you how much that they can pull, do you get mad or give them praise for doing a great job? After all there doing it just for you. Boy that is a decision to make in a hurry.

1 year ago via Forums | Front Porch Forum

DaveE says 2017-03-11 17:28:26 (CST)

I use the 4 horse pioneer evener that keeps one in furrow and three on land very happy with it

1 year ago via Forums | Front Porch Forum

Ralph in N.E.Oh says 2017-03-14 16:53:30 (CST)

Thanks Dave. I am glad to hear a good report. I plan to give it a good workout very soon.

1 year ago via Forums | Front Porch Forum

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