We decided to introduce our newer Spotted Draft mare team to logging this morning. They are fairly inexperienced in general, so we have been working on a lot of desensitizing, new sounds, getting out into places and basic farm work. We started today with the noise of the logging tongs dragging the gravel. Once settled, we did several light, short pulls to let them get the idea. Next was bigger, heavier logs and a bit more precision. Finally, we headed down into the ravine and backwoods to bring some bigger logs up to the lumber mill. That required not just weight, but a lot of uphill pulling, creek crossing, mud and gravel surfaces, passing the current pig and goat paddocks, and so forth.
These mares never fail to amaze and impress me at every stage! The little mare wound up being the power house of the two. Man, she leaned in and pulled with all she had whenever the going got tough. The bigger Percheron-type mare is always the calm, easy, steady one. She pulls well, but holding back a load is her gift. I have to stay after her to keep up with other mare when pulling. They both have hearts of gold, and you can tell they really try. I just fall more in love with them, and the new gelding every day!
Here's a short video for fun, of one of their first pulls with a chain instead of tongs....m.youtube.com/watch?v=cpjopf8hNUw
By the way, I know the pine log in one photo is backwards. It was in a tight spot and just needed a short pull, so we didn't worry about it.