Already Registered?      Or Please Register to Post a New Message

Login Register

Complete Message (link)

1 year ago

rh comment count

We experienced our first runaway team today, and things could have been so much worse! We were logging with our team of Spotted Draft mares. They are fairly new to logging, but we’ve done it a few times. We had pulled several good-sized logs up to the lumber mill, and all was going fairly well. We finally decided to pull a huge log..the biggest the girls had ever done, and we had been working up to it. It was sitting at a bad angle, but I thought the tongs could still handle it. Bad decision. We should have chained it to straighten it first. Lesson learned. The log spun just enough, causing the tongs to jump off with great force, flip over, and smack the mares right in the hind legs. They, of course, took off at a fast clip, with the tongs and doubletree jumping all over behind them, and I stood no chance of holding onto to those lines! They squeezed through a tiny, decorative gate (about 5 feet wide), took off down our driveway, and out onto the lane. Praise God, my son “happened” to be down there getting our mail, heard the noise of steel on gravel and hoofbeats, and waved his arms at the horses....just enough to cause them to veer off the road and into a dry pond area (instead of heading on out to the busy highway). The mares apparently tripped and fell at that point, which slowed them down, but they jumped up, proceeded to jump and run through a bunch of debris, eventually stopping when the yoke hit a tree the horses tried to split around. One horse collapsed, and the other just stood there winded, and still attached to the downed horse with the yoke (which I suspect actually helped protect them a bit from totally wrapping around that tree!) which is how we found them. I thought the downed horse was dead....she wasn’t moving a muscle! Hubby arrived on scene first, to discover her collar forcing her head way back, and the line wrapped tightly around her neck. He quickly got the line off, and we worked fast to get the girls separated and relieve the pressure on her neck. Thankfully, once clear, she jumped right up. Once all was said and done, and we got the girls untwisted and detached, we realized the true extent of our blessings and God’s protection! It appears the only full casualty was my butt strap, which ripped off. The horses both had superficial cuts and scrapes, but so far nothing too major apparently. My bio Harness is still in perfect shape except for a small bend in one of the trace chain links. My wooden yoke amazingly did not split, and seems fine. My gate has only a small, repairable break. And, most importantly, no people were injured.

After giving the horses a good look over, walking them out a bit, and letting them catch their breath and relax, we decided to end on a better note. Dris, who we consider a mentor, once told us to never let the horses end in failure, and if there is a mishap, always end on a good note if possible. We hitched them to my forecart, which we hooked to a stone boat (just to add some weight in the event they spooked), and hubby decided to drive our van in front...just in case. Amazing, again, the girls acted as though nothing had happened. They walked off confidently (though perhaps a bit tired and sore), followed every command, amd we went back to the barn. I doctored up their wounds (the worst of which are around the coronets from the incessant banging of the doubletree) and put them in a soft sand paddock for the next day or two for monitoring. I am a little concerned about the mare that went down, as she has some scrapes on her head, likely from hitting the tree, and she was blowing her nose more frequently than I liked, as though something was bothering her. She seemed especially sore when we finally got them turned into the Paddock. I’ve checked a few times, and she’s eating, drinking, and walking fine, so hopefully she just has a bit of a headache that goes away soon.

No matter how much you study, research, and try to use caution, it seems inevitable that you will make mistakes. I guess we are blessed that this is only our second accident in almost 4 years and 7 horses. At the end of the day, you count your blessings, try to learn and wise up, and hope for a better day and no repeats!

On a lighter note, we still needed to get the log to the mill for milling tomorrow, and we don’t have a tractor, so we backed our truck down the tight trail, hooked it to the log, and got the job done. Thankfully, the truck didn’t spook once!

Klaus Karbaumer says 2017-10-31 21:59:44 (CST)

While that certainly was a traumatic day and all of you got your share of scare, it ended on a good note. You did the right thing to hitch the team again and let them experience a routine chore. You also had a great amount of good luck, something to appreciate, despite the otherwise very unfortunate event.
What is especially remarkable, though, Danielle, is your courage and willingness to share this incident with the Front Porch. I can only applaud that, because it can be very useful for others to learn what the causes were and how you handled it. Those of us who have been working with horses for a longer time have had mishaps , too, and unless people gave up on horses, have taken those as learning opportunities just as you have.
I do hope that the mare which went down has no other consequences to bear.

1 year ago via Forums | Front Porch Forum

Redgate says 2017-11-04 18:06:42 (CST)

It's been slow on the forum the last few days! Hope all of you are doing well. Klaus, thank you for your words of encouragement. Sometimes it can be intimidating to post mistakes, but that's the best way to learn....not to mention there aren't many folks here local to share a story with who will appreciate it like fellow teamsters!

I'm happy to report my mares are doing just fine. I monitored them in a pen nearer the house for about 48 hours, and doctored their wounds a couple times. One of the mares had a hind leg swell up a little, but it didn't seem tender or cause any lameness. I just monitored it. It started going down the next day, so I went ahead and put them back with the herd, on their track, to encourage some movement and blood flow. It worked. By Friday, all swelling was gone, and today, I let my daughter ride her a bit. When turned out, they are both doing their normal buck/kick/fart thing, so I think we are in the clear!

I plan to do a lot of noisy dragging over the next couple weeks to try to overcome any mental effects from the doubletree "chasing" them. We'll also do some lumber work with the forecart for a while, just to give a buffer.

1 year ago via Forums | Front Porch Forum

Klaus Karbaumer says 2017-11-05 08:45:22 (CST)

I think working with the forecart is a very good idea. Loggers like Jason Rutledge seem to use it all the time. In my younger years when pulling logs out I used to work with a single horse most of the time, jumping over the log to the left or right, just as it was necessary, now that I for the past 1 1/2 years I needed a a walking-cane to get around, I do everything on the farm either with the forecart or riding the implement. Makes it safer!
As to the Front Porch, you are right, it has slowed down tremendously. We don't hear from the people at all any more who used to be on here quite frequently. Hey, you out there, we'd like to hear from you! What's going on at the ranches in Wyoming, for example, or Idaho? Are you snowed in already?

1 year ago via Forums | Front Porch Forum

NoraWI says 2017-11-06 07:31:25 (CST)

Glad things are working out well, Redgate!
As to not hearing from some of the more colorful old time Front Porch posters, Klaus, I think we lost them at the time of the Forum changes. Many of those in Utah, Wyoming and in other out of the way places don't have the fast internet speeds necessary for access. Out here in southwest Wisconsin, I had very slow satellite internet access just until the Forum change. Before that all I had here was dial up. Technology is slow in coming to the hinterlands! I miss all those folks, too.

1 year ago via Forums | Front Porch Forum

Uncle Jed says 2017-11-06 19:05:36 (CST)

Redgate you might take a look at Farmer Brown's Logging Arch. Very well thought out and constructed, "The Cadillac of logging arches." May seem expensive until you consider the cost of injuries to you or your animals. Check FarmeBrownsPlowShop.

1 year ago via Forums | Front Porch Forum

Uncle Joe says 2017-11-07 06:01:43 (CST)

Most of the voices we miss are actively posting and sharing photos and videos on several Facebook pages which are no more forgiving of slow internet connections.

Had I had the chance to do the site upgrade all over again, knowing what I know now, I would have simply shut down the forum and upgraded the rest of the site.

We had to replace the old site as the programming language used to write it was no longer being supported. The redesign was relatively painless with the exception of the cost of rebuilding the new forum.


1 year ago via Forums | Front Porch Forum

vince mautino says 2017-11-07 08:30:51 (CST)

I have not posted much in the last few months because it is hunting season here in Colorado . I don't respond to a lot of Jerry's farm questions because I don't know a lot about chickens.Since getting rid of my bigger mules, I don't do a lot harness work now

1 year ago via Forums | Front Porch Forum

Scott S says 2017-11-07 17:35:59 (CST)

After a accident like that, make sure the next time you hook to a log they are tired, but it sounds like you are on right track with a cart. I have never logged, but it is way harder for a horse to out run wheels. There is the saying Calm waters won’t make a good sailor.

I think the forum would be way more active if people could at least ask questions without registering. Just a thought, probably not possible.

1 year ago via Forums | Front Porch Forum

Uncle Joe says 2017-11-08 05:28:18 (CST)

User Registration is critical to protect the site from automated attacks seeking access to a site or server. It’s the first and most important line of defense. Or so I have been told.


1 year ago via Forums | Front Porch Forum

Todd NE WY says 2017-11-08 09:54:44 (CST)


I think you run a great forum, this is one of the last draft horse ones on the web, also the most active I have found.

I don't post much because I am a hobby guy, my horses get the winters off. I like to read and learn.



1 year ago via Forums | Front Porch Forum

Ralph in N.E.Oh says 2017-11-08 18:45:12 (CST)

Redgate, working horses is like anything else sooner or later an accident or mistake will happen. Pick yourself up, dust yourself off, make a new plan and "get back on the horse" You are right it is a bit disturbing to admit a mistake or post about doing something wrong, but your admission may save another persons pride...or more importantly their life! Thanks for your post.

1 year ago via Forums | Front Porch Forum

Uncle Joe says 2017-11-09 05:29:56 (CST)

Thanks Todd.


1 year ago via Forums | Front Porch Forum

K.C. Fox says 2017-11-10 21:10:46 (CST)

I don't have tongs so I wrap a chain around the log I usaly hook using a forecart because i CAN'T move fast enough if something goes wrong. Some times the forecart makes the job harder sometimes easier. I have though about building a logging cart but I only drag firewood out not logging. If we have a runaway we usually hook one more time after every thing settles down tie the team cut some more wood and try pulling them again. we have to deal with broken chains and sliped chains, as bad as tongs coming off of a log. Good luck to you and yours using teams to do your work because you like using the old ways, or you don't have the new equipment to do the job.

1 year ago via Forums | Front Porch Forum

JerryHicks says 2017-11-13 05:17:43 (CST)

I haven't posted much lately, though I've had some things on my mind that I need to put in a post and get some varied opinions. I have actually been pretty busy on the farm lately, and that is a good thing. I quit growing tobacco this year and have found that I miss it. Searching for something to replace it but haven't really hit on anything yet. I took a part time job in a feed store which is only six miles from my home. I can't complain about the drive and the owners have been great about letting take time off or leave early when I had something on the farm that needed my attention. But, I'm finding that while I enjoy visiting with neighbors and other folks who come by the store, I miss being at home working and my mind tends to be there wondering if there is a problem or if all is safe. We'll see but I'm thinking come spring, I may have to figure out a way to transition back to full time farmer. I got caught up reenacting this year and spent a lot of time at Fort Boonesborough togged out in 18th century garb. I didn't feel ready yet to take part in the siege so I tended fire at a half face camp and talked with visitors about what was going on. The following weekend we had a charcoal burn and I took my turn in setting with the mound. It had to be monitored around the clock for upwards of six days before we could break it open and shovel out the charcoal. The following weekend was the fort's black smithing event, called a hammer in. The charcoal was used for the forges. We had four forges going and had a pretty good turn out for folks at all levels of experience. The reenacting season has now pretty much come to a close except for a coming trade day and a Christmas program at the fort. Hoping to find a new flintlock rifle. With the current deer season in progress, my partner and I are gearing up to start brain tanning deer hides and making moccasins. We have a few items missing in our get up. I ordered a hat and it should be made soon. I didn't want to go with the coon skin "Davey Crockett" look or the tri-corner revolutionary hat, so I found a guy who makes old timey fur felt hats and ordered one along the Quaker lines. Next on the list will be a pair of buckle shoes. A friend made me a good skinning knife but I need to make a set of handles to go on it. One more thing on my list of pending projects. Weather here is turning cold with the nights below freezing and the days hovering around 40. I'm keeping the cook stove going and still getting in fire wood. Haven't started feeding out hay yet but probably will be in a couple of weeks. I have about 60 acres of stock piled fescue that I plan to graze up in the winter depending on the weather. So, that's the gist of where I've been lately.

1 year ago via Forums | Front Porch Forum

forum rules icon

Forum rules
Read these first

forum monitor icon

Uncle Joe
Forum Moderator

Search forum
Search the forum ARCHIVE

Banner Ads

Available on-line
Rural Heritage
The June | July 19
edition of Rural Heritage
is now available at
Tractor Supply Stores
throughout the US.
Check out a preview in our Reading Room.

calendar icon
Rural Heritage
Calendar of Events
Home of the webs most
extensive Draft Horse, Mule &
Oxen Calendar of Events.

Wagons for Warriors
Traditional chuck wagons
parade, cook & serve
cowboy fare to raise
money for US Vets

Visit RFD–TV for the
Rural Heritage scheduled
times in your viewing area.
  • Copyright © 1997 − 2019 Rural Heritage
    Rural Heritage  |  PO Box 2067  |  Cedar Rapids, IA 52406
    Telephone (319) 362-3027

    This file last modified: Aug 13, 2018.

    Designed by