After a 6 month wait, I finally got my Pioneer Homesteader! I am one happy girl today! The soil finally dried out just enough I could play with it today. My goodness, the difference between it and the sulky plows I have used is NICE! It is so much more stable. It is even more comfortable than my forecart, though certainly they have different uses. The only bad part for me is that the lever to raise and lower the attachment requires an arm about 3 inches longer than mine, but I’ll just have to adjust. Our horses are in between the pole adjustments that come standard, so we are going to make a few tweaks to it to make it work better for our farm and horses. All in all, though, I am thrilled with it!
So after churning up some top sod today, I have a few questions. First, my horses are on the larger end intended for the Homesteader. As a result, if the lines are adjusted such that they walk and face perfectly straight, their bellies almost touch over the pole, and I can’t see where I am going to find my rows. The other issue is that it seems easier for one or the other horse to mistakenly drift and step on my row center while walking straight. Is it acceptable to adjust the lines such that their heads will ever-so-slightly flare outward, to cause the horses to open up a bit?
Secondly, these horses have never done any type of plowing, furrow walking, or really anything requiring such precise, straight lines. One walks like a drunken sailor if given half a chance. I have been making conscious effort over the last couple of months to work on tighter, slower, and straighter in all we do, We spent several hours practicing straight lines in the rows today. Overall, they did OK, but one issue is that they walk faster than I’d like. They aren’t rushing, bit contact is nice and steady, but they just walk along as if going down the street. Even with a heavier pull, they tend to walk a bit faster instead of leaning in and pulling harder. What is the best way to teach the slow, short step, steady work without being in their mouth constantly?
Here is a brief video to give you a better idea. In this clip, I am using the potato plow to get a feel for how it works before having actual potatoes in the ground. m.youtube.com/watch?v=QvQ2G-aLdGs
As always, thanks for your thoughts and advice! I don’t think we would be nearly as far along as we are without this resource!