Several weeks ago, we attended the Draft Horse plowing event put on by the local Historical Society. They are a group of people interested in preserving the past for enjoyment, education and the hopes of returning to a slower, and more simple way of life. From one year to the next, we're never quite sure of what we'll find being exhibited, but there's always the horses and the plowing. The big, beautiful and ever so powerful horses. Oh my, they are incredible!! I can't help but admire not only their obvious beauty, but their quiet and dignified demeanor. I just adore these horses and mules. We certainly owe much of our very existence to these majestic and hard-working animals. For without their willingness to serve, we as a people surely wouldn't have survived.
These men were creating rough-hewn boards from logs that were stacked in a deck just outside this building. You sure wouldn't want to take a miss-step, or fall while working this machine.
And this was the blacksmith shop. These men were forging horseshoes, candlestick holders, hooks for the wall and a variety of other items. Our farrier Troy, was working just outside putting a set of shoes on a big, black Shire mare from shoes he had just forged from steel flat stock. I thought I'd gotten a picture of him, but apparently I didn't.
And here's my hubby admiring this old, steam-driven tractor. I can't imagine how much more daily work it took just to survive...and to think we imagine our lives as difficult. :)
We have an old dutch oven just like this one. My hubby was admiring this set-up and I'm pretty sure he's going to see if Troy will fashion us something similar to this for use while camping. I can just smell the chili simmering in the pot, can't you?
I love all this old stuff. I can't say I'd use it for everyday, but I can certainly imagine some of these items filled with some beautiful flowers sitting on the deck, or out in our yard under the shade tree.
This is a pair of Shires. And in the background is another pair of Shires owned by a friend of ours. He has a bunch of Shires and uses them all the time. He plows with them, and harvests too. And, on the summer fair circuit he travels with his 6-up team and performs. They really look beautiful all spiffed up and bedecked in their black leather harness with silver everywhere. They're just striking!!
At this plowing contest, the pairs are judged on several criteria, one of which is the straightness of their plowed rows.
This gal was done for the day. The horses had apparently spooked, made a sudden lunge forward and broke something on their harness ending their run. You can't tell by this picture, but she had a rather large bandage on her chin. She said she'd "bit the dust", or rather the mud. Other than her pride (and her chin), she was unharmed and in good spirits. Maybe it was for the best (for the horses anyway) because this pair of horses was obese...not chubby, but just plain fat. She said they were imported from Norway and were Percheron.
They may be small, but they certainly are mighty! This pair of mules were doing an awesome job, and they were as cool as a cucumber.
And these beauties are Belgians. I think they're my favorites. We have a client that has about 20 of these horses. They too, travel the summer circuit showing their horses in big, fancy wagons.
I think the mare on the left was an older gal, notice the greying on her face. I think she's beautiful. Maybe she's teaching the ropes to the younger horse...
And this is how the pioneers traveled in style. I truly cannot imagine how long a day of travelling would seem...but just think of the conversations you could have, and the scenery you would see. So many things that we don't notice whilst whizzing down the freeways at 55 mph or more. There's certainly a lot of things in our lives today that are better...but so many things that we miss out on too. A quiet, much slower pace of life is one that I know I'd enjoy.
Hope you enjoy these pictures of a time gone by.
Lorie @ Cingspots
Oh, one more thing...remember I said that last weekend we got our veggie garden all planted? Well, we had a hard frost night before last, and all our plants look like crap. We'll be lucky if any of them survive. Our weather is beautiful and sunny in the daytime, but come evening and the wind picks up; it gets downright cold. I may have to build a fire this evening, and then dig out the sunscreen for this weekend, when our temps are supposed to soar from the mid 80's to the low 90's. Sheesh...
But, at least it's not raining. :)
Happy Mother's Day to all!!!!