Horse Power

I love horses. I don’t know if you’re able to tell that from my web site. I mean, it’s not like I’ve even posted any pictures of my own horses — guess I should do that sometime . . . 

But at the Tractor Show last weekend, they had a Draft Horse Pull. For those of you who may not know, a draft horse pull is like a tractor pull, only with horses. I am in constant awe of the power of these huge animals. They could crush a human with one swing of a hoof, yet they are such kind, intelligent, and gentle creatures.Horse Power

The horses are hooked up in teams, and take turns pulling to see which team can pull the most weight. The sled is loaded with concrete blocks, and each team takes a turn each round. Every round, more blocks are added, and each team keeps trying until they can’t pull it any more. Once they fail to pull it a certain distance, they are eliminated. At the end, only one team is left — the one that can pull the most weight. Team Ready

Pulling horses are generally male, but I have seen some mares used as pulling horses. I love their names, too — they’re always named something like: Pete and Barney, Jake and Jim, Frank and Bob. The combined weight of each team of horses is between 3000 and 4000 pounds, yet they can pull twice their weight and make it look easy. And you can tell they love doing it. They wear special shoes, so they can get good traction, and most of the effort comes from their hind ends. This is one instance where a big butt is truly a coveted asset! Isn’t this a cute pair of butts?Big Butts

They wear specially fitted harnesses so that they don’t get sore. They are walked up to the sled just a bit past the front, then they back a few steps so that the hook on their harness can drop into the hook on the sled. Pulling

Those horses know the sound of that hook dropping, and as soon as they hear that sound, they spring forward with all their might and start pulling the sled. They make it look so easy, and they know it’s a competition. They get so proud when they’ve done it — they love the praise they get from the driver, and they prance their way back to the sidelines to wait for their next turn. Prancing

They use a tractor to pull the sled back to the starting point, and one year, the sled weighed so much, the tractor couldn’t even pull it back to the beginning — the horses could pull more weight than the tractor! You can click here to read more about the Sport of Horsepulling. If you ever get the chance to watch one, I urge you to do it at least once. You’ll be amazed. I’ll leave you with a couple extra shots of horses I took at a previous pull. I loved this dapple gray — isn’t he a beautiful animal?dapplegray

And this horse is named Roany . . . he’s got his mane and ears trimmed and is all duded up . . . what a pretty boy.Roany2
Roany

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Published in: on July 27, 2009 at 11:34 am  Leave a Comment  
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