In this day and age a lot of people probably wonder why folks would take the time to farm with draft horses. Well, for us the main reason is purely personal enjoyment. We love horses!
Our Belgian and Percheron draft horses, add a richness to our daily lives that is both humbling and inspiring. To see a living creature pulling steel through soil as muscles and tendons ripple and sweat gives us a greater appreciation for what it really takes to harness the earth’s energy, and a greater appreciation for both the limits of man and beast.
The coming of the tractors around World War II began the breakdown of a long draft animal (oxen, mules, and horses) heritage that is now missing from most farms. Now when folks mention draft animals they mention a father or grandfather that had them way back when, but that’s usually as deep as it goes. There was a time when the ability to communicate and safely ask an animal to work in harness was a highly respected skill in every community.
Besides being a lot of fun, they drastically reduce our dependence on fossil fuels and off-farm fertilizers. Using their manure as a primary fertilizer allows us greater financial independence. One major concern with cultivating with tractors is soil compaction which we are able to minimize using our lighter weight horses and equipment. We are proud to be one of the several farms in Maine that are incorporating draft animal power into modern agriculture.