Saturday, April 19, 2014

Amish are Happy People

 I sat at this little booth all day selling books.  This picture was taken at about 8:00 am, when I first set up, but by about noon the place was so packed a person could barely see this table.  At one point I looked around and realized I was completely surrounded by Amish people.  The thought crossed my mind, that I could get some great pictures without anyone knowing it.  Then, I reminded myself that many of these Amish were my good friends and I know they don't want their pictures taken.  Why would I do that?

It would have been fun to share that moment with you, my reader, but I just couldn't let down my Amish friends!  So, instead of taking pictures, I sat and watched all the Amish folks visiting.  And I noticed something, they were all smiling.  When Amish are in town they often seem stern and quiet.  If you can visit Amish people in their own environment you will find something else; they love to tease and have fun.

During the day, I got a chance to visit with several of my Amish friends. I gave a copy of Under the Heavens to the man I bought Karm and Coke from, he was excited to see his old horses on the cover. Another Amish friend bought a book from me, and made a comment as he did, "I helped you write this book."  He didn't know how true that was!

By the time this horse pull was taking place, all the local Amish had gone home.  Kalona Amish don't believe in contests of any type, including horse pulls. There are some Amish people in these horse pull pictures but not from our community; it is off limits.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Kalona Amish 1978

These pictures were taken in 1978.

A retired couple that lives on my mail route recently read my Amish novel. After reading it Jerry told me about these pictures he had taken in 1978 near Kalona.  I think his photography is great.

There were several things I noticed, such as the cars in the background, which look outdated.
 You may also notice that the Amish haven't changed much during that same time.  These pictures could have been taken this afternoon, minus the old cars.

The picture of corn shocks (below) reveals a change among Amish in Kalona.  I haven't seen any corn shocks in a really long time.  We still have a few families in our area that shock oats, but not corn.

Buggies, at first glance, look exactly the same in 2014 as they did in 1978.

I moved to the Kalona area in 1980 and have noticed changes in Amish buggies.  They now have headlights, which didn't exist in our community until only a few years ago.

Jerry took a number of other great pictures in 1978 but I am saving those for other blog posts.  Keep checking in on this blog and you will be blessed with many more great pictures!

If you see one you really like and want to purchase a print, Jerry said that he would be willing to accommodate that.  Simply email me at and I will get you in touch with Jerry!

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Amish Horses For Sale

Are you looking to buy horses from the Amish
I think I can help you!
I started this blog about one year ago, based on my own experiences of buying horses from Amish families. It has come to my attention that my "most viewed blogs" are those that talk about Horses for Sale. 
This is a Help Page,
  for those who want to know how to go about buying horses from the Amish.

 1) Horses owned and trained by the Amish are available for sale throughout much of the U.S.
Because most Amish communities don't have electricity or computers, it is difficult to find these buying opportunities online.  Don't give up, there are website that can help.

2) The easiest (and maybe the best) way to buy horses from the Amish, might be at auction facilities.  There are large sales held every spring and fall, called Draft Horse Sales. These events draw many Amish sellers and buyers.  There are usually buggy and riding horses available at these sales also. 
        I will list some links for these sale barns, so that you can check the dates and locations.  I listed the Kalona Sale Barn separately, because that is where I have had my own personal success finding nice Amish families selling horses. (Good Horses) 

Buyer Beware!  Just because an Amish person is driving a horse through a sale ring doesn't mean they own the horse or even trained it. Many Amish are payed to drive horses through the ring because they are great horsemen, making horses look better.  Before the auction starts, try to talk to the horse owner.  Most Amish people are very honest.  If you ask them straight out, they will tell you if they raised or trained the horse.

Kalona Draft Horse Sale

Multiple Draft Horse Sale Dates

 3) If you want to buy from an Amish family on their own farm, that is quite possible!
It is actually very easy to find horses for sale in any Amish community.  For starters, horses are a huge part of Amish life, because of that, anywhere there are Amish, there are horses.  Put that together with the fact that most Amish are excellent businessmen, and love to wheel and deal!  One more feature of Amish communities that make them great places to do business is that they are extremely close-knit.  This makes it very simple to find what your looking for.  Merely stop at the first Amish farm you come to and tell them what you are looking for, more than likely they will know exactly where you can find it.
Here is a link to a website that will help you find the Amish community in your area:

 This book cover (shown below) pictures my own team of draft horses, purchased from an Amish family near Kalona, Iowa.  My novel, Under the Heavens, and future books in the Amish Horses Series, are based on my own experiences interacting with Amish.  Here is a link for book 1:

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Belgians at the Horse Sale

This Belgian horse is one big boy!  I tried to take my picture in front of him to give some perspective but it didn't work that well.

Yesterday was a great day for me.  My wife and I went up to the Waverly Draft Horse Sale and spent the day.  I sold copies of my novel, Under the Heavens, which happens to be a book about draft horses.

There are always Amish people at draft horse sales.  Many of them stopped to look at my book, and a few bought copies!  I am hoping they will send me a note, telling me what they thought.  There is a P.O. Box address on the back of my book, so that Amish will have a way to contact me.  Of course, I welcome letters from anyone at this address.
Amish Horses
P.O. Box 495
Kalona, Iowa 52247

These Belgian horses were big and beautiful.  If you are a regular reader of this blog, you know that I am a Percheron man.  Even though I own a team of black Percheron horses, I still enjoy looking at Belgians, Clydesdales, and every other breed of horse.

If you enjoy looking at horses, click on this link below.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Hay Sale

 Hay is a precious commodity this time of year. Mountains of bales, round and square get stacked up one day and hauled off the next.

Kalona is one of many rural communities that are fueled by hay.  Cattle, horses, sheep and now days goats all need their staple, hay!  Almost all Amish farms in the Kalona area now have milk goats, only five years ago they all milked cows.

A local Amish man I know said recently, "When I go to sell my dairy herd, I will have to take them to the exotic sale!"

If you are looking for good hay, check out the Kalona Sale Barn, they have a hay sale every week.

There is also a Auction house near Frytown that has a hay sale every Wednesday.  Here is their link

Check out Amish Horses Facebook page:

Friday, March 14, 2014

Step Back in Time

 Amish children walking home from school
near Hazleton, Iowa

 We stopped in the Hazleton Amish community today.  As usual, when I get into an Amish area, I stop in the first gas station and ask the attendant, "What direction do all the Amish live?"  They normally point, "Over that way" and off I go.  Every now and then, they hand me a brochure giving directions to help find Amish stores.  The Hazleton Commercial Club put out a fantastic map of this area, complete with dots showing all known Amish farms in the area and numbered business locations. As we arrived at #4 Plainview Country Store, we saw this man hauling manure. (The store is in the background) He and his horses didn't seem to notice that their field was mostly under water.
 This picture was taken in the parking lot of Plainview Country Store, a dry goods store with a variety of interesting items.  I bought some Maple Creme Nut Clusters, I'm eating one right now and they are crazy good! We enjoyed watching some little Amish children teetering around in the yard but I didn't get a picture of them.  I liked how the wash-line headed up over the buggies.  A teenage girl came out and started reeling in the dry clothes shortly after I took this picture. Her clothes line is on a pulley system between the house and the barn. She stood on the edge of the porch and gathered everything in from that one spot.
This picture was taken near another interesting store, not on the map, named 150 Discount.  Easy to find because it is just off of Hwy 150 on 150th St.  A really nice young couple run this place and I recommend it as another great variety shop.  Step back in time and visit an Amish community today!
Visit Amish Horses Facebook page
just click on the link above

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Horse Girls

My little granddaughters definitely have their grandpa's love of horses!

Above, you see Peaches and Cocoa stabled up in the bedroom near the horse bedspread. (Yeah, Grandpa bought them those horses but as you can see, they've been rode hard and put away wet!)

At left you see Lyla riding a snow-horse, she and her daddy made. Below, Kinley riding a merry-go-round horse.  And, below right, Lyla with a stick horse her mama made for her.

These girls love to watch horse movies and shows!  Just a few days ago they came to see Grandpa, or should I say, to see Karma and Coke.  They brought out a big bag with apples, carrots and sugar cubes.  I had to limit the sugar!  They always spend a long time passing hay over the fence to their big friends.

Their mama, Lisa, is my daughter. She looked just like these girls at that age!

Lisa loved to ride along in the horse wagon but didn't play horses anywhere near as much as these girls do.  Although, my daughter is the one that carefully cut out all these paper horses her girls are playing with.

As they say, "The apple doesn't fall far from the tree!"

Miss Lyla, watching a horse drawn exhibit at our Fourth-of-July parade. The picture of Lyla sitting on Coke was taken that same day a few hours later.