Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Where Horses are still King

 There was a day when horses ruled the earth, so to speak.  In the 1800's, horses powered most of the world, at least on land, while steamboats ruled the waters.  Shortly after the turn of the twentieth-century their reign ended, as they stepped to the side of the road while automobiles and tractors took over.

 When we used horses everyday as our main mode of transportation and when they powered our farming operations, we knew them well.  Nowadays, even many horse owners barely understand their friend, the horse, and struggle to work peacefully with their charges.

What I have discovered, living near an Amish community, is that there is no replacement for working with horses everyday, if you want to understand them.  I love my own horses, but when bad weather hits, they stand in the barn.  Imagine if the only way you could go anywhere, in any weather, was to harness up a  horse and hitch it to a buggy or wagon.  Wind, rain, cold, heat, storms or being in a hurry, all are enough to make a preacher swear... when he is in a car. Try all of that behind a horse.

Generation after generation of farmers, passed down horse handling skills to their children and grandchildren, as they worked together on the farm.  Now, we try to learn those same things from a manual or DVD.  It is always better to learn first hand from a master, not to mention what we've lost, in not spending time with our extended family.  My Amish neighbors are still part of this historic loop, that we have stepped out of in order to improve our lives through modernization. 

 There is still a place where horses are King,
among the Amish

Pictures provided by my friend, Jerry.  If you would like a print of any (but the boy and draft horse,) contact me at and I will get you in contact with Jerry.

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