January 7, 2013, 12:00 pm
Filed under: January 2013 | Tags: ,
Jake passing on knowledge

Jake passing on knowledge

                                                            January 7, 2013

     Yesterday, we did indeed take care of two fallen trees that were blocking a maple sap path. The job went well and we were done in less than four hours. I had the pleasure of watching my youngest son, teach my hired man some draft horse stuff.

     My son practically cut his teeth on the butt lines of my team. He has been a horseman since the day he was born. He is good on the lines and has patience for both young horses and young men. He has learned by watching and by doing. He is a great help to me and an asset to my farm.

     He does a few things differently than I do. The result is the same and perhaps even a bit easier. I am just the old dog who learns new tricks slowly 😮  I am also shorter than both of the young men in the photo. Trust me, tall horses and short men must learn to adapt to each other!

     I have been mentoring my hired man since he came to work for me. He is a quick learner who can be trusted with animals and equipment. He wants to learn how to work horses. I don’t know that he will ever farm, but the value of horses goes beyond farm work …at least for me!

     I owned horses ten years before I owned a farm. I used them around my small rural lot to plow snow, plow the garden, haul manure and for cutting firewood. We were in several parades and worked on a Christmas tree farm every season. I got many hours of enjoyment from the horses. I learned how magical they are…that is a feeling that never goes away.

     Justin has been bitten by the draft horse bug. It is an infectious thing that spreads to a man’s heart. It creates a longing to be near one of the gentle giants every few days. I know, I have been smitten ever since my grandpa let me take the lines fifty years ago. The seed once planted, grows strong.

     We are teaching Justin how to work horses with a soft hand and voice. Teaching him what it means for a horse to work because they want to, not because they are afraid not to. Mine work for me because I ask them. They will give all they have and nuzzle me at the end of the day to boot. I have never had a tractor do that.

     I busied myself with cutting the trees and cruising the woodlot looking for other candidates for firewood. Jake and Justin loaded the sled, drove the horses and bonded over some work. Jake imparted wisdom, of that, I am sure.

     Just like the day my grandpa handed me the lines of his old work team and I was hooked, so it goes with my son Jacob. Now, Jake passes on his love of horses to another young man. I think my grandpa knew exactly what he was doing 😮



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