Farming with Horses
(Page 3 of 3)
Since Alan purchased those first pieces of vintage equipment, horse-drawn implements, especially planters, have become increasingly rare. "You don't see many planters around here anymore," he says. "And that's not surprising. The implement companies stopped making horse-drawn equipment during World War II. All the young men were off to war, so there weren't enough people to work horses in the fields."
Many implement dealers simply stopped making horse-drawn equipment, he says, spurring growth in tractor sales. "Some of the horse equipment could be adapted to use with a tractor, but most of it couldn't," Alan says. "Implement companies had a lot to do with farmers switching from using horses in the field to working with tractors."
Farming with horses allows Alan to restore and use vintage farm equipment. But he says he also gets a lot of satisfaction from working in the field in the same manner his father and grandfather once did.
"When you use horse-drawn equipment, everything is so much quieter," he says. "You're close to the ground; you can smell the soil when you're working it. The horses seem to like having something to do. None of the work is that hard, especially when you're only working 5 acres. And it's kind of neat to be able to understand some of the challenges farmers faced when they lived here in the 1800s. You get a lot better understanding of them and their lifestyle when you're actually working like they did." FC
Loretta Sorensen is a lifelong resident of southeast South Dakota. She and her husband farm with Belgian draft horses and collect vintage farm equipment.
E-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Page: << Previous 1
| 3 |