Horse-Drawn Equipment Key to Collection

Mowers, cultivators and plows are just a few of the horse drawn implements in Dave Bromenshenkel's collection

| September 2008

The only time Dave Bromenshenkel ever drove a team of horses was when he was 6 years old. But that hasn't stopped him from collecting horse-drawn implements. "I've never driven horses or done any work with them," he says. "Dad had a team when I was real young, so the most I did was drive the team down the road when he was standing there with me."

As a young man, Dave's father used horses regularly, especially to haul manure during the winter. "He did that up into the 1950s," he says. "He used horses to mow, too." Some of that experience filtered down to Dave, who lives in rural Sauk Centre, Minn.

After graduating from high school, Dave collected gasoline engines until they became too expensive. Then he turned to tractors the family already owned and used on the farm, including an unstyled John Deere A and an unstyled John Deere B. "I started buying a few tractors and fixing them up," he says, "and from there I went to the implements."

His first love is John Deere, because his father and grandfather farmed with that line. "That got me interested in getting more, some of my own," he says, "and it snowballed from there." Today he has about 100 old implements, including a dozen that were horse-drawn.

Plowing new ground

Dave began by collecting 1- and 2-bottom plows and later started looking for mounted plows. "Those were the days you could get them for $15-30 each," he says. "One time I got a whole semi load of them for $150. Nowadays you'd have to pay that much just for one of them."

After getting a few old tractor implements, he decided he wanted some horse plows, especially those made by John Deere. "There were 2-way plows in our area, too, where you'd go down the field using the plow on one side, lift the bottom at the end, drop the other bottom and go back the same row using the plow on the other side," he says. "The advantage was in keeping the soil in place when plowing terrace contours, or maybe with a small plot."