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Farming with horses

posted Apr 12, 2011, 10:06 AM by Dan and Caroline Swansey   [ updated Apr 18, 2011, 7:23 PM ]
From day 1, Caroline and I have said that we want to farm with horses. Yeah, you might say its easier and faster with a tractor but what about sustainable? What about in the long run? What if a tractor blows a hydraulic line? We would kind of be up the creek if that happened out on our fields. If a horse blows a line....well its fertilizer! Farming has a lot to do with being in tune with nature and we feel that farming with horses is an integral part of it for our farm. This is why we have not invested in a tractor. This first year, we had planned on renting a tractor and the correct implements as needed until the farm is up and running and we are ready for the horses. We have rented a tractor and tiller ( it did an okay job) but other than that you can't rent a plow attachment or bed shaper in this area. So, we were forced to seek other options and stay patient. There are some moments when I think ahhhhh! We really need a tractor! I need to get things done!! But, then I take a step back and think, we need to stick to our plans and believe in our dream. Be patient. Now, although Lester doesn't have a team to plow with at the moment, Lester has a wealth and lifetime of knowledge of horses and farming with horses. Lester has offered to teach Caroline and I how to farm with horses and we couldn't be more excited and appreciative. This past weekend, Lester and I, drove to Mcminnville, OR to watch a draft horse plowing competition at the Yamhill historical museum (Lester's son, Gene, won third place in the open category) and we talked horses all day. Tomorrow, April 13th, we are heading to another draft horse exhibition in Madras, OR. Lester and Carol have lent us a stack of books on draft horses in which I am eager to read. We will keep you posted as to the developments of farming with horses.