Blue skies and glorious September sunshine were the perfect complement to the Heavy Horse Experience Day organised by BHS Worcestershire at Lincolns Farm, Besford.
Both participants and spectators alike were treated to the amazing spectacle of the gentle giants of the horse world working the land and carrying out farming tasks as they would have done before the advent of today’s tractors and machinery.
The main attractions were two enormous Dutch Draft horses named Annie and Casper, Dora the Belgian Ardennes Draft and Star, a Dales cross gelding.
The first part of the morning was taken up by instruction on harnessing with Star, the types of harnesses used and a demonstration of how to back Dora into the shafts of a carriage or cart. This was followed by readying Annie and Casper for long reining.
The participants then took it in turns to long rein the Dutch Drafts as a pair and Dora and Star as single horses. Some did better than others but everyone did well, especially in trying to control Annie and Casper who weighed in at well over 1000kg each!
Following a break for lunch, Annie and Casper were readied to do some ploughing, Dora harnessed to a carriage for driving and Star prepared to drag logs round woodland tracks.
The rest of the day was taken up by everyone taking it in turns to plough furrows with the two Dutch Drafts, trying their hand at logging with Star and then having a go at driving with Dora.
The day ended much too quickly, but everyone involved thoroughly enjoyed themselves and went home with some wonderful memories of these superb and talented horses.
Our thanks must go to Kim Williams and his daughter Faye, to Dawn Lodge and to Julian Hunt for bringing their wonderful horses, their guidance, help and expertise in making it such a brilliant day for our members. Additional thanks goes to Julian for providing an excellent venue for the day.
Pictures show Annie and Casper displaying their talents at ploughing, Dora showing her expertise at driving and Star demonstrating his logging technique