Monday, September 22, 2008

End of an era for the draft horse hitches?

I sure hope not, but I am questioning how much longer we will see these beautiful equines in their decked out harnesses pulling wagons into an arena or down a street in a parade. The people who handle them are slowly going away too. Are there enough interested young people to take up the reins?

Hubby and I attended a Draft Horse Show over the weekend. I simply love seeing the 6 horse hitches and hearing the power of the teams as they trot into the arena. For me, there's something magical about it.

This year I noticed, fewer teams. Fewer farms represented. Could be the location as we live in Southern Ohio and as far as I'm aware there are very few of these kinds of shows through the year. A couple of teams were from Michigan, one from Indiana. I can only imagine the money they had to spend on gas alone to get to this show in SW Ohio.

It dawned on me that soon, I may not have the privilege of seeing these magnificent horses in this way. The skill may be lost one day. I'm sure there will always be a few who keep the tradition of driving the big rigs, but as with everything of the "old days", fewer people will grow up with the knowledge. I hope the sons and daughters of some of these farms continue the tradition. Many of the folks in the audience were older though there were young people too.
As with farm machinery of the past, draft horse teams are no longer the necessity, but simply treasures of what we sometimes consider simpler times.

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