The Draft-Horse Gear and Tools You Need - Modern Farmer

The Draft-Horse Gear and Tools You Need

Linking a horse to farming implements is a bit more involved than saddling up for a ride.

Photography Aliza Eliazarov

Once a team has been outfitted with the gear detailed above, it can pull a wide range of farming equipment – including many intended for use with a tractor. The most common approach is to invest in a wheeled forecart, which includes a seat for the teamster driving the horses and a “drawbar” to which equipment is attached. Forecarts, as well as many implements designed for draft animals, are available through Amish manufacturers and distributors such as Atlantic Draft Horse Supply, I & J Manufacturing, and Pioneer Equipment Inc. Here’s a run-down of the kinds of tasks draft horses can tackle, along with the gear required for each:

Soil Prep

Moldboard Plow: Simple walk-behind plow used with draft horses since the 18th century
Sulky Plow: Riding version of the moldboard plow
Manure Spreader: Heavy-duty wagon with rotating blades that spew manure onto the field
Harrow: Used after plowing to break large clumps of dirt into a fine seed bed

Planting and Cultivation

Seed Drills, Transplanters: Automate the process of putting plants in the ground
Cultivator: Multi-purpose tool that forms furrows and weeds the space between crops
Digger: Harvests potatoes, garlic, and other root crops

Around the Farm

Wagons, Carts, Sleds: Allow the horses to haul everything from produce to firewood
Mowers, Power Rakes, Hay Balers, Tedders: All tools that are involved in harvesting and baling hay

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