In the summer 2013 issue of Heavy Horse World, Chris Wadsworth is reported to have downsized to a cob. Wadsworth is a horse logger in England who traded in his Percheron for something smaller and more economical. Since I am an enthusiast of smaller drafts and co-owner of a logging company, the article was of course of interest to me.
Specifically, Wadsworth chose an eleven-year-old 15.1hh coloured cob named Blue and put her to work immediately on a timber contract for the Forestry Commission. “She is totally unflappable and, for her size, amazingly powerful,” says Wadsworth. Blue apparently had never worked in the woods prior to being purchased by Wadsworth, and he has found her to be quick to adapt to both skidding and working in shafts for him. Horse logging, of course, is preferred in some locations for its lighter impact on the land.
Of course I have worked in the woods with my ponies for many years, though not full-time as Wadsworth does. In addition to smaller drafts being more economical to keep than the bigger horses, I have also found their versatility to be of benefit in a logging business. For instance, I have used several of my ponies to ride timber sales to evaluate them prior to purchase and even to commute to them when they are close. And I’ve hauled brush in carts as well as skid logs on the ground.
The next issue of The Partnered Pony™ Inquirer will include an article discussing the ‘small is beautiful’ theme. If you haven’t already subscribed, I hope you’ll join me.
With appreciation to Eddie McDonough for pointing the Heavy Horse World article out to me.
(c) Jenifer Morrissey, 2013