Over One Hundred Horse-Drawn Antique Carriages In Historic Christmas Parade

In Lebanon, Ohio the Antique Horse Drawn Carriage Parade has become one of the most anticipated Christmas celebrations. People travel afar to see this time honored tradition.

The unique Christmas parade features more than 100 antique horse-drawn carriages parading through the streets of beautiful historic downtown Lebanon.

Each year, hundreds of horses and thousands of local Lebanon, Ohio residents prepare for the coming of Christmas.

As night falls, historic buildings and candle-lit streets provide the perfect backdrop for this parade.

People of all ages line Lebanon’s charming downtown streets, candles in hand, anxiously awaiting the first of 100 horse-drawn antique carriages to pass by.

Held every year on the first Saturday in December, this Christmas parade has become one of the most unique and beautiful holiday celebrations in the Midwest.

~~~

Source: Examiner News
Photos: Warren County, Ohio

High Sierra Challenge: Woman, 64, Takes Annual Trek With Horse And Two Mules

Mary Breckenridge crosses the High Sierra every year with only her horse and two mules for company.

The beauty, the self-reliance, the solitude drive her.

With her horse, Surprise, and mules Dixie and Woody,  Mary Breckenridge guides them across Mono Pass on the second day of her trans-Sierra trip.

Taking in the view of Mono Pass

She always leaves in September, when heat still tents the Central Valley but cool mountain breezes stir silvery-green aspen leaves.

Higher up, the nights can be so cold that the water in her coffeepot turns rock-hard. It’s happened. She kept going.

Mary comforts Woody after he was spooked.

Packing and unpacking 300 pounds of gear daily, making and breaking camp, starting her fire from twigs.

Trekking the High Sierra makes her feel thrillingly self-reliant. A true Western woman.

This is my church, says, Breckenridge

Except, now that Mary is 64, and she’s not sure she can do it anymore. Not alone.

~~~

For the entire story and video of Mary Breckenridge and her High Sierra Challenge:  Los Angeles Times

Photos: Katie Falkenberg

Horses Help Farmers Cut Fuel Costs

 

Jeff Johns furrows another row with agricultural relic,
a horse-drawn steel plow

~~~

Jeff Johns of Lonesome Valley Farms in Pennsylvania had the horses. He had land that needed to be plowed. And he had worries that rising fuel costs would eat into his already thin profit margin.

So he’s doing what farmers did long before the tractor came along — he’s using his two draft horses to power a plow.

And he’s loving every minute of it.

Johns said, “It’s something about getting behind that team of horses that slows life down to the way it ought to be.”

Johns is joining the ranks of a growing number of farmers who are cutting fuel costs by going back in time.

In 1900, farmers relied completely on animal power. There were 21.6 million work animals used on American farms then, according to a 2005 report by the U.S. Department of Agriculture Economic Research Service.

With mechanization came change. By 1960, the last year the government kept statistics, only 3 million horses and mules were being used for farm work. The rest had been replaced by 4.7 million tractors used at that time.

However, due to the rising cost of fuel, work animals are making a comeback.

Johns bought a ride-on plow from an Amish equipment dealer over the winter with the idea that he was going to use his two male draft horses — Arley and Star — to plow.

He’s already used draft horses for years for hayrides and carriage rides.

“We figured we’d plow as much as we can with the horses this spring because that’s less fuel we have to pay for,” Johns said.

“Every furrow I can turn with those horses helps,” he said.

The Amish have always had a special relationship between their horses and the cultivation of the earth.

 Another Pennsylvania farmer, Burt Mulhollem, says using horses just makes sense.

“If I was to go out and work my tractor hard all day long, it would cost me $100, and I don’t have it,” Mulhollem said.

“I have the horses here so I may as well use them, and that don’t cost me nothing because I’ve got them here anyhow. And they give me manure back for the ground.”

Other farmers, particularly those who already have horses and mules, are expected to join him.

 

~~~

Re-written from Pittsburgh Tribune

Right Out Of History: Wagon Trains Celebrate Minnesota 150th Anniversary

Minnesota Sesquicentennial Wagon Train

~~~

The first weekend of May, Minnesota began the kickoff celebration of their historic past with the Sesquicentennial Wagon Train.

In all, about 85 people, on horseback and in covered wagons, buggies, surreys and one stagecoach are taking a week long,  100 mile journey, which will end Sunday at the State Capitol.

The arrival of the Sesquicentennial Wagon Train at the State Capitol is the linchpin for the kickoff for the state’s 150th birthday celebration.

The travelers started with two stuck wheels, a willful mule, a handful of skittish horses and a thrown rider. That was all before noon.

 A “green” horse three times took his driver off-road. A mule seeking his pasturemate took off, throwing his rider in the tall ditch grass.

When the group circled at noon, wagon master Olson was philosophical. I’m hoping for a better day tomorrow,” he said Monday. “The first day’s always an adjustment.”

Among the group were Pete Karpe who came from his farm in St. Francis, bringing his Percheron draft horses Trixie and Dixie, as well as his son, Mark, a capable, horse-mad 14-year-old.

Susan Longling, of Farmington, a confessed wagon-train addict, brought her Prince to pull the surrey she’d converted from her grandfather’s dairy (and bootleg liquor) cart.

As a strong sun broke through the crisp morning air, wagon master Jon Olson shouted, “Wagons, ho!” and the caravan rattled across the fairgrounds, onto the road.

Karpe had some trouble at the start, when the rig he drove became stuck in the mud. But once on the road, Dixie and Trixie easily caught pace with the group, their shod hooves ringing on the asphalt.

Townsfolk lined the streets of Cannon Falls, gathering before homes and shops to smile, wave and snap pictures.  A group of elementary kids held a hand-lettered sign: “Happy Birthday, Minnesota!”

This was “Americana” at its best!

The caravan continued, past bare fields and stands of cedar and elm.

Clay Christian the logistics man, said “We’ve got it easy”. “We’ve got county roads to go down, bridges to go across, no cliffs to take the wagons apart and lower ‘em down.”

 The covered wagon is an icon of the American frontier. Still, in the 1850s, most arrived by water, via Mississippi steamboat.

From there, with the Big Woods of Wisconsin and the Mississippi behind them, settlers fanned out, often in wagons, all over the state.

The covered wagon was like the 19th century sport-utility vehicle, said Matt Anderson, a curator for the Minnesota Historical Society who specializes in transportation artifacts.

And contrary to the archetype, wagons weren’t meant for people. Usually, they were packed with luggage or cargo.

“Anybody who could walk, I’m sure did,” Anderson said.

Although the rigs at camp are more or less authentic, it’s hard to ignore some of the comforts of today: coolers, lawn chairs, RVs, digital cameras and the occasional chiming cell phone.

In spite of unexpected events along the way, when the ride was completed it was said that  “A bad day doing this is still better than a good day doing anything else.”

~~~

Re-written from news sources:

Renewable Energy

renewable-energy-460.jpg

Draft Teams ~ Gotta Love Those Names !

tom-and-jerry.jpg

Tom and Jerry

lucky-and-ethel-400.jpg

Lucy and Ethel 

mickey-and-minnie.jpg

 Mickey and Minnie

ike-and-mike.jpg

Ike and Mike

molly-dolly.jpg

Molly and Dolly

nip-and-tuck-400.jpg

Nip and Tuck

pete-and-repete.jpg

Pete and Repete

~~~

And not to be missed … Mule Teams!

sonny-and-cher.jpg

Sonny and Cher

fred-and-ted-400.jpg

Fred and Ted

jack-and-bill.jpg

Jack and Bill

(Read all about Jack and Bill)

If you know more clever names for teams, please let me know. I’m collecting them.  Would appreciate photos, also. Thanks!

Budweiser Mule Team

budweiser-mule-team-chicago-1953-450.jpg

Budweiser Mule Team ~ Chicago, 1953

Ya’ Gotta Meet Jack and Bill

1-xmas.jpg

 Jack and Bill

Lately, I’ve become enamored with team horses, mule teams, miniature teams  … no explanation, never had any, never been around many, except when they were in parades.

While taking a leisurely browse through the “Horses For Sale” sites, I happened upon … “Jack and Bill”.   

It is for sure that I wouldn’t know what to do with them and certainly wouldn’t know where to put them, … but I actually thought for more than a few minutes how much fun it would be to have them.

Here is their ad.

~~~~~~

Mule Team Jack and Bill For Sale

Bombproof gentle mule team perfect for kids, parades, wagon trains and companionship.  They ride, too!  

with-kids.jpg

Jack and Bill are big-kid broke, little-kid broke, car, truck and tractor broke. They’re easy to catch, bridle, harness, shoe and sure love to have their ears rubbed. I’ve ridden them too.

ears.jpg

 I bought this team from a fellow who owned them 13 years. The only reason they came on the market was he died. Then they pulled his hearse.

Jack and Bill have plowed, cultivated tobacco, pulled a mower, sled and wagon and have logged more wagon train miles than I can imagine.

They would make the perfect team for anyone who wants to hook up to a wagon one weekend and then have their kids drive in a parade the next.

These boys know they’re job.I’ve lit the wood stove in my wagon while they stood quietly in the harness. I’ve shot film footage from the wagon roof while steering them from there down the road. I’ve had kids haul hay with them in a farm wagon and even steer them during Christmas hay rides.  

wagon.jpg 

In the past month I’ve done the following with Jack and Bill:  towed my wagon 60 miles one week, driven them to the library the next for a presentation, driven them in the St. Patrick’s Day parade. That’s in addition to their regular workouts.

You won’t find a gentler, more loving mule team. Period.

thru-stream.jpg

Reason for selling: Last year I rode my mule Woody across America and this was the team I was going to drive across the USA this year.I need a smaller, faster, younger team of mules more suited to the thousands of road miles ahead of us.Driving season is here. Jack and Bill are in shape and ready to hook to your wagon today!

 ~~~~~~

Hummm … I think I’ll take one more look around the barn and see it there just might be room for these boys.

 

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 137 other followers