Winter Scene ~ Back Home, Again

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Rancher On Horseback Finishes Ride Across America

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Bill Inman atop his horse Blackie
as riders in Hendersonville, N.C. welcome him

~~~

January 13, 2008

 An Oregon rancher who set off on a cross-country horseback ride seven months ago in search of what’s good in America dismounted Sunday, feeling encouraged by the spirit and stories of the people he met.

Bill Inman began his journey June 2 because he felt distress over how the country was being portrayed in news coverage and on TV shows. He rode his 16-year-old thoroughbred-quarter horse Blackie.

His wife, Brenda, and a four-person support crew joined him on the trip through eight states.

Along the way, Inman collected stories of hardworking, honest everyday people in rural America.

His cross cross-country trek was dubbedUncovering America by Horseback, a website that noted his experiences, including videos.

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The scenery in America is changing and I’m really proud we took snapshots at slow motion of this time period because 20 years from now it will be different,” he said.

Inman talks about the retired rancher in Idaho who he considers “a true image of America with his honesty and hospitality,” or people he’s met working multiple jobs to make ends meet, or another Idaho rancher e-mailing the progress of the journey to his son in Iraq.

“There is nothing like riding across the nation to learn about the people of this country,” he said.

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Among the people he met was a Wyoming deputy sheriff who drove 25 miles through a thunderstorm to bring dinner to him and his wife, and all 17 people of a Colorado town who came out to see him ride off.

An Idaho state trooper paid him $20 for the chance to sit on top of Blackie, he said.

“Sometimes, I was more intrigued by the stories they were telling than the stories I was telling,” Inman said.

Inman finished his trip riding into the southwestern North Carolina town under overcast skies. A crowd of more than 100 people greeted Inman as he ended the journey.

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Crossing the plains of Kansas

“I don’t know if that’s really sunk in yet. It may take me two or three days to think it’s over,” Inman said in a telephone interview.

Inman ticked off a list of what’s been bad about the trip — temperatures ranging from 108 degrees to freezing, pesky insects, water shortages, crossing mountains and desert and riding in a lightning storm. People aren’t on the list.

“I haven’t run into any bad people,” he said.

Inman bought Blackie in 2001. The two have clearly bonded.

“I know his capabilities and I know his flaws and I think he can say the same thing for me,” he said.  “Now if you think we’re constantly kissing buddies, I don’t think so.

Do I brag about him a lot? Yeah.”

~~~

Re-written from news sources:

Winter Scene: Winter Cowboy

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Original Upload:

Moose Logging

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This story is from a letter written by
Pete Lammert with the Maine Forest Service

~~~

The man in the picture is Jacques Leroux who lives near Escourt Station, Maine. He has always had work horses, first for actual work and then for show at Maine’s’ many summer fairs.

I think he had two matched pairs, one Clydesdales and the other Belgiums.

He would turn them out to pasture each morning and then work them in the afternoon dragging the sled around the fields.

Three springs ago, he noticed a female moose coming to the pasture and helping herself of the hay and what grain the work horses didn’t pick up off the ground.

Jacques said he could get within 10 feet of the moose before it would turn and move off.

Two springs ago, the moose foaled at the edge of the work horse pasture and upon getting to it’s feet had not only the mother in attendance but the four horses.

The young moose grew up around the horses and each afternoon when Mr. Leroux took the teams for their daily exercise the yearling moose would trail along the entire route next to the near horse.

At some point, the yearling got so accustomed to Mr. Leroux that, after he had brushed each horse after a workout, he started brushing down the moose.

The moose tolerated this quite well so Mr. Leroux started draping harness parts over the yearling to see how he would tolerate these objects.

The yearling was soon harness broken and now came the question of what could you do with a harness broke moose.

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NEWS BULLETIN FROM MAINE
Oh no!  It just ain’t true !!
Yep, sure nuf’ … they got me !!

And to add insult to injury, I’m even way behind the times.
T
his story started making the rounds nearly a year, ago.
Check it out, unless you (like me) still believe in Santa.

Link: The real trufff … according to Snoops

However, these photos are true (I hope)

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Link:

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Ben Moore’s Moose In Harness
Historical Photographs
University of Alaska, Fairbanks
Link:

Rider Completes 6,200 Mile Trek On Horseback

Officially billed as “On The Trail of Genghis Khan”, Tim Cope described his expedition of more than three years as a tribute to the nomadic people from Central Asia who over the centuries made their way west toward Europe.

BUDAPEST, Hungary — He scared off wolves with firecrackers in Mongolia and rescued his dog from hungry miners in Kazakhstan. But after three years on horseback, Tim Cope has retraced the route of Genghis Khan and other Asian nomads who crossed into Europe over the centuries.

The 28-year-old Australian arrived in Hungary on Saturday, Sept. 22, ending a 6,200-mile trek through Mongolia, Kazakhstan, southern Russia and Ukraine.

“I’m very happy to be here,” Cope said in the Hungarian town of Opusztaszer, surrounded by his traveling companions — his dog and three horses. “Sometimes I didn’t think I would ever arrive.”

A former law student who decided to dedicate his life to adventure, writing and film documentaries, Cope was inspired to make the horseback journey during a bicycle trip from Moscow to Beijing.

Trying to push his bike through the sands of the Gobi desert, Cope watched in frustration as nomad horsemen appeared out of nowhere and disappeared over the horizon.

That got him interested in nomad life on the steppes and the journey made over the centuries by the Avars, Mongols and Huns, among other Asian groups. He set off from Mongolia in 2004 for a trip he thought would take 18 months.

It ended up taking three years, and in late 2006, he had to return to Australia for several months when his father died in car crash.

Cope, 28, traveled with three horses and black hunting dog named Tigon that he received as a gift in Kazakhstan. Twice, he had to get his horses back from thieves.

In the Kazakh steppes, it became so hot that he added a camel for a while.

Cope, who speaks Russian, quickly learned to trust the wisdom of locals.

“In Mongolia, the nomads always told me that wolves were the most dangerous things on the steppe and I didn’t believe them, at first,” he said.

Then one night he found himself surrounded by howling wolves.

“When you hear that howl alone at night in the forest, it’s one of the most frightening sounds you’ll ever hear,” Cope said. “After that I took their advice and threw firecrackers out my tent door every night to keep the wolves away.”

Cope says he probably spent about half of his nights in his tent and the rest in farm houses and huts of strangers along the way.

“In Kazakhstan, once you’re someone’s guest, it’s really hard to get away, everyone wants you to stay,” he said. “They believe that if you invite a guest, luck will fly into your house.”

Cope brought gifts from Australia to exchange with his hosts and gave away many hundreds of photographs. “Exchanging gifts is an important thing in the steppe culture, a way for them to feel you have become a part of their lives,” he said.

Cope, who won the Australian Geographic Adventurer of the Year award last year, wants to complete a book and a film about his voyage, and is already envisioning future adventures in northwest China and the Middle East.

“It’s my way of life, it was not just a trip,” Cope said. “I’ll be back in the saddle as soon as I can.”

Link: Tim Cope Journeys

Horse and Carriage Show Displays Old Time Elegance

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Once each year, during the second week in August, the picturesque Pittsford, New York countryside comes alive with the magic and romance of an earlier era – a time when the Horse and Carriage reflected the quality of life and influenced the pace and scope of occupational and social activities.

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It was a time when the Horse and Carriage were elevated from a simple means of personal conveyance to a portrait of their owner – a social commentary as to profession, personal taste, and character.

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It was a time when the Horse and Carriage were elevated from a simple means of personal conveyance to a portrait of their owner – a social commentary as to profession, personal taste, and character.

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It was the last decade of the 19th century.

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In an attempt to recapture the essence and spirit of the 1890’s, the Pittsford Carriage Association annually hosts The Walnut Hill Carriage Driving Competition.

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This international celebration of the art and sport of traditional driving in held in a 19th century country fair setting on the commodious grounds of Walnut Hill Farm in Pittsford, New York.

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This living showcase of Americana presents a unique marriage in modern day equine sport – that of combining the pageantry and beauty of exquisitely turned out equipages with the excitement of demanding competition.

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The comprehensive five day schedule of classes offers spectators the opportunity to view a wide variety of 19th century carriages exhibited by over 250 competitors from some 20 states, Canada, and Europe. This year included an exhibitor from Australia!

 

Walnut Hill Farm

Many Ways To Enjoy A Shire

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Last Call For Arlington Farrier

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At Fort Myer, adjacent to Arlington National Cemetery,
a sign painted on the side of the door reads:
“Horse Shoeing. Pete Cote. Nation’s farrier.”

~~~~~

After 35 years as the farrier at Fort Myer, Va., Pete Cote has learned more than a few things about horses and a little about life — mostly the hard way.

He’s been kicked and stomped on, head-butted and sat on. And still, he says, he feels as though he understands horses “a whole lot better” than people

The trick is to “work with them and not against them,” he says. This is, perhaps, one of the hardest-won lessons he will take with him as he leaves his job as the last civilian farrier on the Army payroll.

Members of the Old Guard, the oldest and most prestigious active-duty infantry unit in the Army, based at Ft. Myer, are gathering outside the stables for reveille when Cote pulls up in his white pickup truck.

Cote jumps out of the truck, opens the big wooden doors of the blacksmith shop, turns on bright fluorescent lights, takes a quick walk through the stables to gauge what needs to be done and stokes the forge with coal.

By 6 a.m. his apprentice arrives, and stable hands start bringing in the horses that need to be shod. Cote ties his mule-skin apron around him and gets to work.

Reaching for a pair of plastic goggles, he grabs a couple of horseshoes from a rack, turns on the bench grinder and sends a shower of sparks flying as he begins to shape them. With an acetylene torch, he cuts the shoes to size, then buries them in the red-hot coals of a forge.

Once the metal turns white-hot, he removes them and hammers out toe clips that willhold them on the hoof. Six nails are usually enough to attach a horseshoe, though Cote remembers having to use 16 of them once on a horse with flat feet.

Every six weeks, each of the 46 horses in the stable is brought in for a new set of shoes.

Every day, two teams of eight horses will be called on to pull a caisson to Arlington National Cemetery. Back and forth, sometimes several times a day, the horses can walk up to 15 miles in a day on hard pavement.

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Cote, 55, knew he wanted to be a farrier from the moment he shod his first horse, at age 12. Drafted into the Army after high school, he spent eight months in Germany as a heavy artilleryman.

But after writing letters to the Pentagon touting his knowledge of horses, he was transferred in 1970 to Fort Myer, where he started working in the stables. After being honorably discharged in 1971, he was hired back as a civilian blacksmith and farrier.

As the primary farrier for the 3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment, the Army’s official ceremonial unit, Cote has helped prepare horses for ceremonial events from Lyndon Johnson’s Funeral in 1973 to Ronald Reagan’s last year.

In between he has shod horses for nine presidential inaugurations and countless military parades.

When asked about the highlights of his career, however, he is more apt to talk about battle scars than ceremonial moments.

Each injury tells a story. The list includes cracked ribs, collapsed lung, herniated disks, torn rotator cuffs in both shoulders and torn ligaments.

In one of his earlier accidents, as he walked up alongside a horse, it turned its head, butting Cote in the face. That earned him a reconstructed nose, not to mention two black eyes.  Another time, a horse fainted and fell over on him.

Then there was the time a horse got scared and kicked him in the mouth. “I couldn’t open my mouth,” says Cote. For weeks he lived on soup and milkshakes, writing down what he wanted to say.

Cote has been teaching an apprentice, Sgt. Bradley Carlson, 27, to succeed him: He advises him to “Keep foot level. Keep shoe level. Make it pleasant to the eye … if it pleases the eye of the owner, the horse is well shoed”.

Carlson says he’s learning to “put what where” and is confident that “I can do pretty good.” Still, Cote leaves “a big shoe to fill.

Eugene Burks, a saddler who has worked with Cote for more than 20 years says that as much as Cote has been a cornerstone of the stable operations, his presence throughout the years has also helped in “holding this platoon together.”

It is with some reluctance that Cote leaves the horses and the members of the Old Guard at Ft.Myer. “My mind says I don’t want to go, but my body says I have to go.”

Cote now looks forward to trail rides with his wife and taking care of his own horses.

 

Heinz Donates Horse Hitch To Arlington Cemetery

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The eight Percheron horses will be used to pay homage to fallen soldiers in ceremonies.

~~~

The H. J. Heinz Company announced today that it has donated the eight Percheron horses formerly used as part of the Heinz Hitch program to the 3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment (The Old Guard) where they will be used to pay homage to fallen soldiers in the ceremonies at Arlington National Cemetery.

This donation will ensure that the horses are well cared for the rest of their lives while honoring our country’s fallen soldiers and veterans,” said Michael Mullen, Director of Global Corporate Affairs for the H. J. Heinz Company.

The Heinz horses will participate in some of the eight full-honor military funerals per day at Arlington.

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The new posts also have their perks. Each of the eight Percheron horses will a have full-time, dedicated caretaker and veterinarian and they will join the more than 50 horses already stationed at Fort Myer, VA.

“It’s fitting that our country’s finest will be carried to rest by such a noble breed of horses, the same that once carried knights into battle,” said Chief Warrant Officer Jeremy Light, Caisson Platoon leader with The Old Guard. “We’re truly grateful for Heinz’s unique gift.”

The Percherons will be members of the Caisson Platoon of the 3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment (The Old Guard), which is the United States Army’s official ceremonial unit.

During a funeral procession, six horses form a team that pulls a flag-draped coffin upon a caisson throughout Arlington National Cemetery.

Historic Hooves
The eight Percheron horses are more than up to this task, generating more than 16,000 pounds of raw horsepower. On several occasions, they’ve been known to pull a 30,000-pound Rose Parade float with no complaints.

Originally from the Perche region of France, Percherons are the only line of heavy horses not originally bred as draft horses. The horses first appeared more than 1,000 years ago and are a cross between Arabian Stallions and Flemish Plow Mares.

They were bred specifically to blend power, agility and speed. These attributes made the Percherons favored horses for carrying knights confidently into battle.

Today, Percherons are enjoying a renewed popularity among horsemen for their gentle nature, power and control.

Regal Relic Retired
Heinz discontinued the traveling Heinz Hitch program in early 2006 as it switched its focus to more contemporary consumer marketing. In July, the Heinz Hitch wagon, a replica of a historic 1800s-era horse-drawn grocery cart, was donated to the Senator John Heinz History Center, and is currently on long-term display in the Center’s first-floor Great Hall.

The Hitch was showcased at parades, fairs and expositions throughout the United States and Canada, including high-profile events like the Pasadena Tournament of Roses Parade, Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and Major League Baseball’s Opening Day Parade.

It is with a great sense of pride for all of American as these eight Percherons assume their Duty with the Department of the Army to pay tribute to our country’s heroes.

Earlier Post:  Famed Heinz Hitch Now History

Denmark’s Jutland Horse and the Carlsberg Brewery

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Also known as the Jydsk Hest (Danish)

~~~

For many centuries heavy horses have been bred on the Jutland Peninsula, Denmark which gave the breed its name. During the 12th century strong, heavy horses were in great demand as war horses.

In the Middle Ages the strong, most willing Jutland was popular with the heavily armoured knights.

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During the 1860’s the English Suffolk Punch stallion Oppenheim LXII stood at stud in Denmark.

The breed became the dominant influence on the Jutland right down to the chestnut coloring. Cleveland Bay and Yorkshire Coach Horses were also used in the development for the breed.

Jutlands were in demand for farm work and pulling heavy loads. 

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Beginning in 1928, there has been a close association between the Jutland breed and the Carlsberg brewery which uses Jutlands to haul brewery wagons.

At one time there were 210 Jutland horses with Carlsberg and today about twenty are still used for beer transportation in Copenhagen.

The Carlsberg horses take part in many shows, festivals and films, promoting both the breed and the brewery.

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The Jutland is a medium-sized draft horse with a quick, free action. Like the Suffolk, the coat is usually chestnut with a flaxen mane and tail, and the breed’s connection with the Suffolk is evident in the compact, round body, the deep girth, and the massive quarters.

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There are also individuals within the breed which are black or brown but they are uncommon. In one respect, it differs entirely from the Suffolk, for the Jutland‘s legs carry a heavy feather that is not found in the former.

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The joints on the Jutland are inclined to be fleshy. The forelegs are short and set wide apart. They are coarse of feather on the lower legs. The withers are broad and flat.

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The neck is short and thick and they have heavily muscled shoulders and exceptionally broad chests. The head is plain and has a squared muzzle but is not unattractive.

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The breed has a reputation for being docile, kindly, and a tireless, willing worker.

Link:  About Denmark’s Jutland Horse