Moose Logging

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

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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:

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Draft Horses Make Dream Come True

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Amos and Andy

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At 82 years old, you might think that “Harry,” a resident at ManorCare Health Services – Lebanon, Pennsylvania, might want to spend his time relaxing. 

After farming until he was 24, and eventually retiring from a local macaroni factory, Harry had done his share of hard work. 

But when asked what his Heart’s Desire was, he thought back to those simpler days when he was working the farm with horses, mules and single tractor. 

He told the staff at ManorCare that he would once again like to drive a team of mules. The staff at ManorCare worked with a local farmer and an Amish driver to arrange a wagon. 

But instead of mules, they arranged for two black Percheron draft horses named Amos and Andy. 

According to Harry, that was okay because horses were easier to drive than mules, and he remembers that sometimes mules would run away from him and he would end up just “holding on.” 

With the help of a step stool, Harry climbed into the wagon and took a 15-minute lap around the farm, and then returned to pick up some friends from ManorCare and several reporters for the second lap.  

He reminisced about growing corn, oats, wheat and barley when he was younger, and kept the gentle giants Amos and Andy, who stood 17 hands high, under control. 

According to ManorCare Lebanon‘s admissions director, the event was a wonderful example of how the residents at ManorCare, and nursing homes around the country, still get a kick out of reliving simple pleasures. 

The staff looks forward to fulfilling more wishes in the near future. 

ManorCare Heart’s Desire

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

Archie, The Loveable Newfoundland ~ Update

Archie Has Successful Surgery

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Archie, a Newfoundland, provides smiles and laughter to children at Casa Pacifica, a Ventura County, California oasis for abused, neglected and emotionally disturbed children.

But this therapy dog recently needed help of his own. He needed an expensive surgery from an injury sustained while playing with another dog. But the non-profit organization did not have any funds for Archie’s surgery.

News got out about Archie’s need for surgery and donations flooded Casa Pacifica. They received $6,000 in donations and even received donations from the UK. Even a student at Casa Pacifica’s school saved $5 in pennies to help pay for Archie’s surgery.

When Archie sustained something similar to an ACL injury in a human, newspapers and television stations ran stories, and donations started coming in to Casa Pacifica. The Associated Press picked up Archie’s story, and it was soon appearing nationwide.

“We’ve met probably 150 new people we never heard from before,” said Vicky Murphy, Archie’s caretaker and director of operations and development for Casa Pacifica.

“There are messages on a Newfoundland blog, and other dogs write to him. It’s adorable. They all talk about the kids and all the work he does to take care of the kids.”

Archie has received 60 pieces of fan mail in a single day

Veterinarians recently performed surgery on Archie. The beloved dog will need six to eight weeks of rest before he’ll be able to use both legs again, and three to four months for a full recovery.

Then Archie should be back at Casa Pacifica to bring smiles to the children and give them some big hugs.

~~~

If you’ve not heard about Archie, be sure to read this earlier post “Archie … Almost A Pony“.

~~~

Link: Archie’s Website

Link: News Report

Veteran Rider, 69, Wins Denmark’s National Three-Day Title

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Proving that you’re never too old to ride, compete and excel is Johan Iversen, a 69-year-old who won the Danish National Three-Day-Event Championship this past June.

And what’s more – he did it riding Ocean, a horse whom he bred and developed himself.

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The Event Riders Association reports that Iversen impressed both the spectators and judges with his dressage performance, and according to the Danish website Heste Nettet he also went well across country.

 With only two rails down in the showjumping he secured the victory.

 


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.

 

Horse History In Photos – Milwaukee

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Back when the town had drinking troughs for horses, and taverns served free lunches and streetcar tracks bent round the corner, Milwaukee Journal and Milwaukee Sentinel photographers, and other picture makers, were there to record the history.

The photographs on this page provide a small view of the horses in Milwaukee’s past.

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Blackie, Whitie and Brownie were among the last horses to pull Milwaukee Fire Department rigs. This picture was taken in 1925.

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This photograph of New Coeln House was taken about 1905 when Jacob Klein operated the two-story Cream City brick saloon and dance hall.

It was built as a “half-way house” in about 1851. Travelers between Racine and Milwaukee often slept on the second floor.

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All Wisconsin Ice & Coal Co. deliverymen wore brass-buttoned uniforms when this picture was taken in 1901 in front of the home of Capt. Fred Pabst of the Pabst Brewery family. 

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Around the turn of the century, wagons held up street car traffic on Wisconsin Ave. in Downtown Milwaukee. The old Gimbles Store is on the left.

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This is a view of the undertaking and furniture establishment of Herb & Schmidt, with one of the firm’s rigs at the curb.

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Dummy horses were a familiar sight in harness stores in Milwaukee. This picture, taken about 1899, shows the Standard Harness Shop at 506 Grand Ave. (now W. Wisconsin Ave.).

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A busy corner in downtown Milwaukee before the end of the 19th Century.

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Milwaukee was a big user of horses in 1951 when it kept 56 teams to pull ash and rubbish vehicles, like this one, from house to house. This type of collection ended later that year.

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Photographs and information from the Archives of the Milwaukee Journal and Sentinal

Julie Suhr – 76 yr. Old Endurance Rider

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Julie Suhr just turned 76. She lives in Scott’s Valley near Santa Cruz, California. For over thirty years, she has ridden in cross county endurance races of 30, 50, and 100 miles each. Starting in 1968, Julie began riding the coveted 100-mile, one-day Tevis Cup race.

She has started the race 28 times and finished 22, with three Haggin Cup wins, the award given to the horse among the top ten finishers, which is judged to be in the best condition to continue.

Julie says that her ability to still ride long distances is directly attributed to good health, and a supportive husband.

Julie says there are some changes she has noticed from a lifetime of riding, and some things to keep in mind when “riding into your 70’s”. First, “polish up your sense of humor”. The thing that does not change with age is the thrill of a good ride on a good horse”.

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She admits that the confidence she used to take for granted is tempered by the reality of knowing that if she goes off she could break a hip. She knows her reflex actions and balance are nowhere near as sharp and quick as they once were.

She feels that if you are going to continue to compete, the selection of endurance prospects is reduced. She now likes to buy a horse keeping the 6 “S’s” in mind; Safe, Sane, Short (14.2 or 3 at most), Smooth, Sound and Sure-Footed.

She has noticed some other changes brought on by the years. She is more sensitive to hunger and thirst. Julie says that she rode her first Tevis Ride (over 30 years ago) with “not a single drop of liquid or food.” She now carries four water bottles on her saddle.

Her most important addition to her riding gear is her survival fanny pack, which she wears around her waist. “This is my security blanket. It goes where I go.”

In case of a fall off her horse, she will have on her body:

A space blanket.
Band-aids.
A glowstick to fend off wild animals, or to attract attention.
A knife with an easy-to-open blade.
A small leatherman tool that has many uses.
Some waterproof matches.
A couple of leather thongs for quick repairs.
Some benadryl in case of attack by killer bees.
A few Advil in case of pain.
A short, small pencil with a tiny notepad. She says the point always breaks the first time you put it in your pack, but no problem, you can sharpen it with your knife.
Lastly, a lipstick, “Because you never know who you are going to run into out there.”

Julie also says that her thermostat no longer works as well as it used to. “I am much more apt to be too cold or too hot than in previous years.

She likes Polar fleece that zips up the front so that you can get it off and on without removing your helmet, and is easy to tie around your mid-section with just one loop while riding.

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Julie is sure that “the two discoveries that have meant the most to mankind are not the discovery of fire or the invention of the wheel. They are polar fleece and Velcro.”

She has also switched from an English to an endurance type saddle that has a deeper seat and a rounded pommel in the front to give her more support.

Julie continues to go to at least one endurance ride a month, and is often accompanied by her husband and trail companion, Bob, who rode his first endurance ride, the Tevis, at the age of 58. He rode his last 50 miler at age 84.

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Julie Suhr crossed the finish line of the 2007 Shine and Shine Only Endurance ride, for her 30,000th mile of Endurance competition.

Now, that is called … inspiration!

Link:  “Ten Feet Tall, Still” by Julie Suhr

Discover the world of endurance riding:  This engaging true story is not for horse lovers alone, but for all ages and all walks of life who have ever had dreams.

Link:   Tevis Cup ~ Earlier Post

Rare Poitou Donkey Foals Born

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The news just doesn’t get any better for a rare breed of donkeys that grow to be taller than most horses.

A British stud farm dedicated to preserving the rare Poitou donkey has managed to breed four foals within a 20-day period – two colts and two fillies.

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Just 44 Poitou donkeys were known to exist in 1976. Their numbers have since increased to an estimated 600 to 800 worldwide.

The four newcomers, Tilda, Tomas, Tarka and Tizer, have proved to be a big hit for Woodford Farm, in Hampshire.

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The farm eventually had to put up “no entry” signs after being inundated by members of the public to see the photogenic little newcomers.

The mares and their foals also became media darlings, with BBC local and national news services carrying the story.

However, the publicity has had a plus side. “We have had some genuine interest from other people who want to help save the breed,” said owner,  Annie Pollack.  

“We have had a short film made about us by the BBC Natural History Department.  

I just want more people to hear about Poitous and hence help save the breed.”

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The first of the four foals was born on April 27; the other three following over the next 20 days.

The breed is much bigger than conventional donkeys, and can reach 16 hands. Poitous have a good covering of hair, with heat usually more of a problem than cold.

Life for the Poitous on Woodford Farm would be the envy of many horses. They have shelter from the rain and are fed twice daily, with lots of hay. They are groomed regularly and Annie says the foals get a lot of handling.

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They are believed to date back to Roman times, with the records of the time referring to big donkeys.

“It was the whole industrialisation process that caused their downfall – railways, mechanisation, and a depression in agriculture.”

There is another reason for the Poitou‘s rarity.

“This breed was primarily used to breed mules – huge great 17-hand animals which were used for riding or as pack animals. They were crossed with a Mulassier mare, which is like a large, heavyweight French cob. They are also very rare.”

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Annie says, “The Poitou are a lovely breed – gentle giants.  Worth saving?  I definitely think so.”

 

Tina Tallest Horse ? – Update

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 Latest News Bulletin !!

July 28, 20078:35 PM ETNIOTA, Tenn. (AP) –

A Tennessee Shire horse may be the tallest horse in the world.

The Chattanooga Times Free Press is reporting that at an official measuring today, Jenson Diplomat Tina — known as Tina — measured 20 hands tall.

The current Guinness World Record holder is a Belgian draft horse named Radar. According to Radar’s Web site, he is about 79 and a half inches, that is more than 19 hands tall, but not quite 20.

Horses are measured along the front leg to the top of the shoulder.

Nearly 300 horse fans turned out to see Tina measured at her stable about 65 miles northeast of Chattanooga.

When her height was announced the crowd erupted in applause.

The documentation of her height will be sent to Guinness, based in London.

Earlier Post:  Tenn. Horse Could Be World’s Tallest

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While waiting for the official word from Guinness, check  out Tina’s daddy !

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Tina came from Jenson’s Shires in Blair, Nebraska.