Save Gas ~ Ride A Horse! *Check Out Honest John’s New And Used Horses*

Thelwell Pony

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Alright folks, step right up!

I can save you money on gas!

You don’t want to pay $4.69 for gas, no problem.

I have the perfect vehicle for you. Needs no gas, no oil, or even a battery, just a little grass and water will do these animals fine.

Now everyone has different needs, so choose from the following models:

Trail Horse
Your average run around town animal. Has the energy to get where you are going, the brain to find the best way to go, big enough to carry the normal sized American.

The Arabian
Perfect for those who travel long distances in a day and try to multi task while driving. Although the Arabian may not go to your home or office without specific instruction, it WILL go somewhere.

The Draft
Calling all soccer moms. This big guy can carry the whole team, their gear and snacks. Just like the big machines, this guy will require more fuel, and his shoes will be more expensive than the compact model.

The Western Pleasure
The right car for the high end white collar workers. This animal works harder and requires more special knowledge so only the best can figure this out. Be sure to take your cell phone. You won’t be stuck in traffic, you just won’t be getting anywhere fast.

The Parelli
Salesmen, stay at home moms, and high school kids will all enjoy this dream. You can load him down with flapping Wal-mart bags, ask him to walk in places a horse won’t fit, and you can dance with him as you listen to the latest tunes.

The Ranch
The most dependable animal available. He will go where ever you ask him to, at whatever speed is appropriate. You can tie him to the stop sign and he will be there when you get back. Best of all, this model has been specially engineered to be able to go without water for days and stay fat and slick by eating sagebrush and dead prairie grass.

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Of course all models are available in base colors (sorrel, bay, black) Special order colors are available (dun, gray, palomino) and for an additional fee, custom paint jobs are also available (overo, tobiano, blanket, leopard).

No horse is sold with a warranty, however maintenance plans are available in the event brakes, steering, or accelerator fail.

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Now’s your chance!  Shop early!
Gas prices are going up!

Hurry while supplies last!

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

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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.”

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Re-written from news sources:

Winter Scene: Austria ~ Draft Horses Pulling Sleigh

Belgian Horse Team Delivers White House Christmas Tree

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“Karry” and “Dempsey” with driver, Scott Harmon

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A matching team of Belgian horses delivered the official White House Christmas tree to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue on Monday, Nov. 26, to kick off the holiday season in the nation’s capitol.

The 20-foot-high Fraser Fir was delivered on a four-wheeled wagon driven by Scott Harmon of Meadow Acres Farm in Brandy Station, North Carolina.

Midge Harmon’s team of Belgian draft horses, “Karry” and “Dempsey”, and her son Scott personally carted the 20-foot Frazier fir tree from a drop-point downtown to the White House.

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This is the first time Harmon’s horses have been invited to deliver the official White House Christmas Tree.

“What an honor this was,” Midge Harmon said. “This is probably the biggest thing for a team of horses to be invited to do. I’m really proud and it was always a dream of my (late) husband”.

Harmon’s horses were selected by the White House to deliver the tree earlier this year after they provided hayrides for a congressional picnic on the White House grounds.

In the past, Oxen Hill Farm has traditionally handled the White House Christmas tree procession. However, this year they were not available.

Since the Harmons have trained Oxen Hill drivers and horses for the past 25 years, it turned to the Harmons to pull its wagon this year.

In preparing “Karry” and “Dempsey” for delivery of the White House Christmas tree,  the horses were washed and braided and turned out in full formal harness.

The manes were braided with green and red “flags” that rise above a French braid along the crest of the neck, and the tails were done up in a “Scotch knot.”

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Midge Harmon adorns Belgian draft “Kerry”
after braiding the mane.

The harness were outfitted with sleigh bells, and the black harness itself was polished and every brass buckle shined.

The Fraser Fir tree, so huge that it spilled off the wagon front and back, was bedecked with a big red, white and blue bow. The tree was a gift from Mistletoe Meadows Christmas Tree Farm in Laurel Springs, North Carolina.

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As Laura Bush stepped onto the Portico to accept the special delivery she said, “We’re thrilled that this beautiful tree…is going to be here in the Blue Room.

As Bush admired the 19-year-old evergreen,  Karry and Dempsey waited patiently behind her, nonplussed by photographers’ flashbulbs and television lighting.

“They’re used to all the excitement,” Midge Harmon said of Karry and Dempsey.

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The business provides wedding carriages, festive hayrides and town festival entertainment, and all the farm’s horses are quite serene, even in the excitement of a city street. “They know their job,” she added.

As soon as Bush and Mistletoe Farm owners Linda Jones and Joe Freeman stepped away from the wagon, Midge Harmon stepped in with teamster David Yauch and daughter-in-law Susan Harmon to unhitch Karry and Dempsey from the wagon.

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Shafts unhooked, Scott Harmon urged the pair forward, leaving the wagon and tree for White House staff to unload, and returned to the Harmon horse trailer parked a few blocks away from the White House.

The tree had been shipped from North Carolina via flatbed trailer.

Harmon and his horses met the truck to make the “old-fashioned” delivery, far more romantic, Harmon said, than having a tractor-trailer pull up to the presidential residence.

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Midge Harmon, with her family, grandchildren
and Scott Harmon attending the Belgian Team.

Harmon’s Hayrides has been in operation for 37 years, first in Centreville, and for the past four years in Brandy Station. Harmon owns five teams of Belgian horses, providing hayrides for up to 120 guests at a time and formal carriages for weddings and other events.

Midge Harmon said that all five of the teams will be hard at work to kick off the Christmas season.

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The tradition of placing a decorated tree in the White House began in 1889 during the presidency of Benjamin Harrison.

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Link:  Harmon’s Belgians

Photographic Credits:  Chris Greenberg, Joyce N. Boghosian, Katie Dolac, Scott Harmon

Clydesdales Are Toast of Kent

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Lois Miller loves horses.

So when she heard that the world-famous Budweiser Clydesdales were visiting Kent, Ohio this past October, the 78-year-old Springfield Township woman wasn’t about to miss a chance to see them.

”These are my favorite,” she said, as she stood on the sidewalk with her husband Joe, 79, waiting for the horses to appear.

Why?

”I don’t know,” she said. ”I know God created them and they are magnificent. Absolutely magnificent. Some people get thrilled over race cars, but let me look at a horse in motion.”

At the Budweiser event police estimated that at least 2,000 people came downtown to catch a glimpse of the giant draft horses as they paraded along city streets.

The crowd was so enthusiastic that as soon as the three black, custom-made tractor-trailers carrying the eight horses and special beer wagon stopped, people encircled the trucks to make sure they got a close-up view.

Parents hoisted children onto their shoulders. And many toted cameras to capture the moment.

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“This is the most exciting thing Kent has seen for a long time,” Clara Samblanet, 70, of Kent said as she and her daughter and grandchildren watched the horses being readied.

Joseph Jordan, an Anheuser-Busch market manager who lives in Rootstown Township and is a Kent State University graduate, arranged the visit with the help of Main Street Kent. The horses made the stop on their way to the Cleveland Browns game.

“They’re really pretty and big,” 4-year-old Brandon Parkhill of Kent said.

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The horses, which weigh about 2,000 pounds each and stand over 6 feet tall at the shoulder, clip-clopped their way through downtown delivering Budweiser to bars and restaurants along the route.

A Dalmatian was perched on top of the red, white and gold Studebaker-built wagon. And the two drivers wore green suits.

As soon as the horses started moving, the crowd applauded.

Brad Patterson, the owner of The Loft, accepted a bottle of Bud on behalf of his bar.

“It was great,” he said. ”That’s a pretty classy operation.”

The Clydesdales, featured for years in advertising campaigns, made their debut for Anheuser-Busch in 1933, when August A. Busch Jr. presented the horses and beer wagon to his father to commemorate the first bottle of beer brewed in St. Louis after Prohibition.

Recognizing the advertising potential, the brewery sent the horses throughout the East Coast, even to deliver a case of beer to President Franklin D. Roosevelt at the White House.

Today, there are six teams of horses, with five of them traveling to hundreds of events a year.

Story Link:

France Considering Horses For Transportation

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French towns worried about fuel prices, pollution and striking transport workers need look no further than the horse.

Horses are a possible alternative for vehicles such as school buses and refuse trucks, say groups eager to pick up on global concerns about eco-friendly transport.

“It’s all about sustainable development and bringing some humanity back to today’s monotonous, machine-driven jobs,” Stephane de Veyrac, from the French National Stud Organisation, said at this week’s annual conference of French mayors.

De Veyrac’s group says it is the first in France to offer consulting on a wide range of horse-powered vehicles that could also haul bottles and aid street sweeping.

“It is a serious alternative – horses are already in use in over 70 towns as replacements for gasoline- and diesel-powered service vehicles,” said de Veyrac, pointing to the ‘Hippoville’ prototype parked in the exhibition hall.

With prices starting at 11,562 euros, this revamped horse-drawn carriage with disc brakes, signal lamps and removables eating, goes for around the same price as 170 barrels of crude oil.

De Veyrac’s group was founded by Louis XIV’s Finance Minister Jean-Baptiste Colbert to supply war horses for military campaigns. 

The group is advising French towns interested in horses for city services. One project in northern France involves a pick-up route for glass bottles in the seaside resort of Trouville.

The project is backed by the Regional Horse Promotion Commission,which holds an annual convention in Trouville to promote horses for collecting recyclables, street sweeping, and even transporting children to school.

Olivier Linot, who heads the project, said towns are realising the beasts are well-adapted for certain work and can reduce job stress and dissatisfaction.

He expects at least 30 more communities to start using horses next year.

Studies about cost and overall carbon footprint are still underway but supporters say the animals beat cars and trucks on a number of criteria, especially for transport work requiring frequent stops over short distances, like emptying trash bins.

“It’s great for workers and the community to have contact with a living thing,” Linot said.

“The civil servants are on strike now, but I tell you if they had their hands on a horse they’d be happier – I’ve never seen a driver kiss his truck.”

Story Link:
 

Budweiser Clydesdales To Strut Their Stuff At Grass Valley’s Draft Horse Classic Event

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Nevada County’s Draft Horse Classic has been selected for a visit from the Budweiser Clydesdales and their red, white and gold beer wagon, known to millions from their appearances in television commercials.

The Budweiser Clydesdales will make several appearances at the 21st annual Draft Horse Classic and Harvest Fair, running from Thursday September 20th through Sunday the 23rd at the Nevada County Fairgrounds, in California.

Clydesdale Operations in St. Louis schedules the popular teams, picking from the thousands of requests received for the big horses every year.

The Draft Horse Classic, held each fall at the Nevada County Fairgrounds in Grass Valley, California has become one of the most highly regarded draft horse shows in the nation.

The Anheuser-Busch Brewing Company has acknowledged the event’s importance by sending their big horses to visit.

Once a destination is decided upon, three 50-foot tractor trailers transport the team and its colorful wagon to waiting fans.

The big horses ride on thick rubber flooring in trailers with air-cushion suspension. Cameras in the trailers and monitors in the cabs let handlers keep a watchful eye on their precious cargo. The team stops each night for rest at a stable.

There are five traveling hitches of Budweiser Clydesdales, covering a total of 100,000 miles a year in their special big rigs.

The Budweiser Clydesdales are scheduled to arrive in Grass Valley on Tuesday, September 18th.

The famous horses have represented the Anheuser-Busch Brewing Company for 70 years.

Originally from Scotland, the Clydesdale takes its name from that country’s river Clyde. Farmers in the 19th century, along the Clyde’s banks, bred the Great Flemish Horse, forerunner of the Clydesdale.

Their ability to pull loads of more than a ton at a walking speed of five miles an hour quickly spread their reputations beyond Scotland’s borders.

Six performances will present competitions between the most talented drivers and best trained draft horses as the Gentle Giants perform crowd-pleasing maneuvers in pairs, three, and four abreast.

They’ll skid logs, pull classic antique farm wagons, and demonstrate how the draft horse started American farming.

Performances start Thursday evening, September 20th at 6:30 p.m. Following performances are Friday, September 21st at 6:30 p.m.; Saturday, September 22nd, 10 a.m. and 6:30 p.m.; and Sunday, September 23rd at 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.

The Budweiser Clydesdales will impress draft horse fans with their tremendous teamwork in all of the evening performances and in the Sunday late afternoon performance.

News Link:

Link:  Grass Valley, California Draft Horse Classic

Budweiser 180 degree team rotation demo

Horses In History: Philadelphia 1897

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Jutland Draft Horses ~ Denmark

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Early farm photo ~ Gathering of Jutland Horses

Also known as the Jydsk Hest (Danish)

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.”

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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.