On October 4, 2016 0 Comments - Horses
There is something magical about a team of horses in harness, the gleam of chrome, the intricate weave of leather lines and buckles. The shadows of the harness dance against the gleam of the horses coats in the sun.
These beautifully turned out team of grays were plowing at the International Plowing Match in Keene, Ontario. They had a look of such intensity as they patiently walked along the furrows edge.
I first saw this team at the Durham Region Plowing Match, but did not know their names or who they belonged to. Their owner later identified them when he saw the painting at the Buckhorn Fine Art show. They are a Clyde Percheron cross and are used for parades and rides when not working the land they live on.
This is one of my favourite paintings, my Clyde mares Bonnie and May on a sleigh ride in my hayfield. For anyone who has driven a team of horses, they know this view well. The day was grey and silent with a gentle snow falling, the runners of the sleigh gliding on the snow and the horses harness creaking the only sounds around.
These Belgian geldings are equally as comfortable pulling a show wagon or a plow. This picture was taken at a threshing day, and the three were hitched to an old Massey Harris binder.
Jay, a Belgian gelding was loaded and ready to head home after a long day showing at Sunderland Agricultural Fair. The sun was gleaming off his coat, in strong contrast with the dark interior of the trailer.
This team of percherons was plowing at the Hastings County Plowing match. I found the shadows the geldings mane cast on his team mate intriguing.
I first saw this team plowing at the Sunderland Agricultural Fair. I was amazed not only with the teams but with the teamsters driving them. The patience, understanding and trust the driver has for his team demonstrates a partnership that has gone back for centuries.
I was fascinated at a threshing day by the different machinery and implements needed in years past to raise crops. And many of these early implements were horse drawn, adding to the skill level needed to use them properly. This binder was used to put the wheat, barley or oats into sheaths, that were then hand stoked to await processing.
I had the opportunity to accompany a friend who did sleigh rides at the Briars Resort in Jacksons Point. It was a bitterly cold February morning, without a cloud in the sky. Dark blue shadows were cast over the pristine snow as we drove through a winter wonderland of fields and forests.
My Clyde mares Bonnie and May doing a final sleigh ride for the kids over playing hockey on our rink. The setting winter sun cast a beautiful orange glow on horse’s coats.
May, trying to get some relief from the hot summer sun. I enjoy painting the old stone foundation wall of my barn.
May, standing in the barn trying to escape the summer heat. House Finches line an old wooden board whose prior use has been long forgotten. The birds are the horses’ constant companions in the barn.
A fine team of Belgian geldings being put through the paces at a threshing day.
Ike and Nash, getting back into shape after having the winter off. These geldings are part of show hitch of Belgians.
Stuart, a Belgian gelding trying desperately to itch that hard to reach spot.
This painting was donated for a draw prize for the 10th anniversary of the Sunderland Maple Syrup Festival.
Good friends and neighbors are essential when living on a farm. The first set of harness I used on my mares was leant to me by my friend Roy.
This team of Belgians is finally finished cultivating a field, just in time before the approaching weather.