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Author Topic: anyone here log with draft animals?  (Read 1373 times)

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Offline ryguy777

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anyone here log with draft animals?
« on: February 03, 2014, 10:15:24 AM »
does anyone here do it or know much about it? I think it would work in some areas where its too steep for a skidder, but too small of a job for a skyline and all that... seems like you could get jobs where the land owners wont let skidders and dozers in cause they don't want their land torn up.. and it might have not gotten logged in a long time or ever because of that...

Offline beenthere

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Re: anyone here log with draft animals?
« Reply #1 on: February 03, 2014, 11:24:50 AM »
Seems we have several members doing horse logging.
Do some searching and likely you will get some good reading.
Thinking of getting some horses?
south central Wisconsin
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Offline ryguy777

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Re: anyone here log with draft animals?
« Reply #2 on: February 03, 2014, 11:44:58 AM »
that or mules 8)

Offline beenthere

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Re: anyone here log with draft animals?
« Reply #3 on: February 03, 2014, 12:13:11 PM »
 8)  Looking forward to it.  smiley_thumbsup
south central Wisconsin
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Offline ryguy777

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Re: anyone here log with draft animals?
« Reply #4 on: February 03, 2014, 01:28:54 PM »
I searched a bit before I posted this and my results came up dry... it'll be a ways down the road before I get mules or horses buts ive always wanted to

Offline Horselog

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Re: anyone here log with draft animals?
« Reply #5 on: February 03, 2014, 01:34:01 PM »
I log full time with 2 teams of horses and 2-3 guys.  You are correct that using animal power lets you access tracts otherwise unavailable, either by landowner choice, tract size, or terrain.  Part of the value to the landowner is the reduced impact on their land, and I get a premium above machine loggers for my work.  Most of the jobs I do are ones where the landowner didn't want to harvest, but when they heard about horse logging they decided to do it.  I do not typically try to compete with conventional loggers, it's just a totally different market.  Horse logging is a good fit for landowners who place concerns such as aesthetics and wildlife management higher than short-term income.

Horses are great for small jobs, because of entry costs, but larger jobs are also possible when using a mixed power system. I keep a forwarder for large and hard-to-access tracts, this really lets the horses do what they are good at (maneuverability on shorter skids < 700') and lets the machine do the grunt work.  In the area I live it's necessary to truck your own logs, which stinks, but I keep a truck and haul probably 85% of the wood I harvest.

It's not easy work, and you need a wide range of skills, but with hard work, careful thought, and decent timber, it is possible to make a go of it.

I'd be happy to answer any questions.
Benjamin Harris
Sinking Creek Horse Logging and Wood Products
Appalachian Mountains of Virginia
horse_logger@me.com
www.sinkingcreekhorselogging.com

Offline Mark Wentzell

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Re: anyone here log with draft animals?
« Reply #6 on: February 03, 2014, 03:25:10 PM »
I'd think you would need to have a pretty constant supply of high quality wood (Nice sawlogs and veneer) to make a go of it. The horse logger I worked with this fall worked part of the year giving demonstrations at a local historical re-creation place, and did some other work on the side.

There's some different work you could do with horses too. Last year I helped out at Fundy national park removing an old boardwalk that ran for a couple kilometers through a bog. The terrain and access meant that most of the material had to be dragged out by hand. A team of horses on frozen ground would have made short work of that job. Another horse logger I know did a lot of work when the hurricane came through Halifax in 03. Mostly clearing blowdown in areas where a machine couldn't get to.

Offline Rick Alger

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Re: anyone here log with draft animals?
« Reply #7 on: February 03, 2014, 03:55:28 PM »
I work as a one man crew using a single horse to twitch and a pair with a log cart to forward if necessary. I'm in northern NH and cut mostly softwood.

Mark Wentzell is right as far as my situation goes with conventional logging. I need to have good wood with  good  logging conditions to make respectable money.

I haven't had too many jobs like Horselog mentions where the landowner is more concerned with esthetics  and residual value than profit, but I think that day is coming, and it's on these "greeny" jobs that horses can really shine.


Offline Southside

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Re: anyone here log with draft animals?
« Reply #8 on: February 03, 2014, 08:12:31 PM »
I started out logging with a single Belgian mare.  I did get a lot of work where I did not have to pay stumpage, actually got paid by the land owner.  Mostly camp lots, creating trails, boggy areas, that sort of work.  I did enjoy it, but it is a lot of work, and you need good animals, the first time you have a run away you will understand why.  I have a team of 1/2 sisters now that have 3 years of harness work on them working in the woods, carriage, plowing, mowing, and bailing hay (I have an Amish friend who takes them all summer and keeps them in work).  I don't think today I could make a living at it as that type of work has really petered out with the economy being on its heels.  If I see that type of building going on again I may give it a try as a hybrid mechanical / horse operation, time will tell. 

If nothing else you will learn skills few people have these days, and a good team can make money doing other work such as hay rides in the fall, carriage rides if you are around a metro area, and such.
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Offline ryguy777

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Re: anyone here log with draft animals?
« Reply #9 on: February 03, 2014, 09:53:34 PM »
I really like the whole idea of it... I HATE getting my tractor stuck, especially when my other tractor doesn't want to run. I've been interested since i was about 9... my great grandpa would say "my favorite thing to do when i was your age was to go out and work a team of horses" im 17 and i still like his storys haha. I think i would try to haul logs myself with one of those fancy gooseneck log trailers so i could pull it behind my truck...or just get a small log truck. I might try to own a tractor with a skidding winch as "back up" too. Im in upstate New York and theres no shortage of "greenys" around here

Offline MattJ

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Re: anyone here log with draft animals?
« Reply #10 on: February 04, 2014, 11:22:21 AM »
I have a friend in Ithaca that is a farrier and does horse logging on the side and has done training/demonstrations.  His contact is on this link below, his name is Kirk Smith.  He's even played around with pulling horse drawn forwarders.  Maybe you could ask him when his next event is.  He did an event mentioned here  before http://www.forestryforum.com/board/index.php?topic=49566.0.

Contact for him is here

http://www.wnyfa.org/Find-a-Farrier

Offline MattJ

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Re: anyone here log with draft animals?
« Reply #11 on: February 04, 2014, 11:29:57 AM »
I noticed on the forestry forum link I sent that there is a new event next month on horse logging in central NY.  http://www.carriagehousesaddlery.com/events.html   If you go to their logging field day picture link my friend is the one 2/3 of the way to the bottom, his team is pulling a red Metavic forwarder and he has the reins and the beard.

Matt


Offline ryguy777

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Re: anyone here log with draft animals?
« Reply #12 on: February 04, 2014, 04:03:45 PM »
putting that on my calendar that's not too bad of a drive for me, thank you for the link!


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