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Haflinger Horses

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Haflinger (chestnut) and a possible Percheron/pony cross, Draft Horse Field Day, Adams County, Ohio.

A team of Haflingers, a six-year-old mare on the left; a sixteen-year old whispering in her ear.

Their proud owner. I was struck by the harmony (not to mention the similarity) between this gentleman and his horses. They're the two who settled out of many that he decided to keep. He said the six-year-old wasn't working out too well but then she turned a corner and is terrific. I think he's terrific, for keeping, training, and caring for them, keeping a tradition and an art alive.  Of course he also made me think of my dad, whose particular passion was antique gasoline engines. They were like living things to him. He took skids of them to engine meets in the fall; wore a straw cowboy hat and overalls, too, but his overalls were not nearly this clean.

He and an engine buddy went into a McDonald's for breakfast on the way to a meet. As they took their seats, a little girl with wide eyes whispered to her mother, "Cowboys!"

I wonder if they're making guys like him any more.

Another Haflinger harnessed up, so sturdy and kind. What a nice breed this is.

Its teammate had a blaze that reminded me of a little Dr. Seuss character. Its owner told me they called it the Upper Peninsula.

I love watching people and their animals, especially when the animals are well-loved, like this sibling pair of Goldendoodles. Designer breed, perhaps...but it combines many of the best traits of the golden retriever and standard poodle. A retriever that won't shed? That's got to be a pleasant change.

Tricia is just as animal crazy as I am, but she *has* a menagerie of hoofed stock. So I guess that qualifies her as crazier, in a nice way. It was great to see them through her eyes. I think I saw the moment she fell in love with Haflingers. It was mutual. It's a lucky horse who lives on Tricia's farm.

There were many well-loved animals at the event, some a little too well-loved. A few too many bikkits and dishes of ice cream for this little Schnauzer--we also saw a miniature pinscher that was packing a serious paunch. That's why Chet Baker runs with me!

Miniature horse, his little girl skipping in muck boots, her shirt printed with running horses, yes yes yes.


I'm a huge fan of drafts, too - I've always loved big horses. If I were ever to get a horse of my own, it would be a thoroughbred/shire cross. I have fond memories of large horses. When I was taking lessons at our local riding school, back when I was pre/early-teen, I bonded with a 16hh gray tb gelding, one of the largest in the stable. I loved everything about that horse, including his size, but especially his personality. Before him, I won my first every 1st-place ribbon on a Clyde-cross, over cavaletti. They're such affable horses.

I don't need encouragement to love draft animals either. My mom talked about growing up with a couple teams of them on a farm in central IN, Doc and Lady, and I forever afterwards have wanted to own one or be owned by one. We saw some wonderful ones in Amish country here in western KY a few weeks back on a drive there. And if anyone wants to find a festival or sale in their area, go to

My favorite part of this post is the last photo at the end with the little girl in her muck boots.

I always had a pair of muck boots as a kid. Granted mine were for getting muddy down by the creek catching frogs. Love Love Love!


I never tire of horse-watching. It was always a special treat to be around horses when I was a child and I still feel the same excitement. Lovely story about your day, Julie, but what I like most about this post is the story of your Dad and his buddy stopping at Micky Dees on their way to an engine meet. I've never heard of an "engine meet"!

OH for the days when my life revolved around my horses and people who loved their horses. Loving hours devoted to schooling and cleaning. It was a time when cleaning a barn was fun and smelling horsey was comforting.

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