Timber extraction by horse ---- Film and promotional work -- Horse logging courses Practical courses, five days long, conducted on a one to one basis on a working site

Our fully insured and experienced crew ensures quality work combining a traditional skill with modern sustainable forestry management- the natural way to work woodland

The advantages of using a professional horse logger to extract timber are;

- Selective thinning is economical as no extra trees are cut down than needed

-The low impact of horses leaves the forest floor in good condition

- No need for line thinning reduces risk of windblown trees

- Ensures your remaining standing trees are undamaged

- Ideal for wet, steep, rough and small plantations

- Leaves no timber behind on the forest floor

- Minimal disturbance to wildlife

- No pollution of waterways


For the past twenty eight years I have worked and trained heavy draught horses in all road, field and forest operations across Ireland - a trade I learned in the traditional manner where it was passed down through my family from father to son. This heavy horse heritage and the range of work we do with various breeds of these magnificent horses can be viewed in the archive below. References are available on request.
Feel free to contact me if you require any further information.

Tom Nixon, Athenry, County Galway, Ireland
mobile; 086 038 4857
email; tomnixonheavyhorses@hotmail.com

Member of
Forest Training & Education Ireland Ltd.
British Horse Loggers

Friday, November 7, 2008

Scottish logger

Being the only commercial horse logger in Ireland means I must travel abroad to work with other loggers to keep abreast of modern developments and techniques in the industry.
Last autumn I visited Jim Johnstone from Auldgirth in Dumfries in Scotland who was working his Brabant, the largest of the Belgium heavy horse breeds, alongside a mechanical harvester.

A collar of leather goes around the working horse's neck to protect it from bruising from the wooden/metal hames. The hames are connected by hooks to the shafts or trace /chains of the load or vehicle. Irish collars are open like Canadian ones which mean they can be adapted to suit different sizes of horses. English collars are closed and fit only one size of horse.
Jim uses a combination of English and Canadian harness and had a narrow back pad and britchin ( leather strapping across the horse's rump) so he could run his lines or traces higher than usual - and so avoid getting them caught in the horse's legs.
This meant the horse could take tighter turns and was much more manoeuvrable than one that had it's traces or chains low to the ground.