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, March 27, 2009


'Domino' a young Shire getting his first lesson in draught work.
To shift any load be it a dead weight or a vehicle, the power of a working horse is harnessed by connecting it to a load through a complicated system of leather, ropes and chains called 'harness'.
Harness differs to suit the vehicle, equipment or amount of horses.

When turning a horse for fieldwork these chains rub tight around the horse's flanks and legs so the first lesson a young horse gets is a gentle build up of both pressure on its sides from the chains, and pressure on its shoulder from a weight.

This is best done by having the horse pull a tyre which is soft on the backs of it's legs should the horse step backwards - a hard object like a railway sleeper might spook a young horse - and a tyre also gives an even pull unlike a sleeper which will hop on uneven ground.

One piece of harness that is always present is the 'collar' which sits just above the shoulder around the neck.
Loads are moved by the action of the horse pushing forward into the collar.
Collars are traditionally made of leather and blanket stuffed with straw or hair, and act as a pad to protect the horse's neck from being damaged by the metal 'hames' .
The hames are hooked into the chains running back to the equipment.
In the past the hames were often made of wood.

This pair of Connemara/Thoroughbred cross bred mares I have been training for a client over the winter have a surprisingly good temperament for this type of cross, and are coming along well. Full sisters, 3 and 5 years of age, they are being trained to be driven under a wagonette.