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

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

One man, one horse

Fodder crops like turnips- traditionally fed to cattle and sheep and pigs were always sowed by one man and one horse- the skill being in able to drive the horse along the furrow (the low ground between the drills) while keeping the turnip sower dead centre on top of the drill (the high ground) where the seeds are planted.

Such ingenious devices as this turnip 'barrow' or sower ensured a dribble of seeds was sown, the only disadvantage was that when grown  the plants had to be thinned out by hand. Although manpower was plentiful during the work horse era a horseman had to be able to do such work on his own to be considered competent.

 Any seed from tiny turnip seeds to large peas seeds could be sown with this barrow as there is a moveable disc which has holes of various sizes which can be moved into place to suit the size of the seed.

Inside the drum the seeds are separated by a tuft of bristles more often than not made of horse hair the horseman would take from his own horse when the origional tuft had worn out.

 Drawn by the same Clydesdale mare as seen below with the roller, this turnip barrow was made in Philip Pierce's foundry in Wexford where much of the horse drawn - and eventually tractor - machinery in Ireland was made..

Monday, April 12, 2010

Spring work

 Here we have Bonny a 17 hands high Clydesdale mare taking a break from timber work.
With all the sun in the last few days ground conditions are perfect for the germination of seed.

 This is barley sown by farmer Paddy Rooney after he used a tractor to first plough and then rotavate his land at Rahard in Athenry, County Galway.

After this we used the horse to harrow down the clods into a fine seed bed and (once he had sown the seed using the tractor again) we rolled the sown ground using a stone roller pulled by the horse. This binds the soil tight around the seeds giving the emerging plants a firm base that they can get a good grip with their roots into.

This is a great example of how a tractor and horse can compliment each other on a modern commercial farm, which is the only way a working horse is viable on today's farms. The idea of running such a farm on horse power alone being neither practical nor economical.