Equiculture Draft Horse Driving Classes

Do you love draft horses and want to be a part of taking good care of them ...

.
.while offering a unique opportunity to the community...to learn the skills to keep them alongside us?


WE NEED YOU! 



We are offering a 12wk comprehensive program that is run for 2 days a week and costs $2500 each individual.  We  would like to offer 20-30  students for 2021 the opportunity to learn how to drive horses!  The  classes are determined according to COVID 19 rules. We are hoping for the Fall to resume.

At this time (June 2021) we have already taught 7 individuals on Alderman Farm. 

As a sponsor you can follow along and see your students advance week by week and you will also have the opportunity to celebrate their graduations with them! Your support also helps the working horses in our herd do their part in helping care for the members of their herd that are retired and disabled. 

Due to economic hardships and the effect of COVID 19 that so many are experiencing we want to help find support/sponsors for those who would like to take this time to learn these valuable skills. We know there is a growing desire among many in our community to learn these skills, with very few options and places to learn.

For several years this course was offered at the Stockbridge School of Agriculture at the University of Massachusetts and successfully graduated dozens of students, many of whom went onto use their skills on other farms and in the creation of their own horse powered organic farms. Others have used their skills in National Parks as tour guides driving singles and teams.

We will offer these classes to the 5 college area students and local folks interested in learning but unable to pay for the course.

If you are interested in a sponsorship for learning these skills please send us a note and we will send you an application!       

This course is designed to enlighten and inspire our students to see the opportunities that driving draft horses can bring. 

In this course you learn about proper draft horse care, improve horse handling skills, and focus on a holistic approach to equine management. In addition, our students also learn how to harness and drive a single horse and a team and how to hitch and unhitch with a emphasis on SAFETY! This course teaches our students valuable skills for working with the draft horse in the human and natural world. 


This is an intensive, hands on course that requires dedication, hard work, willingness, awareness, communication, compassion. Our students improve their equine and interpersonal communication skills, developing an intimate bond with the horses and each other as they expand their knowledge together in a unique, interdisciplinary and collaborative way. 


By slowly introducing new material and building a solid foundation first, our students become well prepared for adapting to new situation and have a strong understanding about the fundamentals of working in partnership with draft horses. 


We  touch everything draft horse related. This includes their care, feed, veterinary requirements, behavior training, harness care and the fundamentals of harnessing and driving these horses. We also discuss in depth the historical accomplishments and cultural contributions of these horses in the pre and post industrial building of our country. We explore the emotional benefits of working in partnership with a draft animal as well as re-introducing REAL horse-power into sustainable agricultural practices and create new uses in our urban communities. 


The economic and ecological challenges facing tomorrow's farmers and horse owners are numerous and overwhelming, but working horses are a way forward. Small farmers not only avoid the use of fossil-fuel-powered heavy equipment, which helps them market their organic produce as unique eco-friendly horse-powered produce, but it also saves them money in the outlay on a very expensive tractor.

Additionally, horse-powered farms generate more demand and homes for working horses. Supporting working horses and their people builds community and keeps alive very valuable and time proven skills for taking good care of what we love!

By supporting this course in helping others learn these valuable skills you are also supporting a very special herd of retired, disabled and homeless working horses.

  • Mary L Rice 
    • $250 
    • 6 d
  • Mary L Rice 
    • $250 
    • 1 mo
  • Molly Finn 
    • $25 
    • 2 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • $71 
    • 3 mos
  • Ruth Moore 
    • $100 
    • 3 mos
See all

Organizer

Pamela Rickenbach 
Organizer
Middlefield, MA