Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Horse Power - the old fashioned kind

A week ago, I went with my parents to the Olof Swensson farm between Montevideo and Granite Falls, MN. It was their "Horse Power" event, and all the antique farm equipment was being run with the old-fashioned kind of horse power - the kind with four hooves!

There were teams of draft horses everywhere! Most were Belgians:

But I drooled over this gorgeous pair of black Percherons all day long!

Meet Mike: 

His job for the day was grinding corn with this contraption:

His owner poured corn into the top, and Mike walked around and around in circles, providing power to the gears turning the grinder. I almost felt sorry for him since he had such a boring job, but he seemed pretty happy. 

Good job Mike!

Other horses, the Percherons, a team of light mules and a pair of Norwegian Fjords, had the job of transporting the spectators around the farm. Like Mike, they walked in endless circles, although their circles were much larger and more scenic.

Many Belgian teams and one team of draft mules worked in the fields.


Shocking corn:

And fluffing hay (this was a strange contraption that actually "fluffed" the hay, throwing it into the air, not raking like the common method today):

It was quite warm, and since these horses obviously don't work like this every day, most of them had another team that swapped out with them to give them a break.

I think these blonde beauties were my favorite of the Belgian teams.

There is an old house on the grounds as well. It was built at the turn of the century by Olof Swensson and his daughter, and its 22 rooms include a 38x38 foot chapel on the second floor!

If you've ever seen the movie "Sweet Land", the scene at the banker's house early in the movie was filmed in the dining room of this house.

A view into one of the 10 bedrooms.

And the kitchen. I heard someone say that the scenes in "Sweet Land" in Olaf and Inge's kitchen were filmed in this kitchen, but if that's true, it was changed enough for the movie that I didn't recognize it.

I will definitely be going to this event again. We arrived too late to watch the potato digging, and they loaded hay on the wagons while we were touring the house, and I'd love to see both.

1 comment:

Frannie said...

Beautiful, beautiful animals.
Thank you for sharing.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...