Trying Something Different

Our horses have enough life experience we feel comfortable trying different things.  This is our first attempt at a 4-up hitch, using a rope & pulley system.  We had good success and learned a lot in the process.  Hannah is not a good leader, but Haylee is.  Fergus might make a better leader, and Finn is a great wheel horse (closest to wagon).  We’ll be switching them around the next attempt!  

Our Movie Stars- A Grand Adventure

Fergus & Finn were hired to do several movie scenes in a Western called Warpath, set to release early next summer.

It was quite the adventure- a new experience that began with trying new things.  The very first was the overhead picket line.  With nowhere on the movie set to keep these two mischievous boys out of trouble for the night, we sent the production manager to the Home Depot for ratchet straps.  With hay in front of them, it worked well, and now we know we can use this system anywhere we go!  Another thing we learned was to take some of our own water with us, treated city water is only good for playing in and sloshing out of the buckets!

The second new experience was steel wheels on gravel and the banging those older wooden wagons can make on rough ground.  We practiced both the night before and the morning of shooting.  The first couple hundred feet were a bit exciting as the boys acclimated to the noise, but settled down nicely.  Angel did most of the driving, being more agile and flexible,  I was the ground handler and Kyle was our go-get-stuff guy.

The day of filming started with some quick driving lessons for the actor & actress as they rehearsed their lines for the day.

We did practice runs in preparation of filming.

Shhhh… They finally gave us a radio with strict instructions- when you hear them call ACTION- Stop and BE QUIET- When they call CUT-  you can do whatever you like!

We did a fair amount of standing around and waiting…to which Finn lost patience with eventually…

Angel would hunker down under the wagon seat to assist  Conner with the line handling and controlling the horses.

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At the end of the long day, everyone happily got into the horse trailer and we headed home.  It was a day to remember.  There’s no guarantee these film clips will be included or end up in the editing room trash bin, but we’ll go see the movie premier when it’s released and let you know!





Lack of snow does not equal vacation time!

Chuckles, Hannah and Finn out on a sunny day in February. Finn’s first day of pulling by himself. He doesn’t seem to mind.

Hannah and Chuckles

Finn, Fergus and Haylee work together.

Keeping everyone in practice during the in-between seasons is important.

Finn practices pulling the cart all by himself! He did a pretty good job for the first time.


Trying out some new ideas!

Let’s Ride!

We took the opportunity while there was some soft snow/cushion, to give the geldings Fergus and Finn a test ride.  While driving is their first job, we’re not going to limit them to driving as their only job!  Angel accepted the challenge to climb aboard and see how they would handle themselves.  It was a success!

Finn checking out Angel’s boots because that’s ‘not where they usually are!’

Then it was Fergus’ turn.

The fascination- seeing a rider on top of Brother Fergus! Wow! What the heck is that?!

Chuckles watches all the goings on with that burning question- ‘you got time to come scratch me?’

It’s been a busy 2017

Coho Festival Parade, Honor Michigan- 2017

Kaleva Days wagon rides- 2017

NW Michigan Draft Horse & Mule Association Driving Show, August 6th, 2017. Wagon placement challenge. How we doing’ on that side honey?

Finn & Haylee at the 2017 Driving Show- NW Michigan Fairgrounds.

Mother’s Day weekend- 2017. 4-H Boot camp driving demonstration.

Haylee at the 2017 NW MI Draft Association Driving School. She is smart, knows when a new person is on the lines and challenges new drivers, making her the perfect candidate for this job.

Benzie County sunset- 2017

2017 Pet Appreciation day at our local Tractor Supply! The boys were invited in to do a little shopping and meet the staff!

Haylee and an admirer at Jacob’s Corn maze, October 2017.

Fergus, Finn and Haylee meet the folks coming to Kaleva Days 2017.

Kaleva Days 2016

We helped the Kaleva Historian by giving a tour around town past historical sites including the Kaleva Bottle House,  during Kaleva Days.  The weather was just right, and we learned a lot about the history of Kaleva Michigan while we were out doing our most favorite thing, driving horses!

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Off the Farm Practice

Fergus and Finn spent Saturday at the Rex Dobson Ruby Ellen Farm in Leelanau, pretending to be working horses.   At only three years of age, we want to be careful we don’t over work growing joints and cartilage.  We don’t own a horse-drawn plow, but we have a stone boat.  The Ruby Ellen Farm field was lacking in stones to pick up, so we picked up our helper instead.  Good job boys! IMG_1962 IMG_1948