15 Jul Pitch and Patch Return to ifarm
Pitch and Patch are our two Percheron/Belgian Draft horses, recently returned from their summer pasture in central Boxford. They are looking plump and satisfied, ready to bear down on the pasture at ifarm!
ifarm has been their home since the Spring of 2014, when they came to us from Paula Leavitt, in Unity, Maine. We brought them to emulate the ways 19th century farmers would have worked with the land, including pulling wagons, hauling logs in winter, and pulling“rakes” for haying fields around Boxford. Yet they are absolutely our friends.. and they probably get a few too many treats from the staff.
We will be posting images and videos of their drafting prowess this summer.
Their upbringing was ideal: They were bred and trained from birth by an Amish community in Mt. Hope, Ohio. Regardless of their prior training, it still took some gumption to get them to listen and to work with us. At this point they are well used to driving different riding carts and even to riding bareback, but we are still moving towards the goal of haying with the horses. It takes time to learn how to safely drive a pair of draft horses that collectively weigh about 2 tons!
The two horses are an inseparable duo. Pitch, with a black spot on her forehead and more black in her mane, is a year older than her brother. They have been together since Patch was born. We quickly learned that they will do most anything we need, as long as they can do it together. Both enjoy the opportunity to work, see new sights, and make minor mischief. A steady ration of carrots does a lot to keep them in line!
Our greatest challenge, far more than training the horses, has actually been dealing with reckless driving. We learned recently that it is a traffic violation to spook a horse with reckless behavior; there may be a clever sign in the making for the back of our wagon. Stay tuned.
Pitch and Patch have also become a central component of our children’s program Giddyup and Grow, in collaboration with Windrush Farm. Each Tuesday and Thursday, Windrush brings us a new group of kids that rush to bring any vegetables at hand to the two horses. We can honestly say that Pitch and Patch enjoy it as much, if not more, than the children.