Tuesday, September 7, 2010

A Bit Drafty

In HOME TO HAWK RIDGE, Steve Rider is a teamster. He's a logger and uses a team of horses to harvest trees. This is big business in some parts of the country. It's a low impact alternative to clear cutting. We used a team when we just wanted a few big trees removed from our property, but didn't want someone to come in and chew up the forest with a big machine.

In my story, Steve's favorite mare is a Percheron. Beautiful Beth, a shining black beauty. Percherons are a draft breed, like the familiar Clydesdales and Belgians. They are also called plow horses, but that phrase conjures up an unfair clumsy image. Does the horse in the photo look clumsy to you? But they certainly are work horses. I'm amazed by their strength and willingness to cooperate with insignificant fleas like us.

Steve handles his team with the ease of an eight-year-old girl handling her bicycle. He's done it all his life. He knows horses and he knows trees. In my story, he's about to get to know a bit of magic.

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