Monday, June 28, 2010

(Video #1 of 2) Hip-hop. . . .Back to the Drawing Board



Watch closely. One of the neck pieces drops out of the yoke surprising the ox. After the camera stopped his head went down and the yoke and the red strap ended up in a tangle around his head. Oh boy, was I glad he wasn't a horse! He stopped and waited for me to sort things out. I had made the neck shafts removable so I can widen them out as he grows. I see I'll need to pin them in place in the meantime. The next video will show a calm Scout as I get him harnessed up again.
video by sld

(Video #2 of 2) Re-Hitching the Oxcart



After the yoke falls apart and the whole mess gets tangled around the ox's head, he stands calmly while I get him reharnessed. He's such a good sport!
video by sld

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Oxcart: The Preferred Mode of Transportation. . . .


. . . .When Getting There Was Half the Fun.


Basque Ox-Team c. 1884
Source Unknown

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Labrador Retriever?


Dr.Bob (Harry's Vet) believes Happy Harry's Landseer Newfoundland mother must have been bred by a Labrador Retriever --- this picture would certainly support that hypothesis.
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Wading in the Water: A Special Reward For the Ox



After a hot, humid, and buggy day Scout the Ox enjoys wading in the water.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

How To (or not to) Make an Ox Yoke, Part II



Making My Single Ox His First Yoke


Addendem: These two videos will give you an overview of the basic skills and tools you might use to make an ox yoke. It was my first yoke, made on a whim with available materials. It served its purpose as a training yoke for an empty cart, and I learned some of the basic principles of yoke design --- first hand. Even after lowering the hitch points they were too high — under load the yoke tended to roll back. The narrowness of the yoke seat (from side-to-side)was criticized. However, I fail to see a problem with that. The dairy-calf has a very narrow neck. When the yoke didn't tip back, it distributed the weight evenly on the sides and top of the neck; it had no tendency to tip to the side, or to waggle.

Making the “bow” from two straight pieces joined at the bottom with a throat piece I deem as a success and I would recommend it to anyone interested in making a non-traditional yoke. It’s not rocket science, but there are a lot of dynamics at work in a properly functioning yoke. For anyone with a good set of tools and some basic hand skills I’d say — go for it! That there is some formula that must be followed for making an acceptable yoke is getting stuck on tradition — in my opinion.

That is not to say that there is anything wrong with the traditional ox yoke. In fact, if you have an ox for historical or re-enactment purposes — that would be the way to go.

My second yoke is also experimental in nature and can be seen here: http://storybrookeripples.blogspot.com/2010/08/did-you-hear-jailhouse-yoke.html

At this point in time (September 12, 2010) I am very pleased with the way it functions. You can leave your observations, critiques, or opinions by clicking on “comments” under any one of my blog entries. I’d be happy to hear from you.

How To (or not to) Make an Ox Yoke, Part I

Making My Single Ox His First Yoke


Addendem: These two videos will give you an overview of the basic skills and tools you might use to make an ox yoke. It was my first yoke, made on a whim with available materials. It served its purpose as a training yoke for an empty cart, and I learned some of the basic principles of yoke design --- first hand. Even after lowering the hitch points they were too high — under load the yoke tended to roll back. The narrowness of the yoke seat (from side-to-side)was criticized. However, I fail to see a problem with that. The dairy-calf has a very narrow neck. When the yoke didn't tip back, it distributed the weight evenly on the sides and top of the neck; it had no tendency to tip to the side, or to waggle.

Making the “bow” from two straight pieces joined at the bottom with a throat piece I deem as a success and I would recommend it to anyone interested in making a non-traditional yoke. It’s not rocket science, but there are a lot of dynamics at work in a properly functioning yoke. For anyone with a good set of tools and some basic hand skills I’d say — go for it! That there is some formula that must be followed for making an acceptable yoke is getting stuck on tradition — in my opinion.

That is not to say that there is anything wrong with the traditional ox yoke. In fact, if you have an ox for historical or re-enactment purposes — that would be the way to go.

My second yoke is also experimental in nature and can be seen here: http://storybrookeripples.blogspot.com/2010/08/did-you-hear-jailhouse-yoke.html

At this point in time (September 12, 2010) I am very pleased with the way it functions. You can leave your observations, critiques, or opinions by clicking on “comments” under any one of my blog entries. I’d be happy to hear from you.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Monday, June 14, 2010

Child Crossing Kortright Creek in Cart Pulled by an Ox



Five-year old Walter Gildersleeve in a cart very similar to the one at the auction. He is photographed on the Davenport Center (NewYork) bridge over Kortright Creek in about 1900. The Central Hotel is in the background.

an  Ervin Davis photo
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Sunday, June 13, 2010

My Momma Always Told Me Not to Play With My Food



BUT I CAN'T HELP IT!
T-shirt quote
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Stud Cart at Farm Auction, Bought for Ox



As late as the 1930's one of the Larson men would hitch his stallion to this stud cart and make the rounds to a number of farms where the stallion would service the farmer's mares. Sometimes he would be traveling for several days at a time in this business.


Recently the last of the Larson brothers, renowned for their workhorses, passed away and the old stud cart was found hanging on a wall in their shed.

Now wouldn't that make a nice ox cart!

Saturday, June 12, 2010

At the Water's Edge


Beside a green meadow a stream used to flow,

So clear one might see the white pebbles below:

To this cooling brooke the warm cattle would stray,

To stand in the shade on a hot summer’s day.
excerpt from
The Cow and the Ass,
Chatterbox, 1897,  edited by John Erskine Clarke
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Friday, June 11, 2010

Weather Alert!!!

A cow with its tail to the west, makes weather the best; A cow with its tail to the east, makes weather the least.

An Outing to "The Pit"


On a beautiful day in May....


....Scout the Ox was very curious about the natives on the beach.

 
Harry the Dog waded right in on his own initiative...

 
...and took his first swim ever --- no lessons!
Photos taken on 5/23/2010 
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Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Pup Greets Pony



After Peaches the Pony's ten-day absense the dog gave a warm reception --- he brought something of value to her --- her halter and rope. He's pretty consistant with this behavior; he often greets us with a shoe, stuffed animal, or rope.

Peaches Comes Home



We got a call that our pony was at somebodies country place about seven miles from here. I went with the pickup and she trotted and galloped home alongside the pickup. She loves to run!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Broomhandle Ox Training Aid

 
Scout the Ox tends to follow too closely when on the lead rope, sometimes bumping into me with his horns.

I have screwed an eyelet into the end of a broomhandle, and snapped a double snap from the broomhandle to the chain on Scout's halter; this replaces the lead rope. Now I can gently control where he walks in relation to me. When he's pulling his cart I can keep him far enough out-to-the-side that the cart doesn't bump into me; when he is walking behind me, such as single file through the woods, I can maintain a safe walking distance from his horns. With a firm grip on the handle I recieve fair warning if he lunges.
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