Saturday, April 30, 2011

April Ox: Hauling Firewood with a Sled

April 16, 2011, fresh snowfall was ideal for sledding firewood out of the woods  with oxen.

Unloading firewood from sled pulled by Ayrshire steer.

Ayrshire single ox-in-training wearing ox yoke.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Ox Yoke Malfunctions: Adjusting the Hitch-Point

To fix the problem I will try lowering the hitch-point and anchoring the pull chain.

After lowering the hitch-point the ox yoke functions properly.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Oxen Cart Tips Over --- Spooks Ox

But....Whoa! is Good
Time spent training the oxen to stop on command is time well spent.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

How to Make an Ox Yoke Fit Again

What a difference eight-months makes in the fit of the yoke on a yearling steer!
 In August the yoke was comparable to a shirt two sizes too big; by March Scout the Ox is looking cramped in his single-ox yoke. The neck piece has been let out to the bottom holes. The plastic spacers I had taped in place to "tighten things up a bit" have been removed from the bows.

The problem with the yoke now, is that it is too narrow across the withers (over the top of the neck), which is causing it to pinch the neck under load where the neck begins to widen into the withers.

The narrowness of the yoke over the neck prevents pressure from being distributed evenly against a wide area. Because the yoke cannot sit back against the withers the bows cannot lay on the angular musculature behind the shoulders (at the sides of the neck, sometimes referred to as "in the shoulder sockets.")

In the video below I show how I have widened the seat of the yoke, allowing it to rest back against the withers again, and allowing the bows to rest once again on the angular musculature above and behind the shoulders.

Video: Refitting a Single Ox Yoke on a Growing Steer

After widening the yoke seat, pressure from pulling is distributed over a much wider area as seen in the photo below.

Disclaimer: The yoke is experimental in nature. I am attempting to combine some of the best elements of the traditional shoulder yoke and the ox collar. Upcoming will be videos of the newly adjusted yoke in use. My hope is that others can learn from my mistakes as well as from my successes. Comments are welcome.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Tillers International Oxen Plow Inner City Garden

Team of oxen from Tillers International used to plow inner city plot for community garden. Click on link: Kalamazoo News, April 10, 2011, 10:30PM

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Maple Sugaring with Oxen: Hardwick, Vermont

Dutch Belted Oxen Team and Teamster Dan Laggis

Storybrookeripples: OX and dog blog is not endorsed by or affiliated with

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Deutsch Reitkuh! German Girl Goes Off-Road With Her Cow

Video: Somewhere with Elly and Luna

Click Here to Link to this Video
Videos produced by Giniblaxxx
Lunshen1 Production
There are a number of other home videos of Luna here: Lunschen1. Congratulations Regina on your achievements with Luna. Do you really want a horse???

Regina Mayer und ihre Kuh Luna

Regina Mayer and Her Cow Luna.

Two readers, Leauxra, and Bitzi, sent me reference to the above recent general interest news report. Thanks readers!
Reitkuhenergie! (Riding cow power!)

Kuh Luna als idealer Pferde-Ersatz

The cow Luna is an ideal replacement for a horse.

Very nice photos here! Click link below to view:

Ox and Dog: Crossing the Flooded Plain

Reminiscent of conditions travelers may have encountered crossing the Red River Valley on unimproved ox cart trails, Scout the Ox and Harry the Dog take the snow-melt in stride.  Here they are with me, skirting the edges of a low spot in the trail as evening falls, April 2, 2011.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Ma Wishes They'd Have Kept the Ox

There may be blossoms on the cherry trees in South Carolina, but up here in the more Northern Latitudes we're still enjoying winter. The boys decided to take Ma to town to get sugar and flour, on the way there Ma said, "I wish they'd have kept the ox."

Video link courtesy of retromobilis.
My title and story are fictitious.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Ox Pulls Cargo Sled and Woodsplitter

When my lawn tractor had a flat tire, while I was splitting firewood, I went back to the garage and threw the jack and tools into the cargo sled. I hitched Scout the Ox to the sled and we went to retrieve the flat tire. I took along the forcart (pair of wheels) that I use when Scout pulls the garden cart.
In lieu of finding time to get a larger, wooden sled built, I had bought this rugged, plastic, cargo sled at the farm store as an intermediate size for pulling firewood from the woods. (It's proven itself useful for a variety of tasks.)

In this picture Scout the Ox, Harry the Dog, and I head back to the woodpile to retrieve the wood splitter. Hitched to the splitter, Scout the Ox did a fine job of pulling it back to the garage.

The next time I split wood, I skipped using the garden tractor and used Scout the Ox instead. At the woodpile I tied his lead rope to a piece of firewood, and he nibbled tall grass nearby while I worked.