Friday, November 30, 2012

"Vrachtrijder" With Ox Cart Load of Wooden Shoes

De Vrachtrijder
Oxcart load of wooden shoes.
The picture was likely taken in southern Netherlands. "De Vrachtrijder" translates roughly as "The Truckdriver."

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Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Refitting the Ox Yoke

Using carpenter's chalk to identify pressure points, I file the yoke to re-size it for a comfortable fit on the growing ox. I would like the pressure to be distributed evenly over the entire yoke seat.

Scout the Ox is just over three years old.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Ox Logging: Fitting and Using a Single Yoke

Tim Harrigan has just posted this instructional video on his TMHarrigan You Tube Channel.  He uses a traditional yoke for his single ox, Will,  and presents in the video concise and helpful information on fitting the yoke, britchen, and chains. Be sure to visit his channel and "like" his video.

To see blog posts on the making and fitting of Scout the Ox's most recent single yoke, (click here).

To see a blog post of the making and fitting of Scout the Ox's previous single yoke/collar combination click  (here) and (here).

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Drinking Water Delivered by Ox Cart

"The water-cart;" 1856 Illustrated London News; Engraved by W. Thomas; Painted by Troyon

Postcard; c.1912-1918;  

Mexican children; Creator: Horne, Walter H., 1883-1921 Date: ca. 1910-1917. Water cart and donkey, Chihuahua; Creator: Jackson, William Henry, 1843-1942 Date: ca. 1882-1897. Digitally altered photos; Source of original photos:  Southern Methodist University, Central University Libraries,
DeGolyer Library (click link)

"Fountain At Cintra Near Lisbon" Ox Cart, Portugal. 1883 Illustrated London News. W. H. Overend artist

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Saturday, November 3, 2012

A Lesson to Learn from Costa Rican Teamster’s Tragedy

Tuesday morning, October 30th a Costa Rican man hauling sugar cane, with a team of oxen, stumbled and fell in the cane field. It is believed he tripped on crop residue from the previous sugar cane harvest. Another man working nearby called out for the oxen to stop but they continued --- running over  Bertilio Quiros, age 72. He died at the scene with wounds to the head, chest, and limbs.

A daughter described  Bertilio as a humble man who loved his work as a teamster. He was a loving father and grandfather. Our sympathies go to Bertilio’s family and friends.

Those of us who work with oxen (and “reitkuhs!”) may tend to become mesmerized by their usually gentle and affectionate natures. Bertilio’s accident is a good, though tragic, reminder of our oxen’s size, weight, and strength, and that oxen may not comprehend the significance of the consequences of their actions. I am reminded of finding dead sheep around the base of our hay feeders because their herd-mates were standing on top of them while they ate. The offending sheep were not cognizant of their actions and it is doubtful Bertilio’s oxen were cognizant of their’s either.

I mentioned “reitkuhs” (“reitkuh” is German for riding cows — riding cows and “springenkuhs” (jumping cows) seem to be a phenomenon of a few young German girls, especially those who live on dairy farms). I've seen several pictures of these smiling girls lying beneath their cows with their faces protruding between the cows front legs (click here to see one Die Kuhreiterin at 1:29 seconds. While the trust these kids have in their cows is admirable, I do fear for their safety.

It could be dangerous to anthropomorphize about our cows or oxen. While a cow may have a natural instinct not to step on it’s calf, I do not believe she would have an understanding of the possible consequences of a misplaced step on her young friend and trainer.

I know the only understanding that Scout the Ox has of the consequences of stepping on my toe is that it makes me holler — and he gets an elbow jabbed in his side!

With these thoughts in mind I’m glad I have trained Scout the Ox to long reins — so I can walk behind him while working. I’m also glad he responds well to “whoa.”  While I’d like to think he would  not step on me if I fell in his path, I’m not prepared to bet my life on it.

Source links:, and  buewabewerber - You Tube