First, is the most common image people think of when they hear the words "logging a horse" and it is preformed by Draft horses or larger pack animals. This form is just what it says. The horse pulls the logs to the River to float to the mill or take them to a site of a home being built....
The Third kind of Logging was used when old timers used to have a horse pull a log or bale of hay around the arena or pasture to build up the upper body of a horse.
So what did I do. Well, it is simple really. It is a form of Logging that no one but us uses and to be honest it probably combines the first and third Kind I discribed.
You see it all starts when Dad and I don't cut firewood in the summer That we need to get us through the winter. Oh, we know we should. The ground in the summer is hard and perfect for us to drive the truck and trailer right up to the logs. Only problem is that Dad and I always find reasons that we can't cut wood in the summer or other things to do instead. Then the first cold snap hits and Dad and I know we have to get it done or we will not have heat when we need it.
This year Mom had to work so dragging the logs and getting them to the trailer would have been hard for me alone and Dad's job is cutting the logs. So I rode Ice the 3/4 a mile to my Dad's Cousin's place and I used him to pull the logs across the creek to the truck where I left them while Dad was cutting then Dad and I loaded the logs together.
It was Ice's first log pulling job and his first time to cross the highway that he wasn't in a trailer. I knew he could do the pulling because he pulls pipe across the pasture to set up and take down the water pump system that keeps us from feeling the effects of the drought in the summer. As for crossing the highway ... That was unknown. I didn't know how spooked he would be if a car came by really fast so we were all taking it very serious. I knew he could do it if he just didn't spook. On the way down to Little Shoat's (Dad's Cousin) Mom had time to run the front end of the carivan for us but after she got me across the highway she left for her second half of her split shift.
Ice did great. Mom was in the front of us with her 4-way Flashers on and Dad was behind us with his on too. The first 1/2 mile was a breeze ... our only hang up was that the truck behind Ice and I made Ice feel unsure of himself. He kept trying to turn around and see what was behind him. Mom had me stop and make a circle on him so he could see it was just Dad in our truck. After a few times he got the idea and paid no more attention to the truck behind us. Dad was also pulling the trailer with the chainsaws and everything in the truck.
Anyway, When we got to the highway Mom crossed and pulled into Maxey's (Dad's other Cousin) driveway and got out and went back up to the highway. I was at the stop sign on the other side. When she gave me the all clear signal, Ice walked calm as can be across the road. It wasn't really all clear but it was clear enough for us to cross. You see, it is never safe to cross a highway on a horse. For one thing you have to walk the horse or his hooves can slide on the pavement. If the horse slips you and he horse can be hit by on coming traffic.
I have to admit, Cutting wood was never so much fun. Once we got there, Dad cut down the trees while Ice and I pulled them back to the trailer and piled them nearby. When we thought we had enough to fill the trailer, Dad stopped cutting and helped me load it all up. We did two loads like this. The only difference was that I stayed at Shoat's while Dad came home and dropped off the first load of logs. There was no reason to cross the highway more then we had to.