I just want to run this past folks as an idea before I take it further.
I've been going to a camp for many years that is not specifically a horse camp, but does offer riding as an activity. Recently they've been trying to add in activities relating to farming/gardening also, to help educate the kids (mostly city kids) about where food comes from, that sort of thing.
I was thinking it might be an interesting crossover activity to see if maybe someone could come to the camp with some horses trained to plow (there wouldn't likely be anywhere suitable to actually plow, but it seems like it should be possible to show how they're hitched, etc.) or else arrange a field trip to somewhere nearby where they could see the horses in action on a farm.
1. What horrible things am I overlooking that would make this a bad idea?
2. If it does seem like a good idea and the camp is interested, how would I go about seeing if there's anyone in the area who'd want to do it? Ask here? (The people who run the camp are not terribly horsey so I kind of expect that if they like the idea I'll end up doing a bit of leg work so they don't just pick the first person they come across who might not be all that safe or good at making the experience interesting for the kids.)
I have a friend in Washington who might be able to do that at some point, and if he couldn't I bet he could point you towards someone who could... are you on facebook? That would probably be the easiest way for me to get you his info.
The ninja monkeys are plotting my demise as we speak....
This group on FB might be able to give you some leads.
Many living history farms have draft horses and farming seminars/demos... and I think that doing a field trip to go see them is a safer and better option than trying to bring the horses to the kids... for one- those facilities have their own insurance- so you don't have to deal with that mess. If you wanted to hire a local guy just to show his team- it's likely that in the end the camp would want him to provide proof of insurance which he probably doesn't have.
Also- horses do better in their home enviornment- and it's A LOT to ask of a teamster to manage his horses AND teach kids in a new place that's not really set up for them. A living history farm would probably have a system already designed.
I think it's a great idea! I think it's very important for kids to have acess to horses and learning about them and efforts have to be made to provide those points of contact before we lose them all together!
You're in Pittsburg, right, there has to be some Amish within a couple hours, either in PA or OH. Check with some local harness shops or if you see some BIG chestnuts in the field next to the road stop in and ask. Chances are if they can't do what you're looking for they will know someone that does, and can probably give you a phone number.
There has got to be a local driving club which has members who still farm with their horses.
Here are 2 in PA
Brandywine Valley Driving Club www.bvdc.org
Members from PA, MD, DE, and NJ and throughout the region. Most activities located in Eastern PA and Fair Hill, MD. Monthly “ Driving Lines” newsletter.
Membership info: Bobbi Hager, 293 Diamond Spring Road, Denville, NJ 07834, Bobbi@DSFGroup.org
Activities: bi-monthly membership meetings and programs, recreational drives, beginner clinic, Junior clinics, ADS approved pleasure show, schooling CDE in May and Oct.
Susquehanna Whips and Wheels
Most members in North Central PA. Newsletter, 4 or 5 membership meetings per year.
Membership info: Jackie Zaloga, 455 Peterman Rd, Benton, PA 17814 570-458-6966 or JinglesZal@aol.com
Here are the Ohio clubs who are bound to have Pittsburg area members..
*Collars and Cruppers Driving Club
1477 US Rt 68 South
Xenia, OH 45385
Christine Redmon, 937-372-7217
"Gene is also the President of the Georgia Old Time Plow Club using mules, horses and oxen for plow days that let school groups bring children and adults as well to these plow events to see how farming was done 100 years ago. The Georgia Old Time Plow Club is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the preservation of old-time horse, mule and oxen farming methods. Our membership dues are $20.00 per year. We have come a long ways from plowing using animals to our modern day tractors. One man could plow about 2 acres a day with a team of mules."