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Horse drawn snow plow?

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  • Horse drawn snow plow?

    Am wondering if anyone out there has used their horse to plow snow. In my case, I would be using my mini (or maybe the goats) and the snow would be no more than 4”-6” deep. I was thinking of using a 4x4 at an angle to move the snow towards the edge of the driveway. Not sure how to weight it down though. Has anyone tried this? My sleigh runners for the cart should arrive today so I could try hooking up something behind the cart.
    Crayola Posse - Pine Green
    Whinnie Pine (June 4, 1977 - April 29, 2008)
    Autumn Caper (April 27, 1989 - May 24, 2015)
    Murphy (April 28, 1994 - May 5, 2017)

  • #2
    The issue I see with that is that when you are plowing with a tractor or a truck, you are PUSHING snow, not PULLING it, as you would primarily be doing with a horse/pony/goat. Maybe if you put something in front of them, you'd be on to something. But it would also take much longer than just shoveling the darn thing! Not really worth it, in my opinion, unless you're just. that. bored.


    • Original Poster

      Well, the driveway is 600 feet long and I figured "plowing" with a horse might be more fun than shoveling. Wish my tractor was in working order. I hate having to put tire chains on to get down the road!
      Crayola Posse - Pine Green
      Whinnie Pine (June 4, 1977 - April 29, 2008)
      Autumn Caper (April 27, 1989 - May 24, 2015)
      Murphy (April 28, 1994 - May 5, 2017)


      • #4
        Snow is VERY hard and heavy to move. I'd not want a horse to move it by pulling it. Most definitely not a small pony!


        • #5
          You will be disappointed. Their little hooves will pack down bits that won't easily be moved by the following plow light enough to be pulled by them.

          You can shovels these off afterward. But the whole thing sounds like more work than it's worth.

          Of course if you are bored and innovative, please post pics for us.
          The armchair saddler
          Politically Pro-Cat


          • #6
            The had horse-drawn snow plows when my dad was young. But they used mid-size draft horses and had a steel scraper blade a foot or so high and six or eight feet long on some kind of framework. It was not easy work, but made automobile traffic possible until the first big blizzard of the season shut down all but horse and foot traffic.


            • #7
              Actually, in the "olden days" they rolled the snow for roads. Packed it down for the sleigh traffic.

              I do have an article, about a New England town that used a larger, mule-pulled, snow plow for their sidewalks. Had photos and discussion with the woman who contracted with the City, driving the mule and using their plow. Probably not still a going operation. She said it was plain, hard work, in vicious weather. She HAD to have snow off in a certain time, no excuses. Took her some time to get all the city sidewalks plowed out.

              A modern snowblower is probably much easier to use, equally fast, and has replaced her for sidewalk snow removal.

              I think that trying to use Minis to move snow is going to be overly hard on them. Weight of snow is VERY heavy for small amounts, and that is the fluffy stuff. With load increasing as they pulled and snow accumulated on the dragging object, weight of load would be heavier than even a pair of Minis weighed.

              Finding well fitted collars, NOT breast collars, good harness, to pull with is going to be difficult and increase your money investment, with little to no return in snow moving.

              Sorry, I would not consider this to be a good idea.


              • #8
                Here is one from the Princeton archives, Horse-drawn snow plow, 1910s.

                Here is gh's roller.



                • Original Poster

                  Well, bummer. Sounds like my snow plow plans are not going to work. Oh well. I’ll still have some fun with her and the sleigh. Maybe. I’m wondering if it will be harder for her to pull the cart with runners than with wheels. I’m very conscientious with my horses though so don’t worry that I’ll overface her!

                  I picked up an old copy of the Small Farm Journal at a thrift store the other day and it had an article about using miniature horses with a small logging (firewood type logs) operation. That is what got me thinking about putting my minis to work. I also found a garden “plow” (‘S’ tines and a wheel) on a goat site and I’m wondering if I can use it to drag my arena. I figure if goats can do these things, maybe a mini can too.

                  Thanks for the links to the photos MaresTails. Very interesting!
                  Crayola Posse - Pine Green
                  Whinnie Pine (June 4, 1977 - April 29, 2008)
                  Autumn Caper (April 27, 1989 - May 24, 2015)
                  Murphy (April 28, 1994 - May 5, 2017)


                  • #10
                    We used to use a 'scrub' which mostly packed down the snow, and pulled up lumps. One horse, with Dad as the weight. You need damned good balance to manage one of those and a horse that voice drives and knows that whoa means whoa right now and will stand and not move in case you have to remove debris from the frame.
                    Founder of the Dyslexic Clique. Dyslexics of the world - UNTIE!!

                    Member: Incredible Invisbles


                    • #11
                      When I was in High School, the town I lived in in Massachusetts still used horse drawn plows on the sidewalks away from the downtown area. The town owned the plows and contracted with local farmers to provide the hoses and do the plowing. There was a riding stable just down the street that kept a pair of drafts for plowing. But that was a pair of drafts and a plow only 4 ft wide.