Wednesday, June 4, 2014

hump day haflinger series #21

Haflingers thrived on the Alps for many many years helping the mountain farmers plow and till soil. Because of their low dietary needs, strength despite their smaller size, and temperament, they made perfect ponies for the farmers and their families. The farmers probably didn't know it at the time, but they selectively bred the Haflingers to be able to work the fields and to be family transportation up and down the mountains. Haflingers that were not able to be handled by children and the elderly were not kept or bred by the farmers, which is why today the personality is still a big part of the breed characteristics. 

Neal Bever has a herd of Haflingers that he still farms with on his farm in Ohio. He finds farming with his Haflingers relaxing, yet challenging. He has a large farm and when he has the time he likes to use the I&J PTO cart (a forecart with powered take off)  with the hay tedder and rotary hay rake (used to fluff and roll hay to help dry it before it is baled). Neal also has a horse drawn manure spreader that he uses. 


  • Mary, 14 year old mare, 14.1 hh
  • Bell, 14 year old mare, 14 hh
  • Doll, 17 year old mare, 14 hh
  • Narvella of Green Acres or Vella, 7 year old mare, 15.1 hh
  • Gem, 6 year old mare, 13 hh
  • Chrissy, 6 year old mare, 13.2 hh
  • Elsie, 3 year old mare, 14 hh
  • New Diamond or The Princess, 3 year old mare, 15 hh
  • Denny, 14 year old gelding, 15hh
  • Stonewall Spencer or Bill, 19 year old stallion, 13.2hh
Discipline: Farming

Neal and his brothers raised, rode, and drove Shetlands when they were kids. His grandfather was a charter member of the Williams County Saddle Club  and the Grand Marshall of their town parade. He had a Palomino mare that he used.

Neal discovered Haflingers in an Amish community in Grabill, IN when he was buying harness supplies for his miniatures and Belgians. He realized that for the things he liked to do with the horses, Haflingers where easier to harness, take less feed, and cost less overall. These are all important things to consider when using horses as part of a farm. 

Neal uses the Haflingers to help farm corn, soy beans, and different kinds of hay. Neal also attends local county shows with some of his Haflingers, driving single and double. They are well behaved horses who know and like their jobs. 

I love seeing Haflingers being used for farm work. It is very cool and they seem to enjoy the work. In the fall, there are many Plow Days events at farms where all kinds of horses can plow up the field after it has been harvested. It is fun for everyone as there us food, log skidding, and other events at Plow Days. 


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