I have a collection of diaries written by a New York state farm woman from the turn of the last century. She had a hard life. Her family had one horse, that both pulled the plow and that took them to church on Sunday. The animal was slow and old and often lame. The woman loved that horse.
As I said, she had a very hard life. While her neighbors modernized their farms, used tractors in the fields and bought cars to go to town, she could not. She was too poor, her husband was ill. She loved that horse and she needed him too.
By the 1940s draft horses almost disappeared. Today many breeds are endangered. But some people loved them. Loved them enough to keep them going, despite the fact that they are no longer necessary on farms or to take the family to church. Hundreds of these big horses will be at the World Percheron Congress this week. Every few years this show is held at a different arena, and not always in the USA. It’s also been staged in Canada, France and England. This year the World Percheron Congress is not only on the East Coast, but it is less then two hours from my house. I’ll be there. I’ll bring my camera. (You might be able to watch, too. It’s live streaming here.)