Since the founding of early America, draft horses have been the backbone of the farmer. Not forgetting that was one of the goals of the Asbury University Draft Horse Day, held last Saturday at the school’s equine center.
“We collaborated with the University of Kentucky, and we have teaching stations that you can learn about foraging, you can learn about breeds, you can learn about management. So we’re teaching people about draft horses and we’re teaching them about how farming might have been done 100 years ago,” Asbury equine director Harold Rainwater said.
A draft horse bred for hard, heavy jobs, such as plowing farmland.
The event also marked an excellent chance for residents to get out of the house and combine learning with fun, family-friendly events.
“They do stuff like this every year,” Laura Omstead said. “It’s free for the community, and it’s really interesting, like last year they had the ag stuff, the free horse rides, and the kids just enjoy it and you couldn’t ask for a better day.”
Rainwater said the turnout (more than 230) was solid.
“We’ve had a tremendous turnout from the community,” he said. “The weather is perfect; we’ve got pony rides, face painting, horseshoe painting, we have free demonstrations and very affordable food with the beef cattle association cooking.
But the main focus of the event was on draft horses and Asbury’s mission farm — a 2-acre plot of land near the equine center.
“It’s part of our mission farm under Dr. (Marty) Bilderback that we’re using our horses to really plow and really prepare land just like it would have been done 100 years ago,” Rainwater said.
The idea behind the farm is to teach students the needed skills to grow produce and manage livestock.