Anatolian Shepherd

Anatolian Shepherd

As far as we can tell, the Anatolian Shepherd was a fixture on the landscape of rural Turkey from the most ancient times. Its ancestors are not known for certain. It can undoubtedly be traced to various dogs of Mesopotamia, possibly including both sighthounds and mastiff-like hunting dogs. It may also have ancestors among the Tibetan Mastiffs and the Roman dogs of war. Whatever its … Continue reading Anatolian Shepherd

Ox Yokes and Collars

Ox Yokes and Collars: Withers Yokes and Ox Collars

Withers Yoke The withers yoke is only used with humped zebu-type cattle, such as Brahmans. The yoke is a wooden pole resting on the hump of the animal and is held in place by a rope or leather strap around the neck. Note that the rope does not take any of the weight of the load. Sometimes wooden staves projecting downward from the pole add … Continue reading Ox Yokes and Collars: Withers Yokes and Ox Collars

Get Ready for September 2016

Get Ready for September 2016

Are you ready for fall?  Spend a little time watching the birds, caring for the animals, and stocking the pantry. Invest in a dog owner’s home veterinary handbook. Feed your backyard birds. Discover why people built round barns. Stock up for the winter. Learn about pH. Weigh the pros and cons of draft animals. Explore the K-State weather data library. Open up the breeding toolbox. … Continue reading Get Ready for September 2016

Suffolk Punch

Suffolk Punch

The story of the Suffolk Punch is that of a quiet farm worker, lacking in incredible incidents, but nevertheless important.  The breed’s lineage is obscure, but ancient, with written records tracing back to the 1500s, yet already referring to the horse as the “Old Breed.” For centuries the Suffolk Punch worked the heavy clay fields of its home in eastern England.  No one sought to … Continue reading Suffolk Punch

Shire

Shire

One of the largest horses in the world is the ancient Shire of Great Britain.  Its precise origin is unknown.  It may have had ancestors among the heavy horses of the Bretons at the time of the Roman invasions.  Probably it also traces back to the Great Horse ridden by armor-clad knights of medieval times.  It may be linked to the ancestors of the Belgian … Continue reading Shire

Shetland

Shetland

No one knows for sure when the Shetland Pony first arrived on its native islands, but it was unquestionably thousands of years ago.  Its ancestors may have included ponies and small horses of Celtic, Norse, and even Oriental roots. However the Shetland Pony came about, isolation on the Shetland Islands with their frequently inhospitable climate shaped it into a small but incredibly tough little breed. … Continue reading Shetland

Poitou

Poitou

For centuries, the Poitou region of France was famous as a center of mule breeding. The area even boasted special breeds of horse and donkey developed exclusively for the purpose—the Poitevin horse, known for its heavy build, and the Poitou donkey, prized for its tall stature and large joints. When the horse and donkey were bred together, the result was a strapping mule ideal for … Continue reading Poitou

Percheron

Percheron

Named for the La Perche region of France, the Percheron has existed in some form since ancient times. Some suggest that its earliest ancestors were Boulonnais horses used by the Romans under Julius Caesar to invade Brittany. Others trace the breed’s roots to the Black Horse of Flanders. Whatever combination of heavy breeds went into the Percheron, a touch of refinement was added through crossbreeding … Continue reading Percheron

Mule

Mule

A mule has a jack (male donkey) for a father and a mare (female horse) for a mother.  The result is an intriguing blend of equine characteristics that rarely occurs in the wild, but has occupied a special place in human life since ancient times. Mules were first bred in the Middle East, where they were commonly used as mounts for royalty.  A respect for … Continue reading Mule