Horse Farming in Northern New Brunswick
Horse Farming in Northern New Brunswick | Craig Caldwell, his wife, Lori and their two children, Heather-Ann and James live in Belledune, Northern New Brunswick. They work approximately 35 acres on the home farm and manage over 150 acres on neighbouring farms. Besides their horses, they run a small herd of 20 beef cows. The Caldwells do own 2 tractors (one for grinding grain and one for loader work); however, they use their horses in all aspects of their operation. They use their Belgians from plowing to harrowing, spreading manure to seeding, mowing and raking to binding and logging. Heather-Ann loves to ride her Belgian mare, Belle. The Caldwell’s horses are very much a part of their family and a way of life. The field work is completed with two teams, with three abreast being the biggest hitch they currently use. Bernard Shannon, Caldwell’s neighbour and friend is the second teamster who assists Craig on the farm. With the two teams, Craig is pleased with the amount of ground they cover leaving the horses in good shape and not too tired for the next day. Despite the adversity of farming, using horses makes the work enjoyable and meaningful. Craig has farmed with lots of big equipment and fancy tractors, but nothing can come close to the subtle craft of the teamster. Craig explains in detail his mowers, tedders, binder, dump cart and how they gather firewood with the horses. The Caldwells feel this is truly a more sustainable way to farm.
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