Traveling Draft Horse Style

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Back in 2009 while I was in Belgium I remember pedaling my bike to the grocery store to get a few things. On my route I noticed a large sheep herding type wagon rolling down the road pulled by a beautiful red roan draft horse. I thought to myself how much fun would it be to take a trip through the countryside with just a wagon and a horse. A dream I have on my list.

When my husband return home from work I was telling him about the couple I saw on the wagon. He said he had just noticed them and they pulled off to stay for the night in a neighbors small pasture. I had to find out more.

We pedaled our bikes to this pasture and there they were unhooking the horse and putting her behind their electric ribboned fence so she could eat and get a well deserved break. The couple then proceeded to tell us a bit about their story and where they came from.

They work at small farm for mentally and physically challenged children in the Ardennes area of Belgium. They use the horses, and farm animals to help the children in their development. As they told us more about the farm I realized they were the perfect couple to do this type of work. 

The couple said they have not had the chance to get away from the farm in over 5 years, but this year they made arrangements to take a 1 month break and travel around Belgium with just their horse Eli, border collie Josh and their well stocked wagon.

They said they mapped out a back road route with the least amount of traffic and headed out on their month away from work, children, and the demands of their job. I am sure they needed the break and this trip would revive them and be a trip they would never forget.

I have somewhat the same dream of taking a horse and a wagon and travel some quiet backroads and just stop when you see a good spot. So it was nice to talk to some people who were in the process of doing a trip like that.

Here are some of the photos I captured while they were getting ready to leave our neck of the woods and continue on their journey.

We didn't ask him how he lost his hand but it doesn't seem to stop him from doing what he loves.

We didn't ask him how he lost his hand but it doesn't seem to stop him from doing what he loves.

Hooking up Eli for the days travels.

Hooking up Eli for the days travels.

This is all routine to Eli I am sure

This is all routine to Eli I am sure

Check and re-check 

Check and re-check 

Josh making sure he is not left behind

Josh making sure he is not left behind

Putting up the bikes. They use these to pedal to a store while the horse is grazing.

Putting up the bikes. They use these to pedal to a store while the horse is grazing.

Josh barking out instructions to Eli.

Josh barking out instructions to Eli.

Heading out for another day of travel

Heading out for another day of travel

Checking for traffic

Checking for traffic

Off on their journey

Off on their journey

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