Being towed along in a wagon or cart has a special appeal. “If you can go out there and chime along together and it goes well together and can feel as one, it all works good,” said Ms Butler, who owns a light wooden cart called a Meadowbank. So we’re trying to work together as a team.”
Margaret Filbay, who still drives at age 88, worked with Clydesdales to keep the family farm going during WWII. (Landline: Tim Lee)
Ms Butler got hooked by the sport of carriage driving some years back and the enjoyment of teaming up with a Clydesdale has never wavered. The Clydesdale Society of Victoria wants to see a return to the horse and carriage days. Most of the time once somebody’s tried it they get hooked.”Mr Peel was the chief instructor at a special weekend event held earlier this month at Lethbridge near Geelong. Photo:
Sally Morphy enjoys riding her Clydesdale, Paris (Landline: Tim Lee)
Sally Morphy from Ceres is a recent convert to the charms of these gentle giants. (Landline: Tim Lee)
Watch Tim’s story on Landline today at noon on ABC TV. It is the type used by the American Amish.Next year the Clydesdale Society of Victoria will celebrate its centenary. “They’ve got the financial means to do it and the time. “I think the days of people remembering seeing the milk lorry go down the street are gone,” the society’s Josh Taylor said. Open to all comers, among the diehard Clydesdale owners was a healthy infusion of new blood. She owns a nine-year-old gelding, Zachary. “Most of the time once somebody’s tried it they get hooked,” Mr Peel said. We want our horses to enjoy it. Photo:
William Lewin with instructor Mark Peel go at a fast clip. “Those memories are gone now, so we’re targeting at people, a whole new generation that haven’t witnessed it.” But the society admits many of its stalwarts are in the veteran class, hence the drive to recruit. (Landline: Tim Lee)
“Essentially with your hands you’re asking the horse a question and I’m trying to help them listen the horse better,” Mr Peel explained as he put various horses and drivers through their paces. Beryl Jackson, whose family connection with Clydesdales goes back many generations, warns exposure to these famous workhorses can prove addictive.”Once you come and look at them and interact with them, even by looking at them, patting them, there’s just something magical about the whole process,” she said.”And the characters of people you actually meet around the horse shows and things and the older generation is just a generation that you don’t meet up with often. (Landline: Tim Lee)
“I hate to say it, typically in the past it has been a bit of an older person’s sport,” said Mark Peel, who has represented Australia at international carriage driving competitions. “So when they get the answer they can reward him and by doing that you get a happier horse that is more willing to go forward and do the job. And at the end of the day that’s what it’s all about. They send the horse the crucial signals — which direction to go, when to stop and start, how fast to travel. But Paris is happy being ridden or being harnessed up in a cart. But it can be exciting — carriage driving can be really exciting for juniors and they can get a lot out of it, develop really healthy friendships and relationships out of it.”We’ve just got to get them into it. The 1950s mechanisation, especially of trucks and tractors, had almost consigned them to history’s scrapheap if not for enthusiasts like the Clydesdale Society — who have never lost their love for these heavy horses nor the joy of harnessing them both for competition and recreation. She grew up with prize-winning ponies but recently bought a three-year-old Clydesdale filly, Paris. Standing more than 16 hands high, Ms Morphy needs a step ladder to mount up. Photo:
William Lewin and instructor Mark Peel drive the Clydesdale. “The country people coming together and they have stories and the whole thing about them is really interesting and quite intriguing.”
Blacksmith Bill Jackson shapes a horseshoe for a Clydesdale. Not out of some nostalgic, or wistful whim, but as part of a campaign to introduce younger folks to the joys of Clydesdale horses.For centuries, these gentle giants of the horse world helped turn the wheels of agriculture and industry — pulling ploughs, hauling loads, even delivering the daily milk. “We enjoy it as a sport and a hobby. The key to driving a horse in harness are the reins, the long ribbons of leather that connect to the bit in the horse’s mouth.
Clydesdales gallop at Mackay Beach Horse Races
(Landline: Tim Lee) Landline
By Tim Lee
August 27, 2017 06:04:43
Margaret Filbay and her daughter Beryl Jackson allow Mr Whiskers to catch his breath.