Collect waste, drag trees and help carefully… The Brabant draft horse can still participate in the community: “We really don’t torture those animals” | send

Flemish BrabantA Brabant draft horse may be taken out of the stable often to do heavy work. That is the view of Flemish Brabant County, which has put the animals to work in various sectors in recent months. “These animals are real work horses,” says Rep. Gunter Coppins (N-VA). “There is no reason to leave them in the stable if there is hard work to be done.”

The time when the Brabant draft horse ruled the fields as a working pole was decades behind us. But if it depends on the county of Flemish Brabant, strong horse types may be taken out of the stable more often than just competition and inspection. So the animals have been used in different areas since 2019. For example, they helped manage the Wijngaardberg forests in Wezemaal by dragging heavy logs. They showed their healing talent during the weekly visits to the people of De Okkernoot at Steenhout Castle in Vollezele. This organization supports people with autism. They were allowed to ditch the stables, care for the animals, and enjoy the surroundings on a covered wagon. In Haacht, tractors were replaced by draft horses at the Hof ten Dormael brewery, because even when growing hops, animals could be used instead of noisy agricultural machinery.

They also operate draft horses in their regional Huizingen. Four horses have their stable there. They can collect waste there and now also help maintain green spaces.

A Brabant draft horse may be taken out of the stable often to do heavy work. That is the view of Flemish Brabant County, which has put the animals to work in various sectors in recent months. Deputy Gunter Koppens (N-VA), Levin Elst and Peter Bearden from Velmis Brabant. © Bart Kerkhoven

On Wednesday afternoon, everyone could see how powerful the two giants were during a demonstration day in Huizingen. Showing what animals can do remains important, according to Deputy Tourism Gunther Coppens (N-VA). “One of the threats to the survival of typical draft horse culture, such as fairs, parades, and processions, is that the general public often does not have an adequate sense of using a draft horse. This has not only been pointed out by draft horse associations, but is also mentioned in the draft horse council” Cobbins says. “People quickly think they are torturing the horse, while those animals are just enjoying going to work. This is why we, as a province, want to take the lead in raising people’s awareness.”

A Brabant draft horse may be taken out of the stable often to do heavy work.  That is the view of Flemish Brabant County, which has put the animals to work in various sectors in recent months.
A Brabant draft horse may be taken out of the stable often to do heavy work. That is the view of Flemish Brabant County, which has put the animals to work in various sectors in recent months. © Bart Kerkhoven

The chance of a draft horse pushing the tractor out of the fields again seems very small. “But the Brabant draft horse can still play an economic role,” says Peter Bearden, project manager for the Brabant draft horse in Velmis Brabant province. “Farmers may be able to earn something extra if their horse can sometimes be used, for example, to pull trees. Because keeping draft horses today costs a lot of money if you only participate in inspections or competitions. And in quiet areas or ecological zones The weak ones, they can also be of gold value. You can’t work there with heavy machinery.”

A Brabant draft horse may be taken out of the stable often to do heavy work.  That is the view of Flemish Brabant County, which has put the animals to work in various sectors in recent months.
A Brabant draft horse may be taken out of the stable often to do heavy work. That is the view of Flemish Brabant County, which has put the animals to work in various sectors in recent months. © Bart Kerkhoven

Deputy Gunter Coppins even suggests owners of large forests buy a draft horse instead of investing in heavy equipment. “I think it would be more fun to work with such an animal that you can bond with than with a machine that does more damage. We have to show the possibilities. I have already noticed that since 2019 there has been more interest in what a draft horse can do. And there There is also a growing interest among breeders in using their horses for such jobs.”

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