Horses and Mules

Ferrier shoeing a horse by A.L. Ensley.  Courtesy Hunter Library Special Collections

Ferrier shoeing a horse by A.L. Ensley. Courtesy Hunter Library Special Collections

 

Although horses and mules have been replaced by tractors on most American farms, some farmers in Appalachia still use them, and many more remember having worked them when they were young. Mules–prized for their hardiness–and draft horses were used both for plowing fields and for pulling wheeled vehicles, especially wagons and carriages. Horses were also saddled and ridden, and some were specially bred for racing. The Shenandoah Valley was famous in the early 19th century for its thoroughbred horses, and racetracks were established in Winchester, Virginia, and in Charles Town and Martinsburg, now in West Virginia. The advent of the automobile marked the decline of horses and mules in Appalachian life, although some few farmers still raise and work them.

Courtesy Hunter Library Special Collections

Courtesy Hunter Library Special Collections

Related Posts

  • Great Valley RoadGreat Valley Road   The Great Valley Road was a product of geography and history. It followed the contours of the Appalachian Mountains from southeastern Pennsylvania to the Carolina […]
  • BlacksmithingBlacksmithing Long before Western North Carolina was celebrated by visitors for its majestic Blue Ridge Parkway views; even before it was recognized by the ailing for its beneficial climate and […]
  • Francis AsburyFrancis Asbury Francis Asbury was the circuit-riding founder of the Methodist Church in America. From his arrival in America in 1771, he tirelessly rode on horseback throughout the Eastern United States, […]
  • Buncombe TurnpikeBuncombe Turnpike To truly appreciate the value and impact of western North Carolina’s historic Buncombe Turnpike it is useful to have a basic geographic understanding of the region it […]
  • Making SorghumMaking Sorghum Sorghum, or molasses as it is sometimes called, was along with honey, a main sweetener in the mountains. Sorghum cane was brought to America from Africa in the 19th century. Most […]