By Jim Mimiaga
Journal Staff Writer
Save on fuel and tractor payments by learning to farm with a team of horses, ponies or mules.
Tyler Willbanks, of Rocky Draw Farms in Mancos, will present four workshops on tried-and-true horsepower at the Four States Ag Expo in Cortez.
March 14, 2 p.m. Draft Horse Arena: “Farming with Horses for the Hobbyist or Small Farm” There will be information on demo plowing, harrowing, and cultivating. Hear a discussion on the pros and cons of horse farming for smaller farms, including soil health, cost effectiveness, and yields.March 15, 10 a.m. Draft Horse Arena: “Farming with Horses for the Commercial Producer” There will be information on demo plowing, harrowing, and cultivating. Hear a discussion on the pros and cons of horse farming for larger farms, including soil health, cost effectiveness, time management and yields. A demonstration will take place using three draft horses, with tips on how old to start training for young drafts.March 15, 4 p.m. Main Arena: “Multiple Horse Hitch Demo” Willbanks and Dave Harwood will show ways to hook up horses with teams of three to six if they can all get along. Demo will highlight the hitches most commonly used for farming, not showing, and the difference will be explained.March 16, 11 am, Ag Summit Room: Willbanks will present “Homesteading with Horses.”March 16, 3 p.m. Main Arena: “Draft Horse Pull” Willbanks and Harwood will showcase the different strengths of powerful breeds, including Clydesdales, Percherons, Belgians and Halflingers. Willbanks and his wife, April, use horses to grow spelt wheat, hay, potatoes and barley. They also raise a sizable kitchen garden, as well as sell milk and cream shares, livestock feed, lamb and beef, eggs and livestock bedding.