Our educational programs are comprehensive, organized, and structured opportunities for participants to become beginning to proficient teamsters

Educational Programs

Workhorseworkshops.com offers a variety of educational programs to meet you where you are and to safely and effectively guide you to the next level.  Our current programs include:

  • Workshops
      • Beginning Draft Horse Workshop
      • Advanced Draft Horse Farming Workshop
      • Multiple Hitch Driving Workshop
      • Small Scale Draft Horse Logging Workshop
      • Farming with the Single Horse Workshop
  • Teamster of the Week (5-7 days of intensive focused draft horse learning)
  • Teamster of the Month (experience a full month of intensive draft horse farming learning)
  • Teamster Training Continuum (ongoing mentorship program with monthly hands-on training)  
  • Equine Based Farm Learning Program (4-12 months)
  • Programs for Groups (Varies)
  • Horse Training

 

A description of our Educational Programs follows below.  Please read thru our offerings and select the option best suited to your needs.   There is a lot of information presented here on this page.  We can help you select the right program best suited to your needs.

If you are brand new to the world of draft horses, we recommend getting an introductory taste of the reality via our Beginning Draft Horse Workshop.  If you already have some experience and/or the desire to immerse yourself further in the rhythms of hands on draft horse work, and build a solid foundation for exceptional draft horse teamster skills, then the Teamster of the Week or Teamster of the Month programs may be just the right fit.   Our Advanced Workshop offerings including the Advanced Draft Horse Farming Workshop, the Multiple Hitch Driving Workshop, the Small Scale Draft Horse Logging Workshop, and the Farming with the Single Horse Workshop, are opportunities for you to concentrate on a specific subject matter in a focused, well instructed, and safe workshop setting.  If you are fully committed to becoming a student of draft horse farming, our in-depth Equine Based Farm Learning Program offers a unique, full farm season opportunity of comprehensive and integrated use of draft horses on our working certified organic and biodynamic farm.  All of our programs run concurrently throughout the year.  We also offer programs specific to organized groups such as college classes and families as well as training for horses.  Please review our program descriptions below to see which one best fits your goals.  Our most popular programs are the Draft Horse Workshops, Teamster of the Week, and Teamster Training Continuum programs.   If you have further questions feel free to contact us

 

Our Well trained, patient, and willing horses are selected to be a part of our farming and educational programs with you in mind.  Our horses are safe, responsive, and unsurpassed for their ability to be an integral part of your success—you will rarely find a better group of horses for your learning.

Workshops

We offer introductory to advanced workshops. The workshops are designed to maximize the practical aspects of working with the equine partner.  During the one to two day workshops, you will do a lot of hands on work such as harnessing, driving, and handling of the horses; the Beginning Draft Horse Workshop is a great foundation to the use of draft horses and will give you a solid basic beginning and safe introduction to the craft.  Once you have mastered these workshop basics, continued practice and learning will build your confidence, skills, and ultimately help you become an accomplished teamster.  The Advanced Workshops, for those who have already learned the basics, are quite specific and intensive to certain situations such as logging, advanced farming or multiple hitch driving.  After you have mastered the basics and determined that you want to learn more of the craft, we offer a variety of options to continue your learning including the Teamster of the Week, Teamster of the Month, and the Teamster Training Continuum Programs; choose the program that fits for your needs (see below for details).

 

Beginning Draft Horse Workshop

Workhorse Workshop’s Beginning Draft Horse Workshop is designed for participants, who have no, or little, experience with draft horses. The focus of the workshop is to introduce you to the craft of working with draft horses in an economical yet effective way.  Our emphasis is on safety and confidence in skill mastery with detailed discussion of methods to ensure your future success in the craft.  Once you have mastered the basic skills we teach in the Beginning Draft Horse Workshop, you will be better prepared for working your horses on the farm, logging, or pleasure driving.

The workshop is limited to 6 hands on participants to ensure plenty of opportunity and learning.  Throughout the workshop we emphasize techniques for you to effectively and clearly communicate your intent to the horse, as well as teach you to read and understand what your horse is communicating to you.

Topics include:

  • Horse behavior, language, and the mind of the horse
  • Safety tips for working around horses and equipment
  • Harnessing and basic harnessing adjustment
  • Driving lines (reins) setup and basic adjustment
  • Handling the lines effectively
  • Getting contact with the horse
  • Communicating with the horse thru the lines, body language, and voice commands
  • Understanding how a horse thinks and how to understand what a horse is telling you
  • Developing your mindset to be a better teamster
  • Ground driving, both single and team
  • Hitching to single trees and double trees
  • Hitching up to the sled, wagon, and forecart
  • Driving teams on the wagon and forecart
  • Introduction to Farm Implements, (disc, harrows, plows, mowers, etc)
  • Information, resources, publication discussions
  • Equipment for farming and logging discussions

For a flyer on the Beginning Draft Horse Workshop, pricing, questions--or to schedule your workshop, contact walt@workhorseworkshops.com

 

Advance Draft Horse Farming Workshop

Workhorseworkshop’s Advanced Draft Horse Farming Workshop is designed for participants who have mastered the basics of draft horse driving and hitching and want to use their horses for farming and growing crops on a commercial scale or for small food plot gardening.  Use of a single horse to three abreast will be emphasized.  In order for you to get the most from this workshop opportunity we feel it is important that you have mastered the basics of harnessing, hitching, and driving your horse(s).  If you do not feel confident in these areas, we suggest you take our Beginning Draft Horse Workshop before attending this workshop.

The workshop is limited to 6 hands on participants to ensure plenty of opportunity and learning.   Throughout the workshop you will be driving a variety of draft horse hitch configurations on all types of farm implements (see below) that range from the small food plot sized implements to larger implements for multiple horses.

Topics include:

  • Choosing the right horse for farm work-conformation and mental condition
  • Proper harness adjustment and collar fit to insure your horses comfort in heavy draft
  • Rigging your hitch for the proper angle of draft
  • Eveners types, their adjustment and other rigging tool discussion and use for farm and field work
  • Line (rein) adjustment and application of line adjustment to the field hitch at hand
  • Row or bed spacing considerations
  • Lateral and horizontal hitch considerations for different farm implements
  • Implement discussion, selection for desired task, techniques in application, demonstration, and or participant usage ways in actual field conditions including:
      • Walking plow, single, team, and three abreast
      • Riding sulky plows, team and three abreast
      • Discs, team to three abreast
      • Harrows, including spring, spike, chain, tine
      • Cultivators for weeding both single and team applications, including walk behind and riding
      • Cuitimulcher’s and field cultivators
      • Seeders and drills
      • Tool Carriers, including Annie’s All in One, G-Haw Tool carrier, Pioneer Homesteader
      • Disc Hilling implements
      • Rippers and trenchers
      • Bed Shapers
      • Harvesting implements such as diggers and under cutters
  • Evaluating your soil conditions for optimal timing of primary or secondary tillage and cultivation
  • Resources Discussion
  • For a flyer on the Advanced Draft Horse Farming Workshop, pricing, questions-- or to schedule your workshop, contact walt@workhorseworkshops.com

 

Multiple Hitch Driving Workshop

Workhorseworkshop’s Multiple Hitch Driving Workshop is for individuals who have experience driving a single horse or team and want to learn to drive bigger hitches including three or more horses.   The workshop is designed to teach and enable the participant to set up and successfully drive 3-4 or more horses abreast, as well as tandem hitches, (teams in front of other following teams), of 4-8 horses. In order for you to get the most from this workshop opportunity we feel it is important that you have mastered the basics of harnessing, hitching, and driving your single horse or team as the required line handling skills in this workshop are beyond the expertise of the beginning teamster.  If you do not feel confident in these areas, we suggest you take our Beginning Draft Horse Workshop before attending this workshop.   Throughout the Multiple Hitch Driving Workshop we will be discussing the various common ways to set up the lines and hitches; and you will be driving the hitches in actual field conditions on appropriate implements only for short periods, in order to fully cover the wide variety of hitches we will be driving.  Here are a couple of definitions to aid you in the workshop topic discussion below.  “Abreast” hitches refer to horse arranged side by side, thus a team hitch is ‘two abreast.’  “Tamdem” hitches are where some of the horses are traveling in front of other teams.  The “lead” team in a tandem hitch is in front, a “wheel” team is the horses at the back next to the wagon or implement, and “swing” or “point “ teams are the horses in between the wheelers and leaders.

Topics include:

  • Three abreast hitches and different methods of line arrangement
  • Four to six abreast hitches and different methods of line arrangement
  • Selection and positioning horses abreast for proper hitch performance, as well as comfort of the horses
  • Tandem hitches of 4-8 horses in two spans (wheelers and leaders)
  • Tandem (one horse in front of another) and Unicorn hitches(one horse in front of two) including line arrangement
  • How to successfully teach your horse to work abreast or in tandem with unfamiliar or new horses-making the hitch development and first time hitching a success for the horses
  • Use of buck back straps and tie ins
  • Driving horses with jockey sticks (variation of 3 or 4 abreast, or use in tandem hitches)
  • Eveners styles and set up for 3-6 abreast
  • Evener styles and set up for tandem hitches including 4-8 bunch hitches and odd numbers of horses (3-7 horses)
  • Use of standard bull chain eveners, Pacific Northwest 4 up eveners (Schandonney style), Rope and Pulley eveners, and discussion of over/under eveners, Talkington eveners, and other historic eveners, (examples of each will be used, demonstrated, or discussed in the workshop).
  • Line handling, arrangement, and adjustment for different numbers of horses abreast including use and adjustment of stub lines, three abreast lines, 4 lines for four abreast, essentially including all possible arrangements for your workshop experience.
  • Line Handling, arrangement, and adjustment for different numbers of horse in tandem, (teams arranged in front of following teams), including four line systems for tandem hitched and ‘Ohio’ style tandem driving with a single set of lines in hand.  Depending on workshop time, interest, and student skills/advancement, there is the possibility of driving a six up hitch with 6 lines or other configurations that include a swing team.
  • Accessory equipment for multiple hitch driving.  Includes spreaders, tie ins, chain tie ins, drop rings, lead lines, britchen straps, etc.

 For a flyer on the Multiple Hitch Driving Workshop, pricing, questions--or to schedule your workshop, contact walt@workhorseworkshops.com

 

Small Scale Draft Horse Logging Workshop

Workhorseworkshop’s Small Scale Draft Horse Logging Workshop is designed for participants who have mastered the basics of draft horse driving and hitching and want to use their horses for small-scale logging or private woodlot management. . In order for you to get the most from this workshop opportunity we feel it is important that you have mastered the basics of harnessing, hitching, and driving your single horse or team including line-handling ability.  Hitching, skidding, and moving logs thru the woodlot requires quick reflexes in line handling abilities and significant ability to successfully drive your single horse or team from a wide variety of positions in relation to the logs and horses. If you do not feel confident in these areas, we suggest you take our Beginning Draft Horse Workshop before attending this workshop.  

The workshop is divided into two divisions we refer to as the Sawing and Skidding sections.  Both sections run concurrently by different workshop leaders.  The Sawing section of the workshop covers the various tasks involved in selecting, felling, bucking and preparing wood to be moved out of the woods.  The Skidding section of the workshop covers the various tasks of using draft horses to move the wood from the felling site to the landing, including rigging, hitching and driving.  Workhorseworkshops is proud to feature an accomplished chain saw and felling expert for your instructional benefit in the Sawing portion of the workshop.

Topics include:

  • Chainsaw selection, styles use, and safety
  • Proper safety equipment for working in the woods, felling, and bucking logs
  • Selection and layout of skid ways and landings for safety and efficiency
  • Communication in the woods
  • Insurance considerations for working in the woodlot
  • Fire considerations for working in the woodlot
  • Selection of and felling trees
  • Use of cable, blocks, and tackle for difficult skids in inaccessible or steep areas
  • Selecting skid ways appropriate for horses
  • Conformation and mental considerations for the logging horse
  • Harness and hitch equipment for logging
  • Rigging the hitch, eveners, chains, cables, and other equipment(peaveys, fid hooks, etc), for hitching logs
  • Optimal positions for driving while skidding to the landing-considerations of terrain, obstacles, tree fall, and slopes
  • Single and team skidding
  • For a flyer on the Small Scale Logging Workshop, pricing, questions--or to schedule your workshop contact, walt@workhorseworkshops.com

 

Farming with the Single Horse

Workhorse Workshop's Farming with the Single Horse Workshop is designed for participants who want to learn how to use their single horse for farming and working food plots on the homestead or market garden scale.  The economy, scale, and utility of the single horse system appeals to many, and we have had numerous requests for this type of workshop.  We use a single horse on our farm for much of our market garden production and in our high tunnels, so we are able to offer a diverse experience with a wide variety of single horse equipment and conditions. In order for you to get the most from this workshop opportunity we feel it is important that you have mastered the basics of harnessing, hitching, and driving your horse(s).  If you do not feel confident in these areas, we suggest you take our Beginning Draft Horse Workshop before attending this workshop.

Topics include:

  • Safety tips for working with the single horse and equipment
  • Harnessing and harness adjustment to insure proper angle of draft for the equipment at hand
  • How to use your horse safely and effectively in small spaces, including greenhouses
  • Techniques and line (reins) setup specific to driving and farming with the single horse
  • Plowing with a single horse including plow adjustment
  • Use of the single horse disc, harrow, cultivators, (etc.), and adjustment
  • Other farm implements
  • Discussion of hay and on farm forage production using the single horse
  • Homestead food production using the single horse
  • Information, resources, publication discussions
  • For a flyer on the Farming with the Single Horse Workshop, pricing, questions--or to schedule your workshop, contact walt@workhorseworkshops.com. 

 

Teamster Training Continuum

Workhorseworkshop’s Teamster Training Continuum Program, (TTCP), is an ongoing long term training opportunity for the participant to further their learning, skills, and experience of draft horse farming and driving at workhorseworkshops.com. Workhorseworkshops.com developed this program for those individuals who want to continue their teamster training beyond the level of beginner, or after a beginning workshop experience.   The Teamster Training Continuum is an ongoing mentorship program that includes hands on draft horse driving and farming on our certified organic working farm, with our eight well-trained and experienced horses, as well as phone, Internet and other support for your needs as a developing teamster.

 

The Teamster Training Continuum Program includes the following features:

Each month the participant would receive a half-day of hands on driving and farming instruction at our farm, limited to two members in the TTCP, so that you receive a lot of a hands on driving and working with the horses and implements. (We offer special options for people out of the area that might have long distances to travel, such as a full day every other month).

  • Individually focused and custom tailored hands on monthly sessions to the needs of the trainee
  • Trainee driven instruction for what her or she needs at that time in their training
  • Graduated advancement determined by the trainees’ development
  • Extensive instruction on line (rein) handling and effectively communicating commands to the horses
  • Developing your mindset to be a better Teamster
  • Understanding the mind of the horse and how a horse thinks
  • Developing the skills to understand what a horse is communicating and how to read what to horse is telling you while farming and driving and predicting what is going to happen next—how to think ahead for success
  • Extensive instruction in farming with horse(s), including hitching, working, and driving horses on a working certified organic horse powered farm doing real productive farm work, (plowing, discing, planting), growing commercial crops sold to local markets
  • Safe and successful instruction in driving horses from the single horse and team to multiple hitch driving including three or more horses abreast or tandem hitches with horse(s) teams in front of other teams.  This instruction includes extensive instruction in handling multiple sets of lines (reins)
  • Safety around horses, equipment, and other variables (people, places, weather, etc.)  How to set your draft horse driving activity to be safe, simple, and successful
  • Round pen applications and training
  • Dealing with problem horses and vices
  • Ground manners and training as the basis for a successful relationship with your horse(s)
  • Using your body language and position for successful driving and farming.
  • Understanding your own barriers to success, equine shortcomings, and thinking errors, (we all have them), and how to mitigate them for greater success as a Teamster
  • Determining your ‘equine strengths’ and how to capitalizing on them
  • Phone and Internet consultation for participant support on their own farm or ranch
  • Farm seminar organization and hosting for participants featuring an experienced guest presenting farmer, teamster, trainer, (or subject of interest to draft horse enthusiasts), an additional fee may apply
  • Access to Workhorseworkshops.com Teamster Training on line discussion group, a private list serve where TTC program participants can discuss their training progress with others in the program including periodic updates, photos, Q and A, and networking
  • Local field trips to places of interest to the participant. (Harness shop, logging supply, metal fabrication shop, other local horse powered farms), an additional fee may apply
  • Horse and equipment sourcing and evaluation support.  (We regularly go to horse sales, evaluate teams, and have many horse and equipment contacts, so are able to help you source teams or equipment).
  • Instruction on use, maintenance, and proper application of farm equipment, and other related equipment used on a working horse powered farm
  • Harness selection, repair, and maintenance.  Extensive instruction of proper harness fit and adjustment for proper efficiency and angle of draft
  • Infrastructure and housing needs for your horse(s)
  • Nutritional considerations for your horse(s).
  • Equipment fabrication and design assistance at a discounted rate.  We can build or repair draft horse powered equipment for your use at a discounted rate in our fully equipped fabrication shop
  • On your site visits/consultation for participants by Workhorseworkshops.com staff at a discounted rate to assist with your individual horse and teamster training
  • On your site visit/consultation/participation by Workhorseworkshop.com staff for important events to aid and insure success, at a discounted rate.  (Setting up public events, demonstrations, etc.).
  • Group organization and planning for trips to important events like Horse Progress Days.
  • TTC group scheduling on a ‘group only’ access calendar to coordinate our activities.

 

For more information about the Teamster Training Continuum Program, for pricing, or to enroll in the program, please contact walt@workhorseworkshops.com. 

 

Teamster of the Week

Workhorse Workshop's Teamster of the Week Driving and Farm Training Program is a 5-7 day opportunity for the participant to have one-on-one training in draft horse farming and driving on our farm.  The Teamster of the Week training affords the greatest opportunity for learning for the participant's available time.  The participant works with our horses for much of each day and we focus on giving the student a comprehensive, intensive experience and learning opportunity. Much of the subject matter you see here on this web page in all of the above workshops and training programs will be covered in the Teamster of the Week Program in greater depth, detail and repeatedly during your time here.  The program is individually tailored to the trainee, so we focus on advancement where the trainee can most benefit and improve.  The program is focused and guided by an organized and logically progressive syllabus, which included didactic sessions, driving and field work.  There is an option for the participant to reside on the farm during their program.  For more information about the Teamster of the Week Program for pricing, or to enroll in the program, please contact walt@workhorseworkshops.com. 

 

Teamster of the Month

Workhorseworkshop’s Teamster of the Month Driving and Farm Training Program is an intensive 1-2 month long learning opportunity for the participant to get excellent intermediate- term training in draft horse farming and driving on our farm.  The Teamster of the Month Program is the most efficient and intensive of all our programs and is perfect for the individual who wishes to prioritize and focus specifically on farming and driving with horses.  The participant mainly participates in the horse components of our farming operation, as opposed to all the other various activities that comprise our complete farm operation (e.g. marketing, farmer’s markets, propagation, etc.).  The program is individually tailored to the trainee, focused, and guided by an organized progressive syllabus, which includes mainly hands on driving and field work. Much of the subject matter you see here on this web page in all of the above workshops and training programs will be covered in the Teamster of the Month Program in greater depth, detail and repeatedly during your time here.   The subject matter will be covered in greater depth and detail than the Teamster of the Week or Workshop Series programs, as there will be much more time for your training. There is less emphasis on equipment management, horse training techniques, didactic sessions, and reading discussions. There is an option for the participant to reside on the farm during their program.  For more information about the Teamster of the Month Program for pricing, or to enroll in the program, please contact walt@workhorseworkshops.com. 

Equine Based Farm Learning Program(Internship Program)

Workhorseworkshop’s Equine Based Farm Learning Program is a season long, (4-12 months), internship style learning opportunity for the participant to develop the skills to be a proficient teamster while incorporating those teamster skills into our whole farm system. In addition to working horses, you would participate completely in all aspects of our farm enterprise, (e.g. planting, propagation, markets, etc.), thus developing a solid foundation for the completely integrated draft horse powered farm. The program is individually tailored to the trainee, comprehensive in the discipline of draft horse farming, and guided by an organized progressive syllabus, which includes draft horse driving and field work, as well as learning by immersion in all aspects of our draft horse powered market farm.   Most of the subject matter you see here on this web page in all of the above workshops and training programs will be covered in the Equine Based Farm Learning Program in greater depth, detail and repeatedly during your participation in the program.  The Equine Based Farm Learning Program is financially organized to specifically address:  the legal concerns of offering the participant a draft horse internship learning opportunity, the liability concerns for our farm, the concern for injury/safety for the participants, and, when applicable, to provide the participant compensation for their valued work.  Accordingly, the participant pays our farm for the training, use of horses and equipment, mentoring, and draft horse supervision.  In turn, the Farm pays the participant for non-horse related farm work just as would be paid for any farm job, with all legally required taxes and fees deducted (payroll, unemployment, etc.).  This arrangement helps the participant offset, to some extent, the costs of the Equine Based Farm Learning Program.  The participant usually lives on the farm during their participation in this program.   The Equine Based Farm Learning Program(Internship Program) is especially rigorous and a significant time commitment for the participant, thus Workhorseworkshops.com is particularly selective in the application process to chooser the individual who can commit the time, dedication, and work it takes to succeed in this program. For more information about the Equine Based Farm Learning Program, for pricing, or to enroll in the program, please contact walt@workhorseworkshops.com. 

  

Group Training

Workhorseworkshops.com offers individual custom training workshops for small groups, driving clubs, or families.  These sessions can be focused on specific issues of interest to the group and can involve the trainee’s horses.  Examples of these clinics include our Beginning Draft Horse Workshop, specific focused topics, (plowing clinic, mower tune up, on-farm forage workshop, etc.), or other subjects of interest.  These custom sessions can occur at your location or ours. If you organize a Group Training Clinic we offer a discounted fee to conduct the event. For more information about Group Teamster Training, for pricing, or to enroll in the program, please contact walt@workhorseworkshops.com. 

 

Horse Training

We offer horse training at our farm.  Our farm is set up so we can take in your horses and provide beginning to intermediate training in driving, hitching, and implement use, both alone, as a team, or hitched with our more experienced horses.  If you are participating in one of our educational programs you have the option of bring your horse to participate in the program with you.  You can bring your current horse(s) that you are using, or your newly purchased horse(s) for our training.   Our methods to start and train a horse takes at least a month of daily training, so it is a big time commitment; specific issues may require less time to work thru.  An important part of the horse training is you--we will teach you methods and principles to ensure continued success and growth with your horses in a safe, positive, and productive environment.    

For more information about Horse Training or to inquire about bring your horse as part of your participation in one of our educational programs, for pricing, or to schedule your horse(s) in our programs please contact walt@workhorseworkshops.com. 

 

For more information feel free to contact us.