THE 2 TEAMS
We currently are not raising horses but rather using them to work on the ranch. We use a team of Suffolk mares to pull a homemade round bale handler. We have also used them on various farm implements such as plows, discs, and mowers. A highlight of working with them has been participation in "Haying in the 30s", an old time farming demonstration put on by a group at Mallaig, Alberta. This group raises money through donations to help out local people that have cancer. Other uses for the team have included heavy horse pulls, parades and sleigh rides. While still at Vilna, we also used them some for logging. We have also attended the Lac La Biche Heavy Horse Days, competing in log skidding, horse pull, novelty classes and the superteam competition (a test of the teams versatility and the driver's skill from hooking up to maneuvering a difficult course). The team are called Tequila and Sunrise.
Suffolk history and facts: The Suffolk or as some call it the Suffolk Punch breed was developed in England. For a draft horse breed, the Suffolk is unique in that unlike most other draft breeds, which were originally bred to carry knights and all their armour, it was bred from the beginning to be a farm worker. Developed in the Suffolk and Norfolk counties with their heavy clay soil, the Suffolk was bred to not only have power but also stamina, health, longevity and docility. The Suffolk farmer used his horses to till and harvest his fields, so seldom had horses for sale. This contributed to keeping the breed pure but also led to it being relatively obscure outside its birthplace. In North America, the Suffolks had gained in popularity in the 30s but when mechanization took hold after World War II, the numbers still were not high enough to withstand this new challenge. The North American Association ceased to exist for a period of time. Thankfully some breeders had kept their faith in the Suffolk and after a 15 year hiatus, the Suffolk Association reorganized in 1961. Their dedication to the breed coupled with some imports from England has resulted in what we see today. Suffolks are large, symmetrical and uniform in color and type. Due to their extreme draftiness, the Suffolks legs appear short even though the average Suffolk stands about 16.1 hands high. The legs are strongly muscled in the forearms and thighs. The Suffolk also possesses good strong feet which wear well. Suffolks have intelligent heads with active ears, powerful and arching necks. The shoulders have a tendency to be upright, being more suited to power than action. The back is short and strong, the ribs springing high from the backbone. The quarters are long and smooth. The hip bones are wide apart and the croup is usually level. Depth and thickness from the withers to the leg are essential and a Suffolk should be as deep in the flank as the heartgirth. The Suffolk is always chestnut, ranging in shade from light golden to dark liver. White markings occur but are not as prominent as in other breeds. The Suffolk is a horse of splendid disposition. They are willing workers with great endurance and that special something, known as "heart".
DEEP SNOW FEEDING WITH TEAM
ROCKY & MOOSUM
SINGLE HORSE LOG SKID WITH TEQUILA
SUFFOLK TEAM FEEDING SHEEP
HEAVY HORSE PULL USING TEQUILA & SUNRISE