• Wed. Jul 28th, 2021

Horse Progress Days like getting a taste test for equipment

A national consultant for Horse Progress Days likened the event to taking a trip to Costco.

Dale Stoltzfus, a former national board member who helped get the event going and who now serves as a consultant, explained his comparison of Horse Progress Days.

“If you will, Horse Progress Days are a lot like Costco and their food samples. When you can taste it, you know what you’re getting,” Stoltzfus said. “The idea of this event is for the farmers to actually see the equipment in operation, and think about their own operations at home and how this might effect their efficiency, profitability or those kinds of things. I think that is one of the strengths of this event from the farming perspective.”

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The 27th Horse Progress Days will be returning to the Mount Hope Auction grounds Friday and Saturday, July 2-3. Tickets are $10. Children 12 years old and younger are admitted for free with an attending adult. The annual event is held in six different Amish communities around the country.

The 2019 Horse Progress Days in Arthur, IL, was a huge success and will be held in Mount Hope, OH in 2021 after being cancelled last year because of the pandemic.

After postponing the 2020 event due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the annual event will be held in the heart of Holmes County, home to the world’s largest Amish community where farming is still done with horses.

Horse Progress Days is a showcase of the latest equipment innovations and hitching techniques in the draft horse industry, which includes educational seminars and clinics to guide visitors on a journey with draft animals.

Hitching techniques and other demonstrations of equipment are all part of the program at Horse Progress Days, coming to Mount Hope July 2-3.

“This event is designed to help you whether you are just getting started or looking for ways to broaden your knowledge,” Stoltzfus said.

Up close and personal

“You will see many different draft horse breeds, plus mules, ponies and oxen, in harness, doing what they do best,” he said. “They will be demonstrating plowing, tillage, haymaking, produce farming, logging and much more.”

Horse Progress Days features many field and produce demonstrations, how-to seminars, logging demonstrations and woodlot walks. There is a lunch break at noon.

“What I hear pretty consistently from the manufacturers who bring equipment is that they sell a lot of equipment there,” Stoltzfus said. 

Horse Progress Days is expected to bring around 30,000 people to the Mount Hope Auction grounds over the two-day event, July 2-3.

Professionals will be sharing valuable information from round pen training to seminars on equine and farm-related topics.

Afternoon activities include hay demonstrations which traditionally begin with mowers from small to large, to be followed by rakes and balers, bale movers and wrappers.

The breed presentation is the final activity of the day, showing many different breeds and hitch configurations: anything from a single up to a six- or eight-horse hitch.