Warren Wilson College’s new Belgian draft horses were recently featured in a story in Mountain Xpress. An excerpt is below. For the full story, click here.
Story by Gina Smith, Mountain Xpress
It’s an anachronistic image, but amid the incessant background noise of a digital age, there is something profoundly peaceful about riding through country fields behind a team of horses. You are moving — and at times, rather quickly. But in place of the metallic growl of a car engine, you hear the wind, the soft shush of wheels on a dirt path, the gentle clop-clop of hooves.
On a recent bright, chilly morning, this scene unfolded at Warren Wilson College as garden manager Ben Mackie perched at the front of a tiny, two-seater buggy, leather reins in his hands, guiding the school’s brand new team of draft horses in a broad circle through the campus fields.
Although they paint a quaint picture, the two chestnut Belgians are more than handsome mascots for Warren Wilson’s sustainable agriculture efforts. The brother-and-sister pair, purchased last month fully trained from an Amish community in Ohio, are the power that drives the college’s working farm. Queen and Doc, ages 6 and 5, respectively, replace the school’s previous team, Doc (no relation) and Dan, who retired to a farm in Franklin after more than a decade of service in the school’s more than 20-year-old draft agriculture program.