Keeping Tradition Alive
by Terry Allen
February 7, 2017
I ran into Dexter Smith the other day and he invited me up to the Pole Creek Ranch Bed and Breakfast he and his wife Carol run. He thought I might like to take a few pictures of him and Corey Caswell hitching Emi's draft horse Tony up to a Stone Bolt for a little training exercise.
A Stone Bolt is a wooden sleigh pulled behind a horse. Dexter built it a few decades ago, and uses it in deep snow to get out to feed his stock. It's a lot more stable in deep snow than a snow machine.
Corey calls Tony a gentle giant. "He is so quiet a five year old kid could ride him, no problem," he said. "He doesn't even need a bit."
They hitched Tony up and walked him down the steep hill and then invited me aboard. I held on as I shot because I had learned my lesson two years ago at the fair when I was invited aboard during a Stone Boat competition and the sled jerked so hard at the start that I did a complete summersault off the back.
This time the ride was both uneventful and enjoyable. After we took a run down to the end of the lane and back, Dexter unharnessed Tony and stood on his toes to lift all the gear onto a hook in the barn. "Sure is a lot of leather," he said. I asked him what breed Tony was. "I think he is half-quarter and half-draft and about 15 years old, but you'll have to ask Emi to know for sure."
As we were finishing up, a family from Slovakia arrived to give their little girl a horse ride...but we'll save that story for another time. I'll just say...the photos are adorable.
If you'd like to visit a real working ranch and bed and breakfast, here's the link: Pole Creek Ranch Bed & Breakfast Facebook page