From Horsepower to Gigahertz

Posted: May 22, 2007 in Educational Technology, Instructional Technology, Nature, Technology, Technology Integration

Jack and Alamo

Jack and Alamo

The picture included in this post is of two of our draft horses, Jack and Alamo, taken in 1983. My Dad is adjusting the harness while my cousin Stephen holds the team. This photo was taken at an annual horse pulling contest that used to take place in my hometown.

Now, to put technology into perspective in my world, I want you all to know horsepower has been an integral part of my life for many years. I used to harness a team of horses, including Jack and Alamo, on a regular basis as we used them to pull a sleigh in the winter to haul hay to feed our cattle. That was a big part of my life, and there are days when I believe we could all use a team of horse to put life into perspective!!!

Now, it seems computers have taken over in my life and instead of horsepower I depend on gigahertz, and other things, to provide energy to accomplish my work. I am 41 years old, and in that span of time I have witnessed a bridging of the horse drawn past to the digital age. As I ponder this today I am amazed in how much my life has changed, and I believe I am very fortunate to have been a part of these worlds. I have touched on this topic before, and each time I reflect I wonder if I am better off for it all.

There is something about walking out on a very bone chilling morning to catch the team, bring them into the barn, brush them, place their collars around their necks, throw on the harness and fasten the buckles, then lead the team to be pieced together and hooked to the sleigh. The first “kiss” to the team would start them forward, and you could hear the runners of the sleigh creak and crunch as it broke away from the snow beneath. The jingle of the metal parts of the harness, the snorts of the horses, and barks of the dogs all sounded clear in the crisp air. The feel and smell of the leather reins in my hands tied me to the power that propelled us along the way. There were many cattle to feed and this technology served this purpose well, better than any mechanized method could in the deep, white snow.

At the end of this chore, the team was unhitched, unharnessed, and put back into the pasture. Steam would rise from these massive beast’s backs as the sweat from their toil evaporated into the atmosphere. I miss them.

  1. Brad Kovach says:

    2 horses in your picture. 2 horses = 2 2/3 oxen. Maybe horses are more practical in this application.


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