This Story is the trial for our annual Ticino Workshop. Unfortunately, I had only my iPhone as a camera at hand for this event.

At Pentecost, the Birdlife sections in my region hold an annual march. This year the goal was the forest hut in Remetschwil and was organized by the Birdlife section of Rohrdorferberg. The forest horse club from nearby Tägerig had brought a trained forest horse which was intended to give us an understanding of the gentle use of horses in forest work.
The club was originally just a group of about 10 people who had come together in the common interest in draft horses. The club was approached by the forester in spring 2019 with the idea that horses could be used in a nature reserve instead of the usual heavy motor vehicles. After an on-site inspection, it was agreed that there would be a trial in fall. Everyone was amazed at the positive result and the club was asked to continue to carry out maintenance measures in protected areas of the forest. After this assignment had met with great interest nationwide, Forest Horses Switzerland was founded on March 1st, 2020 and started operations on June 1st, 2020.

The Noriker cold-blooded horses are preferred for moving wood. These are medium-heavy, strong and persistent mountain draft horses. The breeding area includes the mountainous areas of the Austrian and German Alps.
During the demonstration, Sepp was used as a horse leader. First, the gelding named “Mohr” is led into the forest to the tree trunks that have already been felled, and the chain is fixed around the tree trunk.

Spectators are very interested in watching this old new way of transporting wood.

The horse is led around the densely packed bunkers to pull the attached trunk to the road.

Of course there are also traces left by the trees on the ground. However, open forest soil also creates an ecological niche. And compared to the tracks left by heavy logging vehicles, the footprint is minimal. The burly gelding also easily manages trunks that have not been delimbed to the forest road.

Mohr seems indefatigable as his keeper takes a break after 90 minutes…

There is something about the outside of a horse
that is good for the inside of a man

Winston Churchill