The sport of horse pulling has deep roots in early farming. Back in the day, draft horses were used as work animals in the fields. Farmers would challenge each other to see what horse or team was stronger. Nowadays, the sport has involved into a serious competition among some of the strongest horses out there! You won’t believe how much these drafts can pull.
The starting load for a team of two horses is 1500 pounds. The weight is loaded onto a dynamometer, a machine designed to test the horses pulling power. The horses will then be attached to the weight and asked to pull it a short distance. Those unable to pull the amount are disqualified, until only one team remains. A gradual increase in weight helps to weed out the weak from the strong.
Each competition follows a strict set of rules. They’re designed to ensure the safety of the animals and fairness among the competing teams. There are also different weight classes to even the odds. Animal cruelty is strictly forbidden.
Draft horses are built for their strength and endurance. Those that you see at competitions won’t likely be seen in the fields working. Instead, they follow an intense workout schedule designed for athletes. A lot of attention is put into the care of their muscles and tendons.
For more information on this sport, check out HorsePull.com.
Here’s a taste of what a national competition looks like!