Puyallup Fair 2009

One of the black Percherons, Cap, held by Gail Nelson as Paul Nelson, in the background, speaks to interested onlookers about draft horses and their harness. Gail Nelson and Cap
Gail Nelson holds Cap steady as John Bartell and Rod Nelson finish the job.
Pat Bartell looks on as Rod Nelson works on the wire flower decorations in Cap’s mane.
Cody, harnessed and ready to be hitched to the wagon.
Cap, Kelly and Cody being driven in the arena during one of the demonstrations. Take a look at the team of Shetland ponies between them and the Darigold wagon. Shetlands average between 28 and 40 inches high and weigh about 400 to 500 pounds, while most draft horses average between 60 to 72 inches and weigh around 1600-2200 pounds. Click on the picture to see a larger version of this image.
Paul and Rod Nelson, driving Cap, Cody and Kelly 3 abreast.

There is a small obsticale course during the demonstration. One of the requirements is to have the team pulling the wagon to back up. Now, this may not seem like a great task, but horses cannot see behind them. So it is a great act of trust on their part to obey a command to do so.

Paul and Rod Nelson driving Cane, Kelly, Cap and Prince 4abreast.

It takes strong shoulders and hands to control the team. Constant, light and even tension must be maintained on the reins to keep in contact with the horses so they will know what you want them to do.