Monday, November 16, 2009

Grand Canyon 'muled' in 1924


My grandparents, Kate and Darwin Morse, 'muled' the Grand Canyon in 1924! At the bottom of the Canyon, they had to walk across a wire suspension bridge to the other side of the river and catch their mule that was sent across by the guides. If you didn't catch your mule, you had to walk back up out of the Canyon!!

Mule crossing the bridge over the Colorado River in 1926.

The bridge today.
More pix of the bridge

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Driving to CA in 1924

My Grandfather, Darwin Morse and my Grandmother, Kate Winthrop, eloped in 1924 along with my Grandmother's sister, Emily Winthrop, and her husband, Corey Miles. Darwin was working on Grenville Winthrop's estate, Groton Place, as an electrician and caretaker of the birds. Corey Miles was the family's chauffeur. They stole their father's car, got married in the near by Interlaken section of Stockbridge, Massachusetts and drove up to Montreal the same day. Shortly thereafter, they all drove to California in 1924. I believe that is Darwin at the wheel.

Monday, November 9, 2009

From Test Barn to Stable


This what my stable looked like in the late 1940's when it was home to my grandfather's heard of Guernsey cows. It was known as the "Test Barn" where the best milking cows were milked. There is a room in my house known as the 'hired hand's room' where the head milker slept. He milked cows twice a day, 7 days a week, for ten years and never missed a day.

By the time I was old enough to actually remember anything, the Test Barn had been converted into a stable for horses. The stall fronts are where the gutter is on each side of the center aisle and there is a wide garage door at the far end.


Sunday, October 25, 2009

The Bull that Made Green Meads Farm


This is Langwater King of the Meads, born in 1931 from stock of the famous Guernsey cattle breeder F.L. Ames's Langwater Farm in Easton, MA. King of the Meads was the foundation sire for Darwin Morse's prize herd of Guernsey's here at Green Meads Farm. The photo was taken in 1935 by the foremost photgrapher of cattle in the USA at the time...and maybe ever...Harry Strohmeyer.

My grandfather noticed that Harry only took one shot of each cow he photographed. When asked to take photos of Darwin's horses, Harry replied that they were much more difficult to photograph. With cows, he said, he just waited for the skeleton to settle into place but horses had too much muscle covering the skeleton and were much harder "to see".

This bull sired almost all of the Guernsey cattle produced here from the 1930's through the 1950's. They were sold all around the world and the experience provided the foundation for both my grandparent's expertise as animal breeders. My grandfather went on to success in breeding Morgan horses and, believe it or not, canaries! My grandmother raised, trained and bred over 26 breeds of dogs in her life time.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Pair in Progress



Marle Hill Concert Master and Rhythm owned by Liz and Dave Herrick
October 23, 2009

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Higgins Rides His Pacific Dartmoor


Higgins, our English Cocker Spaniel,
loves riding on the back of his Pacific Dartmoor carriage.
He is first on, last off.

Friday, October 16, 2009

His First Pony

Joshua Morse rides The Wee One, a Welsh stallion.
Circa 1981 ~ Green Meads Farm, Richmond, MA


Sunday, August 23, 2009

Prince Philip on the Dangers of the Sport

Quoted from http://www.thisisderbyshire.co.uk/entertainment/Prince-shows-garden/article-1176387-detail/article.html:

Prince shows off back garden

Alan asks Prince Philip about the dangers of the sport: "If you're playing billiards you can stick a cue in your eye. There's a bit of luck in it but it's not all that serious."

Monday, July 13, 2009

Upcoming Clinics

Jeff Morse Clinic ~ September 12-13

Absolute Morgan Farm ~ 139 Schoolhouse Road -Waltham, VT 05491

One hour sessions on carriage driving for $60

Contact:

Janet Yager Absolute Morgans 802.545.2457 morgans@madriver.com

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Upcoming Clinics

CANCELED: Jeff Morse Clinic ~ July 18 and 19

Unfortunately this clinic had to be canceled due to so many participants having last minute things come up that caused them to be unable to attend.

Absolute Morgan Farm ~ 139 Schoolhouse Road -Waltham, VT 05491

One hour sessions on carriage driving for $60

Contact:

Janet Yager Absolute Morgans 802.545.2457 morgans@madriver.com


Monday, March 30, 2009

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Alt Driving


Humans drive and have driven lots of other kinds of animals besides equines!

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Prince Philip's Carriage comeback

Prince Philip's carriage comeback

Royal Watch News - Feb 24, 2009, 10:50 GMT

Britain's Prince Philip has gone carriage driving for the first time since he injured his back doing it in January.

The 87-year-old husband of Queen Elizabeth harnessed two horses and drove through the grounds of Windsor Castle, the queen's residence in Berkshire, south east England, yesterday (23.02.09).

The prince was in high spirits and appeared to be in good health, chatting and laughing with a female groom as they drove around the chilly grounds.

Philip has missed a string of royal engagements since pulling a muscle in his back while carriage racing at the queen's Norfolk estate Sandringham in January.

Fears for his health increased when he was seen with two black eyes.

The prince was reportedly ordered to "take it easy", and was even forced to miss three of his beloved royal shooting parties.

A Buckingham Palace spokeswoman has said: "A lot of engagements involve standing for quite a long time and they can often last anything up to an hour.

"He's making a decision on a day-to-day basis about whether he's going to attend engagements. His advice has been to rest his back for a period of time and he's doing that each day. He's been advised to rest as long as possible and avoid standing for too long."

As good a reason to go carriage driving as any:...."to avoid standing for too long"... thereby missing out on some bloody boring engagements. No wonder he was laughing with his female groom. Good thinking, Phil!

Posted using ShareThis

Saturday, March 7, 2009

The Transition from Horses


Trevithicks steam carriage, world’s first vehicle designed for carrying passengers.

"A steam carriage intended for passengers was built in England in 1803 by Richard Trevithick. A replica of it was built recently and has been touring Europe. It was basically a carriage stuck on top of a crude steam tractor, the passengers were a good height above the ground. It was also a commercial failure but had the distinction of being the first self powered land vehicle in the world designed to carry passengers." source


Note the steering mechanism. Pre-steering wheel!

Friday, March 6, 2009

"Big Wheel " Chairs


Copy of a postcard found at the New Lebanon , NY Flea Market, Sunday Oct 27, 2002

A 3 Wheeler designed by Eliphalet Nott
1773-1866, American educator, inventor, and clergyman, b. Ashford, Conn. In 1804, Nott became president of Union College, a post he held for 62 years; he initiated an extensive building program and introduced a scientific course as an alternative to the traditional classical curriculum. He published a number of pamphlets on slavery, temperance, and education and contributed to science by his experiments with heat. Nott was granted over 30 patents and was the inventor of the first anthracite coal base-burner stove. (The Columbia Encyclopedia, Sixth Edition. 2001)

Recently I conducted a clinic in New Mexico and my host, Tom Phillips, had been in a motorcycle accident and broken his leg. He was wheel chair bound and got lots of kidding about still being able to drive and maybe he should hook his minis up to his chair.

There is nothing new under the sun.



Queen Victoria


Queen Victoria

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

The Use of the Parked Stance

The Parked Horse with kicking strap and mud guard on the wheel

From: Moseman's Illustrated Catalog of Horse Furnishing Goods published in 1893.

The horse in this illustration has been asked to assume a "Parked" stance, making it less likely that it will move at the halt. It was important that the horse not take a step as the Lady dismounted from the carriage. Not only would her clothing be soiled, she could have been knocked to the ground which would have been a terrible social event for both her and her gentleman friend. Note the wicker wheel cover on the rear wheel used to protect her clothing.

Today's carriage drivers are taught to *always* be the first to mount and last to dismount from a vehicle so as to remain in the best position to control the horse(s). This driver is on the ground assisting his Lady friend and has left a passenger seated in the carriage, yet another reason to have the horse assume the "Parked" stance and be less likely to step forward. It is interesting that there was so much care taken to protect the Lady while mounting and dismounting yet the other lady passenger (perhaps she's even a child) has been left in a situation considered unsafe by today's standards.

Many of today's drivers assume the "Parked" stance is not traditional and should not be used by today's carriage horses, particularly in those in competitions. Carriage drivers will train their horses who have learned this "Parked" stance to never assume that position when asked to halt. The acceptability of the stance is more a matter of when it would be useful. Halting at X in a dressage test or standing in a line up in a carriage ring class in the "Parked" stance would not be appropriate since it is expected in those situations that the horse be capable of moving off in any direction immediately by instruction of the driver! It is a disobedience for the horse who knows how to stand in the "Parked" position to assume the stance without being instructed by the driver to do so. However, if a driver had a Lady passenger entering or exiting a vehicle, it might be quite appropriate - and traditional - to ask their horse(s) to stand in a "Parked" stance. This action is not seen with much frequency today in carriage driving because it is not called for in competition. Passengers and drivers are not usually called on to mount and dismount in a ring class or any of the other tests used in carriage competition.

Note the use of the kicking strap which is very ornately shaped and decorated by the harness maker!

©Jeff Morse ~ 2009

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Easy Digital Course Maps

Need to draw course maps for cones courses? Diagrams of CDE Obstacles? Tired of messy, hand drawn, inaccurate maps? The online diagramming tool www.gliffy.com will enable you to quickly and easily produce clean, clear, legible, accurate diagrams like this:

This is a scaled down version. A printed version can be as large or as small as you wish.
This is a course map of a local class called "Reverse Hazardous Cones".
Drivers complete obstacles 1-10, then drive the lettered obstacle in the center in the correct sequence,
then drive the numbered obstacles in reverse order and direction.


There is nothing to download. You can sign up for a free 30 day trial of their premium account. If you do not upgrade to their premium account, which costs as little as $5 per month, your account will automatically revert to their basic free account and cost you nothing. The free account offers enough bells and whistles for most carriage driving applications.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Carriage Dogs from Britain

David and Denise Taylor show Dalmatian carriage dogs at South of England Carriage Fair March 2008

More Coach & Carriage Dogs



Add your photo to this slide show!
1. Photo must contain at least one dog and at least part of a carriage. It need not be taken at a show.
2. Address your email to: greenmeads.carriagedogs@picasaweb.com
3. Attach your photo as an attachment
4. Type just " More Carriage Dogs " in the subject line (without quotes and it IS case sensitive).
5. Leave the message area blank unless you want to CC your email to me and include a message with more info about your photo.
6. Click "Send"

Your photo should be automatically added to the slide show in under a minute!
If you have trouble, just email us.
TIP: Use your name and your dog's name to name your photo file to help identify the photo. Something like this: jmorse_toto.jpg or kconklinandcracker.jpg Most common image file types are supported.
We reserve the right to edit your photo by cropping, minor editing etc.and to delete inappropriate photos. The photos remain your property and will not be used by us for any other purpose without your permission.

Carriage and Coach dogs



Add your photo to this slide show!
1. Photo must contain at least one dog and at least part of a carriage. It need not be taken at a show.
2. Address your email to: greenmeads.carriagedogs@picasaweb.com
3. Attach your photo as an attachment
4. Type just " Carriage Dogs " in the subject line (without quotes and it IS case sensitive).
5. Leave the message area blank unless you want to CC your email to me and include a message with more info about your photo.
6. Click "Send"

Your photo should be automatically added to the slide show in under a minute!
If you have trouble, just email us.
TIP: Use your name and your dog's name to name your photo file to help identify the photo. Something like this: jmorse_toto.jpg or kconklinandcracker.jpg Most common image file types are supported.
We reserve the right to edit your photo by cropping, minor editing etc.and to delete inappropriate photos. The photos remain your property and will not be used by us for any other purpose without your permission.


The Carriage Dog and The Coach Dog

It is difficult to find a horse owner who does not love dogs as much as they love horses. We almost all have at least one dog as a constant companion in our stables. It is only natural that we want to take our dogs with us when we drive. Consequently the Carriage Dog Class, described in ADS Article 44, has become increasingly popular at Pleasure Shows.

The purpose of this class is primarily to judge the suitability of the dog as a companion. It is meant to be a fun and entertaining class but there are real judging criteria that should be understood and followed by officials and competitors. The performance of the horse counts for 30% and the overall impression of the turnout, including the dog, count another 10%. The suitability of the dog counts for the remaining 60%.

Out of safety concerns, under ADS rules, only one dog is allowed per entry in this class. The dog may be of any breed or combination of breeds. The intent of this class is to showcase the companion talent of your carriage dog. If you "accessorize" your canine, do it in such a way that your entire turnout is enhanced.

The dog may ride in the vehicle, either standing, sitting or lying down. He should be quiet, well behaved and appear to enjoy the ride. The dog may wear a leash but the dog must not be tied to the driver, passengers or to the vehicle.

The dog may be held by a passenger in their lap or by a leash. The dog may also run behind, beside or at the axle of the vehicle. While the current rules do not specifically prohibit passengers from leading a dog by a leash from the vehicle, this should only be done with great care so it does not become a safety issue. Training the dog should take place outside of the ring!

The driver must be free to perform the task of actually driving the horse. This means the dog should in no way interfere with the driver; nor should the driver be distracted by the actions of the dog.

What is preferred is a well trained companion dog that politely and calmly accompanies the turnout, either riding in the vehicle or obediently traveling on the ground in close proximity to the turnout .

In the interest of safety, judges should excuse from the ring entries with a dog clearly not in control . Dogs that are running well ahead of the turnout, lagging far behind, visiting with other dogs or spectators or officials in the ring are not considered to be in control.

The Carriage Dog should not be confused with the Coach Dog. The Coach Dog is a working dog with the very specific job of guarding the vehicle, equipment and the horses, He uses his training, innate intelligence and affinity for horses, his sense of pride and duty to keep everyone out of trouble.

The Coach Dog runs on the ground with the horses. The Coach Dog would never ride on the vehicle unless injured or stressed. Nor would he want to for he has a duty to perform and is proud of his work. The Coach Dog remains on the ground to guard against theft or interference when the vehicle is parked. Although some leeway is allowed, the most proper position for the working Coach Dog is running behind the heels of the horse and in front of the fore axle or, even better, between the horses and directly under the pole!

The Carriage Dog, on the other hand, is first and foremost a companion and is welcome to ride with the driver or passengers on the vehicle. On the ground, the Carriage Dog may roam a bit further than the Coach Dog but should still remain in close proximity. Its only task is to stay with the turnout, keep out of trouble and remain under control....and of course, to look very cute! ~ Courtesy of the ADS Pleasure Driving Committee

Welcome!


Welcome to

Green Meads Farm

I hope you enjoy the ride!