Miniature Horses Used for Making Hay

One hay farmer turned in his set of full-sized draft horses for a team of miniature horses up to the task of making hay.

| July/August 2016

  • Ken Gies modified his equipment to make hay with minis.
    Photo courtesy FARM SHOW

  • Photo courtesy FARM SHOW

To simplify his small farming operation, Ken Gies switched from full-sized draft horses to five mini horses less than 40 inches tall. He modified his equipment so they could handle it.

“My motivation was that I saw so many mini horses doing nothing. These guys are strong. They can mow lawn or pull a small log arch or even a stone boat,” he says.

On his family’s 10-acre farm in Fort Plain, New York, his minis provide the power for a variety of jobs, including putting up hay. They mow, rake and load 6 acres of hay three times per summer.

• Mower: He modified a one-horse ground drive mower. “I put a steerable axle on the mower tongue, which eliminated side draft,” he says. With a team of three minis, he has had the best success using a 32-inch-long SCH EasyCut cutter-bar.

• Rake: The used rake Gies purchased online had been used to rake leaves at an estate. It weighs less than 200 pounds and works well for the second and third hay cuttings. The heavier first cutting is more of a struggle, as the long hay tends to wrap around the wheels when he doubles or triples up windrows.

• Tedder: Gies started with a 4-star Kuhn tedder. He removed the two outer wings and reversed the shaft direction. “I don’t want them to spin too fast,” he explains. “You want to sweep the hay and stand it up, not throw it. It spins slow, so it requires less power.”

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