Horse logging course

A natural solution to woodlot management

Where an old-fashioned approach paves the way for sustainable land management.

Throughout our horse logging course, you’ll learn how to selectively harvest trees without the use of heavy machinery. As we train you in crucial horse logging skills, like driving horses, we also cover all facets of woodlot management, including government regulations, licenses, and sustainable land management. If you own your own woodlot, are seeking a new career path, or simply want to learn more about restorative forestry, our horse logging course will provide you with the practical skills and fundamental knowledge that you need.

Horse logging is a rare skill in today’s world - one that hearkens back to the days of pioneers and mountain explorers. And while driving horses instead of driving heavy machinery may be old-fashioned, logging with horses provides a responsible, effective method for woodlot management. In our horse logging course, we provide you with the practical skills and confidence that you’ll need to use this tried-and-true technique to selectively harvest trees. Our experienced instructors will train you in the physical skills and mental awareness that are imperative to successful horse logging.

Our horse logging course trains you in the following skills:

  • Crucial horse-handling skills, including shoeing horses
  • How to harness both a single horse and team of horses
  • Safe and effective techniques for driving horses with long reins
  • How to correctly set up and use all necessary horse logging gear

We also include a comprehensive education in woodlot management and restorative forestry practices:

  • Explanation of government regulations and licenses
  • How to adhere to requirements on the national, provincial, and local levels
  • How to promote the health of forests and your woodlot by identifying and removing diseased trees
  • How to create long-term goals that will promote the health of forests and provide steady, sustainable income for years to come

Throughout our horse logging course, we we also share best practices for management and planning- two things that form the foundation for successful, sustainable horse logging. With this knowledge, you can create a comprehensive, long-term woodlot management plan that promotes the health of the forest and establishes a sustainable, steady stream of income.

A natural solution to woodlot management

Horse logging is different from any other kind of logging. It naturally lends itself to sustainable forestry practices and thoughtful woodlot management. The physical impact that logging with horses has on the environment is minimally disruptive. The footfalls produced by horse logging do not damage the forest soil and root systems in the way that rubber tires and heavy machinery do. The compact size of horses, compared to heavy machinery, prevents collateral damage to surrounding trees, even as you’re driving horses through dense forests. Throughout our horse logging course, we focus on the skillful application of proven techniques so you can make the most of the unique environmental benefits that accompany logging with horses.

Real world experience

During our horse logging course, you’ll have the opportunity to observe what woodlot management looks like on an active, sustainably managed Parcel of Crown Land. As part of British Columbia’s approach to forest management, Chilcotin Holidays is responsible for the care and sustainable use of specific forestry woodlots within our operating territory. Observing firsthand what holding a Woodlot License entails is an invaluable opportunity. We couple this learning experience with the real-world application of horse logging on our woodlot. Both of these learning tools powerfully prepare graduates of our horse logging course to pursue and reach their own goals in forestry and woodlot management.

Highlights
  • Train in stunning wilderness, where every day brings new challenges and opportunities to grow
  • Build your confidence and establish proper technique through extensive supervised practice
  • Develop your skills in the safety of our ranch environment before advancing to woodlot work
  • Gain real-world experience and practical knowledge as we train in an active woodlot
  • Graduate with the practical skills and working knowledge you’ll need to make a living in the forestry industry

Day 1
  • Midday arrival and lunch at the ranch
  • Introduction to forestry
  • Overview of the Horse Logging Training Program
  • Demonstrations and hands-on practice in the following topics:
    • Wrangling horses
    • General horse care, including feeding watering schedules
    • Harnessing a single horse and a team of horses
    • Driving a team of horses with long reins, including safety precautions and proven techniques
  • Dinner
  • Chainsaw orientation, including bucking and felling instructional videos
  • Overnight in student accommodations on ranch property
Day 2
  • Today’s curriculum includes instruction, demonstrations, and hands-on practice in the following topics:
    • Safe chainsaw use, including saw maintenance, tree limbing procedures, meeting log peeler specifications, supervised practice, and felling demonstration
    • Progression to pulling logs with a team of horse
    • Best practices for pairing horses into a team and matching teams to drivers
    • Pulling larger load with a single horse
  • Breakfast, lunch, and dinner at the ranch
  • Overnight in student accommodations on ranch property
Day 3
  • Today, we spend time practicing and honing skills from previous days:
    • Chainsaw use, including maintenance and practice
    • Pulling logs, including harnessing horses and driving teams with long reins
    • More logging tasks and procedures
  • Demonstration and practice of more advanced skills:
    • Trimming horse hooves and fitting of horseshoes
    • Shoeing logging horses
    • Pulling larger loads with teams
  • Breakfast, lunch, and dinner at the ranch
  • Overnight in student accommodations on ranch property
Day 4
  • Discussion of government regulations and licenses
  • Introduction to woodlot work, through demonstrations and hands-on practice in the following areas:
    • Effective use of commands and controls for single horses and teams
    • Risk assessment and avoidance of dangerous scenarios for both teams and drivers
    • Additional practice driving teams and pulling loads
  • Breakfast, lunch, and dinner at the ranch
  • Overnight in student accommodations on ranch property
Day 5
  • Overview and discussion of industry topics, including:
    • Woodlot management
    • Adherence to national, provincial, and local industry requirements
    • Identification and removal of diseased trees
  • Additional practice working the horses and pulling loads to correct habits and build skills while working in the woodlot
  • Breakfast, lunch, and dinner at the ranch
  • Overnight in student accommodations on ranch property
Day 6
  • Overview and discussion of industry topics, including:
    • Forestry and woodlot management goals
    • Sustainable land management
    • Restorative forestry
    • Establishment of long-term goals to promote the health of forests and provide steady, sustainable income
  • Additional practice working the horses and pulling loads to improve techniques and master skill sets
  • Breakfast, lunch, and dinner at the ranch
  • Overnight in student accommodations on ranch property
Day 7
  • Breakfast
  • Draft your own Woodlot Management Plan, with input from instructors
  • Complete horse logging test
  • Farewell lunch and graduation
  • Depart from ranch

**Please Note: Our programs are subject to the unpredictable weather and terrain conditions that come with a mountainous environment. And while we do our best to stick to the itinerary, there are times when the current conditions and needs of the group require us to adjust schedules, accommodations, etc. This is part of any true wilderness experience, however, and we are well equipped to adapt the adventure to changing conditions.

AVAILABLE DATES

START DATE END DATE
April 16th April 22th

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