Working with oxen and draft horses on farms and in the forest is an essential part of New England’s heritage. Draft animals are particularly well suited to the challenges of working the hilly landscape and rocky terrain of this region. Sanborn Mills Farm is dedicated to preserving these skills and shares them through workshops and mentoring programs.
Scheduled workshops in oxen skills & ox yoke making
Participation in draft animal workshops is a unique opportunity to learn from master teamsters and gain hands-on experience with well-trained animals that are engaged in meaningful work. Our instructors are highly skilled, patient, and teach using time-honored methods.
Draft animal workshops are focused specifically on the skills and equipment needed to work with oxen safely and effectively. They are designed to build up skills in different areas including plowing, cultivating, pulling wagons & scoots, and logging in the woods. Participation in a group workshop is especially helpful for individuals who want to integrate draft power into their farming and logging activities and for those who work with draft animals at living history museums and farms.
Workshops are listed in the Calendar section of this website.
Click here to learn more about our instructors.
Click here if you are traveling from afar and will need of housing.
Private Instruction & Consultation
Under special circumstances, one-to-one customized training sessions for teamsters can be arranged upon request. “On-site” training is available here at the farm as the work schedule of the farm permits.
“Off-site” training and consultation is also possible. Having one of our teamsters visit a farm and make recommendations can be a powerful way to move to the next level of productivity with oxen.
Cost of one-to-one sessions is determined by the type of training requested and the duration of the session. If you have questions, please contact: Farm Manager Ray Ramsey at Ray@sanbornmills.org or call the office at 603-435-7314 weekdays from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
We ask students who have never taken an oxen workshop at Sanborn Mills Farm to fill out a questionnaire so that instructors can tailor the workshop to students’ needs. The questionnaire should be filled out and sent in at least two weeks prior to the workshop start date.
Mail or email your completed questionnaire to:
Ray Ramsey, Sanborn Mills Farm, 7097 Sanborn Rd, Loudon, NH 03307 or Ray@sanbornmills.org
For more information on draft animals, visit these links:
- Small Farmer’s Journal – http://smallfarmersjournal.com/
- Rural Heritage Magazine – https://www.ruralheritage.com/new_rh_website/index_green.shtml
- DAPNet/Draft Animal Power – http://www.draftanimalpower.org/home/dapnet/
- Billings Farm Museum – http://www.billingsfarm.org/billings_farm/oxen.html
- The Livestock Conservancy – http://www.livestockconservancy.org/index.php/heritage/internal/milking-shorthorn
- French website-blog by Michel Nioulou – http://attelagesbovinsdaujourdhui.unblog.fr/
- Report on the Alsace museum’s oxdriver, PHilippe Kuhlmann, who gave a training sessions in November & March, 2017 – http://attelagesbovinsdaujourdhui.unblog.fr/category/formations/
- German Oxdrivers Group – https://zugrinder.de/en/
For a video on Sanborn Mills Farm teamsters & oxen helping out with a Mast Tree demonstration in 2016 in Lee, N.H. click here.