You’re not alone…
Like a low-profile sled, the stoneboat is a simple but incredibly practical piece of farming equipment. Made of pressure-treated wood and steel, it doesn’t use poles or shafts. And it can be used by single horses or teams, depending on what jobs you want to use it for. So you can do more, in less time, with much less effort and stress.
While it’s a lesser-known tool, the stoneboat is just as useful as any other farming implement we use!
Because not all teamsters have heard of the stoneboat, we thought we’d put together a list of things you should know about this versatile tool.
Five things you can do with your stoneboat:
- Exercise your horses. We use it all year-round but it’s particularly helpful when the horses are coming off their winter feeding. They have a bit more fat on them and we need to get them back into conditioning for the summer season. So, we hook them up to the stone boat and go out to do some maintenance around the fields. This is great steady work but also, if you’re cleaning up debris or rocks, the gradual adding of weight eases your horses into pulling more weight.
- Improve your teamster skills. If you’re out picking up rocks, there are a lot of stops and starts, so the teamster gets lots of practise starting the team in unison. And as the load gets heavier, it gets harder to do.
- Haul anything. Because the stoneboat is flat, wide and close to the ground, you can move almost anything around your property without much effort. Hay bales, deadfall, fence posts – you’re only limited by your imagination. And, at the same time, you’re still exercising you and your horses.
- Move rocks out of your field. A few years ago, we were tilling up a piece of land that hadn’t seen a plow in MANY years. The ground was hard as rock – literally. And we found LOTS of rocks to move. It seems the perfect time to use our stoneboat. So while one team was pulling the forecart with a plow, we went behind and pulled all the stones from the plow’s path. Not only was it better for the horses because they weren’t stepping onto the uneven ground full of rocks, the plow wasn’t bouncing off the exposed rocks. And it gave the other horses something to do while they waited their turn on the plow. Everyone wins!
- Anything you can do with a tractor. With the outrageous price of gas these days, any opportunity to use a non-motorized piece of equipment is a good idea in our books.