Return of Horse Progress Days brings thousands

July 5, 2018

A birds eye view of just a small portion of the crowds and exhibitor areas.

A birds eye view of just a small portion of the crowds and exhibitor areas.

By Steve Landon

If you live in the country nothing beats the sight of a farmer working his field in the early morning hours. The glow of the rising sun, the smell of crops and the sound of equipment working the rows just makes the experience extra special. Seeing modern tractors at work are fine, however nothing beats the sight of a farmer and a team of horses in action. This past weekend Horse Progress Days put a whole new light on farming and a way of life many considered lost to modern technology.

Horse Progress Days last made an appearance in Clare in 2012 at Gateway Acres – the Alvin Yoder Jr. Farm located at 7656 Colonville Road, the event returned to the same location for their 25th Anniversary. While the heat was a bit on the extreme side with temperatures in the upper 90’s overall sunny sky’s and an occasional breeze helped make life bearable for the thousands of visitors, vendors and the animals who were very well cared for.

While the name says Horse Progress the event goes far beyond equine subjects. Over the course of the two days seminars and demonstrations were held on a number of subjects, Bee Keeping, Soil Nutrition, Horse Safety and Responsibility. Maple Syrup Production, Sheep Farming, Homemaking, Logging, Horse Shoeing and so much more. If you had an interest in agriculture, gardening, getting off the grid or simply making and doing things on your own minus all the electronic gizmos this was the place to be. Vendor’s situated around the grounds and in the super large vendors tents had all the tools, products and knowledge to help get whatever the customer was doing done right.

In the field demonstration area single and teams of horses hauled small seeding equipment to full size bailers and large modern harvesting equipment adapted for hauling by horses, oxen and other animals. One vendor said, “If our equipment needs to be adapted for use by an Amish farmer or a person who wishes to work his fields and farm with his horses we can probably get job done.”

Anyone who missed the 2018 Horse Progress Days really missed out on an amazing experience. Not only was it educational it was a great way to learn just how things were done back in the day and can still be done even with a little help from modern technology. Plus it helps youngsters learn not everything we eat or wear comes from the mall or online store.

To learn more about Horse Progress Days check them out at or better yet attend their 26th Annual event next year in Arthur, Illinois.

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