Hitch your wagon

Annual antique tractor show draws crowd to local farm

Rose Willigar bworks@amherstdaily.com
Published on July 22, 2010


LORNEVILLE - The Verstratens have been hosting the Northshore Antique Tractor and Engine Club for the past 11 years and there never seems to be a shortage of things to see or do at the Verstraten Farm.

Francis Verstraten, club member and farm owner, said it started out as the group wanting to have a club event and now has turned into a tradition to host it.

"We had the tools and the space here at the farm to accommodate and now the third Saturday in July has become not only a tradition for the club but for the community as a whole," Verstraten said.

The church sells desserts in the barn, the Sunrise 4-H Club does the barbecuing, the proceeds from which goes to the individual organizations.

Mike Spence from Baie Verte, N.B. has provided farrier services (putting horse shoes on horses) for the past 30 years working from his home in Baie Verte and traveling around the Maritimes and taking part in events like the one at the Verstraten Farm.

There are more horses around than people realize and farrier services are required if you own horses, according to Spence.

"A horse that is worked requires its shoes to be replaced every four to six weeks," Spence said.

Spence explained that "hot shoeing" is a method of putting shoes on a horse and, what type shoe the horse gets would depend on what the horse is used for.

The first step in replacing the horse's shoes is of course to remove the old shoe and then the nails are clipped and filed. Once the nail has been clipped and filed like the one Spence did on Midnight (horse) at the Verstraten Farm last Saturday, he then heats the shoe with a propane forge.

Once the shoe was heated it was then placed on the anvil to shape the shoe.

If the method is hot shoeing, whick Spence says is best because it kills bacteria and fungus that could grow on the nail, the horse shoe is placed on the horse's nail while it is still hot.

Once the shoe is shaped and leveled Spence grinds the show at a 45 degree angle to prevent the horse from cutting him or herself on the shoe.

"There are 100 different ways to do shoes, it really depends on what you are using the horse for," Spence said.

Spence spent the day at the Verstraten Farm showing people the art of a farrier.

There were many other things happening at the Verstraten farm, including wagon rides by horse, donkey and tractor, various woodsman competitions and woodcarving and much more.