Welcome to Fern Valley
Wednesday, 27 November 2013
Monday, 25 November 2013
This is the same auger used by the Namao light and power co-op and the telephone co-op that dad was president of. My nephew Ross Horricks and his son Chad have decided to restore both the Haymobile and the Ford truck with Auger.
Now to “The Thing”, but first I must tell you about cutting hay with horse-drawn mowers and raking a with horse drawn dump rakes. My first experience with the dump rake was when I was very young, probably for five years old, Bill was raking hay in the field just south of our house and I took a drink and lunch out for Bill.
Bill is 3 1/2 years older than me and Uncle Charlie had put blocks on the dump rake so Bill could dump the rake.
I sat down on the front of the rake frame to have lunch with Bill which was fun. What was not fun was what happened next; one of the horses reached forward to get a mouthful of alfalfa blossoms and pinched my bum between the double tree and the rake frame! To this day I have not forgotten that pain.
Bill also had an exciting time cutting hay around the reserve at Ministik Lake, we had the only Private land inside of the Ministik game sanctuary, anyway the mower plugged up on a molehill at the same time as the horses stepped on the ground hornets’ nest and all hell broke loose! Also a couple of years later Bill and I were cutting hay on what we called what we called the South meadow at Ministik, they were natural meadows with trees sometimes growing the middle.
Bill was on the horse-drawn mower and I was driving a model M tractor with mower mounted on the back. As there were lots of molehills that tended to plug up the cutting bar I was looking back as I cut around the corner by the trees, I did not see Bill stop soon enough to stop completely and the grill of the tractor hit the back of the mower seat, and threw Bill between the horses and the pole.
Luckily the horses were well taught or just tired and other than a severe scolding from my brother everything turned out okay. In talking to Bill he has never forgotten the incident with the hornets both Bill and the horses were badly stung and it could have been an even more serious wreck. My older brother Bud was badly hurt a few years before when the pole of the dump rate broke throwing Bud off the seat of the rake into the team then he was caught in the dump rake teeth.
We also would ride Roman style on the backs of the teams coming back to the yard from the Meadows.
In the early 1950’s our farming was changing to tractors and power Mowers, side rakes as well. We had a 24’ foot dump rake mounted on the draw bar of a John Deere model B tractor with tricycle front wheels.
This made raking hay much faster than using a team of horses with a 9” or even a 12” dump break.
In the mid-1950s we also made a power mower mounted on a 1927 Chev car. We first removed the body then mounted a truck transmission behind the car transmission.
This allowed us to change the speeds for working in the fields at slower speeds and also a power takeoff mounted on the side of the truck transmission allowed us to power the cutting bar we mounted on the side.
As we had to travel several miles from home to the Namao military airport which where we cut hay around the runways we were able to carry extra parts, fuel, oil, etc., as well as several workers. We had three or four other mowers mounted on tractors. There was a song in the 50s called The Thing and so that is what we called that 1927 car mower.
One drawback to unit had was the water pump on the motor which had a grease cup that used water pump grease, the pump would sometimes leak a small amount of water on hot days. More so on hot days it would spray a fine mist back at the driver
Bill drove “The Thing” most of the time and would sometimes have a sunburned face and nose from the moisture blown back by the fan blades.
P.S. we donated "The Thing" and the Ford 2 ½ ton truck to the Fort Edmonton Park. They have restored them to take visitors around the park.
We also allowed the Light Rail Street Car society to store a 1919 Toronto streetcar. They have restored several streetcars and you can take rides around Fort Edmonton and across the high-level bridge built around 1910.
The Fordson tractor was the first one built by Ford on an assembly line and also the first one in Edmonton Dominion motors made a deal with grandpa Horricks, the deal was dad had to drive the tractor around the old market Square for two days to show it off to the public.
Thanks again dad for these great posts ! I received an email from a gentleman who has become a friend to mom and dad, and also become a reader/follower of my blog. He was unable to post his comment so I agreed to post his message here ;
Saturday, 23 November 2013
I had a conversation with a new friend I met at the course last weekend , and we chatted about many things, not the least of which was my little mare Cat (also known as Whoa Dammit, The fat baby , and of course her actual name FV Catch a Dream )
Cat is a sweet girl, but a great barometer for my feelings and mood. She is a confident, competent gal (future boss mare I think ) and she will take no "fakers" if I am in a good space in my mind and heart she is welcoming and friendly , if however I am letting stress take me down or angry ? she will take one look at me and walk away, not fast , just away , then stop some distance from me as if to say " get it together girlfriend! "
Usually a couple deep breaths , and often a wry laugh later I ditch the baggage and try again, sure enough she is good to go and will walk right up to me . Today was a good day , she walked up straight away
same with whoa, ask for it , but you better expect to stop.
By the way , dad's next guest post on THE THING, is here and ready for me to type out and post, I just had this to say first
Wednesday, 20 November 2013
Thank you to all of you , and sorry for the delay
The Sunshine Award is for people who "positively and creatively inspire others in the blogosphere." The nominee must do the following: thank the person who nominated her, nominate ten bloggers of her own, answer the ten questions given to her, and post them and the Sunshine Award button to her blog.
Here are the questions:
- Mares or Geldings? Geldings. no real preference, I have had the best of both
- English or Western?Western is my go to , though I have ridden english in the past
- Do you prefer "younger" or "older" horses? each has a lot to offer, but those seasoned older ones do feel safer these days
- Have you trained a horse from ground zero?yes
- Do you prefer riding or groundwork? It really just depends.I really enjoy both but if I had to choose 1 I would be in the saddle
- Do you board your horse or keep it at home? home
- Do you do all natural things or just commercial stuff?(in sense of products) a little of both , I use what works
- All tacked up or bareback? Tacked up! too old and out of shape for bareback
- Equestrian model?too many to name
- What's your one, main goal, while being in the horses world? hmm, might have to get back to you on that one
Sunday, 17 November 2013
After 4 long and interesting days, 2 very treacherous drives in to town and back,I have completed my EAPD training!
Anyhow I think this program is a good fit and I am looking forward to what I can do with it.
Lots to think about and I hope to share further but for now a few pics of the mock scenarios we worked on and exercises that we developed. They are so powerful even in a learning setting that we each felt moved on some level as though it was real. So much so that t he exercise I designed for a particular situation, hit a little closer to home than I expected and I suddenly became the focus of the horse nurturing protection! Suffice to say it was a cathartic experience , and while I don't love to cry in front of others , it was a safe environment and I believe of great benefit to me.
Thats it for now , I am one tired girl! Actually I am one tired EAPD COACH !
Stay safe my friends!
Thursday, 14 November 2013
Monday, 11 November 2013
Dad's second installment, as promised about the Haymobile, in talking I have leaned there are a few more items I may need to grab photos of before they are gone, and also I need to dig in my treasures, because somewhere I have a copy of one of the photos from the news article written so many years ago about my family and their innovations! I have linked a couple of titles to the Overshot, and Jahyhawk stacker and for those who do not know what an Erector set is . and forgive me I do not know much about mechanical so I also linked to what a camber and towin is .
Getting back to my first post about the haymobile well, it may not be the first loader of it's kind it was the first one in our area in my first post I talked about Overshot stackers and Jayhawk stackers there is much info about these on the internet information the first Jayhawk stacker dates back to around 1915 The Overshot stacker, many years before that.The first Jayhawk stacker was a breakthrough as it could sweep the hay then lift it up onto the stack. The first Jayhawk used horses, one on each side to push the stacker and by ground drive lift the stacker up and dump the load. Later models had rubber tires instead of steel wheels and hooked to the front end of a tractor or pick up truck, we had a rubber tire unit.
By steering from the rear it did not have a problem with the sweep going over the windrow like other sweeps and loaders. This was one of the reasons we made the Haymobile with steering at the rear, and wide stance drive axle at the front for stability and traction. We had already made several hydraulic loaders on tractors The Haymobile lifted larger loads higher, about 24 ft with a live hydraulic systems, and a larger pump it also had a self-leveling system which kept the sweep level as the load lifted.I believe this was the first self-leveling loader ever built!
I first built the loader with an erector set to figure out where to place the pulley cables and hydraulic cylinders to make the stacker self-leveling.
The basic Haymobile was built on a 1947 three-ton truck, we turned the cab around, mounted hydraulic controls in the cab. We then turned the drive axle upside down which changed the direction the Haymobile went in the forward and reverse gears. We changed the camber on the steering axles and reset the towin so the Haymobile could travel at speeds up to 45 mph safely.
We also built a bucket for dumping concrete into forms for building basements, and our all concrete barn, concrete pads etc.
After we quit using loose hay ,we used the unit to lift up to 30 bales at a time onto our large trucks and trailers . One of the safety features of the unit, because the loader was so far in front of the cab, you had a full view of the load even when the loader was that it's full height.
We used Haymobile for many years due to its extra strength and stability even at high speeds. My two older brothers Albert and Bud did most of the cutting and welding, Dad, a lot of the design. Bill and I some of the cutting and welding. Bill was the prime driver but I also drove unit many hours.
My next installment is about something we called "The Thing"
There you go folks ! #2 is out and we eagerly await the story of "The Thing
Thanks again Dad for sharing this!
Of note, my dad (Ron ), and his brother Bill were in their early teens when this was built! Albert and Bud still very young men as well. Amazing to think of the type of hard working youngsters they were in light of how things are today . A different time and generation for sure.
Until next time stay safe my friends!
Sunday, 10 November 2013
Then he is already talking about his next post beyond that , about mowers , and haybines and the "Thing" which I have no idea what it was but was apparently a (as dad would say it ) "a great rig"
so stay tuned friends !
Meanwhile I have something exciting of my own coming up...
Finally after a whole year of waiting , the EAPD (Equine assisted personal development coach ) training is going to be in Edmonton , and the garrison. and I am signed up and confirmed to be there!!! It is 4 days after which I will be a certified coach,if I then chose to go further I can take the next step to become an EAL facilitator, (kind of a train the trainers thing !!)
I have my pre study material, and a whole lot of high hopes!
So other than feeding critters ,
Tuesday, 5 November 2013
Sunday, 3 November 2013
Thanks for all the positive feedback on Dad's guest post, he is working on the next installment so hopefully before too long...
Meanwhile I may post a few thoughts soon too.
until then stay safe and warm my friends
Friday, 1 November 2013
For many years growing up on the Horricks dairy farm I was exposed to 2 amazing people, namely my father George, and his younger brother Charlie.Many stories were told of the years growing up on the family farm which was started by their father William in 1899. George lost his right hand of the age of 14 in a farming accident but was still able to take on near impossible projects, including driving a 12 horse team! Charlie, lost his left arm above the elbow in a trucking accident at the age of 21.
Both men were known for their great strength. George, at age 16 could lift 1650 pounds, and pick up the rear wheel of the tractor!
I can remember at the age of 56,Dad(George) was at a John Deere dealership and asked by the owner if he would show the the staff how he could pick up the rear wheel on a tractor,I was with him and he said he would try.Dad then backed up to the rear axle of the tractor and picked up the wheel off the ground! My uncle likewise was a very powerful man, as well as regular farm work he also was known around the district for his blacksmith work, done with special handmade tools he could use with his hook. Both men were known for their innovations, I grew up with some of their inventions dad George was also involved in setting up the first rural electric program in Alberta as president of the Namao Light and power Coop Also the Rural telephone cooperators He was also president of the Natural Milk Producers Association, later served on many agricultural organizations, including the Federation of Agriculture,Edmonton Milk Foundation,Dairy Farmers of Canada, director and president of the Northern Alberta Dairy Pool, and Alberta Dairy farmers. He received an award from the province of Alberta for excellence in the field of agriculture More recently the Horricks family received recognition by the city of Edmonton and the province of Alberta by presentation of a large rock with a bronze plaque showing the history of the family in Alberta. Sherry's motto of, "if it is possible I will do it.If it is impossible it will take me some time" goes back many years, no one ever considered George or Charlie to be handicapped. In the early 50s were was going around about some of the things we had built, a farm paper came out to the farm to take pictures of some of the equipment to be shown as "new ideas" they included a loading chute on wheels first put together in the 1920s by dad and my uncle which we still use today. An all steel cattle squeeze, a truck mounted manure spreader that was first mounted on a modelA 2 1/2 ton truck, later mounted on newer trucks and finally converted to a side discharge for feeding silage.And of course, the Hay Mobile, within very short order of this article most items were in production by large manufacturers. We converted a 1919 Fordson tractor to rubber tires including putting on a live power takeoff.
At around age 14 was the first engine overhaul that my brother Bill was involved in.Mine was age 13, I overhauled the engine in 1937 Ford car which I drove to school picking up other children along the way. The Alberta government brought out a drive safely license plate for the front bumper and I had one on the front and the rear. One day when I got to the Turnip Lake school the RCMP were there for another matter,when one of the members saw me arriving and all the kids getting out, he came over to look at the car,and saw the license plates he then called the other member over just as my friend Jimmy came in with more kids in his 1920 Essex car. That was too much and both officers broke out in laughter we were then told to drive safely as it said on the plates. Now what would happen today?
Getting back to the reason I started to write this,the hay mobile , but first I must mention the stook loader which was first made to be pulled by horses. My older brothers Albert and Bud did most of the work to change it over to rubber tires and self-propelled, the engine was out of and old Hupmobile car, looking back we should have kept the car, but oh well hindsight is always 20/20. The last time it was used with our wooden threshing machine was in 1957 and CFRN TV came out and took pictures for the news I wonder if they still have them. This stook loader picked up the stooks, divided them up and dropped them into a large rack about 10 feet wide 12 feet long and 12 feet high, it had a false front which with chains tied to the wheel of the tractor, open the rear doors and pulled the load out neatly beside the extended feeder on the threshing machine. It saved having having several bundle crews and wagons loaded by hand.
The next installment I will try to tell how the Hay Mobile evolved from overshot stackers, Jayhawk stackers and finally our Hay Mobile.
to be continued ...
Ps. I saved the Hupmobile name plate and it hangs above the bar in my basement
Thanks Dad, for writing this, and I hope you will continue to share your stories of our family's proud heritage.
and to my fellow bloggers and readers, as always friends, stay safe