We are transitioning our conventional organic garden to a regenerative organic no-till garden. Many changes will have big effects! We are using heavy compost to form permanent beds and continue to build organic matter. We are using heavy mulches between rows to reduce weed pressure. Cover crops that add organic biomass, fix nitrogen in the permanent beds, cover and protect the soil are planted in fallow areas and at the base of crops. Tarps were used over the winter and early spring and until beds are created or planted to reduce weed pressure by smothering weeds and weed seed. We will post progress throughout the transition…wish us luck as it feels like we are in totally new territory..the learning curve is high!
Do You Dream of being the Leader and Partner Your Horse Needs You to Be?
Turn Your Dream into Reality:
attend a Doc Hammill Horsemanship Workshop
at Borderland Ranch in 2021
Would you like to learn to
- develop Trust, Respect, and Leadership in your relationship with your horse?
- feel safe, comfortable, and relaxed while interacting with your horse?
- understand what your horse’s behavior is telling you?
- understand what your body language is telling your horse?
- harness, hitch, and drive horses?
Spend a week in Beautiful NW Montana Learning Doc Hammill’s Horsemanship “Fundamentals”
Come, join us for a very special time at our Montana ranch and acquire the horsemanship skills you have been wanting to achieve. Reserve your spot now! Contact Doc or call him at 406-250-8252 for workshop and reservation details.
Become one of Doc’s many successful students!
We are currently booking for our 2021 Montana Workshops; We would love to put your name on our list of successful participants.
Doc Hammill Horsemanship helps people to understand and build relationships with their horses. We believe that YOU are your horse’s best trainer; we teach you to gently, safely and effectively communicate and train your horse and to harness, hitch, drive, and work your horses. Through demonstrations, lectures, and hands-on exercises with Doc and Cathy’s personal horses, you will explore and practice the same techniques that Doc uses in workshops literally all across the US, to build partnerships with horses. You will learn and practice how to create this same kind of relationship with YOUR OWN horse(s).
While doing springtime chores that prepare us for the 2021 Workshop season, we are thinking of what you might be interested in.
At Doc Hammill Horsemanship we help you to learn how to work with, drive, and teach horses in gentle, effective ways that make sense to horses!
Make 2021 the year that you advance your horsemanship skills by participating in one (or all !) of Doc’s many learning opportunities so that you understand and practice methods of interaction and communication that will change the relationship between you and your horse in amazing ways.
To view our latest email as a pdf file, click the link below
We use our horse-drawn bale moving wagon regularly on the ranch to move bales!
We purchased the wagon as seen here. It was made by the seller, who assembled components to make a very useable and maneuverable wagon.
It has Gehl running gear and is shortened to a 10-foot bed length. It has a new Pioneer Equipment bench seat and a new Pioneer cast toolbox is bolted on the bed, which was also new lumber when we purchased it. A modern bale spike assembly was mounted on the back, and when we purchased it, it had a high-capacity Warn winch (with remote operation !) mounted on it to run the bale lift mechanism. We replaced the battery-operated winch with a hand-operated come-along to lift the bales. Wedecided to use the winch on another piece of equipment where we could use the high capacity power. The hand operated come along works just fine, however, we’ve considered mounting a smaller battery operated winch to operate the lift mechanism. The wagon with a short wheel base is highly maneuverable which is incredibly helpful in our equipment yard, hay yard, and driveway accessing our covered hay storage.
This side view shows the ‘bale spike’ mounted on the back. This component was purchased and added to the back of the flatbed wagon.
The bale-spike is mounted on the long stringers that support the wagon bed. It is mounted to the stringers and pivots up and down between them, as shown in the photo below. The short spikes on either side of the long spike keep the bale from rotating -stabilizing it.
We use a piece of plastic PVC pipe placed over the long spike to protect people and animals from the pointed spear when it is not being used to carry a bale. The PVC piece is just enough larger than the spike so that it comes off easily just before spearing the bale and goes back on the spike just after the bale is dropped. We always carry the PVC spike cover on the wagon when moving the bale so it can go back on the spike immediately after the bale is dropped.
The spike is set horizontally as the wagon is backed up to spear the bale.
When purchased, the wagon had a large 12-volt battery-operated winch on it. We moved that winch to another piece of equipment and replaced it with a hand-operated come-along.
Doc winches the bale up into a position that will hold it on the spike as he travels. In rough or irregular ground, we go slow, taking it easy so the bale doesn’t get to bouncing, giving special consideration to the horses, who would feel any bounding by the wagon and load.
If you have questions or comments, please feel free to call
Doc 406-250-8252 or Contact Us, Cathy 406-890-3083
Then Learn to Become the Leader and Partner Your Horse Needs You to Be by attending a
Doc Hammill Horsemanship Workshop in 2021!
- Do you have the relationship you want with your horse?
- Do you feel safe, comfortable and relaxed while interacting with your horse
- How would you like to understand what your horse’s behavior and body language is telling you?
- How would you like to develop Trust, Respect and leadership in your relationship with your horse?
Come join us for a very special time at one of our
Doc Hammill Horsemanship Workshops
and acquire the horsemanship skills you have been wanting to achieve.
We are booking for our2021 Workshops Now and would love to put your name on our list of successful participants!
Throughout our workshops we will be teaching you how to communicate and interact with horses in gentle, safe, effective ways that they inherently understand and are comfortable with. A lot of hands-on time will be devoted to learning and practicing the principles, techniques, and details of harnessing, harness adjustment and collar fitting, hitching, and driving and working horses in harness. We will work primarily with single horses and teams of two, with the possibility of some time devoted to larger hitches.
For detailed information about specific Workshops at Doc’s and Cathy’s Borderland Ranch just go to Doc’s Website and click on the Workshops drop-down menu.
Hope we meet you at a Doc Hammill Driving Workshop soon!
For the past several years, Cathy and I have spent the Fall months on the road…
doing what we love … offering Workhorse Workshops to students in Oregon, Washington, and California, and providing personalized instruction to students and their horses on their own farms.
The workshops have turned out to be wonderful events for us, the hosts, and students alike. These recurring Workhorse Workshops are being hosted in some amazing places … most of them are horse-powered organic farms. The working farms are perfect environments for hands on learning, with remarkable owner hosts who co-instruct with us. Thanks to our hosts the students get to work with outstanding horses and a wide variety of equipment. Opportunities for learning, networking, and sharing are endless.
Cathy and I would like to share some of the experiences we’ve had during these times. Keep an eye on this “What’s New” section of our website — we will offer educational insights where it makes sense and share photos and commentary from the workshops, private lessons, and training sessions.
We are honored to work with so many enthusiastic and dedicated students. By teaching people to better understand, communicate, and interact with horses, we are also following our passion of helping horses have better lives.
Check back often, you might just see yourself or someone you know!
The Montana Draft Horse and Mule Association has selected 2012 inductees into the Montana Draft Horse and Mule Association Teamster Hall of Fame. 2012 Inductees are Jim and Donna Norgaard of Roy, Rusty and Margaret Hebel of Dillon, and Doc Hammill of Eureka, Montana.
The Induction Ceremony will take place during the Big Sky EXPO, in Deer Lodge, Montana, on Saturday,September 15, 2012 Check the EXPO website for more information http://www.drafthorseexpo.com/
The draft animal era in America dates from the mid-1800s to the 1930s when expansion and industrialization depended on horses, mules, oxen, and the teamsters who drove them. The majority of people who use our modern highways and are served by railroads may not realize that draft animals were used to build early transportation systems. Draft animals served our nation in many ways in the past.
The use of draft animals has not entirely ended. Indeed, while many think the use of draft horses, mules and oxen is novel, there has been increasing use in recent years. Without individuals, such as those honored by the Montana Draft Teamster Hall of Fame, skills needed to use draft animals would be difficult to obtain.
The Montana Draft Teamster Hall of Fame is dedicated to those individuals that have made significant contributions to the preservation and dissemination of knowledge, education, and use of draft animals and or draft equipment for work or pleasure in Montana. Induction into the Montana Draft Teamster Hall of Fame is based on an outstanding record of contributions to teamster education, preservation and use of draft animals or restoration of equipment used by draft animals.
The Class of 2012 has a remarkable record has a remarkable record of achievement in the preservation and use of draft horses and mules and the education of teamsters.”
The Class of 2012 Hall of Fame Inductees are Jim and Donna Norgaard of Roy, Rusty and Margaret Hebel of Dillon and “Doc” Hammill of Eureka, Montana.
Doug “Doc” Hammill has many, many years of experience with horses in harness. “Doc” often tells students about how he, as a youngster of 7, decided to hitch and drive his pony. He recollects that he nailed ‘shafts’ (two small pieces of lumber about the right size) onto a two wheeled cart. He fashioned a harness of found objects, including leather straps and bailing twine, and secured the pony to the cart. Using more twine for lines, he jumped on the cart-Ben Hur style and drove off…..never bothering to check to see if the pony had ever been trained to drive.
He countered much of what he learned the hard way as a youth, by seeking out good older teamsters to spend time with when he moved to Montana as a young veterinarian in the ‘60s. Doc often credits his many good teamster mentors with really teaching him to drive and work with horses in harness. Over time Doc, a well-respected veterinarian, acquired his first team of Clydesdales and a piece of ground. There, he raised many colts, farmed his eighty acres near Creston, Montana, using horse drawn plows, discs, rakes, harrows, mowers, balers, drills, and combines, wagons and carts pulled by his Clydesdales and mules. Throughout, his learning process, Doc has taken what he has learned from research, his own trials, and his mentors, and has created his own style of horsemanship; he calls it “Gentle Horsemanship”.
Doc created of “Old West Adventures” and as owner/operator for over ten years, he treated thousands of customers to wagon and sleigh rides pulled by his Clydesdales at Big Mountain in Whitefish, Montana. He also organized and participated in authentic wagon trips in Montana, some for pleasure, some commercial, with horse drawn wagons pulled by hitches of two and four horses or mules.
For the last 15 years or so, Doc has combined his passion for teaching and sharing his knowledge of equines and driving horses in harness to help interested people learn to drive and work horses in harness. He often says, “Passing on what I’ve been so fortunate to learn in over 45 years of working with horses is also a way of honoring my teachers.”
First at his remote Hard Trigger Ranch near East Glacier, Montana and more recently at Therriault Creek Ranch near Eureka, Montana, students come from all over the US, Canada, some traveling from Europe and Australia to learn driving skills and how to work with horses from Doc. Students of “Doc Hammill Horsemanship” number in the thousands. He regularly travels to other locations in the US and Canada to do Driving and Working Horses in Harness Workshops. He has dedicated his life to bringing “gentle horsemanship” (his term for natural horsemanship) to people and especially the draft horse and mule world through workshops and clinics, written words and educational DVDs.
Doc has written a draft horse driving column, “Ask a Teamster,” in The Small Farmers Journal for more than 15 years, as well as a regular contributor to Rural Heritage Magazine. He is a frequent presenter at Horse Progress Days and other draft horse events around the country. Doc has produced several educational DVDs, featuring his gentle horsemanship techniques that have helped many, many people learn to drive and work with horses.
A suggestion from one of our driving horses in harness students, Robin Kane, encouraged “Glen the Geek” and Wendy Ying to contact and interview Doc for “The Driving Radio Show”, which aired April 3, 2012. If you would like to listen to this fun interview, click the link below.