Did you know the Amish have different types of horses? Mosie said he grew up with about 15 horses on his farm.
Here's the typical breakdown: road horses (ones that pull buggies), farm horses (usually Belgium or Percheron), and draft mule (donkey and horse mix). The road horse I'm comfortable with but, those heavy Belgiums intimidate me. They're beautiful but BIG, weighing from one to two thousand pounds! I'm astonished when I see youngsters working or playing - with no fear - around these huge animals. Since the draft mule can work the longest day with less feed and water, it's more desirable. But conservative Amish orders forbid a mix breed, thinking it's not a natural creation of God.
Monroe's family has a Haflinger, a stocky, muscular horse that resembles a Belgium, only smaller. The Haflinger is popular with the Amish because it's a gentle breed, works hard, and is able to pull a buggy or, teamed together, a large plow. Monroe's Haflinger is named Blazer. Yes, they name their horses.
Farriers regularly visit an Amish farm to tend the horse hooves. Think of it as a horse pedicure. Sometimes, the Amishman and his sons take care of this needed maintenance. If well loved and maintained a family's road horses can live for fifteen years. I recently took a wonderful buggy ride with Linda - the road horse. Marcy, the fastest horse in Mosie's family, was the one Mosie hitched when they were running late for Gma.
I speak on intriguing facts, like these, about the Amish farm, home, clothes, and behaviors.[Tweet that] Are you involved with an organization that wants to know more about this mysterious and misunderstood American sub-culture? I'm happy to come to you, with my suitcase of Swartzentruber clothes, to entertain and educate your group.
Does your Sunday school class discuss different religions? I'm still on a learning curve but, I can share what I know about the Anabaptist roots of the Amish - which tenets they keep now and which they ignore.
Are you a university professor who teaches World Cultures? Call me as a guest speaker to your students.
Are you a public school teacher and want your students to learn about Amish education? I'll speak at your school.
A book club coordinator? I write non-fiction, so I recommend another speaker if you recently read a fiction book. If you want reality with respect, I'll gladly speak to your book club about the Amish way of life. Some of the reality will break Amish stereotypes.
Do you lead a parent group? I'll speak about dating, marriage, and parenting practices among conservative orders - Swartzentruber and Old - on the Amish spectrum.
Are you a radio program host needing a media savvy interviewee? Let's talk Amish.[Tweet that] I hosted a parenting program for two years, so I understand the need for new, fresh, and articulate guests. Your listeners will hear my 5 Discoveries about Amish from my first year of helping their runaways.
Email me speaker2parents[@] juno.com (remove the brackets and extra space) and lets talk about your date, time, and needs. In most cases, I ask for a modest stipend to cover my costs and travel expenses.
Copyright © 2013, Brenda Nixon.