Monday, January 12, 2009

Just a stroll across the causeway

Here's a sight you would once have seen every hour of every day, but now you have to travel a long way to find. Clydesdales ... heavy horses ... shire horses ... working in harness. These days they're usually display teams, such as Mike Keogh's famous Cooper's Clydesdales, which perform at all kinds of shows; but the horse above, Skye, is one of eight or ten draught horses which take turns pulling the tram across the causeway between Victor Harbour and Granite Island. They're a wonderful sight. It's a short trip (you can hike it easily yourself in ten or fifteen minutes), and these horses work in something like two-hour shifts. It's amazing to watch them just lean casually into the harness and stroll away, as if the tram doesn't even exist! These horses are pets ... groomed, coddled, petted, cherished -- and they know it. Some of them are "showmen," who toss their heads and strut for their audience! Notice Skye's brand new shoes. The camera was one of the Fujis; the day was actually a little overcast and quite cold, and this picture has been enhanced to make it appear as a sunny day! Photo by Jade, 2007.

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