Clydesdales, and draft horses in general, aren't as common as they once were, but they will be front and centre on Kaitaia's A&P showgrounds next week.

The week-long draft horse workshop that starts on Monday is designed to help keep a tradition alive, and few are better placed to do that that fourth generation draft horse breeder, owner and 'operator' Steve Muggeridge, who will teach participants and their horses to work alongside each other and develop skills in ploughing, logging, driving, pulling wagons and sledges.

Draft horses were first used as war horses, and had to be capable of carrying heavily armour-clad knights into battle. With the advent of gunpowder they became redundant, and evolved into the work horse that they remain today.

"Mankind's history is written on these noble gentle giants' backs, and they have a special place in people's hearts for their ability to work with humans," a spokesperson for the workshop said.

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"Today there is a small revival of using the versatile draft horse in sustainable farming.
"For those who want to learn about draft horse work, or just how to drive their pony, bring yourself and your horse to the showgrounds. This is a rare opportunity for Kaitaia to see a horse trainer of Steve's calibre, and those who just want to see strength, magnificence, power and beauty need look no further."

* Contact Kingi on (021) 210-4392 or email kingi01@yahoo.com