Saturday, April 18, 2009

The Boys are Back in Town

On Mackinac, the horse is an integral part of life, as cars were banned in 1895 and that ban continues today. During the height of the season there can be upwards of 800 commercial horses and also quite a number that are privately owned. Just like the majority of Island employees, most of the horses get the winter off and they spend the winter in the Upper Peninsula. They start to come back shortly after the boats start to run; the horses come over on the ferry just like the rest of us.

They don't much care for the trip and tend to be pretty skittish as they're assembled on the dock. After a winter spent primarily out to pasture, they're shaggy, dirty and smelly.

The team on the right is a reminder of what they have to look forward to - back to work!

And these are draft teams, not riding horses, they're big!

Off they go, to be cleaned up, assigned to a driver and another season on Mackinac!


  1. Great story! I always enjoy reading interesting details about life on your island :)

  2. Those boys are gorgeous! Thanks for sharing!

  3. what a beautiful and majestic creature horses are - about 25 years ago i was thrown from a horse up on Mackinac - and while i NEVER blamed the horse or myself but the power crazy trail leader - that little ride cost me 21 years of chronic back pain and a very major spinal surgery. i'm sure the horses are better cared for now then they were at that time. the photos are just beautiful! thank you for sharing them!

  4. myminimocs - so sorry to hear about your bad experience. The horses are well cared for, but as I work at the Med Center, I can tell you that horse accidents still occur. However, there's way more bike accidents!