From Metsäsavotan paras työmies on jämäkkäjalkainen työhevonen (Yle.fi 30.1.2014)
Work horses are coming back in fashion. The Finnish work horse is endangered, riding and harness racing are still more popular sports with horses, but luckily there are more and more people who also take interest in this tradition and want to learn more.
Finnish work horses were left unemployed and they practically disappeared after the mechanization of the Finnish society. Luckily now people seem to have found their way back to working with horses. The Finnish Work Horse Association organizes courses that introduce people to horses and traditional ways of working.
– People are interested in making their own firewood or other similar smaller tasks with horses as a hobby, says horseman Matti Pakarinen.
Pakarinen himself owns seven finnhorses. His stable is located in Rautalampi. He says that this hobby is not as popular as in our neighboring countries Sweden or Norway, but it’s growing. Working is good exercise for both the horse and his owner, and saves nature as well -a horse doesn’t leave any tracks in the forest.
There are only a few professional horse loggers left, and Matti admits that it’s a tough job to do for a living. Horses still have their place though, especially at environmentally sensitive areas, like national parks and cemeteries. Modern hydraulic equipment with four-wheel drive makes the work much easier, yet still demands a firm horse.
The horse is more than just a worker -it’s also a man’s best friend.
Video of a finnhorse in action (by Heikki Saukko)