2018 Horse Progress Days (18 Photos)

One or our readers, Dave H., attended this past weekend’s Horse Progress Days, in Clare, Michigan.

This annual event showcases horse-drawn farming and machinery. Amish flock to the gathering, with total attendance in the 15-20,000 range.

Dave shares some nice photos of the event, and the following general comments:

I attended on Saturday when temp’s were in mid-90’s with high humidity. I felt sorry for young Amish families with their little kids in that oppressive heat. However, the Amish Moms do take care of their children.

Show was good. This was my first Horse Progress Days — I was surprised at the neat & obviously pricey machinery. Don’t know how Amish farmers can afford such expensive machinery unless they buy jointly with other farmers. Or, pay the price and  do custom work for other Amish farmers.

The Amish always do a nice job in their various events. The extreme heat was their biggest enemy at this show.

I was most impressed with the green 24-foot (swat) hay mower. The one with power steering & 3-sickle bars up front. Horses (2 or 4) are positioned between front & back wheels. See attached picture for name of manufacturer.

I hope you enjoy these photos. If anyone else attended, let us know how it went.

Buggy parking across the road from the event.

Horse lunch.

The Buggy Buddy. This is a buggy light vendor. The sign says “Run your buggy lights with your lithium-ion tool batteries! See it in Action”.

Some of the machinery. First, a rototiller.

A round hay baler.


The 24-foot hay mower Dave mentioned above.

A manure spreader.

A horse-powered wood splitter.

A hay bind.

A hay loader.

Hay mower.

Four bottom plow.

This buggy looks pretty nice.

But this carriage is a good bit fancier.

Finally, a piece of horse-inspired artwork.

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    1. A Hot Day Indeed

      Great photos, Dave H. Thank you for sharing. You were conservative on the heat that day. (The photos do not show just how oppressive the heat was in northern lower/mid Michigan-Clare.) Although I did not attend, I couldn’t help but wish it was held the week before when the temps were in the 70’s, which is typical for Michigan. (Smile) But it appears everyone made do and the horses persevered. I was lifting everyone in prayer from further up north~!

    2. Donald Harris


      Well I guess I wanna say thanks at the least. I am in south Alabama but have lived in southern Ohio, Ross county around or close to Amish and northeastern Ohio in Danville which borders Holmes county or I believe the largest organization of Amish in the world. It was pretty much as many Amish to English ratio and i love it or the way they live,admire them. Anyway I found this Amish America subscription and started getting email notifications a while back because I love reading about them and the numerous ways they contribute to life itself and I appreciate it to say the least so I guess im telling them thank you very much and god bless yall. I look forward to reading next time and I do every email usually 3 weekly and love all the pictures as well so thanks again.

    3. Holland VanDieren

      How About Compassion for the Horses?

      I feel so sorry for the horses — overworked through the week, then subjected to intense heat so they can “entertain” a crowd. Amish are already known for breeding dogs in horrid puppy mill conditions. Looks like that disdain for the suffering of animals extends to equines too.

      1. William C.

        Overworked? Do you know ANYTHING about horses? I was there and was impressed with the condition of the horses and the superb care they obviously had. And for the record, I’m not Amish but a long-time dedicated breeder of draft horses and I work with them on a regular basis. Disdain? No… And I suppose the many people there from impoverished third-world countries eager to learn how to improve their farming methods should be deprived of that potentially life-changing opportunity because of people like yourself who consider an important event like this mere entertainment. But… I suppose that side of it is irrelevant to people like you.

        It’s worth pointing out that one of the larger manufacturers of this horse-drawn machinery has gone to a lot of effort to design and produce and donate scaled-down versions of their equipment for use in very deprived areas where a single ox or donkey might be the main “power source.” But… feeding people through farming is not important to some. So sad.

        1. Maureen

          Draft Horses,

          William this was a “well said” post! Thank you.

          What line of draft did you breed?

          You might want to educate “Holland” on the draft horse. Their strength, stamina, demeanor, their overall love to work!

          1. William C.

            Thanks, Maureen.

            I’m a Belgian man. Our family has raised, shown, and worked Belgians for over 60 years.

            Educating “Holland”? Probably a waste of time — those people often don’t want to see reason. Their mind is made up and the likelihood of getting them to see facts or reason is slim and it’s time I’d rather spend caring for our magnificent horses.

            1. Maureen

              Draft Horses


              If you asked me to guess, I would have said the Belgian; it’s the favorite here. My all time best ever horse was a Belgian named Martin. There are more cross breeds in this area; American cream, Percheron, Clydes, etc., and of course your outstanding Belgian. The “draft horse” – such a special, magnificant creature – the horse that loves to please. Smart too! It’s back to work tomorrow! working with two standard breds [auction] for buggies. They’re especially lucky, Abrahm’s wife Hazel makes all their horses corn bread for a treat! And Hazel makes the BEST corn bread in the Mohawk Valley! Thanks William for making the draft the best; Belgian’s are sure that!

      2. Katie

        Oh for goodness sake! Take it elsewhere! People who know, love, and understand horses appreciate HPD and support it. Never mind all the seminars on horse care and horse care products and improvements, you are just trying to stir things up.
        And puppy mills? I am sure they exist. Got two of them right down my road and both run by people who aren’t Amish.

      3. Maureen

        Draft horses and puppy mills

        Holland, you might want to educate yourself instead of spewing your erroneous thoughts.

        I’m a Yankee Irish Catholic. I have worked among the Amish in a vast region of New York State for over a dozen years; chiefly with the wellness of their draft horses. English Christian farmers here employ me [and others like me] as well.

        These people, Amish and Mennonites and Christian farmers are all endeared to their equine. They also love their pets!

        Because some Amish were in the newspapers over the years operating puppy mills,, you choose to forget about the English puppy mills, and vilify only the Amish?

        You need to google puppy mills and find out some facts, there Holland. Do us all a favor and educate yourself before you post here on “Amish America” with a one sided view and purposfully maligning one group, namely the Amish!

        1. I appreciate your comments here, Maureen! Well said.

        2. Adam

          I'm a little confused

          Maureen, I am Catholic too, and I make a point of making sure people know that Catholics ARE Christian. If we want to use the strict, traditional criteria of what makes a Christian (namely, Trinitarianism), then Amish and Mennonites fit in that category. I don’t know any Amish, but we do have Mennonites here, they’re pretty straight forward about the fact they are Christian.

          1. Maureen

            Draft Horses

            Adam, yes – Christians [Jesus Christ Believers] belong to different churches. Among these Christian Farm Communities I work for, they are comprised mostly of anabaptists, prodistants, presbyterians, lutherans, evangelists, and baptists; I’m the sole Catholic – we are all Christians. Among these Christian churches, however, it is my opinion, Catholics seem to be a bit set apart.

            You have a great name, Adam – the one we gave our first born!

    4. Pam

      Anyone know who might sell camels in or near PA?

    5. Maureen

      Draft Horses, and Puppy Mills

      Greetings, from Central New York /North Country New York!

      I’m a horse exerciser for several Christian farm Communities; mostly with their draft line. Like the English, there are Amish and Mennonites who treat their horses very well, and a scant few who could use improvement. The ones that don’t, also wouldn’t hire for total wellness.

      Overwhelmingly, however, the Amish are superior in equine; “gifted” is the correct word. They treat their horses with respect and there is an obvious special bond formed when working in tandem and beyond; a most beautiful site to see. If they are concerned for a horse, they employ me at once, others employe me for the entire season. Should I ever suspect or witness abuse and/or neglect it would be reported. And there have been reports on several farmers over the years; including one Mennonite.

      As far as puppy mills, there was such a horror scene and close down of one that I recall; a Yankee. If my memory serves me correctly, I believe he served jail time. Two Amish up North country were sited and warned, then ultimately agreed to disband their mills in 2008, and 2010. I didn’t know either of them.

      Understand that no decent farmer owning and operating a farm that I have been associated with, has ever mistreated a horse or a dog or a cat or any farm animal EVER. This “Missy English” would report them without hesitation. I can write, without any doubt whatsoever, that the Amish, Mennonites, and other Christian farmers in the region would not stand for this egregious treatment of any living thing. And neither would the others in these Christian Farm Communities.

      To insult and speak negatively of any one group – lumping them all together and casting aspersions shows great ignorance.

      1. Very well said, Maureen! I’m especially appreciative of your last paragraph.