Tuesday, March 18, 2008


The soil was dry enough today to get out in the field again and continuing plowing behind the horses. If you have read either of my previous posts on plowing, then you know I haven't exactly been a quick study. My furrows zig and zag in all the worst ways.

This morning went much better. I would go so far as to say it was a solid performance. Ian steered the horses as I plowed, and we kept at it for more than two hours. A good number of my furrows were still less than straight, but for the most part I was able to avoid the bigger mistakes I had been making when I started to get off line and found myself over-adjusting way too much to the opposite side.

What changed? Essentially my whole method, especially in a philosophical sense. On previous plowing days I was grabbing the two handles of the plow in my hands as tightly as possible, thinking a deathgrip would give me the best control. It didn't.

Today I relaxed a great deal and held the plow handles loosely. More than steering the plow, it felt like I was merely guiding it. When I needed to turn, I found I could give the appropriate handle the slightest push and usually that small adjustment would do the trick.

What have I learned? One – I still need a lot of practice with plowing. Two – don't control the plow. Be the plow. Like in Caddyshack.