Couple enjoy working with Belgian horses |

Couple enjoy working with Belgian horses

by Heidi Alder

They enjoy going back in time and living by the sweat of their brows and the strength of their horses.

Jack and Roxanne Linderman of Johnson Lane will be competing in the Draft Horse Classic competition with their four blonde Belgian horses. The competition will be held at Grass Valley, California, in September.

Competition includes pulling log-skids and wagons and going through an obstacle course, Jack said.

To exercise the animals in preparation for the show, the Lindermans drive the horses on their antique plow at Arnold Settlemyer’s ranch for days at a time.

“We appreciate Arnold Settlemyer,” Jack said. “He gives us the opportunity to work our horses in his fields. He could plow the whole field in a day.”

Experiencing the old-time plowing gives Jack a “deeper appreciation for where your carrots came from” for the early settlers of Carson Valley.

“The horses are sweating and you’re sweating,” Jack said.

The Belgians are named Buzz, Clarence, Casper and Butch and are 16, three, nine and eight years old, respectively.

The Lindermans enjoy going to Grass Valley every year. They’ve been for the past five or six years.

“It’s like going to a class reunion,” Jack said. “You talk to people you saw the year before.”

The competition will involve all breeds of draft horses including blonde Belgians, shires and clydesdales, Jack said.

“There were about 200 horses last year,” Roxanne said.

Their Belgians do very well, and they have the huge ribbons and plaques to prove it.

“I like the field work,” Jack said, “and Roxanne likes the ring and competition.”

The Lindermans also periodically step back in time to travel like the pioneers.

Jack said they plan to hook up their covered wagon to the horses and go over Sunrise Pass that leads to Smith Valley and Yerington.

Then he wants to travel in their antique wagon to Aurora and Bodie through back country.

They also find opportunity to share their hobby with others.

Recently they took one of their covered wagons to a pair of three-year olds’ birthday party and gave the youngsters a ride. They also have a wagon they use for weddings.

The day before competition is spent cleaning the harnesses and bathing the horses. Roxanne braids their manes and tails.

As they continue to prepare, the Lindermans make sure their animals are well taken care of.

“If you treat ’em right, feed right, water right, and work ’em right, they’ll nuzzle you when you go in the barn,” Jack said.

He laughed, “They’re better than a lot of people I know!”

The horses are also regulars in the parade scenes around Nevada.

“They have a lot of fun,” Jack said. “They enjoy what they’re doing.”