Well, I’m one of the oddballs that has a draft horse and has purchased a few old pieces of farm equipment, fixed them (and had an old hay rake left here on the property that just needed the bearings greased and repacked) – and am teaching/working with him to help me around the place if needed. We are learning together/becoming a team. I live in an area where horses are everywhere and small farms were routinely worked with horses and mules in the past – the local area calls itself ‘horse country’. That said, yes…most of the horses by and large are ridden in various sports or are racehorses. However, there are a lot of work horses being bred and raised – and more donkeys and mules than there used to be. But, no oxen around here that I have seen/used for work although a lot of cattle are raised around here.I’ve ridden horses/been working around them all of my life in different ways. I’m comfortable around them.
I have been raising a small herd of cattle for only 5 years. Am still learning…and expect to have to keep learning. Can’t say I am very comfortable with cattle. They are so different from horses. Much ‘slower’/less easy for me to predict behavior. But then, my experience level is so low.
Yes, looking at what happened when SHTF in other countries, to the rural areas is something it is smart to look at. I have thought about it – but like Malgus, have and am taking steps as are many of my neighboring small farm owners to protect our places and the area in general now. Traffic jams from the closest city/populated areas are going to run most vehicles out of fuel sitting on the highway. Out of shape city people I don’t think are going to make it very far on foot en masse right away. People from cities also tend to be very frightened (I know this is a generalization) of the country. I have many friends, heck my own parents, that are very uncomfortable when they come to visit me because there are no street lights. There are actually no lights/light pollution. The darkness frightens them. the openness frightens them. They can’t sleep unless all the blinds and curtains are drawn where they don’t do the same in ‘town’. Who is going to see them? An owl? A coyote? A bear? They also are bored out of their brains – what do I ‘do’ way out here? They have absolutely no clue.
Enough of my ramble. Time for work. Here’s a good ‘essay‘ from a guy that works both horses and oxen and the differences he sees might add some insight to the discussion.