Old World Wisconsin: Senior team gets massages

Stefanie with Bryan, Lady, Nelly
Stefanie with Bryan, Lady, Nelly

Nelly (27)  and Lady (28) are a senior draft horse team – Morgan/Percheron crosses and full sisters – that have been working the farms at Old World Wisconsin in Eagle, WI, for the past 17 years. Owner, care taker and historic farmer Bryan Zaeske calls them ‘the best team I ever worked with’. Nelly is the the slightly smaller, but also livelier of the two. According to Bryan, Nelly gets her kicks, if she is allowed to really step out and be a little frisky. Lady is a bit more reserved and the calmer one during team work. Their lives resemble the lives of a typical farm horse only a little more over 100 years ago. They are used to plough, thresh grain, make hay, pull a carriage and for logging. Nelly and Lady – the two senior draft horse girls – are Old World Wisconsin’s best logging team.

Nelly, a flexible old gal
Nelly, a flexible old gal

A few years ago Lady dislocated her hip. The hip sprang back into place but Lady has been having a bit of difficulty ever since. Bryan thought it would be a good idea to have Stefanie come out and give Nelly and Lady a massage and do some Masterson Method (TM) bodywork with them. Nelly was accepting and happy to comply immediately. Lady had to be convinced that the strange lady asking her to do weird things with her limbs was really to be trusted. But soon she also enjoyed her bodywork session and showed good releases. Due to the gentle nature of the Masterson Method (TM) both horses were able to release a lot of tension without feeling overwhelmed or intimidated.

Both horses, especially Lady, will benefit from more bodywork and I will return to work on them and the Old World Wisconsin oxen team when I return to Eagle next month.

I am looking forward to my next visit to OWW and to taking and posting more pictures of the wonderful animals that help make this historic site so special and authentic.

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