Tillers School proudly welcomes Brandt Ainsworth, professional logger, writer, instructor, and host of several instructional videos including Logging with Horses, Oxen, and Mules. Brandt will be teaching two courses at Tillers School in Scotts, MI, in 2018: Logging with Draft Animals in February and the Ox Training/Driving Clinic in October.
Brandt is one of North America’s most respected experts in the use of draft horses and oxen for logging. He’s been driving teams of horses for the majority of his life and has been using animals for logging purposes for most of his professional life.
Below is his official bio:
Some of Brandt Ainsworth’s earliest memories are of going to the woods with a team of horses and harvesting wood products. Locust fence post, hardwood logs, ash bolts, and cord after cord of firewood, year after year. By the time he was seven, Brandt was a part of driving teams, hooking chokers, and splitting and stacking firewood. When he was ten, Brandt would drive a team, and his father, Earl, would drive another. At twelve, he was running a chainsaw bucking logs and cutting firewood into lengths. At fourteen, Brandt was carefully taught by Earl to fell trees safely, and precisely.
As adolescence turned into adulthood, Brandt entered into the logging business. First cutting fence posts and firewood, and then cutting hardwood logs for landowners. The only change from his Father’s methods was the addition of oxen. From age ten; Brandt has never been without draft horses. From his early twenties; Brandt has seldom been without oxen. As he often says; the addition of oxen opened up a new set of advantages, as well as challenges to be overcome and skills to be acquired.
For many years, Brandt has used horses and oxen to skid logs in the western New York, and northwestern Pennsylvania hills. With production being less than mechanized logging, he learned to hone both his logging and teamster skills for the most efficiency and profitability.
Since the early part of this century, Brandt has been teaching these hard won skills to beginners. He has published over fifty articles in Rural Heritage, Small Farmers Journal, and The Draft Horse Journal. He has also made four popular instructional videos on draft power, many that were featured on the RFD-TV channel. Perhaps, where he shines most is the dozens of clinics, courses, and seminars he has taught through the years. Brandt feels that the key to teaching is to be able to relate to students. He can relate, because he remembers what it was like to try to get a dyspeptic team to behave, or not being able to keep a saw sharp; the tips for overcoming these problems are carved from experience.
Brandt’s skills in the art of logging with teams, and teaching people will add some new skills to your toolbox. His ability to relate to the student, and not take himself too seriously will keep you entertained.