The Annual Horse Progress Days tour scheduled for Thursday July 2, meeting at the Mount Hope Sale Barn Expo Center building at 7:30 a.m. and returning at approximately 5:00 p.m.
To make a reservation and to make payment call Willis Miller tour coordinator at 330-275-4236
(Click business name to read more)
Hope View Buggy
where they build three different buggy designs for three different kinds of Amish people; the New Order, the Old Order, and the Dan Church. New Order buggies, you see, are finished with rubber on the outside wheel rims and they will have sliding doors. Old order buggies in this part of Ohio will have steel rims and roll-up curtains instead of sliding doors, but with a storm front, and the Dan church buggies will be the same as the Old Order but without storm fronts and no mirrors attached. Making these three different styles opens up the market for Hope View to a much larger constituency than if only one style of buggy were to be made, and means that buggies from this shop are shipped to a pretty wide customer base.
Hope View builds its own torsion axles. These kinds of axles are now standard equipment on most buggies made, anywhere in the country as well as on a lot of farm equipment since they aid in safety and ease of riding by allowing only one wheel to be affected by the jolt of hitting an obstruction rather than a rigid axle from wheel to wheel which transfers the jolt the whole way across from one side to the other. Mark’s dad designed and built all of the torsion axles for the buggies until he passed away four years ago. Hydraulic brakes and wheels from a company called Carriage Machine in Bird-in-Hand, PA are used on 90% of the buggies made in this shop.
Genuine Oak Designs
began an equine operation which specializes in the training of horses. Then two years ago they were joined by their new son whom they named Lane. The specialty of this operation won’t be so evident when you stop by in July since it takes place from about the end of September through January each year. This is when the yearling, soon to be two year old, Standardbred youngsters arrive mostly from the Lexington and Harrisburg fall yearling sales to be given their very first rounds of serious training.
It begins in the round pen under harness, and finishes up with being successfully driven around on a 3⁄8 mile track before moving on to the next level of training somewhere else. As many as 20 head might begin their education at Trackside. Diane says when they arrive (or any untrained horse for that matter), it’s like opening a Christmas present for Edward. So the fall and into the winter months are the busiest for this farm, but otherwise there are also usually horses to work with. Chances are when you arrive there will be some outside horses on site whose training is ongoing as well as foals from the couple of mares of their own that the Millers keep. Most of these will probably be buggy horses for fellow Amish travelers, or there could be a riding horse or two in temporary residence. There might even be a few horses around that Edward is giving further training in the hopes that they will become worth more to the person he sells them to than they were when he bought them. Diane is a daughter of Willis Miller, this year’s tour organizer, and she has experience as a tour guide herself, so you will be aptly hosted.
Crystal Springs Stables
Take a good look and keep this moment in your mind forever. You will be looking at a horse that has had a tremendous impact on the Belgian breed and will continue to do so through his sons and daughters and their sons and daughters for many years to come. Ray, along with help from some of his four full time employees or one of his couple of part timers will likely offer you some extra education today when you visit by demonstrating how to collect a real live stallion so that his semen can be shipped to a distant mare who is waiting for it to make a new baby. In 2019 14 stallions stood at Crystal Springs for breeding mares. There should be that many in residence again in 2020.
Behalt at the Mennonite and Amish Heritage Museum
You will be hosted by a qualified guide who will point out special representations of culture and faith depicted in the mural. Of note is the fact that the building that houses the cyclorama was specially built to house it. Thousands of visitors each year take advantage of stopping by to see it when in Holmes County. At the information center you may have time to visit the pioneer barn to see the artifacts housed in it, including a restored Conestoga wagon, the vehicle that originated in Conestoga, PA, and subsequently helped to move settlers and their families west. Also on site is a one room school like the ones that were closed by public schools for consolidation, and led to Amish educating their children in schools that are modeled after it. In the gift shop there are many interesting books for purchase in order to learn more about this persistent form of American Christianity that will be broadly represented on the grounds and in the fields surrounding the Mount Hope Auction Center on Friday and Saturday July 3 and 4.
You’ll get to visit with Ervin’s sons Emory and Vernon and their employees who presently keep the operation going. There might be some pieces under restoration when you visit. One thing is for sure; you will be impressed with the quality of workmanship you see represented in the finished pieces here as well as any in production. This is a quality operation with many satisfied customers all over the country and some outside of it. Be sure to check the finishes on the wagons when you visit. And if you need a special folding chair to set up ringside or behind your table at an expo, check out what Emory and Vernon have to offer.