American Cream

American Cream - click to enlarge

This is an American Cream draft horse, the only draft horse breed developed in the United States. Alas for the breed, it was developed in Iowa in 1911, at the tail end of the draft horse’s reign in the field; in a very short time tractors replaced them, and many of these heavy horses ended up at the glue factory.

In graduate school, I spent a lot of time playing with the 19th century census books–the Krannart Library at Purdue had a great shelf of them. My favorite statistical game was calculating religious diversity in midwestern cities–that was part of my thesis. But I also liked the ratio of mules to horses as an indicator of rural poverty. Because people would rather have a horse than a mule, but mules are cheaper, this number really shows which farmers were doing well–the ones in Iowa, for example–and which were doing poorly–the Deep South and New Hampshire pop out.

I’m a city kid, so I don’t know much about mules or horses. But standing close to one of these draft horses, you understand what power they hold–this is a machine for breaking up sod, dragging logs, and moving rocks, and you’d need a team of mules to equal it.

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2 Comments

  1. Horse Blog April 26, 2006

    American Cream…

    The only draft horse bred in America is the American Cream draft horse…….

  2. Christine November 18, 2006

    I have six of these beauties ranging in ages 16 to a foal. Wonderful horses.

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