Old Fashioned Horsepower

Travel the rural countryside in North Dakota and you’ll encounter many sights – beautiful crops ripening, cattle grazing, tractors and combines working.
And sometimes, you’ll see what Jim Olson came across – some old fashioned horsepower at work.

(Whatcha doin’ here?)
(Larry Fredrickson, Rancher)  “Feedin’ cows.”

The cows on the Fredrickson ranch are fed every day – no matter the season. 

(Larry Fredrickson, Rancher) “Been a beautiful winter. Little cold but not too bad.”

But how they get their hay and feed is a bit different.

(Larry Fredrickson, Rancher) “It’s kinda dumb but I love it.”

Larry likes it so much, he’s passed it down to his son who ranches with him.

(You’ve done it a long time?) (Jesse Fredrickson, Rancher)  “Ever since I remember…that’s how I thought everybody feeds.”

Jesse drives these two percherons.

(Jesse Fredrickson, Rancher) “This is Thelma and Louise…that’s the mom and that’s her daughter. They’re 10 and 13. We feed cows with them every day.”

And over here, Lee and Reynold are the second set of natural horsepower with Larry Fredrickson on the reins.

(Larry Fredrickson, Rancher) “Grew up near Deering and we always fed cattle with horses…just the way I do it.”

So hold on – I said hold on! As we go for a little ride. 

(Jesse Fredrickson, Rancher) “It’s a blast for a guy like me. Other people probably think it’s wierd and goofy but it’s fun, quite, nice.”

I should note that Jesse does give in to modern technology just a bit – using a Bobcat to pile up four loads of grain each day – but it’s the horses that do the hauling to the pen and pasture.

(Jesse Fredrickson, Rancher) “I think horses like to work. They get bored sitting around just eating, they like to work – they haven’t told me any different.”

That’s how it goes every day here –

(Jesse Fredrickson, Rancher) “Every morning…yep.”

So as you drive the Deering to Upham highway, be on the lookout for the Fredricksons – and Thelma, Louise, Lee, and Reynold – and give ’em an extra couple of seconds to cross – they’ve got work to do.

Jim Olson, KX News.

The Fredrickson Ranch is located about 15 miles north of Granville.

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