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Logging by horse

When I was very young, probably in the second half of the sixties, I got to hang out with grandfather Björs-Jonas and father Jonas the younger on a logging drive in the forest - somewhere between Järvsö and Nor. It was then done by horse and sleigh, in the winter. Grandfather's dear "Fjälla" was a big black northern Swedish horse that was with him in the forest in the winters. In the summers, horses had already been outcompeted by the tractors, but in the forest they were still superior machines!

But I remember how scared I was when we were going down steep paths with this heavy load pushing from behind. As small as I was, I could still imagine the forces that the horse had to control in both downhill and uphill. "Fjälla" of course coped with this quite gallantly, and for me it is a memory from a bygone world. But in the forest, the horses had to serve for quite a long time anyway, before forest machines eventually took over this job.

Björs-Anders testified that sometimes things almost went crazy. Once, a pin in the sled's attachment to the shackles loosened and the load of timber threatened danger into Fjälla. Anders quickly steered Fjälla aside and she got away from the load, which ran at full speed onto a bog - where it had to remain!

Mikael Björs