Grown Here at Home: Floyd forester training next generation of horse loggers

Published: Apr. 27, 2020 at 7:23 AM EDT
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Senna Jenkins is a senior at Floyd County High School. Usually on the weekends or after school she's at Ridgewind Farm learning about the horses.

"I was looking for somebody to learn natural horsemanship with, but also I was interested in draft horses because I was introduced to them when I was 10 years old on a farm in Charlottesville, and I found Jason, and I contacted him, and now I'm working with him," explained Senna.

Jason Rutledge is one of the best. He's known all over the country for his work using modern horse logging as a means to sustain our forests. He's making it part of his life's mission to teach this skill to younger generations. What Jason stands for is an idea Senna can get behind.

"I've been raised around ideas of community and sustainability," said Senna.

Every day on the farm is a chance for her to learn something new.

"I help to groom the horses. I help with barn maintenance. I drive them.

Driving a car is pretty easy compared to driving the horses, I think. You can feel them pulling. You can feel everything and you have to be conscious of every little movement when you're driving. So, it's a lot," she explained.

As long as Senna's on the farm, she says she's going to keep working as hard as she can. And although she can't say for sure what she's going to be when she grows up, the idea of being a modern horse logger isn't completely out of the picture.

"It is something I could see myself doing," she said.

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