Log Skidding Tips and Hints

These log skidding tips and hints will make your wood hauling easier, includes suggestions for communicating with your animal and establishing teamwork.

| September/October 1977

Learn about these helpful log skidding tips for hauling wood.

Log Skidding Tips and Hints

Skidding needn't be an aggravating task — for you or your animal — if you'll take the time to follow a few simple rules.

First and foremost, learn to communicate with your mule, horse, jackass, or whatever . . . then be consistent in your demands and expectations so that the animal in turn can develop consistent responses. If you fight or argue with your beast, the end result will be frustration (for both of you). Jude and I learned together, since we were both beginners. I lectured her sternly a few times — and she treated me rather roughly on a few occasions — but we did ultimately begin to understand each other and work together.

Secondly, never force your animal to pull a load that's beyond its capability. This is the one thing that will force your beast to quit (maybe for good) before anything else. (If you've ever pulled an oak log very far, you can understand the problem . . . and you can see why it's good to have a spirited beast!)

If your animal doesn't want to pull, find out why . . . because something is wrong. Check the collar and harness. Are there sores anywhere (on the animal's shoulders, for instance) that might indicate rubbing or an improper fit.

When you attach the chain to the log, wrap it around the log once and then hook it to itself. This way, it'll pull tight or "choke" the big timber as the beast steps out. On a short or lightweight log, choke the small end and let the butt drag. If the log is exceedingly long or heavy, it's best to attach the chain to the butt and let the small end trail.

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