Draft Animal Power – Draft animals and sustainable land stewardship › Forums › Draft Animal Power › Working with Draft Animals › Long term goal- Finally mowing › Reply To: Long term goal- Finally mowing
I switched from a No. 9 mower with a dolly wheel to one with just a straight tongue. It seemed the mower was designed to not need the extra wheel, so I thought I’d give it a try. Lynn Miller in his hay mower book said tongue weight should be minimal if it’s set up properly. After mowing for 8 acres or so this summer one horse developed a sore on top of her neck. I considered going back to the dolly wheel setup, but then decided to try adding weight to the seat instead. I attached a 40 pound weight, which was actually a small flywheel from an old bale thrower that I’d been storing for years for some unknown reason, to the bottom of the seat. I had to extend the seat support to the rear to make room for it. Now when the horses are mowing, since the doubletree is below the tongue, the upward force takes almost all the weight off their necks. The tongue nearly floats in the neck-yoke ring. I weigh 145 pounds, so the mower must be designed for someone in the 185 pound range for it to work right. You need a weight to match the operator. I suppose if you’re heavier than 185 pounds, you could add weight to the tongue. Anyway, the weight is cheaper than a dolly wheel. One added benefit is that the mower is more pleasant to ride on this way. You avoid the sudden lurches caused by that little wheel falling into a hole or hitting a rock. I think I’ve attached a picture of the weight.