FARMINGTON — Matt Glover held the reins of two Belgium horses Wednesday morning while his father, Randy Glover, checked over the large animals in the brisk weather.

The horses, Jim, 9, and King, 12, weighed 2,900 pounds combined. They stood relatively still outside the pulling ring while Randy Glover of Milton Township in Oxford County waited to hear the lineup for the twitching contest.

“We’re doing this for fun,” his son, Matt of Rumford, said.

Three generations working with horses are involved, Randy said.

“I’ve had horses all my life. I grew up with them,” he said. “I always worked in the woods. I’m still cutting wood with them.”

Matt pulls professionally and planned to compete in that category with his horses Wednesday night. He helped his father set up.

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The family has 10 Belgian horses.

The announcer read the lineup of pullers over the loud speaker. He and Jim would go second.

He went to check out the course Jim would pull a log through. The two horses would work together, later.

Jim is used to pulling logs.

“We cut wood with him all the time,” Randy said.

The colts and young horses are trained by putting a little more load on them each time to pull. Most of the horses are broken in when owners get them, he said.

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It takes a lot of driving and practice.

“Practice makes perfect,” he said.

The family, including son Ryan, enjoy pulling with horses. Grandson Isaac, 2, Matt’s son, already has his own calf and pony.

“If we didn’t enjoy it, we wouldn’t do it,” Matt said.

Horses are expensive to maintain, Randy said, and he believes that is one reason he has seen a decline of animals entered into pulling contests at fairs.

“Our grain bill is nearly $1,000 a week,” he said. “You have to work extra outside of the home. We have to cut a little more wood to keep them.”

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Just to buy a decent horse ready to pull costs about $2,500. Then there are shoes, hay, grain and veterinary bills, he added.

His and Jim’s names were heard through the ring by an announcer.

It was time for them to participate in the farmer’s pull. They walked into the ring and hitched the log to Jim.

Then driver and horse were off around the ring.

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