Horse and Oxen

Oxen

Ox-carts were used for transportation, for carrying a family’s belongings and for carrying items for the farms. A person walked along with the oxen to guide them and give them commands like ‘gee’ and ‘whoa’ to go faster or slower. Oxen were able to pull wagons with heavy loads.

Two men are traveling on a wood wagon that is being pulled across the Prairies by two oxen. These men have a full wagon full of all of their belongings.

These oxen are pulling a red river cart full of this family’s belongings and supplies to start their homestead.

These oxen are pulling a cart full of hay.

Horses

Horseback was quicker to travel greater distances. Horses carried supplies in saddle bags. Mail was delivered on horseback. Horses were also used for pulling a wagon or by carrying someone on their back. They were not able to carry as heavy of a load when compared to the oxen, and at times there would be a team of horses to pull a single load.

A man is being pulled in a buggy by a horse through a field. The man is wearing a suit and a top hat.

This photo from 1909 shows a man being pulled in a buggy by a horse.

Horse-drawn wagons were for carrying supplies and for hauling grain, garden produce, farm animals, wood, lumber, coal, and many other items. Grain was bagged so if the wagon got stuck in the mud, the bags were unloaded and the wagon could be pulled out.

A horse stands with a harness around it's body.

Horses are used for travel and also for farm work, making them very important to settlers.

Many kids traveled to school own their own. This photo from 1932 shows a seven year old girl that would ride 4 kilometers each way to school.