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Horse Pulling Runs in Fisher's Blood

by Caitlin Yoder

Published: Friday, July 6, 2018

Scott Fisher of Wolcottville is a third-generation horse puller. He competed in his first pull when he was just 10 years old, before he was big enough to harness the horses himself.

"I was born with a set of lines in my hands pretty much," Scott said. "It's just something we've always done."

When he was growing up he helped his father, Larry Fisher, with his logging business. They had a saw mill and did a lot of logging with their teams of horses. This helped them get their horses in shape for pulls, but it also didn't tear up the ground like big logging equipment would. When they weren't working, they were going to competitions with their hors-es.

"There was never time for birthday parties and graduation parties," Scott said. "You worked and pulled horses. That was it. Then in the winter time we'd sit in the house and watch videos of the horses we pulled all summer and tried to learn from mistakes."

His father is now 78 years old and still helps him today. Larry had set multiple records in his days as a horse puller. He was diagnosed last August with Leuke-mia and is in clinical remission right now but can no longer drive the team by himself. Sometimes when he is on the wagon, Scott will hand Larry the lines so he can drive the team again.

Scott's girlfriend, Tonya Austin, also grew up in a family with pulling horses.

"I think horse pulling is kind of in his blood," Tonya said. "It's not for everybody."

Scott now uses an exercise sled that he hooks his horses up to about six days a week. He has a track that goes through his woods and around a field where the horses get between four and five miles of exercise per day just walking while hitched up. The sled builds the horse's stamina, but about once a week he hitches the team up to a wagon filled with concrete to build muscle.

"The exer-cise sled probably weighs about 800 pounds," Scott said. "That wagon, that's a different story. That has concrete poured in it, then there is a tire hooked behind it that has concrete. If I had to guess that weighs around 6,000 to 6,500 pounds."

Scott has learned many things since he started pulling horses.

"If you're a true horse puller you never stop learning," Scott said. "You can learn daily. You don't always learn what to do, but sometimes you learn what not to do. One of the biggest things is to keep your horses in the best physical health they can be. You want them to feel their very best at all times."

The well-being and care of his horses is one of Scott's biggest priorities. He is very particular about his horse's feed, vita-mins and all-around care. He has a time frame for when he thinks it is best to give a horse his vitamins.

"Horses are just like people," Scott said. "Sometimes they have a bad day and you've got to accept that. If one horse just doesn't act quite right I'll sit out there for three hours and just watch them. You've got to know your horses and how they are feeling."

He clips and washes his horses regularly and keeps his harnesses clean and shiny.

"Horse pulling is not showing," Scott said. "But we're still putting on an exhibition for the crowd, so you need to have a little class in your operation. They don't have to have new harnesses, just have them clean. It's good for the whole business of hors-es."

Scott now has his own business, Equine Wave Therapy. In the morning he works his horses and To-nya will either ride her horse along behind the sled or get started with their Magna Wave clients. Once he finishes working horses he spends all afternoon going on calls, then comes home to do chores and usually doesn't make it to the house until 10 p.m.

He believes the magna wave treatments help give his horses an edge in the com-petition. If the horses are feeling good, they will perform better he said.

"I live to pull horses," Scott said.

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