Analysis of the Implementation of Horse Applications within Forestry Operations in the German-Polish Border Region
Horse applications always had a huge meaning in forestry. Its suitability for the labour in the forest and the ability to fulfil multiple tasks made the horse to the human’s main support for the utilization of forests. Before the development of machines, able to operate in the forest, horse applications were indispensable for the extraction of timber. But with coming up of professional machines for forestry purposes and the rise of expenses for operators in the 1970’s, the horse lost its major role for logging in Germany. This study is supposed to clarify the current role of horses in forestry and to compare the development and trends of the border region of Germany and Poland. Differences in the implementation as same as the evaluation of the horse as suitable application should be pointed out. For that purpose a written questionnaire was handed to forest enterprises and service providers in the border area of both countries. The evaluation of the questionnaires turned out a more intensive implementation of horse applications in Poland. There, private forest service providers are the main horse keeper. In contrast, through German firms the state-run businesses are mostly in possession of horses. Further, the numbers of animals owned by individual firms are much higher in Poland than in Germany. In both countries the most common utilization of the horses are pre-skidding operations. There, horse applications are under certain circumstances appreciated and seen as an efficient approach for the extraction of timber by horse owner as same as none horse keeper of both countries. Additional occupations are the support during felling, little transports in the forest and tillage actions. Most horse keeper will stay at their animals and use them with the same intensity. But a few horse owners also take into consideration the annulment of their horses, thoughts that are more widely spread in Germany as in Poland. Further, in both countries the purchase of new horses is in most cases not an issue. Though, within the German interviewed companies the implementation of horse applications are generally more accepted by none horsekeeping firms as it is through Polish firms of the region. A fact, which can at least secure the employment of the current German horse logger of the region for the coming years.