Amish Country Journal

Reports and musings from Indiantree Farm, in Holmes County, Ohio -- the largest Amish community in the world. See more about author Larry D. Miller and Amish Country at

Thursday, August 22, 2013

He's The Amish Horse Whisperer

          It stands to reason that persons of the Amish persuasion are good with horses.
          They're also highly successful entrepreneurs. 
          If there's a niche out there, especially one that could be best filled by a person of unwavering devotion to high quality standards and customer care, an Amish person will fill it.
          And succeed.
          Such is the case with neighbor Alvin Yoder, a man with an uncanny level of "horse sense."  I doubt if Alvin has ever raised his voice.  Ever.
          But horses hear him and they respond.  Quickly.
          As it turns out, the same goes for humans. 
          Alvin's been teaching beginner's horsemanship for a number of years and his success is beyond question.  Graduates talk about their experiences at one of his schools in hushed tones of admiration.
          They come from around the country, to learn to measure a horse for a collar, to properly harness a horse and to drive a single horse or a team.
          He teaches them tandem hitching with three or four horses abreast and he teaches them how to train their own horses.  Before each class ends, the students learn the joys of Amish mealtime with a sit-down session at the Yoder table where Katie prepares a graduation feast.
          You cannot "Google" the Amish Horse Whisperer.   You cannot phone him directly although he does have a voicemail service for which he must hike to a phone booth.
          Horsemanship students learn about him via word-of-mouth.  For example, his name came up whenever the subject of training (horses or people) came up at "Horse Progress Days" held last month in Arcola, Illinois. 
          The 21st annual Horse Progress Days will be held a bit closer to home for Alvin in 2014.  It's scheduled for midsummer in Mt. Hope, Ohio, just a few miles from Alvin and Katie's home.
          Watch for the guy who speaks softly but works a big horse.