Hello. My Name is Clarence Koch. I was born in August of 1933. I started handling and driving horses and mules when I was a very small boy on my father's farm in Nebraska. Even before I was old enough to harness by myself, Dad was teaching me how to put the lines together and proper hitching procedures. There were times in the field that I would be driving four abreast and later even six abreast. By the time tractors came out, my older brothers claimed all those, so I was still using horses and mules. Dad always thought that there were some jobs that tractors couldn't do anyway.
When I started farming on my own at the age of 20, I had a tractor, but also took one of Dad's old teams with me. It was nice to not have to listen to that noisy old tractor, and drive something I could really enjoy.
Years down the road, I decided my farm wasn't right without a team of mules. I bought a young team that I had to train from scratch. I had a man ask me to set a price for them, but I told him they weren't for sale. He insisted I set a price, so I set one that was way too high, but he came back a couple weeks later and said he would take them. I realized then that I had an opportunity to use knowledge that few men my age had, so I started training mules and horses for myself and others.
After retiring from the farm, I started driving mules for an old time town in Arizona, where they eventually convinced me to serve as their live stock manager. I would drive their 4-up stage coach in big parades in Tucson, Phoenix, and Scottsdale. On special occasions I even drove a 6-up.
I've lost track how many driving events I've been in, how many lines I've worn out, and how many first time animals I've harnessed, but I do know that there has never been an animal or person hurt while I've had the lines. While you might say I've been lucky, I believe that we make our own luck.
My 60 years of harnessing and driving knowledge is now available in a 2+ hour DVD.