Miniature Hereford Show 2007

The 2007 Miniature Hereford show was held in Louisville, Kentucky.

Elkton VA 2008

Family raises, drives Haflingers

North Fork Journal (Broadway, VA)-November 18, 2009
Author: Lauren Jefferson

2009 National Drive

2009 National Drive

MAYLAND – People travelling regularly along Va. Rt. 257 / Mayland Road sometimes have to slow down for a wagon pulled by two palomino horses.

That’s Tim Bryan, Mr. Mac and Charlie on their way from their Mayland home to the less-travelled Bulldog Hollow Road for a training pull.

Tim, his wife, Debbie, and their two daughters, Rachel and Allison, have also driven the horses in the Broadway Homecoming parade, in pleasure driving competitions, and in a trail drive at Gettysburg National Park.

Even with a vehicle escort driving with flashing headlights behind the wagon, Tim says some drivers don’t slow down.

“Ninety percent of the people are just fine, but 10 percent don’t care or aren’t paying attention,” he said. “And sometimes they honk. You gotta wonder what those people are thinking.”

The Bryans started raising Haflingers seven years ago. The rare draft horses, characterized by their chestnut coats and flaxen manes and tails, were bred in Austria as a hardy multi-use animal.

Their interest in horses has family roots: Bud Eye, Debbie’s father, raised walking horses and competed in local shows, while John Bryan, Tim’s father, farmed with draft horses in southwest Virginia.

The Bryans’ barn is filled with several different wagons, including a sleigh-all used for different pulling purposes.

Recently, Bryan added a marathon wagon so that he could compete in combined driving, a three-part competition similar to three-day eventing that tests the team’s skills, fitness and versatility.

The phases include a memorized routine of specific gaits, the cones competition, which tests the team’s accuracy through a prescribed course of cones; and the cross country marathon phase.


Copyright (c) 2009, Byrd Newspapers, All Rights Reserved. Used with permission.

Elk Creek CDE 2011

Elk Creek CDE (Combined Driving Event), an American Driving Society recognized event, will be held at Fair Hill, MD on June 4 & 5, 2011. For more information, please visit the Elk Creek CDE website.

The National Drive 2011

National Drive 2010

National Drive 2010

The National Drive will be held at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, KY from October 4 through October 9, 2011. For more information, please visit The National Drive website.

Information about The National Drive

(From The National Drive Website)

The National Drive is an inexpensive 3-6 day event, devoted exclusively to recreational equine driving. The Drive was first held at the Kentucky Horse Park, Lexington, Kentucky, in October 2005.

The Drive has come to be viewed as the largest single gathering of recreational equine drivers on the continent. Highlighting the event is a series of clinics, demonstrations and private driving lessons featuring some of the nation’s most prominent clinicians and driving experts. Participants can attend all or none of our scheduled events – the only thing required is that one passes a safety check. Participants can drive at will from dawn to dusk.

The Littlest Biggest Herd

Downsizing with ‘minis’

Miniature Herefords provide big benefits, say Mayland couple

North Fork Journal (Broadway, VA)-November 18, 2009

Photos and article by Lauren Jefferson

MAYLAND – At first, the stubborn miniature Hereford bull calf won’t come. He likes being out in the pasture with the big cows, so he charges around, rolling his eyes comically, his curly-haired head tilted down, bony rump up in the air.

Four-year-old Allison Bryan waits patiently outside the pasture gate as her dad, Tim Bryan, tries to entice the calf out. She spent most of last summer halter-breaking the calf for the PeeWee Showmanship class at the Rockingham County Fair, so she’s seen all his shenanigans.

Eventually, Levi gives in to the temptation of food. When he does, Allison is right by his side with a currycomb to clean the dirt off his red and white coat.

Allison and her sister, Rachel, 6, are one reason why Tim and Debbie Bryan started raising miniature Herefords on their Mayland farm.

The Bryans wanted their children to learn the character-building lessons that working with animals can teach. And selling a few animals each year would help with the girls’ college fund, as well as supplement their income from Tim’s full-time work at his machine shop.

But bolstered by a renewed interest in small-acre farming, the Bryans’ 7-year-old hobby has grown to small business proportions. Their 40-head herd of miniature Herefords is the largest on the east coast.

Smaller is Better

Even before the couple purchased their farm outside of Broadway, they began researching what kind of livestock to raise. Of the 26 miniature breeds, the Hereford rose to the top of their list.

“What you see is what you get,” Tim said. “Miniature Herefords are not dwarfs. Some people think that. But they have the exact same conformation as a full-size cow. The full-size registry recognizes the purity of miniature breed.”

Among the benefits of miniature cows are hardiness to extreme temperatures and a tractable nature. Lighter on their feet, minis don’t tear a field up as much as full-size cattle and are not hard on the fencing, Tim said.

“A lot of people have the ‘bigger is better’ mentality, but you can produce as much or more beef with minis if you do the math and add in all the factors,” Tim said. “The feed conversion ratio is better than a full-size.”

While an average full-size Hereford weighs between 1,400-1,800 pounds, minis are between 500-800 pounds.

Miniature cows are graded by height and weight using a system of zeros, from the smaller and more expensive 0 (37-39 inches) to the larger 0000 cattle (43-45 inches at the hip).

The Bryans keep one full-size cow with several miniature cows in the pasture near the house to show visitors the size difference.

Hobby ‘A Lucky Break’

And there have been plenty of visitors.

In the first year, their Web site got 359,800 hits.

“For about the first three years, we had someone here every weekend, coming from as far away as Maine, Kentucky, Tennessee, Ohio,” Tim said. “They would plan their vacations around a visit out here. Every week, we’d show between three and six visitors around.”

He thinks the interest comes from several populations: hobby farmers with smaller parcels of land; older people who want to have something for their grandkids, and people who want their kids to grow up around animals.

“They will keep your pasture down and you can have a nice size herd on not a lot of acres,” he said, adding that while one full-size cow needs an acre, the same space can pasture about 2 to 2.5 cows.

They sell between 15 and 20 calves a year and have a long waiting list. Prices range from $2,500 to $5,000.

Miniature cows are more popular in the midwest and west, Tim said, but are gaining popularity on the east coast.

“We just got in at the right time,” he said. “It was a lucky break.”

While they don’t plan to ever get into the meat business, the Bryans started butchering their stock about three years ago for their own consumption.

“We had to stop naming them to do that,” Tim said.

But there are some “keepers” out in the pasture, Debbie said, including Rachel’s Levi.

For more information, visit
Copyright (c) 2009, Byrd Newspapers, All Rights Reserved. Used with permission.

Fair Hill MD 2009

The Eastern Haflinger Gathering was held at Fair Hill, MD in September 2009. This was a family event with our entire family participating.

Gettysburg 2008

The East Coast Haflinger Gathering was held at the Gettysburg National Park in Gettysburg, PA  in Summer 2008.  This was a family event with our entire family participating.  We took a team of haflingers and enjoyed many events that weekend, including the first wagon train to ever tour the Gettysburg battlefield.

Gettysburg 2010

The 2010 East Coast Haflinger Gathering was held at the Gettysburg National Park in June 2010.  This was the third “Gathering” we have participated in and the second time it was held in Gettysburg, PA.  Another fun family event with our entire family participating.

National Drive 2010

National Drive 2010 was held in September at the Hoosier Horse Park in Edinburgh, Indiana.