Macey Ross, a determined twenty-something, is making horses commonplace in the Middlebury, Vermont community in a rather unconventional way. Her business, Draft Trash Pickup, is a horse drawn curbside trash, recycling and compost pick up service that has us reminiscing years gone by.
After exploring some more typical career paths in the equine industry, Macey found the right fit with an unusual, but practical choice: “As a lifelong Equine advocate, I have always imagined myself owning horses. Throughout my upbringing I brainstormed careers within the industry that would allow me to love what I do, and make a living while doing so, in order to justify and make it possible to own and keep horses. I worked for multiple barns, and explored the idea of being a farrier, riding instructor, or a barn manager. It wasn't until I started working with draft horses that I found there was a potential to do exactly what I was looking for. I realized that working with draft horses enabled them to earn their keep by providing unique services, while also providing a career for me that I truly enjoy.”
Her passion and appreciation for draft breeds began in high school with the inspirational guidance of an employer: “For around 9 years I have worked alongside a great man named Patrick Palmer, who has taught me a great amount of what I know about draft horses. Throughout high school and college I worked with Patrick to provide sleigh, wagon, and carriage rides for various events and weddings, along with his Horse Drawn Trash Route business located in the town of Bristol Vermont. It wasn't until 3 years ago, in my last year at Vermont Technical College for an Equine Studies degree, that I owned my first team of Percherons with my significant other. Ever since then I have had my geldings working on the Middlebury horse drawn trash route. As Palmer semi-retired, he allowed me to become an owner of Draft Trash Pickup LLC, along with Nick Hammond as my partner.”
Driven By Drafts
Draft Trash Pickup now services the town of Middlebury, Vermont year round with Macey’s Poulin Powered team picking up curbside trash, recycling and compost materials, and delivering to the local transfer station. “I can't express how much this business and running it means to me. To have a childhood dream come true, to be involved and provide such a unique service gives me a purpose. To see the joy it brings others makes all the hard work worth it.”
She’s also expanded by starting another business “Driven by Drafts” centered around making opportunities with draft horses available to her community: “This business encompasses my passion to teach others about draft horses and working to develop the breed as well as a larger community of draft horse enthusiasts. I now offer driving lessons, some riding lessons, breeding my Percheron mare, as well as training, and horse drawn services.”
Along with offering a “green” alternative to a needed service, Macey appreciates everything about this rewarding lifestyle: “I enjoy the in-depth training that each horse receives and requires in order to work around the public, and through the commotion of off farm situations. I also love how it brings horses into the community and includes people that may not typically have the opportunity to be around them. In the future I plan to continue with both businesses, as well as work towards owning a farm that focuses on true sustainability, homesteading, and continue with my farming roots.”
Feeding for Success
When it comes to powering the Draft Trash team, as well as Macey’s slew of chickens, pigs, goats, and rabbits, she trusts Poulin Grain to keep them at the top of their game.
“My horse's health and diet is crucial in order to allow them to perform their best and withstand the long hours of work under harness, as well as grow and develop properly, and remain in good condition for work. I really enjoy seeing the energy and stamina that Poulin Grain provides my horses.”
Macey’s feeds of choice for her draft team include E-TEC® Fibre-Max, E-TEC® Balancer, and Alfalfa Pellets, while her broodmare and filly thrive on EQUI-PRO® Mare and Foal, and E-TEC® Balancer. She is sure to cater to each animal’s needs with customized diets, and says “Without my horses in their best condition, I wouldn't be able to run the business that I worked so hard to establish”.
Macey and her partner also produce their own hay supply for their animals, and utilize Poulin Grain’s complimentary forage testing service to determine deficiencies, and how best to meet their horses’ diet needs. “Since feeding Poulin Grain, I have noticed a tremendous difference in the overall health and appearance of my horses. For both my broodmare and young stock, I found that a balanced diet has helped to fill out their condition, improve their coat quality and shine.”
Draft Trash Pickup’s Poulin Grain Dealer: Middlebury Agway, Middlebury, VT
Photos courtesy of Draft Trash Pickup LLC
If you would like to learn more about Poulin Grain's complimentary forage analysis and diet balancing services, visit www.poulingrain.com or call 800-334-6731.