The fifth season of History’s Ax Men is underway and one of the new teams is H.H. Horse Logging out of Floyd County, Virginia. This region is famous for being home to some of the greatest and most influential musicians in recorded American history including The Carter Family and Ralph Stanley.
Now the men of H.H., Jagger and Jason Rutledge and horseman Chad Miano are looking to put this area on the reality map while providing viewers with a taste of what their brand of logging is all about.
Here’s how horse logging is explained via the team’s page:
Using horses to get timber out of remote forests dates back to the early days of the industry. Now, a group of southern gentlemen in rural Virginia is taking this old-school practice and trying to carve out a future for themselves.
When landowners want their property thinned out so the remaining trees can grow bigger, they call in horse loggers. They’re in and out without damaging the land with unnecessary machinery—but getting eight 2,000-pound horses to move as one brute force is easier said than done. Between steep terrain, huge timber, tight deadlines and the unpredictability of working with animals, accidents come often and hard.
In researching season 5 I was instantly drawn to H.H. and the concept of horse logging. It felt of the earth, a sustainable and honorable way for a man to make a living without causing or perpetuating damage to the natural landscape.
I was able to find the following video clip of Miano discussing why he does what he does and his passion for horse logging. Check it out:
That’s a great clip of Chad in which you get a very personal idea as to why he’s in the line of work he is. He says:
“This is my way of doing my part of taking care of my environment.”
I was particularly motivated and moved by a term he used and stated was part of the creed of horse logging:
“Something that we horse loggers call, that comes with this work, is… We call it a dignity dividend. We come out here and do a good hard day’s work and we can be proud of what we accomplished at the end of the day.”
Some things in this world don’t change and that concept of a “dignity dividend” for the work you invest your heart, soul, time and energy into is an essential element of the human experience. Men and women have fought, rebelled, and died just for the opportunity to taste a dignity dividend.
It’s one hell of an insight from a thoughtful and hard working American. This one’s for Mr. Miano called “Keep on the Firing Line.” by the aforementioned Carter Family. This is music of and from the dirt of the land and the dreams of the people who call it home, people like Chad Miano.
PHOTO: History Channel