Lismore teen restores pony cartLorang earns reserve champion on project
WORTHINGTON — After just one day at the Nobles County Fair, 4-H’er Nick Lorang of Lismore had accumulated a good share of purple ribbons. The Grand Prairie Rockets 4-H Club member will show his Quarter Pony, Silver, in the horse show this morning, and then go through judging this afternoon with his pen of market chickens.
By: Julie Buntjer, Worthington Daily Globe
WORTHINGTON — After just one day at the Nobles County Fair, 4-H’er Nick Lorang of Lismore had accumulated a good share of purple ribbons.
The Grand Prairie Rockets 4-H Club member will show his Quarter Pony, Silver, in the horse show this morning, and then go through judging this afternoon with his pen of market chickens.
Already, Lorang earned champion in conventional photography, reserve champion intermediate digital photography, reserve champion intermediate fine arts, and three purple ribbons, three reserve champions and one blue ribbon in the dog show.
He also earned reserve champion self-determined after restoring an old pony cart the family discovered while perusing a Christmas tree farm near Brandon, S.D., last winter.
Lorang’s mom had been searching for a pony cart for several years, and when they found the rusty antique sitting in a building at the tree farm, they couldn’t pass up the $70 price tag.
The family brought it back to their farm and left it in the garage over winter. When it came time for 14-year-old Nick to decide on his fair exhibits, restoring the pony cart seemed like it would be a good self-determined project.
“It was this junky, old cart,” he said of the piece before he began the process to make it look like new. “The wheels were really rusty and I had to sand them with a sanding sponge.”
Lorang cleared the rust from the wheels and then applied chrome polish to the metal spokes with a toothbrush before adding a new set of rubber wheels to the tires.
Overall, the cart was in good structural shape. The shafts of the cart, which extend from the seat to the side of the horse, had to be shortened 13 inches in order to fit Silver, the Quarter Pony that will eventually be trained to pull the cart. The work required some welding, which Lorang did with help from his dad, Mark. Mom Janine offered some pointers on the refurbishing process, he added.
Lorang removed layers of red and black paint on the cart’s frame and then sanded all of the rust off before painting it. Pipe was purchased and welded to the frame to attach to the horse harness that Janine Lorang purchased on auction a couple of years ago. In all, the cart and the materials needed to restore it cost $130.38.
When Lorang finally finished the cart, the family hooked it up to Silver to see how the horse would react to pulling a cart.
It didn’t go so well.
“We were taking things too fast,” said Lorang. “He freaked out and ended up ruining one of the (tire) rims.”
Lorang had to purchase a new rim, sand it and polish it to match the other tire in time for conference judging on Tuesday.
Despite the setback, Lorang isn’t giving up on the idea of training his horse to pull the cart. They plan to begin working on the training process early next spring. If all goes well, Lorang said he’d like to compete with the horse and cart in the driving class at next year’s Nobles County Fair horse show.