Eli Lucero, Associated Press
LaMar Ashby uses Belgian draft horses named Kate and Anne to rake his alfalfa field near Trenton.

LOGAN — Cache County farmer LaMar Ashby isn't worried about the impact of rising fuel prices on his family farm.

His tractors don't run on diesel — they run on hay.

Kate and Anne, two 7-year-old Belgian draft horses, plow the fields for planting, do the harrowing, side-raking and haul the Ashby's alfalfa, hay and wheat crops.

Ashby ditched machinery for horse power when he started farming more than 20 years ago. He said they remind him of working the fields as a young boy.

He said working the fields with a pair of draft horses doesn't take much longer than using a tractor. Kate and Anne need about two hours to rake a 12-acre field.

Kate and Anne are the third team of working horses Ashby has used on the farm. The previous team, Bud and Dan, served the farm for years, before Bud died of old age.

Each of the horses weighs as much as a small car, roughly 2,300 pounds, but Ashby said they're not aggressive animals.

"They're sometimes called gentle giants, and they really are that way," he said.

The Ashby farm, which sits between Newton and Trenton is a family affair. LaMar Ashby and his son Jared run the business together. Jared Ashby and his family, including six children, also live on the farm.

Jared Ashby's 13-year-old son, Ben, wakes daily at 5:30 to feed Kate and Anne, along with the farm's other horses and animals, including 26 cows and about 30 hogs.

Jared Ashby said using horses in the fields saves on fuel but has its own challenges. Kate and Anne collectively eat about 80 pounds of hay daily.

"With the price of hay nowadays, it's debatable which is a better price," Jared Ashby said.

LaMar Ashby isn't worried about those costs. He grows much of what the horses eat and said he loves Kate and Anne.

"Mostly it's the fun of using them and having them," he said.