Steed’s latest: A restored hay sled

David Peck

Pat Steed is at it again. North Big Horn County’s master craftsman of all things horse drawn tried out his latest restoration project Sunday afternoon at his home in southwest Lovell, a more than 100-year-old hay sled.
“Vic McDarment owned it,” Steed said of the late BLM wrangler as he cruised around his place and the adjacent neighborhood. All that was there was rotten wood and the metal parts. Someone had driven over it in his driveway.
“It’s at least 100 years old. All of the iron is cast iron – the runners and couplings that hook to the bolsters.”
Steed has had the sled for four or five years, he said, but first had to complete the restoration of the Kane school wagon for the Lovell-Kane Area Museum and other projects, including the recent restoration of the Kane mail cart for the museum. He finally started on the sled around the first of December.
He salvaged the metal parts that he could and replaced all of the wood.
“The cast runners are original, and the fifth wheel metal is original,” he said. “The tongue is painted wood.”
Wood for the hay rack deck was donated by Chad Petrich, who also assists Steed with his projects.
Asked about his interest in the sled, he noted, “I fed elk in Jackson with one on the Dog Creek State Feed Ground, and I just liked it. I call it a bobsled with a hay rack. I’m going to go get a Christmas tree with it next year.”
The restored sled glided smoothly around southwest Lovell Sunday, pulled by Steed’s Belgian Halflings, Neil and Dan, the well-trained horses obeying Steed’s voice commands as well as his reins.