Passion for Belgians runs deep in Charlie Lindsay

Staff Writer
Echo Pilot
Charlie Lindsay and his great-grandson Wyatt Carbaugh ride in a wagon train in 2006.

There’s a good chance Charlie Lindsday’s Belgian horses will be present at the Apple Festival at Tayamentasachta on Oct. 8, offering wagon rides through the woods. He’s pretty sure they have been a part of the day as long as the Festival has been held.

The Greencastle farmer has quite a reputation with his horses, which he raises on Rocky Ridge Farm on McDowell Road. Lindsay, 89, is on the farm first owned by his grandparents, and his passion has been the big work animals.

“It’s in my blood,” he said. “I’ve been horse-poor all my life.”

The most he owned at one time was 17, and he’s now down to seven.

“I’m supposed to be retired, but I don’t feel like it. Right now I get up and sit down.”

Daughter Berniece Spain disagreed, pointing out how Lindsay still fed and watered the horses, drove a wagon, worked in the fields, and moved logs for people. The generations of the family all like horses. Sunday rides were a tradition for Spain, her siblings Janette Lindsay and John L. Lindsay, their dad and late mother Verma. The two grandchildren and five great-grandchildren inherited the same horse-affinity genes.

Great-grandaughter Lindsay Carbaugh, 14, spends her summers on the farm and has two horses of her own.

Lindsay took his steeds to many shows, including the Pennslvania Farm Show for 30 years, to parades in Greencastle and Waynesboro, and he made them available to the public for hayrides and weddings. His expertise in training drew the attention of the Coors Brewing Company, which sponsored trips to California, Dallas and Philadelphia in the 1970s. He showed parade audiences that a 40-horse hitch could be done. At a parade in Bird-in-Hand, he and a friend demonstrated a 20-horse hitch with just one rope. In Virginia he gave a six-horse hitch jerkline demonstration. And he participated frequently in the Clear Spring to Boonsboro, Md. wagon train ride along the National Pike. For decades, Lindsay and his family have been found in Berks County each October plowing, pulling and putting the Belgians through an obstacle course during a community fest.

“It’s all lots of fun,” said Lindsay.

And at the Apple Festival visitors can have some of that fun, too.

Charlie Lindsay with his great-grandaughter Lindsay Carbaugh, who has learned to also love horses.