In the farming community, the horse was such an important member of the family that it was not uncommon for it to be included in the family photo.
It was the man who was responsible for the horse while the woman took care of the cows. It was high status to have a well-groomed and strong horse since this was an indication of the man’s skills and ability. A common pleasure was for the men to compare each other's horsepower by, for example, racing home after church.
Since the horse was used for important agricultural and forestry work, it was also considered more valuable than the cow. Therefore, the horse had beautiful accoutrements as a sign of its rank. Harnesses, sleds and carriages were often ornate and beautifully painted because they were on public display during trips to church, markets or parties.