TAYLOR-Before engines and motors, people relied on hooves and strength.

The Taylor HorseFest pays tribute to the animal that was important to North Dakota heritage and development.

The small town of Taylor, which has an estimated population of 150, comes alive during the annual event with people traveling from across the state to participate.

Greg Senger, who lives 40 miles north of Taylor in Dodge, has been coming to the HorseFest for more than 10 years as a blacksmith.

Inside of a wooden shed, Senger and other blacksmiths show people what it was like to forge, strike and bend steel before it became mass produced.

Senger said he grew up in his father's shop and was always interested in blacksmithing.

He said he's always enjoyed mechanics and owned his own shop until he retired four years ago. He said blacksmithing is his hobby now.

"It's a lost art, they are calling it," he said. "Not a lot of people left doing it anymore, so it's interesting. A lot of people haven't seen it before."

Another art on display at the event was an exhibit dedicated to tin making.

Kerry Thompson bent, punched and rolled tin to show people how decorative pieces of tin were made decades ago.

Thompson, until around a year ago, didn't know much about tin making. But soon after being approached by the Taylor Community Activities group to see if she would be interested in helping with demonstrations she threw herself into the craft.

She said she was given hands-on lessons and did extensive research online to try to hone the craft.

"Now I just try to make things up as I go," she said with a laugh.

Thompson was involved in the organization of the event this year, and is the treasurer of the board.

"It was interesting to figure all of the moving parts and it's always fun because you get to talk to people too," she said. "(You get to) meet all of the different people that do all of the different demonstrations and all of the people involved with the horses and the parade."

The St. Cloud native moved to Taylor a few years ago and was interested in becoming involved in the community.

"I moved to Taylor in the summer of 2014 from Minnesota and I work from home, and I discovered that I was a little bored," she said. "I thought I needed to find something to get out and meet people. So I kind of stumbled across the group. It's been fun. I've enjoyed meeting people and doing things I have never done."

Thompson said she's also learned more about agriculture along the way.

"I didn't grow up in agriculture, so a lot of this is new to me," she said.

Fred Dohrmann, of Taylor, is not new to agriculture. The 74-year-old farmed from the time he was 16 years old.

Dohrmann brought out his chuckwagon for the first time at the HorseFest.

A chuckwagon is a covered wagon that was used as a transportable kitchen on the wagon trails.

It was a part of the wagon trains in the pioneering days.

Dohrmann said he built it more than 20 years ago after he saw someone else with a chuckwagon.

"I was on a wagon train one time with a group and somebody had a chuckwagon, so I thought why shouldn't I have my own," he said. "So I went home and decided to build it."

He said it took months to build, but since its completion he has traveled to Montana and South Dakota with it. He sometimes hauls the chuckwagon, but he said most of the time it is pulled by two horses.

"We've gone from Medora to Deadwood (S.D.) a time or two," he said. "We've driven it quite a bit."

He said it usually takes a few days to get the chuckwagon ready and to the venue, but he enjoys doing it.

Dohrmann's family, along with his grandchildren, stay close to him and watch as he explains his exhibit to visitors.

The HorseFest, while rooted in celebrating horses, also allows people to celebrate their passions.

"It's an interesting group of people, but also an interesting event," Thompson said.