A Little Personal Horse History
When I was a little girl I always dreamed of having my own horse or pony. We lived in town and had no place for a horse or pony, but that didn't stop me from hoping and dreaming. My first experience with horses was at the carnivale. I loved riding the pony rides. At age four I had a rather unpleasant experience with a horse and her foal. My Grandpa's house was across the street from a field that had a mare and her young foal in it. I was told to stay away from the fence, but the first chance I got I climbed through the fence and tried to pet the foal and the mare kicked me in the stomach. I remember crying all day, hiccup sobs, because it hurt so bad, but also because I couldn't believe that something I loved so much would hurt me. When I was six my folks and sister and I went to the grocery store as we usually did and while Mom shopped Dad and I and my sister stayed in the car. I remember laying in the backseat of the car on this hot summer day crying about something or other when all of a sudden there was Mom all in a tizzy telling Dad I'd won a pony. Back in the 50's grocery stores in our area would have drawings giving away things and our Hy-Vee store was giving away a brown Shetland pony named Peanuts.
(That's Mom behind the little boy and Dad behind me in the white hat)
Who knows, maybe I'd been crying in the backseat because I could see the pony and we couldn't go over to it?? Anyway, Mom had been so befuddled when she heard them announce my name that she couldn't find the car and had the grocery boy going all over the two parking lots looking for us. Here I was in bobby pinned pin curls all over my head and a little red short outfit. I'm sure my folks were in shock, but I was walking on cloud nine. We all went into the store and they lifted me up onto a small stage and presented me with my pony, Peanuts. The newspaper took pictures and I could hardly wait for the hoopla to get over with so I could take this pony home. At that time we lived about two small city blocks from the store so Dad drove us home and had someone walk the pony to our house. He had to be tied to the clothes line pole and Dad got him a big wash tub full of water. Peanuts seemed ok with all of this and proceeded to start eating the yard grass. Several people stopped and asked if they could take the pony off our hands and Dad told them no. Peanuts was a town dweller for about a week and then we took him to stay at some friend's farm. Sometimes we'd go see him and I'd ride him on week nights, but usually on the weekends..(Dad always lead him around when I was on him) Peanuts was an ornery pony so after about a year my folks sold him and used the money to buy our first TV.
The next time I was around horses, other than fairs or carnivales, was in 1958. Our family moved to a small house just outside of town and next door to the company my Dad worked for. Behind their business office was a barn and small field and behold...a Shetland pony named Champion..(also the name of a song sung by Gene Autry... A song I learned and sang constantly driving eveyone nuts), a red roan named Strip, and a mule named Jackie. We lived in this place for a year and I was allowed to ride Champion as long as Dad was with me.
We moved from the country to a new house in town and I didn't have horses in my life again until 1977. At that time my husband and children and I moved to a place in the country, 35 miles away from our hometown, and I got an older American Saddlebred/Arabian gelding named Leemar and at Christmas that year we bought the kids a palamino Shetland pony with one blue eye named Aunt Bee. We had these until 1981 when circumstances changed and we moved back to town. I always loved Leemar's rocking chair lope and giggled when I'd tell people he'd stop on a dime and they didn't listen..(a few people went over his head..I think he thought it was comical too) Aunt Bee was as gentle as gentle could be, but the only way to get her to stop was to pull back on the reins until we were lying in the saddle with our head over her butt. Leemar was like a watchdog. Whenever an animal or strange person tried to cross the fence line he'd charge over and run them off. One of my most favorite memories of him was every year during the first heavy snow. He'd buck and jump as if trying to fend off or grab snowflakes. It was like he became young at heart again.
The past 24 years seem to have flown by. We raised four children, had grandchildren, raised bulldogs and a couple wolfdogs and finally last year Tom and I bought a small farm. The barn and surrounding acreage now supports four mustangs. We got the first two last September from D and S Mustangs in Iowa. They are half sisters and the older one, who belongs to our daughter Meagan and her husband Chad, was three and the younger one was four months old. The girls, Brandie and Fancy are one generation removed from the wild. In Novemeber we got two gruella colored Spanish Barb/Sorria colts, Commanchero and Kiowa, from the Wild Horse Sanctuary and these two turned out to be our sanity savers after the loss of our oldest daughter. These two were our wild guys and it took a while for them to figure out that we weren't going to eat them. Being able to touch them for the first time was an awesome experience. They are so open to learning and pick up ideas very fast. It's been a very educational year for us. We use least resistance training with all of them. Working with and training the colts has been especially fun because basically everything in our world is new to them. Turning on a garden hose around them for the first time totally freaked them out. At first they'd hardly ever leave the barn and would just peek their heads out and pull them back in like turtles when anyone drove down our road. They have come a long way and are now curious about everything. They still spook a little with brand new events, but are quick to rebound and check things out, not like at first when they'd hide for hours. See pictures of our horses below.
Fancy & Brandie Sept. 2004 Commanchero & Kiowa Nov. 2004
Brandie round penning Jul. 2005 Fancy round penning Jul. 2005
Commanchero, Kiowa, & Deanna Joy Jul. 2005 Learning about objects.....baseball cap Jan. 2005
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