Cowboy movies were my favorite. Our church was apposed to movies, but I am sort of a rebel, so I would sneak off to the movies. I loved the cowboys. Something about a horse that is impressive.
One of my favorite horses, was a Kentucky Derby winner, Man-O-War. (1917-1947)He is buried at the Kentucky Horse park. We visited the grave. They have named a boulevard for him.
Then everyone remembers Trigger (I did actually ride him once in 1947), Champion, Buttermilk and hundreds more hero horses.
I was 4-5 years old, the first horse I got to see up close and personal. It was old but steady. He powered the molasses mill on Mr. Davis’ farm below dad’s church in High Shoals, NC. Mr. Davis put me on the horse’s back as he went round and round driving the mill that crushed the cane for juice. What a joy for a little white boy.
(The only pic I could find of the molasses mill. The horse was hitched to the limb and went around and around)
Vondale had a horse in Albemarle, but that as after we moved away. I went back to visit in the spring and it was time to plow between the corn rows. He let me try one row, but when I took out 10-15 stalks at the end of the row, I was fired. LOL
The horse I got to know best was Frank. A Pinto pony belonging to Jim & Bub Page. They loved that horse. He was versatile. Plow, pull a wagon or a riding pony. He threw me the first time and scared me. But Bro. Garland Page said, “Get back on him Jackie, or you will never ride him again.” I did and what a thrill, Frank went up the road and back with no problem.
I took sugar to Frank when I went over (practically every day), and we became friends.
One evening Jim or Bub called, “Frank is sick, wanna come over?” You bet, I ok’d it with mom, jumped on my bike and rode as fast as I could. Frank had gotten into the oat barrel, ate a lot of oats then to the creek for water. He was ‘foundered’. He was down and could not get up. I watched a vet do ‘impossible’ things (in a kids eyes) but to no avail. Frank died.
They tried to replace Frank, but it never worked well, to my way of thinking.
I respect the horse owners, trainers and handlers. But most of all I miss the cowboy dream I always had, of riding to town and tying the horse up at the hitching rail. ‘Cutting’ cows and cattle drives with Rowdy Yates.
Yep, Horses are special, One day I would like to meet Darcy (She is Dar’s daughter up in the North woods), She is one who LOVES horses.
I still see John Wayne, put the reins in his mouth, and the two guns charge the bad guys in True Grit.
Pat Brady & Nelly Belle