In California unce upon a tine! Checking out the anti-mules...
Many times when people see an animal with four legs and lots of hair... it’s a horse, well not necessarily. This is a goat, or as my son's friend calls it a "go...at!"
Horses are one of the oldest mammals. They appeared millions of years after the Dinosaur became extinct and millions of years before humans came onto the earth. The first horse called an eohippus or dawn horse more closely resembled a fox than a horse. Eohippus ranged in what today would be called the front range of the Rocky Mountains. But before long they too, were extinct! There are no native horses to the North American continent.
Let me say that again... The Horse is not native to the North American Continent!
The horse that we know and love is a transplant from Europe!
Funny thing, the native amaricans did not have a word for those animals that Hernan Cortez, Coronado and others brought from Europe. The Spaniards Conquered the world on an animal our Indians called "Big Dogs" or some say "Sacred Dogs!"
The Indians got their first horses from the Spanish. When the Spanish explorers Coronado and DeSoto came into America they brought horses with them. This was in the year of 1540. Some horses got away and went wild. But, the Indians did not seem to have done much with these wild horses.
In 1680 the Pueblo Indians revolted against the Spanish and drove the Spanish out of their land and back down into Old Mexico.
The Spanish were forced to leave so fast they left behind many horses. The Pueblo Indians took these horses and used them. The Spanish did not come back until the year of 1694. While the Spanish were gone the Pueblo Indians raised large herds of horses. They began selling and trading them to other Indians such as the Kiowa and Comanche. The Pueblo Indians also taught the other Indian tribes how to ride and how to raise horses.They did not start to ride or use horses until much later. Of course Cortez came saw and conquered way back in the 1520s.
It took some years to breed herds and learn uses for these animals that fit the culture of the Plains Indian. Many believe that it wasn't until the mid 1700s that critical mass and utility were found with horses on the plains.
I was 13 and went to the barber all by myself, thank you! The barber lived up Sheffield Street past Grandpa Hawkins place on the other side of the road. His name was Harold Stanton, but everybody called him "Hoot!" Not real sure why, but they did! Hoot closed-in the front porch and put in two barber chairs but never used but one! Hoot chewed and cussed about as much as he could, never let a sentence go by without a few explitives added at important points, and some points not so important. Hoot had two horses. Fall was coming on and he didn't want to winter both if he could help it! Pasture is cheap, but winter costs hay and grain and some work in cleaning stalls, watering, graining and getting hay in for the horses. Doesn't sound to bad but when its real cold water freezes so you need fresh running water and that isn't always easy. Hoot asked what I thought was a lot of fool questions before I got to the chair for a haircut!
Talking about his horses and how they were both broke and one had been on the Red Mile in Lexington, and on and on... Then he says "so how would you like to buy a horse?" I said "for how much?" He said $35, I said I can't get that much until early next summer when bailing season starts again! He said I could pay him later, I said I would need to ask my Dad, he said fine, just let him know. He was a member of the Mayfield volunteer fire department with Dad... so they knew each other very well! Hoot was known to have left people with half a haircut to answer the fire alarm. But everybody thought that was normal!
So I go home and asked Dad. He said he would think about it...
Dad was working 3-11 that week and I didn't see him all week. I was in bed when he came home, and he was off to work when I got out of school. And I knew better than to badger Mom about such. So I waited all week... then Friday night I got to stay up until Dad came home! I had practiced my questions about the horse all evening... the car pulled up and I heard the door slam, the front door opened and there came Dad with a brand new Saddle and Bridle, fresh from Sears & Roebuck! Didn't have to ask!
Next morning we went out to Hendrickson road and the Bendel Farm, where Bob Bendel met us and gathered up First Boy and rode him bareback down to the gate. We saddle him and I got on and rode him to the house. Just a few miles, and by the time I got home the saddle was plenty loose and I had cramps in my hips and was sorta glad to get off... but not for long! Dad and I worked on the stall, got that done, found an old metal bucket that we used to water the horse and then we went to Oakland Station on Rt 25 where the RR crossed and Fred and Bertie Roosa had a grainery. Dad had worked for Fred when he was a kid and Fred suggested some sweet feed etc. and a bale or two of hay. When we left there we went to see old Ashland Osborn to see if I could get a load of hay for the winter. I knew he had some oats hay that was taking up space in the equipment run in one of his corn sheds. Sure enough he wanted that out of there so we mad a deal loaded a wagon full of hay and headed home... loaded the garage with hay, unloaded the grain and set about making a place to store the grain so that all the critter's could not get to it! Built a nice strong Bin that could hold a few hundred pounds of grain, corn or sweetfeed. I forget where, but somewhere along the line we gathered up some two or three bushels of corn still on the ear. Good old fashioned field corn. That was good for the horse in that it gave him something to do to get the corn off the cob... a busy horse is a good horse!
I reckon the horse was 13+ years old and he had been running on the Red Mile in Lexington, according to Hoot! He was a gentle horse not given to getting to excited, just right for a Lad learning about horses.
Normally getting a haircut is not a problem, but the barber in Monroe was the father of a friend that I rode horses with in high school. Mr. Hazelton had a shop right downtown in Monroe and he also had a wee farm south of Monroe where his sons had a few horses and he had some ponies as I recall! So I am setting in the chair getting a haircut and in walks the fellow that I don't know. Mr. Hazelton introduces us and said that man had something that I needed. he said you do have kids don't you? I said yep, and he said the new guy has a pony that I need for my kids... I said well that would be fun but I have no place to board that pony... Mr. Hazelton said he had a guy at the end of our subdivision that would let me pasture the pony there! So I got a sddle, bridle and a pony for the low low price of $65. Went home very proud of my self and announced that we had a new pony. Her name was Candy!
That was only the start of the horse story! Down at the pasture we would saddle up the pony and mount one rider and listen to the one left behind cry and complain... I told Judy we needed another pony! Sorrell's had lots of ponies so we went over there and bought "Puddin!"
So now we go to the pasture and two kids ride off and we wonder what is happening, and I run all over trying to keep track... so I tell Judy, we need a horse! A friend of a friend had a horse for sale in West Middletown. So we go to see... Jack Cummings was there and rode the horse and said she would load just fine. I said OK and said I would get Donnie Brehm to bring his horse trailer and we would get her later... Donnie came and I met him at the place and we tried several ways to load her but she wanted no part of the trailer, so I put the saddle on her and rode her to Dad's house in Mayfield cause it was getting dark. Got her watered good and came back the next morning to take her on to the pasture in Monroe. The entire trip was about half riding and the other half walking the horse... she was used to the corral where Jack showed her off... but any other disturbance really bothered her, like cars passing, ditches, etc. etc.
You probably guessed it! Yep, we had to get another horse so the whole family could ride! we ended up with nine animals all just for a haircut!
From late 1938, until they bought the house at 2109 Sheffield Street in 1943, we lived in the "Little House" out back of Grandpa Hawkins big house at 2025 Sheffield. There was a small old barn out there and It was blown down sometime early in the 1940s. This photo likely was taken in 1939. I heard conversations about a Mr. Carter plowing Grandpas garden on occasion. In 1930 census report I found the Carter family living at 2109 Sheffield, our house to be... I assume this to be the Mr. Carter's horse! Could be wrong, working horses were not uncommon in those days. Not in Mayfield anyway! Houses were sparce with lots of room for gardens and live stock of all sorts. Chickens were common, the occasional steer being fed out... I don't remember any hogs except on the outlying farms.
In the 1940 census the George & Mae Hart family lived in our house to be. That census shows Mom & Dad and little me living at the rear of 2025 Sheffield St.
I took real good care of the old boy! Had Jim Spencer come over and put titanium tipped shoes on the horse and try to straighten up his left front hoof which had been allowed to grow off at an angle towards the inside of the foot... took a couple of shoeings to get it straight. All four shoes were $7.00 at the time, I had the money, but we passed an old 37 chevy that I had for painting a neighbor's garage... Mr. Spencer looked at the handle on the trunk and asked if I would sell it? I said sure, How much? He said... $7.00 sez I... done deal. He would weld a small spot of titanium onto the shoe at various spots and that would keep the shoe from slipping on the pavement or concrete. Worked well on ice too!
I had First-boy for about two+ years and traded him to the Thompson Bros. for a short quick horse named Chief. Chief was branded on his jaw, shoulder and hip... blazed face and four white stockings... good looker and fun to ride. Had him for a while and traded for Blaze, a three year old green broke horse that put my butt into the fence, and walked up to Grandma Hawkins garden. I dusted myself off went up and got the horse, led it up towards their house, out of the garden... and got on and rode him home... never had another problem with Blaze. But if you didn't ride him for a week he might jump a wee bit when you first mount but he would soon settle down and do OK. When I finally got rid of him he was a safe horse but still needed some training to be a good trail or reining horse. That was my last horse at home as I went off to work at Armco and then eventually went off to college. Cars and women, what if I had just stayed with horses...
I worked at Armco at the time in the IE Dept. Another fellow there just bought a farm in Gratis and had a wonderful pasture area with a woods and a flowing creek. He asked a reasonable rate and we hauled all our stock over there. All we needed was some feed during the winter months and the animals could care for themselves the rest of the time, nearly. We would make the day long trips and go ride for the whole day... take a picnic lunch etc... good times.
Looking back is a reckoning of memory vs what really happened. A reconciliation of your mind verses the facts of the case! If you had told me the kids were this little when riding those horses, I would have argued with you that they were older... they were so young, but unafraid and they handled the horses just fine thank you!
That is Ruthie on my horse named "Chick" and Jamie is on Judy's horse "Lady!" The kids did as well on the horses as the ponies, maybe even better because the horses were normlly not so independent as are the ponies. I think people saw the kids ride the horses and erroneously assumed that they could ride just as well... maybe they thought it was due to osmosis or whatever, but then when they mounted it became a whole other story and on occasion I had to rescue the rider. The kids were small but they had the requisite time in the saddle and that made all the difference.
I got a call one evening from the Guy that owned the farm and I thought something bad had happened to one of the horses... he drew out what he was saying so that I was sure we had lost a horse! But when he finally got it out we had gained a new filly and he and his wife brought them out of the pasture and into the barn... so the next morning we loaded up the car and we all went to see the new filly. We named her after my sister, Rebecca Ruth, called Becky Ruth and we shortened it to "BR" as the name of the new filly.
I can't believe I picked that little thing up like that, but I did. I have tried to wrestle colts several times and can tell you they are stronger than you are and unless they want to do a thing... it may not happen, like putting a halter on a colt... such fun!
This is a May 2014 filly that was born on the farm where Barry & Lisa board their horses.