Horse Sitting

Grandma Kc wrote this on March 28th, 2014 22 Replies

This is a special memory from my own childhood.

My sister Judy and I always wanted a horse. What little girl didn’t want a horse when they were growing up? We were never lucky enough to own a horse of our own but for a few years we got to babysit two of them! Our family had become good friends with a family that lived outside of town on a real farm! They were Jehovah’s Witnesses and when they would go away on retreat Lucky and Sugar would come to stay at our house! In my mind, it was for 6 weeks in the summer but I doubt that it really was. They couldn’t have been gone from their farm for that long.

My Dad was an excellent rider; he had grown up on horses so he taught us to ride. That meant learning to put on their bridles and their saddles. Daddy would ride bareback but we rode with saddles. I can remember standing in the front yard as he put the saddle on Lucky and then showed me how you had to nudge her hard in the stomach with your knee so that she would let her breath out and you could cinch the saddle down tight. I think my mom found out about that trick the hard way when she and the whole saddle slid off one time. We thought it was funny. She didn’t!

Daddy and his horses when he was about 17

Dad on his childhood farm at 17 with his horses

Lucky was a tall pinto and had a mind of his own; he was not easy to control. Sugar was a beautiful brown mare that did everything at about half the speed of Lucky and followed Lucky everywhere. Judy rode Lucky and I rode Sugar. She was much more daring than I was! Lucky had tricks! He would look for low hanging limbs so he could knock you off. He even took Dad off in the peach tree once. Lucky also knew that if he took off and ran for the barn door – he could duck and knock you off! More than once as Judy got off Lucky she let go of the bridle and he took off for the alfalfa field. NO ONE but Dad could get him out of there!

The horses also liked to make a run for the crab apple orchard. It really wasn’t an orchard so much as 30-50 crab apple trees that someone had planted and then forgotten. Lucky loved crab apples and of course, wherever Lucky went Sugar followed! One of us would have to run home to get Dad before they eat too many apples.

Lucky and Sugar both thought it was fun to go down the side of the gravel pit with us on board. Neither of us had much control over those horses! Now going down the gravel pit on a sled in the winter was just amazing – going down the side of it in the summer on a horse was just plain scary!

Both the horse knew that Daddy usually had sugar cubes in his pocket and would bump him with their noses until he gave them some. I remember feeding them apple pieces and sugar cubes from our perfectly flat palms so they wouldn’t bite our fingers by mistake – another lesson from Dad. While I was always a little hesitant to do it, I loved the feel of their warm lips as they took the treat from my hand.

We really were very lucky to have such an interesting backyard. We may not have been Horse Whisperers but how many people can say they were Horse Sitters?

22 thoughts on “Horse Sitting

  1. An Enchanted Cottage

    Oh my gosh – I LOVED this!!! Yes, I was just like you – a horse lover. I could not understand why I couldn’t have a horse, and when we moved from the city to the suburbs when I was 8 years old I was in heaven because our little neighborhood abutted a small farm with horses (and cows and other assorted animals!). My dad, God bless him, would take me to riding lessons on Saturdays (about a half hour from home) and then to a riding stable the year after lessons ended where I could ride and then hang out and brush the horses all day to my heart’s content. I never did get my own horse, but I think the two LARGE Great Danes I later owned were adopted, in part, to fulfill my fantasy of owning a horse! Another fabulous post!!!
    Donna

    Reply
  2. Sandy Siegel

    What fun memories! Every little girl dreams of having a horse. I’m so glad your friends shared theirs with you! And that your dad was such a big part of learning to ride.

    Reply
    1. Grandma Kc Post author

      It is fun to focus on all the good memories. I do wish Dad was around to clarify facts for me – like when we started doing this and was it really 6 weeks? It couldn’t have been! I sure wish we had grown up together!

      Reply
  3. Judy@NewEnglandGardenAndThread

    You had my attention at the title. :-) I never could understand why my grandfather wouldn’t let me have a horse on his farm. Gee – could it be that I was there for about 3 1/2 months a year while he would have had that hay burner for the other 8 1/2 months. LOL So, when my daughter went through the horse craze it didn’t take me any time to decide to buy two horses. My story of the two horses could be a post also. :-)

    Reply
    1. Grandma Kc Post author

      I think you should write your story – I want to hear about your two horses! I don’t know why your Grandfather didn’t buy you one! I do think horse sitting saved my Dad a lot of money and frustration – we were pretty content and didn’t whine nearly as much because we didn’t have our own.

      Reply
  4. debra@ HOMESPUN

    Always wanted a horse too! I read all the horse books as a young girl and my sister and I had the toy horses. We DID live in the country but only got to ride a few times at a far neighbors place. Lucky you that is an ideal childhood situation there! :)

    Reply
    1. Grandma Kc Post author

      Looking back on my childhood and writing these has sure made me realize what fun times we had. Thank you so much for encouraging me to write these!

      Reply
  5. Sarah ~ Magnolia Surprise

    Sliding down a gravel pit with a horse pulling you on a board…. what, were you crazy?!! :D
    Noli rides, and even jumps a bit. She has cousins that they visit a couple of times a year who have horses so she gets to ride some. One summer a couple of years ago, she took an art class for painting horses…. literally, they painted the HORSE!!

    Reply
    1. Grandma Kc Post author

      NO!!! We never went down the gravel pit with the horses pulling our sleds – we just used the gravel pit as a great place to go sledding! I don’t remember ever having the horses there when it snowed but I can guarantee you I wouldn’t have done that!

      Wow – the idea of painting the horses is awesome! I would love to see pictures of that! Amara takes art every Saturday but I’m pretty sure that idea has never come up!

      Reply
      1. Sarah ~ Magnolia Surprise

        Oops! Ha! I read it that the horses were pulling the sled! Thank goodness you had your wits about you and didn’t do that!!
        No pics of the painted horses — I asked her dad to send some but it didn’t happen.

        Reply
  6. Launna

    Awe Amara, that is amazing… I am so happy you had that experience… I was never on a horse, there is still time down the road one day… I must put that on my list :)

    Reply
    1. Launna

      I just saw what I wrote Kc… I definitely need more sleep, I guess I just read the title and typed out Amara’s name. Anyhow, I love these stories from your past Kc :)

      Reply
      1. Grandma Kc Post author

        No worries! I’m glad you’re enjoying the stories! I’m having lots more fun writing them than I ever imagined.

        Have a great week and get some rest.

        Reply
  7. Joyce

    Once again, I just love reading about the experiences you enjoyed living in the country. When my sisters and I went through our “horse phase” we just pretended we were riding them, galloping along together side by side in the back yard. The only advantage, I suppose, was that those horses never threw us off!

    Reply
    1. Grandma Kc Post author

      Not to mention imaginary horses are much easier to clean up after and lots cheaper to feed! Glad you’re back!

      Reply
  8. Lisa @ Grandma's Briefs

    You adventurous little gals! What fun you had. Though I certainly wouldn’t take chances on Lucky. Yes, your sister certainly was the brave one.

    We had horses for a little while on the farm. Only, us kids were only allowed on the Shetland pony… and I honestly don’t have memories of that (except memories of some photos). I do recall we got rid of the horses after my mom was bucked from one and injured quite badly.

    My sister now has horses on her ranch. One of the cutest photos of my oldest grandson is his day on the (tiniest) horse there. His little brother would have nothing of it (which made for a pretty cute photo, too).

    Reply
  9. lecheung

    We never had horses or around horses, but I got to ride one on my honeymoon in Sunriver, OR, and it was the slowest horse. We kept falling behind and the trainer had to come and help it along. You were lucky to have such an interesting backyard, and an amazing memory.

    Reply
    1. Grandma Kc Post author

      I have a friend who is always teasing me that I never forget anything. As I get older I sure hope it stays that way!

      Reply
    1. Grandma Kc Post author

      Thank you for stopping by! Learning to ride a horse was sure a great experience for me. Hope you try it.

      Reply

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