Saturday, August 24, 2013

Horsey Afternoon.

I was looking at Pam Stone's Facebook page earlier this week working a young mare.  It got me thinking about something that happened when I was about six or seven years old. We lived in a subdivision in the North Buckhead area of Atlanta.  This was in the mid 1960's and beyond our street the area was mostly small horse farms, with a few cows interspersed here and there.  There was a creek and an abandoned rock quarry.  In other words, lots of places for a kid to get lost in and have adventure.   

One morning during the Spring, my mother was cleaning up the kitchen after everyone had left the house.  Given there four kids and a husband living there at the time, this was not a small task. I was home sick from school, so she had me to deal with, too.  She is finishing up the sink when the phone rings.  With a cuss, she picks the receiver off the wall.  It is Mrs. Rowan, our next door neighbor.

"Teeny!  Have you looked outside your living room window?"

"No, Betty.  I've been busy cleaning up from my herd of pigs and Chrissie is sick on the sofa.  What's wrong?"

"There is a horse eating your Chrysanthemum bed"

With that, Mom drops the phone, gets a broom and goes flying out the garage door.  I go up to the front door to watch. There was an older bay mare comfortably grazing at the top of our retaining wall.  It looked huge to my small eyes. About half the Mums and Marigolds had been stripped from the bed that ran along it. It had been raining the day before, so everywhere the horse had  been was a trampled mass of dark loam mixed with fresh fertilizer. I began giggling.

The horse was now munching the nice soft grass that ran along side the bed. Mom comes up it swinging the broom.  It slowly raised its head and stared at this midget screaming. This pasture was tasty and she wasn't going to leave a perfectly good meal just because some Munchkin said so. It was a sight to behold. 

Mrs Rowan had come out to "help". She was the type that liked watching people that were in a little bit of trouble. But she would sort of try to solve the problem for them. One got on one side and the other got on the other to try to shove the animal into the driveway, but it wasn't about to move. I was laughing

After a few minutes of this, Mrs. Rowan finally asked "Where do you think he came from?"

About that time, up drives an old truck pulling a dilapidated trailer.  An older fellow and what appeared to be his son got out and started calling for the horse. The mare began to shy away, like it knew it was in trouble.  They slipped an old rope halter around its neck and tried to pull it toward the trailer.  Horse wasn't having any of it.  It dug in its heels and pulled back, whinnying in protest. Finally, the son slipped up behind it and whacked it with a piece of board and it walked haltingly to the loading ramp.

When it was all over, the old man explained he owned one of  the farms down at the bottom of the hill.  The mare and another horse had busted a fence that ran along the creek.  The other horse hadn't gotten that far, but this one had followed the creek for more than 1/2 mile and decided our house was as good a place to take a break as any.   He apologized for the mess and trundled on back home, not offering to pay for the flowers.

Mom came on back down the driveway, cussing up a storm. She stopped when she saw me and asked: "What are you laughing at?"

My eyes got wide and I said "Nothing, Ma'am." I knew if I said anything else, there was a switch in my future.

"Good, and it better stay that way."

And we went in to have lunch. 


  1. I hope it was okay to laugh at this, because I could not help myself. I have never had to deal with a renegade horse in my year, but I do have extensive experience with cows. It got ugly.

    1. Sure. My mother didn't think it was funny, but my brothers and sisters sure did.