My Thoughts on Horses
by Leona Crawford

Over the years we have had several horses that I really liked.  This was before I was married as we didn't keep horses afterwards.  When I was quite small we had a shetland pony that George and I rode & later when I was 7 or 8 we had a part shetland pony named Prince.  He was black, really very gentle, but he shied easily, so I fell off of him more than once.  The "once" that I remember most was one summer moonlit night my father had worked in the fields late and had unharnessed and fed his horses and was leading his horses down to the stock tank for water before letting them into the lot for the night.  He told me to lead Prince down, too.  I go up on him, bareback and no bridle, and held to his mane and he headed for the water.  It was fun but all at once my Dad jumped off an empty hayrack.  Prince shied at his figure in the moonlight and I was sitting on the ground while Prince went on the the tank for water.  Nothing hurt except my pride especially when my Dad laughed at me.

Another time I can remember that George and I came home on the bus from school and our parents weren't home from town.  We decided we would ride.  George took Prince and I took another pony (bigger than Prince.)  We decided we'd make them jump some bushes.  We'd been told not to do this, but we knew Brother John did it.  He was 9 years older than I was.  George and Prince made it over the bushes, but I didn't .  I fell off as the horse went on over.  I was really a scratched up little girl (about 9, I think.)  With my scratches it was impossible for my parents not to know what I'd done.  It seemed I had to learn the hard way to obey.

When I was 14 we moved to Eastern Kansas.  My father took a roan riding pony with us.  The name of this pony slipped my mind even though I rode her quite often.  My girl friend, Arlene Harris, and I rode several times on Sunday afternoons.  One Sunday afternoon coming down Hoopes' hill, we met a car coming up and we drew to the side of the road and stopped to wait for it to pass by.  I stopped directly behind Arlene's horse.  This was a mistake.  My pony nipped her pony on the rump.  Her pony kicked with her hind legs and kicked my shin just above the ankle.  It broke the skin.  It really was painful and seemed forever healing.  I can almost feel the pain yet.

It seemed like after that period I became busy with other things and I never rode.  After we married, Woodrow and I just never kept a horse until Woodrow bought a couple of shetland ponies from my Dad's cousin, Clyde Rice.  We had them around several years, but the kids were older and nobody rode them.  My most memorable moments with them included Lisa.  She was just a baby, but she loved for her grandpa to carry her out to see Boots and Susie each day after he got home from work and just before her mother came after her after her teaching day was done.  Lisa and her grandpa both looked forward to this time together.  Boots and Susi had a bad hoof condition as they aged and we finally had to have them carted away to be put to sleep.  I don't know whether Tim and Christopher remembers them or not.  After they were gone we did have cows for several years, but we never had any more horses.