Monday, October 10, 2011

Horses in our family over the years

My daughter Dreamer (her screen name) had to do a class project for 2nd grade about family traditions. She wanted to do horses since our family owns a lot of horses and we are always riding. But I told her that horses go way back in our family, too. So together we looked through photos and talked with her dad and grandparents to put together some details about our family's history with horses.

About 1937: a picture of her Grandma's (my mother's) horse, a paint pony called Bill. She grew up on a farm and Bill was a plow horse but also fun to ride (though he could be very tricky - would scrape you off under trees if you weren't paying attention).  My mother is the baby in this picture  (with her Grandma) and her cousin is riding Bill. Mom remembers riding Bill all her years growing up - he lived to be a very old horse.

Her grandpa (my father) grew up in a big city (Buffalo, NY), but lived near a city stable where rich people kept their horses. He used to make deliveries there and later when I got into my horse-crazy stage, he took me to see the Saddle and Bridle club. We found out I could get riding lessons there and I ended up riding there from age 10 to 17. This is a picture of my dad riding my cousin Donna's horse. 

Her other Grandpa (B's father) grew up in a small town in Nebraska. This is his horse Rip. 

Her other Grandma (B's mom)  grew up helping her father train horses on a ranch in Nebraska near Ogallala.  Grandpa saw her for the first time riding a horse through town and said “that’s the girl for me.”

Her Grandma's father supposedly won at the Cheyenne Frontier Days Rodeo, and her grandfather (mother's father) supposedly once rode (or tried to ride) the famous bucking horse, Steamboat, who was popular at the Cheyenne and Laramie rodeos in the early 1900's. (Steamboat is often cited as the source of the bucking horse and rider that is the symbol of Wyoming).

B.'s family also had horses when he was growing up, he and his dad would take them hunting up in the mountains. Starting his senior year in high school, he rode bareback broncs in rodeos all around the west until he was about 24. Now he does team roping.  

 I took riding lessons for years but didn't get my own horse (Rebel) until I was 22. I loved to jump but I never got brave enough to jump over 3 1/2 feet (that's what I'm jumping here in this picture on Ginger, a horse I leased). Before I met B., I showed in jumping, dressage and eventing. Now my favorite thing is trail riding in the mountains and teaching my daughters the skills I learned.

Here are the five girls with our five horses:  Stars on Folly, Blaze on Spring, Dreamer on Ally, Serious on Rebel and Starlet on Jewel.

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