It has been a frustrating year to put up hay at Sims. Blessed with plenty moisture, we are also blessed with plenty mole or gopher holes. Making an average round requires crawling off the tractor to pull giant muddy boogers off the guards. Not being blessed with unlimited patience, I have been getting plenty frustrated.
Some ground that is so hard and dry many years has become boggy and a potential spot to get stuck.
Of course, the land is plenty rough. I was reminded of my old neighbor Slim’s comment that hay doesn’t grow on smooth ground.
There have been few really dry days and mowing tends to require driving in low gears due to tough mowing conditions. It gives a guy plenty of time to think.
Yesterday my mind slipped back to my early years and I started to think of the aggravation my brother’s horse, Flash, used to cause me.
When my brother was four years old, Grandpa bought him a yearling pinto filly which he named Flash. My dad often recalled Orrin’s fascination with his new horse. He couldn’t leave her alone and was obsessed with the idea of riding her.
Dad or Grandpa must have halter broken the colt and left a halter rope dragging so he could go out and play with her. It is nice to have a baby sitter for a four year old and Flash seemed to fit the bill.
Dad said he would lead her by a fence and jump on. She would promptly throw him off. Dad said she threw him off hundreds of times before she got so he could ride her.
Kid broke and spoiled, she was never a nice horse. Any time you dropped the reins, she would run away and leave you there.
Saddles were considered dangerous for kids at that time and she was almost always ridden bareback. Flash soon learned getting a kid on the ground was easier than packing him around, and soon learned to shy at almost any object which often got rid of a kid, then quickly ran home. She had no compassion about throwing a kid off, but didn’t seem to want them to get hurt.
If you did hit the ground and did not move, she would stand there and watch. Not seeing any movement, she would finally come over and nuzzle you with her nose until you made a frantic move to grab the reins which was the signal to leave you there and run back home.
Sometimes when she got tired of being ridden, she would simply lie down, even in the middle of a water hole. A full-sized horse, you had to lead her somewhere by a fence to get back on.
Dad had been riding her one day and had left her saddled. I was probably about five years old and don’t recall how I got on her, but maybe Dad lifted me up and left me to ride her around the yard.
After a while I got tired of riding and decided I’d ride her back to the barn where I could crawl off of her in the stall.
The barn door was open just enough to get her head in and not enough room to get my legs through so I decided I’d have to get off.
I hung on to the horn as I slid off her side. My legs were too short to find the stirrup so I turned loose. As I fell my foot went through the stirrup and I hung upside down. Screaming and hollering I hung there until Mom heard me. I can still recall her running from the house to the barn as I peered under her belly.
Flash never budged until Mom fished my foot out of the stirrup and got me out of there.
I guess old Flash did have a soft spot for kids.