Back In The Saddle Again!

I took a bit of a twist in my journey… talking about my  cousin, Hattie Perry…. But now I am back in Beaver Valley, visiting my sister and her husband on their ranch.

The first time I rode King, Al’s best saddle horse, I had to catch him in the pasture, get him into the barn, and saddle him myself. I was thirteen at the time. It was a heavy western saddle, and all I could do to get it on his back. I’d cinch it up tight, and very quickly learned that you had to tighten it again after the horse relaxed, or the saddle would fall under his belly when you tried to get on!. I had to mount him without help the first time, as well. Al wanted to be sure I was capable of doing it myself in case anything happened when I was alone with the horse.

After that, if I was going riding with Al, he would saddle both horses.

I rode pretty well every day, but had to ask Al if I could use his horse EVERY  time… but first I had to ask Lena if it was okay to ask Al! She wanted to be sure that I had done all the work she had asked me to do…like washing dishes or the cream separator…. That was a horrible job! She didn’t use soap in the dishwater because the water was thrown out in the yard where the chickens were “free ranging.”  The water was really yucky by the time you finished the dishes.

One day she was upset with me for something and wasn’t going to give me permission to ask Al for his horse. Al sat looking out the open door at the meadow… and about a half a mile away there was a swampy section with a big stump.

He said “Heh, Norma! You see that stump down there? Go get a horse and see if its a bear!” Lena would never counter what he told me to do! I was out of there as fast as I could go! I loved that guy so much!

One summer when I was heading home he gave me my first camera… a box brownie. It took really good pictures for years, and I eventually gave it back to Elsie, their daughter. Another time he gave me Five Dollars for my work with the hay crew. In these days five dollars doesn’t seem like much, but it was a fortune when there wasn’t any money around. They didn’t have much cash available, either.

To be continued….


8 thoughts on “Back In The Saddle Again!

  1. What a joy it must have been to be able to ride King. Al was a very conscientious adult… first making sure you could cope with whatever might happen before letting you ride out on your own. He obviously cared a lot for you, too.

    Looking forward to the rest of the story…. 🙂

    • HI Carol, I guess it is a little late for tea, so we will have to wait until tomorrow. Don’t know where the time goes… but at least I went and got my haircut this afternoon! Feels much better. Thanks for coming by and for your ever welcome comments.

  2. Hi Norma, I missed posting yesterday about Hattie – we had 2 grandsons all day keeping us very busy!
    It’s funny, but for some reason I have always thought that you had written that book that Mickey did the cover for….although it does say Hattie Perry very clearly on the front!! How nice that her daughters and son in law came to visit you.
    Al sounds like he was a very thoughtful man that took good care of you. King looks like a very big horse to try to throw a saddle up on to!! Love the drawing of the bear. I am also looking forward to part 2.

  3. Great story Norma! And what a wonderful photo of you on King! That’s a fun sketch too! I feel like that story should be read around a camp fire!
    I hope your vertebrae are healing well!

    • Hi Greg! great to see you here, but too late for tea. Just getting ready to go to bed. I actually sleep part of the time in my bed now… couldn’t do that for over two weeks. They are healing, but it seems to be such a slow process.. Thanks for coming by and for your comments.

  4. That was a great story about the bear and for you to saddle up and check it out. Nothing like a good chuckle! Thanks for ending my day with a smile (it’s been a busy one!)

    • Good morning Heather. Missed you last night, but I guess i went to bed before you dropped in. No Tea… sorry. Good to have you come by, and to see your comments. Thanks… that brings a smile to my face.

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