Gary and Lyrae - Horses

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Pets and Creatures


Lyrae: Sandpiper was a Palomino horse that I took care of when I was 11 and 12 years old.

I wanted a horse but I had to prove that I was able to take responsibility of having one. Taking care of Sandpiper filled not only that requirement but also helped me (along with a paper route) save up enough money to buy one.

Sandpiper's owner would pay me to curry and feed him oats daily and take him for several rides a week. He had a beautiful white long forelock, mane and tail. There was also a blaze that ran down his nose. His long mane and tail could be a horse lovers dream (to brush and braid) or a nightmare to brush when he got into the sandburs!

He was very beautiful and loved to prance and show off his four white "socks". Quite a showboat!

Sandpiper was a feisty horse that was very strong-willed but playful. When I took him for rides, I loved to trot, canter and gallop with him. Sometimes he wanted to full out run but the area where I rode him really wasn't conducive for running...not long enough stretches.

The first summer that I had him, I had to break him of a very bad habit. We really only had one path that we could take since it was on the outskirts of the city (we were not on the farm yet) and Sandpiper had figured the routine out. We would go out about 1 mile and then come back. On the way back it was all I could do to reign him in and keep him from running because he wanted to get back and have his oats.

One day he decided that he was going to run AND jump a narrow ditch at that speed! Well, the blanket saddle that I was riding on slipped upside down and flat dumped me on the ground. I figured Sandpiper would just keep running but he immediately stopped, turned around and came back and stood beside me. I was thankful for that!

My mom gave me a good suggestion. She loved horses as much as I did. When she was young, she used to ride hers to school.

She suggested that I feed him his oats at the turnaround point (1/2 way) so he was satiated. That is what I did the next time and from then on he was always content with his canter and trot back home!  : )


Lyrae: Thunderbird was the Bay horse I bought when I was a 13. He was a beautiful horse with two white "boots" on his back legs.

I loved to ride him in the fields, especially where Gary was working. One day, when Gary was moving irrigation pipe, I rode over to challenge him to ride double with me. He had rarely ridden a horse (only a few times when he was younger) and I had to remedy that!

Gary was athletic with VERY strong legs but not very agile with the OUTWARD movement. This wasn't at all conducive for riding my large horse (17 hands high). Added to the dilemma was the fact that Thunderbird's circumference was even more round due to his many, many treats Layne, LaTasha and I babied him with.

Long story short, my muscular boyfriend was very stiff and sore for the next several days...walking very bowlegged much to his football coach's chagrin!

Cricket and Junior

Lyrae: Cricket and her colt (Junior) were horses that were on my Grandparents farm. They had rented the pasture out to the owners of these two horses.

Grandpa Bryant used to delight in telling the story about when "Mama" horse decided to wean Junior.

He was of a weaning age and she had started to run out of milk. Junior didn't like this one bit and he proceeded to butt his head on her belly and then turned around and kicked his heels up in protest! He accidently kicked her!

She promptly whirled around and nipped him gently between the buttock and the tail.

He whinied in shock and raised straight up in a bounce. That was the last time he did that! ; )


Lyrae: I think Great Grandpa Bryant's love of horses started really young. His family had a horse whose name was Flossy. Grandpa Bryant is the one farthest back (in the picture above) riding Flossy with his two brothers Elmer and Clarence and the far right (in the picture below) with Flossy pulling buggy.

My Grandpa and Grandma Bryant had a horse on their farm named Major. I remember riding Major as a little girl.

As the years went by and I grew up, I realized (upon seeing photographs taken of Major) that he was a VERY small pony (maybe Shetland?) not the "impressive-sized" horse from my memory as a little girl! : )


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