L-R: Beautiful Jewel, Sybil, Little Dickens, Chief 1969
I thought I’d do a Throwback Thursday post as it’s been so cold and I’ve been sick, not much has happened here. These are the horses I’ve owned over the years.
L-R: Sybil, Rachel 1964
When we moved to the childhood farm when I was 8, we were told we’d have horses. My parents did buy a grade Shetland mare named Sybil. She was pregnant to a registered stud named Windsor Bruce. And in due time she had Rachel.
Rachel never figured into our lives much, as none of us knew much about horses and she wasn’t handled all that much. She became a handful and was sold at 2 years old.
They bought a retired gymkhana pony that was 15 years old, born in 1951. He was very good with small children. The story that came with him was this:
It seems a small child of the family had gone missing, for a couple hours. In the search for the child, someone finally noticed that Chief had been laying down way out in the pasture for an awful long time, so they went to check on him. There was the sleeping child, preventing him from getting up.
He was less kind to older kids. I can remember chasing him for an hour once when I was to ride him to a family gathering, and my family had left to go to it. I finally got him, but I sure was tired.
He was very fast and one of those who could turn on a dime and give you 9 cents change. I learned to ride bareback and walked home a lot.
Little Dicken 1966
They had rebred Sybil and shortly after Chief arrived, so did Dickens. He ended up on the wrong side of the electric fence when he got to his feet, and Sybil let the whole world know something was wrong at 6AM that day. That’s how he got his name. He was the sweetest pony, gentle and easy to be around. He was trained by a local Morgan breeder and handled more than Rachel had been.
Jewel and I August 1969
My mom rode Chief a bit and wanted my dad to ride with her. So they bought Jewel for him to ride. She was a registered ½ Arabian/¼ Morgan/¼ Quarter Horse mare, 4 years old.
She was bit flighty, and was terrified of motorcycles and snowmobiles. Apparently as a young horse someone had chased her with a snowmobile. She was my 4-H Project animal until I left home.
These were the horses I grew up with.
Rusty and I, 1978
I was working at a local private school in the stables in the late 70’s and they had several horses that had been damaged by a bad instructor. I was able to save Rusty, age 13, from the slaughterhouse. He was a Thoroughbred and had been jumped far too much. He was a very sweet horse and easy to work around.
Nylon’s Lad 1985
I heard about Laddie in 1979. He belonged to an old lady and she could no longer care for him. He’d been a registered racing Quarter Horse until an injury to his front leg stopped his career.
He was cryptorchid, meaning he’d retained a testicle and could act studdy at times. She didn’t want to try to find a home for someone who could handle him and was going to put him down, even though he was healthy. He was 18 years old. We convinced her to let us care for him, and eventually took him with us when we moved to our farm. She would never let us buy him though.
I had 4-H kids who came out to the farm and cared for one of the horses as a 4-H Project animal. We had one girl, Nicky, that he just adored and they spent many happy hours together. She cared for him for a couple years or so. He was always a perfect gentleman for her. But he always had to be kept separate from the other horses so he wouldn’t injure them.
Babalooey March 1986
My husband saw mini donkeys at some event and so I decided to get one for him for his birthday. I heard of an 18 year old jack in need of rescue out on Cape Cod. We went out to see him and it was awful. His feet looked like Turkish slippers, curled way up in front of his legs. He was covered with warts and very thin. The owner had feed all his animals garbage, and Looey would eat anything when we got him.
My husband used to take him for walks around the neighborhood. Looey was also our timer. He could see the lights come on in the house in the morning, and if we weren’t promptly out at the barn for chores, he’d tell the whole neighborhood, at 5:30AM.
He had many happy years at the farm. We found a small cart and a mini harness and used to drive him. He was in the Memorial Day parade a couple times in town.
He died an unfortunate death of sand colic at the hands of a neglectful vet, in 1992, age 25.
Little Dickens 1972
Sybil was the only one that I did not keep as my own. She died on my dad’s farm. Dickins was free leased to a little girl in the town my dad lived in and died in an accident in the 1980’s.
Chief, Rusty behind, 1985
Chief lived until 35. We had to put him down in 1986 when he could no longer eat well enough to get through a winter. He still had his zest for life, but he would lose serious weight over the winters because his teeth were falling out and they had not come out with Senior feeds at that time.
Beautiful Jewel , ½ Arab registered as Kwaiyis Jauhar, 1989
Jewel had been free leased to a neighbor and when she went to college, the mare came to me at the farm. She lived several more years, dying 2 weeks before her 30th birthday.
Rusty had a good life, we finally got him to keep weight on most of the time, his legs healed as much as they would, and his feet no longer broke to bits if he lost a shoe. He lived to 27.
Laddie died of colic on July 4th, 1987, he was 26. He’d been prone to colic as long as we had him. But he had many good years out on the farm.
The last one, Babalooey, was gone in 1992. After that we had boarders until October 2001 when we closed the barn due to chronic illnesses.
So that’s the horse history of Golden Oak Farm. I got most of the dates and information from my 4-H records. I kept records on all the horses from Chief in 1967 until Looey died in 1992.
We named the farm “Golden” Oak because there were always so many old horses living out their lives here. After mine were gone, we turned it into a retirement stable until we closed in 2001. A lot of horses got to live an ideal life to the end.