Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Walk Down Horse Memory Lane

The start of it all...Storm Warning Posted by Picasa

Reading a fellow bloggers
blog on June 5th, sent me down
memory lane.

What you see here are the
show horses of our family.
Mom was a great horsewoman.
She had a lot more patience with
them, more then she had with humans.

She showed horses from an early
age, before she and my father got
together. She showed all thru
my childhood.

My brother and I were dragged as
we called it, to every horse show
with in a 200 miles or so from R.I.

In the beginning it was innocent
enough. Just a nice looking horse,
called Storm Warning. A few shows
here and there. It was during the
war time, so there weren't as many.

Then she got an American Saddle Bred
horse called The Drummer. And Drummer
and she did many shows for many years.
And many ribbons. She dabbled in the
5 gaited horse classes. This was all thru
the 1940's.

But in 1950, she and a friend
went to a horse auction in New York.
Across came a dark grey tall horse.
17 hands. He was a steeplechase
jumper in Ireland. But he had some
damage done on the way over to
American on the ship. It effected
his breathing. So endurance races
were not going to be his suit anymore.
He went pretty cheap. I think she said
he cost her $100. Pretty low for a horse
of his experience. But no one was
really interested in him as he was
damaged as they said.

He was called Holy Smoke. Because
that is what Mom said when she saw him,
just as everyone else had, when they
approached him. My mother would
get up on the chicken coop jump when
she had to get on him by herself.
Otherwise, someone had to boost her on.

There was a 16+ year love affair with
Holy Smoke and Mom. She won
class after class. Year after year.
He did so well, I can remember
having to sleep in the barn before
a few show, with my girlfriend. They
were afraid someone might come
and give Smokey(as we called him)
a shot. Even through the money
was not really big in those day, the
prestige was.

Smokey was a sweetheart, he
could be ridden by a child, he was
so mild. A child could walk under
his tall legs, and never have to
worry about him stomping. He
was a baby. The only flaw that
Smokey had was he could not
eat green grass. Yep, he got
colic in a flash. We spend many
a nights walking him for hours.
Putting on the twist, so we
could get the meds down him.
Which was a dandy trick when
all he had to do is raise his head
and no one could reach him.

Holy Smoke won New England
Champion Jumper for 5 years
straight. He was a proud horse.
And when he entered the ring,
he came alive. Dancing as he got
ready for the jumps. He flew over
them with such ease.

Smokey died at the age of 28,
he was retired to the new farm.
He had a donkey for a pal. And
he seem to keep the young Hackney's
that the folks switched to in their 50's.
all in line, when they act up. He was the
old man of the new farm. They seem to
respect him.

He and Mom's ashes are buried
together on the farm. So for those
who like horses, continue below.
For those who don't...reverse and
canter.

Thanks, Marianne for the reminder
of horse memory lane.

1 comment:

She Wolf said...

Wow, this was very cool. As a child and grandchild of this family, I have heard bits and pieces of many stories threw the years, and love to hear them. But I never heard the whole thing on this one. Because of you and Nana I became an even bigger horse lover. I don’t think anyone can make you a horse lover, I think that the Love for these magnificent spirits is in the blood, and the heart. Holly smokes is right, I can not believe that Nana only paid $100 bucks for him that is amazing. I also remember another tall horse they had named Gay, I remember that she was so tall that Nana had to get on the pickup to get on her, still makes me laugh. Thank you for the good memories. Love Chey