Sunday, December 7, 2008

Fun Blasts from the Past
The family has been trying to pull together some of our old pieces of memorabilia and I just dug up a few old photos I have. Mom now home, is trying to find one of my grandfather Evens in his Calvary garb as he served 2 years before being transferred to the air division. His passion being air planes. Although being brought up to ride, horses were not his joy, his dream was to be a fly boy and he was.
The top photo was taken in 1968 of a stallion we had named"Iron Range Ajax".
What a gentleman he was just as my stallion "Doc Holly Golly" is today.
Very different type from what we see in many Appaloosa horses of today.
I road many reining patterns and a few Junior rodeo queen contests on this horse with huge success in that he showed this little girl how it was to be done and took great care of me. Back then a juvenile could ride a stallion as long as the events did not fall under WSCA rules. Times were different in that stallions were well trained, good citizens and proven as performers, while temperament was paramount for them to remain a stallion and even be considered to cover a mare. Unlike today when many folks will promote an un trained horse and market it on it's ancestors performances but none of their own. It was not uncommon the have 3-4 stallions on organized trail rides of 60 horses and each one was always well mannered and one had to look to be sure they were stallions. Much in horse handling has changed today and not always for the best.

The photo above is of my Father in 1969 riding "Ajax" at the Anoka Saddle club grounds doing a pole bending pattern. Of course no spurs, no tie downs, no flat bats , no long shanked harsh bits, no long strand of lariat hanging off the horn. Good equitation applied just as much then in gaming events as it did in any equitation class. The secret to being as competitive as any of the others with all their gimmicks and devices was simply great horsemanship, show your horse how, reasonably, give them a purpose and make it fun for them and they will give you everything they have to give.

The above photo was taken in 1968 again with my Father aboard "Ajax" at Sugar Hills, MN show heading back for the finish line in Keyhole race. My Dad liked the fast events.
Again as I've said before , ride as close to the base of the wither as you can, making it easier for the horse to carry you, keep your legs draped softly under you and pelvis level for direct, clean signals and a balanced effective seat in any riding applications. The last photo is of my Mother modeling her new riding suit in 1968 she received for Christmas.
I so loved the riding fashions then and miss them.
A bale of hay then was .25 cent , my mother was not happy when it went to .30 cents. Entry fee's were .50 cents.
Sportsmanship,with good behavior was expected by all as it was in the horses and anything else was just unacceptable. No junior high school behaviors, minimal politics or manipulation out of adults back then. Everyone worked for the kids, we were a community that helped each other and worked together.
People treated each other with kindness and respect.
Oh I loved the old Minnesota horse community I grew up in.
Ah happy memories of times gone by.