We moved to Denton in February of 1977.There was an old back porch on the back of the house that was set up for a washer. The only washer I had was an old wringer washer. Della bought a new washer and gave me her old one. The only problem with that was we only had a well for water and the pump kept breaking down. Every so often Charles would have to climb down into the well and reprise the pump or whatever it needed so we could have enough water. Charles was good about fixing things.
We bought a grey horse and put him in a corral we built out of two by fours and painted the fence white. Both one of us knew how to ride and that horse knew it. Charles was determined to break him as he was only green broke. I bought training magazines and horse magazines with trouble shooting. I learned a lot from those magazines. Peanut loved that horse. He would stand up on his hind legs and nuzzle him on the nose. We took pictures, it was so cute.
Penny and Peanuts were the best of friends. They wouldn't have anything to do with the German shepherd, Lady. I felt so sorry for her. She tried to play with them, but they were like kids at school. They would growl and bite her, putting her in her place which was not anywhere they were. Peanuts would sleep with Jenny in her bed at night until we started noticing ticks in her hair, ears and the base of her neck. I pulled them off of her and Peanuts but there was more and more of them. We finally had to start leaving Peanuts outside at night. One morning when Charles came home from work, driving 40 miles to St Joseph and 40 miles back every day he was scheduled to work. He worked from 11 o'clock at night until 7 o'clock in the morning. He came home about 8 o'clock in the morning. He came to me one morning and said he had something to tell me and not to look out the window. I knew something had happened but I didn't want to think about it so I looked out the window anyway. We lived on top of a hill. When you come to our driveway you can't see if anyone is coming from the other side until you turn. Peanut was so short and long as dachshunds are no one would be able to see him until it was too late. That morning it was. He was lying in the middle of the road in front of the house. He and Penny had been wandering and playing as usual. Penny had made it but Peanut had not. I begged Charles to get him out of the road before someone hit him again. He brought him in the yard and dug a pit under the big maple tree in the front yard. Penny kept trying to play with him and wouldn't let Charles put him in the ground. We finally got her away from him and he was buried there. Every morning he had to rebury her because we'd see Penny out there dragging his carcass around the yard still playing. Every morning for about a week she'd dig him up .She finally got the message that Peanut would never play again. She would hide in the garage and not eat or come out; she would just lie in there. I thought surely she would die too, of a broken heart.
My sister Kathryn came to visit one day and told me some friend of hers from the Ozarks where Audrey lived, wanted Penny because she was an Irish setter. She took her to the Ozarks. She was her old self in a few days after Peanut died. She still wouldn't have anything to do with Lady.
We put the horse in the paper in the spring when Charles was riding him in the field and he decides to lay down and roll over on him, saddle and all. I felt bad about it but I wanted a horse that was broken. On my 24th birthday the 24th of April he came home from work and showed me the paper. There was a palomino in the paper. They wanted 350.00 for her. She had been in horse shows and was what they called "fine broke".I had gotten 300.00 from the sale of the grey horse (he had a name, but I can't remember what it was).I was hoping against all hope the owner would take the money. We also had to rent a horse trailer from Uhaul. Charles hadn't had any sleep but I persuaded him to take me back to St Joseph to Mama's house and call.
The owner was a girl in her early twenties, Ann Morrow. They lived in a big modern house on a small ranch. It was very fancy with a big brick fireplace. They had a stable and many other horses. There were rows of saddles and tack, a storage room for feed. She was going to college. I tried to pay her mother the money after riding the big horse that stood at least 16 hands high. She said Ann wanted 350.00 for the horse and she wouldn't take any money until Ann came home and gave her okay. Other people came and wanted to see the horse too, but I wouldn't get off and wouldn't until Ann came home from school. That horse was so beautiful. He did everything I told her to do. She was a mare and had had one colt that Ann was breaking to ride. She had broken Terre, which was the mare's name, when she was only 13 years old. Terre had inherited a knack from her mother, Star, that when a child was placed on her back she would only walk no matter how hyper she was at the time. That would be good for Jenny. We had brought our saddle that we had bought from a man named Williams. I called him from their house and his wife said he wasn't there; he was off repairing a roof. This is a man who was in his eighties. He owned a tack shop at his house on Pear street .We had bought a saddle and bridle and got riding tips from him when we bought the other horse. His wife gave me the number where he could be reached and I asked him if he would buy the saddle back for 50.00 because that was what we had paid for it and that was the amount we needed to buy the mare. He was very nice and said he couldn't leave but if we could bring the saddle and meet him where he was working he would see what he could do.
I stayed on Terre when Anne came home and I asked her if I could buy the mare for 300.00 because that was all the money I could spare, with renting a trailer. She said no because people were coming to look at her and she knew she could get that much from someone. I sent Charles to where Ace Williams was working and he had to promise to buy all our tack from him if he gave us the money. He said we would. He came back with the money and I was the proudest owner of the most beautiful horse since Trigger! She walked right up in the trailer we rented and we headed to Nebraska Street to show Mama. Mary Ann was there and I was so proud!
We headed back to Denton. We didn't have a saddle and people made fun of us because we sold our saddle to buy the horse. I told them I could ride the horse without a saddle but I couldn't ride the saddle without a horse! And ride I did. She was well behaved, unlike the other horse. I got up every morning at six o'clock and put the bridle on. I used a tree stump or bucket to get on her back and away we went. We rode around and around the yard but she was headstrong and pulled against me when I wanted to stop. The curb strap was made of leather and she wouldn't slow down at first. We got lots of advice from every farmer we met that thought they knew something about riding and most of them said we needed a chain curb strap it sounded cruel to me but I had to find some way to get her to slow down and stop when I needed. We changed the curb strap over and I got on and around the house I went. Jenny was riding her tricycle in the yard and as I came around the corner there she was. I pulled back hard as I usually had to when I had used the leather strap. She stopped all right! Suddenly she was stopped and I wasn’t. Over her head I went into a sticky flower bush at the corner of the house. My legs were rubbery after that for about 2 weeks but I road her every day to get over it. I didn't pull as hard anymore and between me and Terre I learned how to sit and change gaits just by changing my posture in the saddle.
We even joined a saddle club in Everest. I didn't enter any shows, I didn't know anything about showing, but we took her to the shows in a horse trailer Charles had made. He even drew a picture of her on the side of it. Charles always could draw anything. When we lived on Tenth Street and had the Volkswagen beetle we drew hearts and cupids and flowers on it. He drew and I cut out the stencil and painted. We finally got tired of the cupids and flowers etc and painted the whole thing blue and put baby moon wheel covers on it. One day when he was working, employees had to park their cars closer to Frederick Avenue so customers could park closer to the store. He always left the keys in it and sure enough when he got ready to go home someone had stolen the car. We found it 2 weeks later in KC in a tow lot and we had to pay so much for every day it was there. The police didn't inform us it was there until 2 weeks later. The alternator was going out of it anyway and the battery wouldn't stay charged.
Terre would watch the horses run around the barrels and do flag poling. You could see the excitement in her eyes as she remembered when she was entered in those contests. She was too long for barrel racing. She would whistle at the other horses and prance back and forth impatiently waiting for her turn which never came.
We wanted to build a barn. We knew winter was coming and she would need shelter. In the summer time her light fluffy hair was brushed out and she started to shed, showing a dark golden coloring beneath. We took pictures and cherished a picture that Anne had given us of her riding Terre in a show in 1975.We gave her baths and bought whitener for her mane and forelocks and bought this white powder that was supposed to make her coat glow. It must have worked because she was as shiny and gold as a penny. We rode her in parades along with a little filly that Charles had bought for himself. Her name was Red. She was a sorry sight when we bought her from some folks in St Joseph. She had mites and needed to be wormed. When we finished getting her in shape she was shiny red and had a black mane and tail. She had a white blaze on her face. We have pictures of Jenny galloping her inside the corral. She used to have races with her daddy. She was on Terre and Charles on Red. The only problem with that was when Jenny was on Terre, Terre wouldn't go fast so Jenny had to take a stick with her. She never had to use it she just had to show it to her. Jenny used to ride Red up and down the road at a full gallop. She’d always have a smile on her face. We had a picture of that too.
In the fall she was starting kindergarten. She was to catch the bus in front of the house by the mailbox. She needed a phone number for the school and of course we didn't have one so I got up and saddled Terre up (yes, we bought a saddle) at six o'clock in the morning. I readjusted the stirrups and sent her on her way. Terre just walked slowly as usual when Jenny was atop her and she headed for the neighbor's house to the east of us. They weren't up yet and Jenny couldn't get down so she just sat there. Terre didn't like to stand for too long, so she pawed the ground until someone came out.
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