I realized that God had given me a special gift, when it came to animals. I could communicate with them in a special way. I decided, to buy myself a young colt that I could train. But in order for me to buy this colt, I had to buy his mother, also. His mom was a farm horse that pulled a plow. She was eight years old, solid black and stood fourteen points and two hands tall. She was so gentle that my youngest daughter, who named her “Nancy,” enjoyed riding her. But her colt that I named “Dusty” was only three months old. He was buckskin and his mane, tail and stocking legs were black. On his forehead was a white dot.
Since Dusty was too young to be ridden, I would lounge him on a lead line. During that time I would teach him the various voice commands, which were Walk, Trot, Canter and Stop. I was very patient, even on those days when he was stubborn and he refused, to listen. I never yelled or hit him during that time. I was always calm and gentle even on those days, when it took me hours to get him to listen to my command. But when that lesson was over, I had won. As he grew older, I was able to place a small saddle onto his back. Then I would lounge him on that lead line, to get him use to it.
When Dusty finally turned two and a half years old, I could finally ride him. The first time I got onto his back, he just stood there. He trusted me and I trusted him completely. Not once, did he try to buck or throw me off. Whatever voice command I gave him, he responded to it. When he was well trained, I rode him out on the trails. Because he was so gentle, anyone could ride him. My oldest daughter was one of them. She became my helper. She would take lessons on Dusty. Her instructor, Gwen, would teach her how to give the correct leg signals, so Dusty would get into his correct gait.
My youngest daughter also took ridding lessons on her horse Nancy. But one day when we came out to the barn, we noticed that Nancy was limping. Another horse out in the pasture had kicked her in her shoulder. A doctor came out to examine her. He told me that she was lame and could never be ridden again. I sold her to a farm, hoping that she would be able to pull a plow. Then I bought my youngest daughter, a show pony. My daughter named him “Diamond.”
One night I received a phone call from Gwen. She wanted me to buy a young horse that she had gotten at a slaughterhouse. She didn’t have the heart, to see him killed. She asked me if I would buy him. I did. This colt was one and a half years old. He also had a very bad cold. Once he was over his cold, I started his training. I lounged him, like I did with Dusty. He caught on very quickly. On this colt’s forehead was a strange looking star. It resembles the North Star and that was how he got his name. I called him “Northern Star.” He was brown with a black mane and tail. On his legs were white and black, checkered socks. Once he was completely trained, my oldest daughter rode and showed him. Every show that they were in, they won first place.
When I first bought Dusty, I never intended to buy another one. Because I did such a good job training the different horses to be ridden, other people, who couldn’t control their own horses, would ask me to buy theirs. One horse led to another. Before too long, I owned seven horses. My husband wasn’t to happy about this. In 1978 the owner of the pasture decided to build a 22 stall barn. They asked me if I would be their manager. I accepted. In exchange for my working there, they gave me free pasture board for all my horses. This made Ron very happy.
The only problem that I had, while working there, was what my husband expected me to wear. He didn’t want our neighbors to find out that I was working in a stable. Every morning I had to put on a dress, stocking and high-heeled shoes. In a bag were my working clothes. Before I could take care of the horses, I had to change my clothes first. I worked there for several months, then I had to quit, because my husband wanted me to watch his sister’s children that following summer. Since her children and mine were close to the same age, we had a great time together.
One of the horses that I had bought, was from Sandy. Her horse “Tally Pride” was a young filly, who was two and a half years old. Sandy would ride this young horse without a saddle. At the end of the trail, this young horse would run out into the road and rear up. Sandy would fall off. She grew tired of this. So I bought her horse. I had to retrain Tally Pride, but once I did, she became and wonderful horse. Finally Sandy bought herself an older horse.
Whenever, I would go out to the barn and call to my horses, Sandy’s horse would always come up with mine. A few months later, when I called to my horses to come up, so I could feed them, Sandy’s horse wasn’t with them. I thought that was odd. I went out into the pasture, looking for him. He was no where to be found. I also noticed that there were two others horses, missing. I drove over to the owner of the pasture’s house, to find out, if he had moved them anywhere else. He said that he hadn’t. Someone had stolen these three horses.
I got my Christian friends together and we prayed, asking Lord Jesus to help the police find these people, who had stolen them. Our prayer was answered. The police traced the thieves back to our barn. Three people were involved. One was a woman and the others were two men. The woman had her horse on full board in the stable; the two men had horses in the pasture. They needed money quickly. Their plan was, they would come out each day and watch, to see who came out the least to feed their horses. Those that did, were the horses they took. That same day, these horses were sold to a slaughterhouse.
I was so glad that I came out each day. Mine could have been the ones stolen. If Sandy’s horse hadn’t always come up with my horses, I probably wouldn’t have missed him. The thieves were counting on that. I’m so thankful that Jesus sent me out to the barn, when He did and I noticed. I often wonder about Northern Star. Gwen had bought him at a slaughterhouse. Was he stolen and sold there? Gwen thought that the people just didn’t want him anymore. But maybe, he too, was stolen!