Another horse story from my grandfather, G.M.C. Massey, this one about breaking a mare to farm duties in rural east Texas circa the late 1800’s.
But I made the trade any way for the ten years difference in the ages of the two animals; But we had a time getting the mare broke. But we took a firm stand with her; We never allowed her to win out on any thing that we undertook. The first thing that we did for her was to hitch her to a syrup mill where we worked two horses, and we put her on the inside, and we had another horse hitched beside her that was as large as she was, and she couldn’t Run, and she couldn’t stop. And she had to go along, and she soon saw that it was the easiest way out to go along and do her part.
Then I put her to a wagon with the same horse and went to hauling cane. Then when we went to plowing single, she did not know how to act, But I took the bridle bit and father took the reins, or lines in this case, and in a round or two one of us was plowing her alone; and when we had plowed her for a week or two, On a Saturday evening I told pa that if he would help me to saddle that mare and hold her till I could get on her that I would ride her.
Well, she remembered that she had worn one of those things out, and she did not intend to let us get her with it; So we just blindfolded her and put the saddle on her anyhow; And then we had to put the blindfold back on her to on her: And when I got on her Father pulled the blindfold off and she just stood there and trembled. And I clucked to her for some time and she only stood there and trembled. And I spatted her lightly with the reins, but she was not moving.
And I got madder by the minute, and finally just kicked her in both flanks and hollered and hit her over the head with my hat and she jumped as far as she could and broke out in a hard run and when I got her stopped from running, I took a sack of corn and carried it to the Grist mill and when I got back from the mill (I had not gotten off of her) I went to uncle Jim’s and got down off of her for the first time. Not knowing whether I was going to be able to get back on her or not; But after an hour or two, I went out to get on her, And I just reached up and got her in the cheek of the bridle and one of my fingers in hr left eye and started up, and she jumped and I lit behind the saddle, But I just came right back down to the ground, and never turned her bridle loose nor my finger out of her eye, and I went right back up on her and this time I got in the saddle and turned her bridle cheek loose and it seemed to please her very much to get my finger out of her eye, and off she started in a run, and when I stopped her from running and she wanted to caper some and I just let her have her way about it till I could get everything under control; But there after she was very easy to get along with.
Well after that I started to working her to the buggy and when we had to work any horse it was always MOLLY. That is what we called her.