Horse Was Hero in South Dakota Blizzard

Woman recalls their faithful horse leading the family to safety during a 1930s snowstorm in South Dakota.
Heart of the Home
November/December 2013
Add to My MSN

Faithful old horse led family home from school in a winter blizzard.
Photo By Ernst Vikne/Wikimedia


Content Tools

Related Content

Trucks in the Snow

The epic saga of me getting stuck in a snowdrift after we moved to our farm.

The Great Horse Escape Part 1

The adventure of catching an escaped black horse at dusk.

My Field Trip to Spring

Weather predictions - when is spring going to be here?

The Rough Out Saddle

Memories of Dad and Horses

When I was a child, growing up in the 1930s, my sisters and I walked a mile and a half to and from a one-room school situated in an elm grove on the South Dakota prairies, where winters were long and cold.

Weather forecasts came from Bismarck, North Dakota, which was too far away to be of much use to us. Therefore, our weather predictions were made by my dad, who watched the clouds, the sun, and the behavior of his animals.

I remember one day when the weather appeared threatening, Daddy saddled Old Silver — our beloved saddle horse who was reliable, faithful, gentle and old — and headed out to pick us up from school. By the time he got there, it was snowing briskly, the wind was blowing wildly, and the temperature was dropping steadily. Daddy sat me up in the saddle, then situated my next older sister in the saddle just behind me, and then put my oldest sister behind the saddle. The bridle reins were knotted and looped over the saddle horn, and Daddy walked beside us.

Soon, however, the landmarks Daddy had been using to get us home became obliterated by the swirling of the snow. Since he couldn’t see, he clung to the end of Old Silver’s long, white tail, and we continued to plod along through the snowstorm. I was cold, but I was confident that Old Silver would get us home.

I had heard stories about horses having an amazing sense of direction, but I didn’t really believe it until the day Old Silver proved it to me. We made it home safe and sound, thanks to our wonderful old saddle horse.

Elaine
Alabaster, Alabama

Read more winter weather stories in Stories of Snow Accumulation.








Post a comment below.

 








Subscribe today
First Name: *
Last Name: *
Address: *
City: *
State/Province: *
Zip/Postal Code:*
Country:
Email:*
(* indicates a required item)
Canadian subs: 1 year, (includes postage & GST). Foreign subs: 1 year, . U.S. funds.
Canadian Subscribers - Click Here
Non US and Canadian Subscribers - Click Here
 

Want to rediscover what made grandma’s house the fun place we all remember? Capper’s Farmer — the newly restored publication from the rural know-how experts at Grit.com — updates the tried-and-true methods your grandparents used for cooking, crafting, gardening and so much more. Subscribe today and discover the joys of homemade living and homesteading insight — with a dash of modern living — that makes up the new Capper’s Farmer.

Save Even More Money with our automatic renewal savings plan!

Pay now with a credit card and take advantage of our automatic renewal savings plan. You save an additional $5 and get 4 issues of Capper's Farmer for only $19.95 (USA only).

Or, Bill Me Later and I'll pay just $19.95 for a one year subscription!