Little Bay Mare on the Family Farm

Missourian recalls his first horse, a bay mare, purchased at a farm sale

| Good Old Days

Sometime in the late spring after the winter of the big ice, which was 1936 and '37, Dad came home to our family farm from a farm sale with this little bay mare. He said I could have her if I wanted her. What better offer could a l0-year-old boy ever get? Boy! A horse of my very own.

The owner's wife's name was Bessie, so the mare became Bess. Somewhere along the line the word little was attached to her name and she became Little Bess.

She should have been a sorrel, but her mane and tail were black and her legs were dark, which made her a bay. She was not at all pretty but I thought her to be the most beautiful horse in all Missouri.

I broke her to ride. She was a very fast walker who would run her heart out for you. She weighed just over 900 pounds. I once rode her 11 miles in 45 minutes.

We built a cart from parts of an old buggy. Every boy in the neighborhood rode around with me but most of the girls were not interested. I wasn't interested in them either.

I rode Little Bess everywhere and couldn't stay off of her. She was my dream come true. Mom said it was hard to get me off to come eat.



February 15-16, 2020
Belton, Texas

Join us in the Lone Star state to explore ways to save money and live efficiently. This two-day event includes hands-on workshops and a marketplace featuring the latest homesteading products.


Subscribe today

Capper's FarmerWant 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 — 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 $6 and get 4 issues of Capper's Farmer for only $16.95 (USA only).

Or, Bill Me Later and I'll pay just $22.95 for a one year subscription!

Facebook Pinterest Instagram YouTube Twitter

Free Product Information Classifieds