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.

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