Susie and cousin Jill on Punky Doodle. (I did not name her.)

Susie always had to have a horse. We were keeping a Palomino named Punky for some neighbors, but she wanted one of her own. We first bought Brownie. This was a horse that was not what he was purported to be. Susie came to me one afternoon and said she could not make Brownie go. Whenever she got on Brownie and tried to ride him he would back up instead of going forward. I went out and climbed on Brownie and sure enough, when I gave him a little kick and a loose rein, he started backing up. I turned him around and started making him back up. When he wanted to stop, I sawed on his bit and pulled the reins tighter and made him continue backing. I backed him all the way to the front gate, turned him around and backed him all the way back up the hill to the house. After that, she did not have too much trouble with him backing up but he had other problems as well. He was clearly not satisfactory, so I took him back to the fellow who had lied to me about what a wonderful children’s horse Brownie was. He would not take him back, but after I explained to him more clearly how I felt about it he decided to take the horse back.

Next, we bought a POA (Pony of America), but Susie hit a growth spurt and he was too small for her.

It was then we purchased Asba. He was a big half Arab, half Quarter horse. The only problem with Asba was he was almost blind in his left eye. Susie really enjoyed riding him and he was a good horse. I was exercising him one early morning and decided to go through the gate to the front pasture. When Asba started through that gate, he apparently thought something was going to hit him on his blind side. He jumped sideways about five feet, and I found myself hanging on the saddle down on his side. I was sort of hanging head down with just a little of my right leg up on the saddle.

Well, my awkward position spooked Asba even more and he took off at a dead run. He was running along the barbed wire fence and he kept drifting closer and closer to that barbed wire. I had to make a decision in a hurry. If he got against that barbed wire fence I was going to be skinned alive. If I dropped off, I had to make it through his galloping back hooves without getting stepped on. With me bouncing against his side, I could not pull myself back up into the saddle. He ran real close to the fence, and I decided to chance it and just turned loose and tried to protect my head as I hit the ground under him. Amazingly, he did not step on me and stopped a short distance down the fence line and waited for me. I dusted myself off, said a little thank you prayer, and got back on him. We had a great ride for an hour or so but I was always ready for a sudden move whenever we went through a gate or by a post.  I covered this with Susan about five times until she was pretty tired of hearing about it.