Note from the typesetter–this is another story handwritten by my dad, Bud Taylor (1921-2010), when he was beginning to feel the affects of his Parkinson’s Disease. I typed it to share it and left the language, spelling and grammar as I found them to keep it authentic. This story starts out with a difficult disposal of a horse that died. Understand though that Dad always loved horses and he always took excellent care of every horse he ever owned, always fed, watered and curried. But sometimes they die and you do what you have to do. I italicized a little classic cowboy logic further down about a $75 horse and a $1,200 check. Enjoy. Ryan Taylor
My First Horse
Gordon came to Towner with bunch horses in the 1930s, don’t remember the year for sure. Between 1931 & 1934 late summer. He gave me a gray 3 yr. old gelding that had hurt its back leg bad and couldn’t run good.
He cut it out on main street by our old house and put on the golf grounds east of our house in a low draw and I carried feed and water to him till he died. The golf grounds were fenced then to keep milk cows and horses out as a lot of folks had milk cows then.
Anyway it got cold and the horse froze down but didn’t bloat as it was pretty cold. One day the local city cop Harry Bundy came by and said that the horse had to be moved off golf grounds. I was young and we were poor for money. A neighbor and friend Roland Ness had a model T Ford, used to haul wood with it to sell. I would help him so he offered to help me get the horse to the dump ground about a mile east.
We tried to skid it out but didn’t have power enough. We ended up cutting him in chunks we could lift and hauled out that way. That is a true story of one of the first horses I ever had but the only one disposed of that way.
The only time I was in there golf house was in the 1970’s for a going away party for Pete Peterson who had a bar and sold it and was going to leave Towner. By the way, Pete died in the summer of 1986 maybe 50 years old 5 ft 11 inch tall 220 lbs picture of health but cancer of the lungs got him, too bad.
In the spring of 1939 I came down to the ranch. I was 18 years old but when I was in school in the 30s I would milk an old Guernsey cow for people across the street name of Kinsey also carry in coal & wood and take ashes out every day so I got an old Sears & Roebuck saddle from them and worked it out. Took it out to Gordon and he fixed it up so I could ride it. One day we were getting in a bunch of horses east of his place, was riding a horse called Buck. He was a good horse but he was going too fast when we were trying to head them off and he fell on a rocky ledge and that was the end to my saddle. Broke the tree beyond repair. Gordon then got me a good used saddle maybe a 13 inch seat I used several summers after that.
One thing I remember about them old ponies was when they got a little thin he would take a old collar sweat pad, cut in half & sew it down the middle so it was about 10” wide to 18 long and put it between the saddle and the saddle blanket to raise the center of the saddle up so there back bone would not rub sore. It did the trick real good. It was real hot in summer of the 30s so would get up real early 3:30 or 4 o’clock in the morning if you’re going to gather horses before it got too hot.
The second horse I got was a pinto mare born in 1930 and am sure she was out of a pinto mare Grandma gave to Harve and I got her first colt and I called her Spot.
When she was 2 years old I came out to the ranch, Art Brusch lived here then.
John & Buster Brusch and me got her in the barn and got a rope on her. Sam Sidmore came over to ride her the first time and Mike Rosencrans lived over in the Merrit Hills that year and helped Sam haze her out and she wasn’t halter broke yet. She didn’t do much but run. We kept her in the barn at that time there was a open well northwest of the house and got her halter broke by leading her to water everyday.
She was a real good cow horse and would race pretty good also. Bill Rosencrans won races on her several times. She lived to 25, died out north late in fall 1955. She would watch cows better than most horses at that time as she was used a lot to herd cows with most every summer. Not too big maybe 1000 pounds She had several colts.
One of her colts, a big sorrel gelding born before I went to the army in 1942 was 6 or 7 years old when I got home in 1946. I broke him that first summer had to put a lot of time on him as he was pretty big and old to break. Got him pretty good and one day a rancher over west stopped in to visit and asked what I would take for him. I said $75, a good price then. He handed me a check he had for $1200 and said can you cash this? I said no, if I had that much money I wouldn’t be selling the horse.
Anyway in a few days he came back and handed me a $50 and $20 and a $5 bill all in cash.
The man I sold him to rode him to Towner from Granville the winter of 1948 and 1949 to pay his taxes as the roads were all blocked as it was the worst snow winter we ever had, 72 inches was recorded.
His name was M.G. LaValley. He never wrote a check, used cash and had a little safe in the house.
In the spring of 1986 he was robbed and clubbed to death in his house. He was a single man and lived alone, put up a good fight for 74 year old man but the young man who killed him was too much for him. The killer was caught and is in the pen for life. He maybe would have got away with it but failed to get the house to burn. He put diesel oil on the floor but the fire went out.
Harry Anderson a rancher north of us drove to Minot to the funeral. My son Ryan and I went to the funeral with him. M.G. had a nice funeral. I could write a lot about M.G. maybe someday I will.
Now for the next horse I had, he was born in spring 1936 out of a sorrel mare grandma left on the ranch. Never new her back history but was a real good pacer and smooth to ride. Maybe out of horse they brought from Indiana as my granddad liked horse racing when he was young.
Anyway I called this horse Dime and was broke at 2 yr. old. I had him in town the winter 1938 & 1939. Also had a borrowed team that winter. Hauled and sold a lot of stove wood.
Now about this gray gelding, Dime, he was a big tall horse was real fast and the best walk flat footed I ever rode, right on 6 miles an hour.
Was hard to out run in a race but had 2 faults, hard mouthed and rough on the run, but had fast trot so that helped. Lived to be 20 some don’t recall when he died.
Had a lot of horses since then the first registered quarter horses we had got were a registered gray three year old mare in 1955 and I went to Gillette, Wyo., the summer of 1956 and got a registered 2 yr old stud & 2 yr old registered mare.