It's In The Genes

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It's In Our Genes


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The Next Generation

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Exciting Son of Mary Mels Mystery

LM Morabs Endurance Ride Story

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Equines are in our blood.....

Before there were horses...there were mules! Clarence discing with our draft mules - many moons ago.
When we moved to Arkansas in 1980, we brought Pete and Jack with us. As mules go, they were a wonderful pair. We rode them in parades, plowed gardens for people, pulled our Minneapolis-Moline wagon with them, logged, pulling contests, etc. Not long after we moved to Bismarck, they started clearing off the property in Hot Springs for the new mall. They were piling up beautiful pine trees to burn, and we got special permission to take out what trees we wanted. We used Pete and Jack to pull the trees to our flatbed trailer - even to pull the trees up on the trailer. We then sawed them into lumber on our Belsaw sawmill, and used the lumber to build an 8X20 storage building. After we bought our farm in Bismarck, the four of us lived in that building for 7 years with no indoor plumbing (and no elec. the first year). We still have that building, and use it. It's a constant reminder of how we started here and far God has brought us. We eventually sold Pete and Jack to make way for the horses we wanted, instead, and that path led to the Morabs.
My First Horse
All of my young life I had prayed and yearned for a horse of my very own. I saved up enough money to buy my dad's gelding, Beau Bailey Hancock. His sire was a Quarter Horse and his dam a Thoroughbred. He taught me most of what I know. This picture was taken at the Aumsville Corn Festival in Oregon where we lived. This was about the second year they held the Festival (late 60's) - it was still going last we knew. That's my younger sister, Debbie, behind me. I cut hair from my dad's buckskin's tail for my mustache, and borrowed a big pair of Spanish spurs from my 4-H leader. My grandmother knitted the serape - I still have it. My dad bought the sombrero from a Mexican migrant who came into our grocery store during growing season - he was always trying to sell Dad something. My sister's outfit largely came from the second-hand store that's behind us in the picture. Bailey loved parades, and we were in our share of them. We won first place in this one, and I still have the homemade ribbon that they gave us.
Bailey and my Dad

This was taken in 1969 in Oregon. My Dad could really sit a horse, and he could sure make Bailey sit up and look good. Dad stepped into heaven in June 2017 at 96 years old and he is dearly missed. My grandfather was a horseman, too, and they both rode their share of broncs. That's my brother, Johnny, on the Welsh pony, Midget, in the background. Hard to believe I took this picture 50 years ago! 

Not much has changed.....

This was taken the first of March 2000 in Arizona - over 30 years later from the one with Dad on Bailey! Does it look like it's been that long between these two pictures? Here he is sitting on our new Morgan stallion, Mystery, and that saddle is the very same one he's sitting on in the picture with Bailey! He had just turned 79 here.

Grandpa was a Horseman

Pictured here in 1943 is my paternal grandfather with one of the myriads of horses he owned and worked with over his lifetime. During the Great Depression, he got a contract with the federal government. They wanted the horses that belonged to the native Americans along the Colorado river valley on the Calif/Ariz border to be rounded up and gotten rid of. So, Grandpa would get a group rounded up on the Arizona side, push them to the rail head and put them on the train. Ship them to where the family was living in Oro Grande, Calif (high desert in southern Calif). Once there, he and Dad (who was a young teen) would cut out the "fancy" ones (buckskins, pintos, palominos, etc.). Those were broke to ride. Then grandpa would drive them through the desert, over the mountains and down to the Hollywood area where he sold them to movie makers doing westerns. So, if you are watching an old western from the 30's/40's, you very well may be seeing horses that my dad and my grandpa broke to ride. The rest of the horses were driven up to Big Bear in the mountains and sold to the mink farms there. They had no real value except as meat for the mink. Very sad. As a child, sometimes I would sit and watch Grandpa work with a horse. Now that he's gone, I regret not having paid more attention to his techniques and asked more questions. He was in his 80's when he passed away, and he still had broncs in the corral. I miss him and my dad.

Uncles, too!

Taken in the late 30's, this picture has three of my father's maternal uncles. I believe they were in Idaho. As you can see, everyone in this family is quite at home while sittin' astride a good horse. I knew all of these great-uncles well, and I loved them dearly.

The *Next* Generation.....

There she is! Our first grandchild, Angelica Rae Messenger - on her very first real trail ride! That's her Grandpa Clarence on the Morab mare, Desiderata's Dawn. Angelica loves the horses and she loves to four years old, she started taking riding lessons on a 17 hand Thoroughbred. She will be 21 the end of December 2019. Boy, they grow up so fast...Now she owns her own Morab, a palomino bred by her other grandma, Diana. This grandma (that would be *me*) is so tickled with her - my grandpa would be pretty tickled, too! A younger sister, Ziva, also likes the horses. The Horse Lover genes continue.... Yup, I think you're born with 'em.