Thursday, June 21, 2007

Old Farm

Until I was 10 years old, we rented this old farm on the outskirts of Watertown, Minnesota. I have fond memories of the place. I still remember cantering my pony at top speed up the driveway and the secret trails my brother and I created all the way to the river. We had a retired jockey named Charlie Jones that helped around the place and we did our best to torment him and get under his skin. He was always yelling at us and telling us to "Git!" But on many occasions, he would take us up to the airstrip behind our place and he would give us pointers on our riding and we would race our ponies back and forth until we were all tired.
Everyone around us had horses. We had Bob Morehouse behind us. He starred in Westerns with John Wayne and Gregory Peck. He also owned "Cash Caravan," a quarter horse inducted into the Canterbury Hall of Fame. We had the Lavens next to us with three daughters, each having very different tastes in horses. Gretchen had a giant grey named "Champ." Erika had a brown and white paint named "Navajo" Sonja had "Dynamite" a white circus pony that crossed her legs and bowed for us. I would go on to do barrels with her at all the local shows. It was a fun place to be a kid. When I go back home, I always drive by the old farm and it takes me back. The place starting looking run down after we moved.
The Lavens moved away, Bob Morehouse passed away in 1999. No one had horses anymore and the weeds grew high. I went to make my pilgrimage this time and it looked like someone was fixing it up. I found myself driving up the driveway and asking if I could walk around and takes some photos. I found the daughter of our old landlord there. We got to talking and here she is doing fourth level dressage and has an imported Dutch Warmblood stallion and some Holsteiner mares. She is in the process of resurrecting the big barn, building a huge arena and putting in really beautiful stalls in the out buildings. I felt like things were coming full circle at the old place. The farm was going to have lots of horses again and I felt this tug at my heart to be there again, cantering up the driveway.


Jessica Foster said...

See, you really do want to move back to Minnesota! Dontcha? Dontcha?

Donna said...

What beautiful memories, I'm glad someone is taking care of the place again and has brought back horses. I am so jealous of your childhood.

Rising Rainbow said...

Wow, you were lucky growing up with horses! How cool! Glad that someone is fixing up the place. I can understand the tug on your heart strings.

Molly said...

Lovely. That's a wonderful idea to remake the stable into a beautiful place for beautiful horses.

Tracey said...

What wonderful memories! And such an incredible barn (I love old barns!) It's terrific that the landlord's daughter is now fixing it up.

That horse looks like Jet!