Another experience that I had with hay, and also during the depression, was with an ornery old mare that belonged to the Meade Brothers, who’s farm was near ours. I, quite often, worked for the manager of the Meade farm at the rate of $1.00 per day and dinner and this event took place on one of those occasions.
Newt Bingaman had bought a load of, freshly cut, alfalfa hay from the Meades and, the manager, Henry Kelso, wanted me to deliver it for them. There was nothing unusual about that, except that they had recently bought a new team of Western horses and neither Henry nor I thought that it would be a good idea to take them into town, not yet knowing much about their temperament.
The only other horse on the farm, at the time, was “Old Queen”, who was about the meanest old mare that ever lived. She just loved to kick, and she would start kicking with only the slightest provocation. In order to make up a team, for the project, I borrowed Harry Shively’s mare, Fanny. They made a presentable looking team, even though Queen was a somewhat larger horse.
All went well, I got the hay loaded and delivered with no problems. It was on the way back home that things livened up. When we crossed the railroad on Eighth Street, near Nick Blass’s store, the wagon ran ahead, a little bit, and the corner of the hay rack bumped Old Queen in the butt. That’s all that it took — she started kicking and literally tore the front half of that rack to shreds, before she quit.
What can you do when a 1200 pound horse decides it wants to kick? Nothing, just try to stay out of range. When she got done with her destruction, we proceeded on home, with no further problems. When we got to the farm, I unhitched the team, took their harness’s off and turned them out into the barn yard.
Queen apparently felt like doing some more kicking, so she took a broadside shot at Fanny, and hit her with only a glancing blow. Fanny whirled around and planted the best kick that you ever saw, right in the side of Queen’s rib cage. That didn’t completely cure Queen of her kicking habits, however, I never saw her kick at another horse, after that.