The man loved his horses. When I was young and in love with all horses..he would let me ride his. He taught me how to ride bareback..he taught me that some of his horses could be ridden with just a halter..they were trained good..why?..he trained them himself. I loved my afternoons spent at his farm. He had a passel of kids..but few of them rode.
I would call and ask if it was okay to come over..the answer was always..yes! I would take off on my bike.
There was this one last hill..I would ride as fast as my bike would allow..and watch for sand at the bottom of the hill. The farm and the horses were just beyond the crest of this hill.
I have photographed this hill on many occasions.. it is just down the road from where we live now.
The memories of good times gone by..of the wind in your hair and the horse under you at a full gallop.
Even after I got my own horse (who was a terrible biter) I preferred to go over to Joes to ride his horses. His horses never bit me..they may have tried to brush me off on some of the low hanging branches in the pasture..but they never bit me.
Now I just photograph the horses..I always asked Joe “How many horses do you have now?” He would answer in a ever so soft voice..and ask me to keep it to myself..because his wife Vi thought he only had a few.
He was always ready to share a story or two or three. He died last Monday so the stories will end but the good memories will remain. Joe was 85. When he was 65 years old he rode with the Itasca State Park Centennial Wagon Train from St. Paul Minnesota to Itasca State Park. Now let me tell ya that is a fur piece to ride on horseback..he always said that it was a ride of a lifetime:)