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Haag, Rita / If you look back, it's not that far: memories of Mary Stella Sutter Haag recorded at age 103

Part I: Growing up in Perry,   pp. [2]-30 PDF (9.0 MB)

Page 10

I had to go across the creek once. I knew the way but it was
quite a distance."
Horses and Other Animals
When Mary was growing up, all the horsepower on the farm was
literally horse power. She remembers that her father usually
just had one team--two horses. They took their horses to the
blacksmith in Forward to be shod, and sometimes they'd have to go
to Mt. Horeb. But if the shoes only needed a few nails, her
father could handle it.
After pulling heavy machinery all week, the horses had
earned their day of rest and were usually not worked or ridden on
Sundays. Good farmers gave them their well-earned day off,
sometimes grudgingly, since that meant the family stayed home,
unless visits could be made by walking. Most farmers in the
Perry area were so dependent on their horses they tried to use
them as transportation only in an emergency.
"When you had to drive ten miles to town with the horses,
and they were working and they were tired, we didn't use the
horses any more than we had to. Usually when they took off the
harness and let them out Sunday morning, they went for the field.
They rolled themselves and were happy."
But there were special times when the horses weren't working
so hard and they offered a bit of fun. "Oh ya--Rose and I, we
used to like to go horseback riding. We had a couple of horses
at home. They were farm horses and they were always tired. We
always liked horses when they're tired. They're not perked up
like riding horses." Mary and Rose didn't need to use saddles:
"They were quiet. We could ride around with them in the yard. We
sat there like the boys, a leg on each side, when we rode around
the yard."
But it was difficult to be properly modest while straddling
a horse with skirts on, "so when they took a picture we took it
the right way. Ladies always sat on the side. But then you had
kind of a saddle that you could hang on to." Mary recalls: "Our
neighbor, (Edwin Johnson) had a camera. Not many had cameras at

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