D1 -- Photo contributed by Don Dunkle

Here's Uncle Don riding Pinkie, a horse Granddad used for training dogs.  Don looks comfortable on his mount, as if he's already an experienced rider.  He seems to be about 12 in this picture, which means it was taken around 1949 -- the same year I was born.

I don't remember Pinkie, but Don certainly does.  Here's his report:


"Although we rode Pinkie while training the dogs, we never actually hunted birds from horseback.  Pinkie was so gun-shy that if he even saw a gun, you could barely control him.  And if you shot close to him, he would take off in a full gallop for as long as a mile -- you just had to hang on.


"Also, if you got off Pinkie while riding, you had to make sure he was tied, or else you could never catch him to ride back home.  He would stay about six feet from you, and when you reached for the reins he would jerk his head and move another six feet.  This repeated itself until you reached home -- and then you had a hard time getting him into the stable.


"One winter, we kept Pinkie down at Speed Eckel's farm, which had electric fences around the pastures.  Soon, Pinkie learned that a wire had danger in it.


"In the spring, when Pinkie came back from the farm, we still had the same problem of catching him.  He would go into the

neighbors' gardens and eat and tear up everything.  So Walter said, 'Let's put kite string out in a V from the stable, and then close in on him.'  It worked like a charm; Pinkie thought it was an electric fence.


"One day we rushed him too much, however, and when Pinkie touched the kite string and nothing happened to him, the jig was up.  We tried using rope instead of string, with no success -- he would gallop right through it.


"You might remember Sam Griswold, who lived in the first house on the right coming in to our place.  He had one eye and had been a farmer all his life.  Sam said to Dad, 'That horse of yours -- he needs a good workout, to give him some respect for his owner.'


"'I've never seen Pinkie put in the traces,' Dad said.


"'Don't worry,' said Sam. 'I can handle him.'


"In the field beyond his house, just before you come to the mill race, Sam had done some planting, and it needed cultivating.  The cultivator was in the shape of a large V with long spikes sticking down into the ground.  Sam harnessed Pinkie, and the horse seemed to accept it.  So he hooked Pinkie up to the cultivator and tied the reins around his waist -- a common practice in the old days, as it left both hands free to manipulate the machinery.


"Then Sam said, 'Giddup!'  Well, Pinkie went crazy and took off with the cultivator in hot pursuit and Sam dragging along behind it.  You had to see it to believe it.  The horse tore up a half-acre of potatoes, and Sam was lucky to come out of it alive.


"Pinkie also had a habit of swelling up while you were saddling him, then exhaling after you got on -- leaving the belly band loose.  Once, Walter and I rode him up the dirt road beside the railroad tracks, intending to go swimming at the Old Dam.  As luck would have it, here comes a train, and when the engineer sees us, he blasts the steam whistle.  Pinkie goes into a gallop, racing the train, and as we reach the turnoff to the Old Dam, the horse sidesteps.  Guess what happens to the saddle and occupants?"


(Uncle Walter, anything to add to this?)

-- Terry

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