At age seven my best friend was also seven, the difference was I weighed around 45 pounds and he was huge, near 1200 pounds. I ran around on two legs and he ran around on four legs. We both ate oats, his were usually whole and mine were rolled and cooked; his were raw.
On a normal day he consumed 25 pounds of hay, I’m pretty sure I haven’t eaten 25 pounds of hay in my entire life. We were best friends for the next seven years, until we both turned 14. We were still good friends but I had a new best friend in a colt I had bought from my uncle Stan Jacobsen.
Blaze, as he was called was our first family horse. I was in love with horses before he showed up but after he joined our family there was no turning back. For a 67 year old man to confess that he has been in love with horses all of his life may seem strange to some folks but to an animal lover or a true blue died in the wool horse lover or one who is addicted to horses it will make sense.
My 60 year journey with horses has been an adventure, one that I would not care to have missed.
I have spent my life working with a lot of different animals and have found that liking or loving them is in my nature, but they are animals and although I have used human qualities in explaining their behavior to people who haven’t been around horses, cattle, cow dogs and cowboys I do not attribute human behavior to animals.
Blaze taught me a lot about life. I was a small and quiet kid and found comfort in a friend who never made fun of me and was always there; pretty much the same day in and day out. I explored the desert next to the farm lands on what was called ‘The North Side’.
The North Side was a chunk of farm land North of Rupert Idaho and started about 4 miles out of town and extended Northeast to Minidoka and Northwest to Kamimah. Originally it consisted of 160 acre homesteads that were available to veterans of WW2. My dad drew one of them in 1956 and moved mom and us four boys there. It was desert in the truest sense and had to be cleared and a water system put in. At six years of age I was less concerned about that as I was to when we were going to get a horse. He showed up the next year.