More of my dad Hal Thompson’s childhood stories today . Dad is a missionary and pastor. You can find his ministry blogs at Teaching Truth Today or Enseñando las Escrituras. I have always loved listening to my Dad tell stories from his childhood and am thrilled to share them with you. His words below:
When I was about eight years old, Dad bought me a young filly to break and train. She was a beautiful sorrel mare about 14 hands high with a white silky mane and tail. Her name was Topsy. She had a disposition that a grandmother would like. In fact, when my older sisters would come to the ranch for some celebration, they always used my mare to let the grand kids ride. She was easy to train–she almost trained herself. Though she was beautiful, she wasn’t the class of horse that I wanted, so when I was about ten, I offered to trade my dad this beautiful mare for a young two-year-old filly, one of the quarter horses he raised.
I knew that dad wouldn’t let me sell my mare and buy one on the market, so I asked him if he would trade with me. Several of my friends knew of the deal that I made with my dad and thought I was out of my mind. Gentle horses are always in demand. I wanted a horse that I could use for roping and for being in rodeos some day. Dad accepted my offer because he knew he could sell my noble mare for a good price. The horse I traded for was a beautiful, fast, and strong bay with a perfect star on her forehead. She was a great great granddaughter of a famous thoroughbred horse called Oklahoma Star. She was exactly the kind of horse I had always dreamed of. I put into my bargain with Dad that the cowboy who broke horses for him was to ride the filly for the first two weeks while I was at school. That was going to cost my dad two weeks of the man’s salary, but he gladly agreed.
One day I came home from school, and I saw my beautiful classy filly, running around the yard outside of the corral with a saddle and a bridle on and the reins flying everywhere. I thought it was kind of strange that she was loose, but I caught her and tied her up. I made a deal with my brothers to do the chores in a hurry so we could saddle up another horse and take it and my filly for a ride. I rode along beside my brother on a four-mile trip with a four-foot lead rope tied to the horse he was riding. When it was getting dark, we saw a yellow palomino stallion approaching at a fast trot. The man riding him turned out to be the man that broke horses for my dad.
He told us that earlier in the day the filly had thrown him up into a tree and that they had taken him into town to see a doctor. Everyone at home was all worried because we had gone off to ride with me riding a dangerous horse, and we had been gone for at least two hours. That was the first time I rode my filly. She was easy to train, however, and I spent all my extra time either riding her or brushing her. She was very fast and turned out to be one of the best quarter horses in Western Oklahoma.
After I had been riding her for only two weeks, I rode her to school. My little brother was in first grade, only six years old. The school teacher saw me get on my filly to go home and gave me a lecture about it being a disgrace for me to ride and my little brother to walk home. Before I could explain anything, she put him up on the horse behind me. I held my breath all the way home, afraid my filly, not being used to two riders, would buck and maybe injure my little brother. My parents thought the teacher pretty irresponsible to do that, but she probably knew nothing about horses in general.
When I was fourteen, Dad sold the ranch, and we moved to South Texas and bought citrus orchards. At our sale, he sold about 100 horses, and my filly was one of the ones that brought the most money. Although he had said she was mine, he didn’t give me the money when he sold her.