[SeMissourian.com] A Few Clouds and Breezy ~ 50°F  
Freeze Warning
Friday, Oct. 31, 2014

Plowing with Horses- Bollinger County- 1938

The following story has been submitted by a user of semissourian.com. To submit your own story to the site, click here.
Saturday, December 10, 2011

I started plowing with a team when I was around ten years old. I believe it was about 1938. We had horses first and later Pop (Dad) purchased a team of mules. Molly was the name of the mare that we had first. Dad purchased her from a breeding ranch out west. Each ranch had distinctive brands and her mark was clearly visible. She had several colts; we kept one of them and used him to plow fields flanking her. Horses were very muscular and could be used for heavy work in the woods pulling logs and also did a fine job plowing. The mules weren't strong enough to pull logs. The horse's weakness was that you had to be careful on hot summer days because they would get hot easily.

It was a sad day when Molly died due to the heat. The whole family wept over her. We all get attached to our pets today; imagine the connection between horses that you spend hours in the field with who also provide your livelihood. It was heartbreaking.

Mom said buying those two mules was the best thing we ever did. I remember them like yesterday. Mike was black and Dan was white. I could ride Mike but Dan wouldn't allow it; I knew better than even try. Those mules would plow all day long, about eight hours. We only stopped long enough for lunch. They never got hot like horses and could last as long as we could walk behind them. They never got sick, they were tough. Mom was right.

Mike always walked in the furrow and did so perfectly straight. He didn't have to be guided. Working all day I could plow 3 acres. When tractors came out Pop sold the mules and purchased a Case tractor. We alternated taking turns on the tractor and plowed all day without much of a break. We could plow 12 acres compared to three with the mules. Four days work compressed into one.

I remember those days like yesterday. The thump of the horses hoofs against the sod. The noise a plow makes as it tears minute roots and lays over the dirt. Do you ever forget the smell of freshly turned earth? The steady clatter of leather strapping and metal connections against each other. I remember it all.

As told by a senior citizen,Ernest H. Beussink, 2011

Donald R. Beussink RT,N.,MBA

Note: The nature of the Internet makes it impractical for our staff to review every comment. If you feel that a comment is offensive, please Login or Create an account first, and then you will be able to flag a comment as objectionable. Please also note that those who post comments on semissourian.com may do so using a screen name, which may or may not reflect a website user's actual name. Readers should be careful not to assign comments to real people who may have names similar to screen names. Refrain from obscenity in your comments, and to keep discussions civil, don't say anything in a way your grandmother would be ashamed to read.

Thanks for this remembrance. This is great information, and a little window into the way people skillfully and energetically lived their lives in the past.

My dad is now 83. He drove two big draft horses in the hay field on his family's farm when he was about 12. One of their trusty horses got overheated and died, and their family mourned the loss of that faithful animal also.

-- Posted by Givemeliberty on Sun, Dec 11, 2011, at 7:51 PM

Respond to this story

Posting a comment requires free registration. If you already have an account on seMissourian.com or semoball.com, enter your username and password below. Otherwise, click here to register.


Password:  (Forgot your password?)

Your comments:
Please be respectful of others and try to stay on topic.

Related subjects