Ever since I can remember I wanted a horse. My parents finally realized that if I didn't learn to ride, I'd probably be killed, so they arranged for me to have riding lessons. It was catch as catch can for a number of years, but when I was about 14 my uncle, Win Cutrer, gave me my first horse. This would have been in 1961. I have no idea how old Becky was when I got her, but the vet said she was at least 20, probably older. She was a tough old girl, though, and even at her age and with high ringbone in one hind pastern she was still the fastest horse at Meade's barn where we boarded her and I took lessons. She carried me on many lessons and trail rides and endured a number of 4-H shows and parades with the Vicksburg Riding Club. (Mr. James H. Meade, who owned the barn where I boarded my horses in those days, was one of the founders of the club.)

After a couple of years, Becky was "sadly outgrown" as the saying goes. She went back to live with my uncle and my folks bought Blue from Mr. Meade. I'm embarrassed to admit that I don't remember exactly when Becky died, but I know it was before I graduated from college. She lived a happy life in retirement at my uncle's dairy farm.


I don't have many pictures of Becky. This one was probably taken on Christmas Day. I know that the Christmas after I got Becky my parents gave me the red coat and the saddle and I would have wanted to try them out right away.

The land where Mr. Meade's place was located is all subdivisions now. It's not only metropolitan areas that sprawl. When the barn, shown in the background, was torn down, Evelyn Halper Rule, who had been the trainer and instructor there, managed to salvage some of the planks, which she treasured for the rest of her too-short life.

My uncle Win said that Becky was a pure-blooded Quarter Horse and had been on the track. Maybe. She came without papers of any kind, but she was indeed speedy and loved to run. Once she got going, she was hard to stop.