Major was a racehorse before he came to the Maxwell farm. Though he had been burned in a trailer fire and was unable to race, his bloodlines and persistent attitude made him the challenge champion of the neighborhood. Many neighbors and friends came over to see if their horse could best Major, but none ever prevailed. Through all the years, Major never lost a race.
Major was often tethered in our apple orchard. When Major grew tired of his location, he would yank the stake out of the ground and run with his head to the side so he wouldn’t trip himself on the chain. When he was thirsty, rather than drink out of his water tub, he would trot to the hydrant, use his head to turn it on and then proceed to get an icy cold drink. As clever as he was, however, Major never would turn off the hydrant when he was done! Many times the driveway would be drenched in water because Major left the hydrant on. The ducks, of course, loved the swampy driveway and always took the opportunity to frolic in the mess Major had made.
When Major tired of having someone on his back, he would find a tree with a low branch and squeeze himself under it, knocking the rider to the ground. He would then proceed to turn around and look at the rider, as if to say, “What are you doing down there?” When the rider tried to remount, Major would spin in a circle or take a few quick steps, making it impossible to get on. When Major was tired of being ridden, that was it for the day. No amount of coercion or persistence would change his mind.
Sometimes we would ride Major to our aunt and uncle’s house a quarter mile up the road. Major would be trotting along, sometimes with two or three of us on his back, then stop suddenly with the riders all tumbling forward over his neck to the ground. If we stayed longer than Major wished, he would untie himself and head for home, leaving us to walk back.
Major was one of the many benefits my siblings and I enjoyed from growing up on a farm. Another benefit was eating from the fruits of our labor, dining on farm fresh food every day. You too can partake in our farm’s harvests by visiting our Country Cupboard Store and choosing from our many offerings, including beef, cheese, pork, eggs, and baked goods. We hope to see you soon!