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My Horses


Clem Curtis & Ginger

Click images to enlarge!


My Horses

When I was growing up some of my family were farmers and they owned horses. I can’t even remember the first time I sat on a horse, but I was told that my uncle, Ed Curtis, put me on one of his work horses when I was two years old. I do remember when I was four years old Ed Curtis used to put me on his horse named “Old Harry”, and I would ride back and forth through the rows while he cultivated his corn field.

I got my first pony when I was five, but I didn’t get along with that pony ver well. I just never bonded with him. That problem was resolved I was eight, when we got rid of the pony and I got my first horse. Star was a pretty good little horse, but she died when I was ten, and I didn’t own another horse until I was twelve. This horse was named Dan, and I kept him until I went into the U.S. Army at age 18.

When I left the U.S Army at age 27, the first thing I bought was a horse. For the next thirty years I owned, trained and exhibited horses in southeastern Ohio until I began to have serious health issues that prohibit me from taking care of horses.

This is just a quick view for anyone who thinks they want to buy a horse!

It costs a lot of money beyond the price you pay for your horse.

Unless you own a barn it is moderately expensive to rent a place to keep your horse.

It is very expensive to buy feed for your horse.

Veterinary expenses are high just for routine care, that does not include accidents or illness that can happen to your horse.

Keeping our horse shod is another expense.

Essential tack items such as brushes, curry comb, hoof pick, horse blanket, saddle, bridle et., etc. and tools to clean your stall are another expense.

If you plan to exhibit or show your horse, you will need a pickup truck that is capable of pulling your horse trailer. There is a great expense to buy, maintain and fuel your truck. The cost of buying a horse trailer depends on the quality you can afford, but a good serviceable horse trailer is a considerable expense.

Last but not least, before you buy a horse, you should understand that owning a horse will restrict your participation in most other activities. Ideally, your horse should be fed three times each day and the horse stall should be cleaned at least once each day. This means every day for as long as you own a horse! Thus buying a horse is more than just a casual hobby - it is a way of life!

I hope you enjoy these photos of my horses in action!

The Southeastern Ohio Horse Exhibitors Association was an organization based in McConnelsville, Ohio, that coordinated and conducted activities that promoted good horsemanship. The Association enjoyed its highest level of participation during the 1960s through the 1970s when it was not uncommon for 300 horses to be present at an event. That was the period when I was an active member. The events were called Horse Shows, which often lasted for ten or twelve hours. Many Shows were held two day events, Saturday and Sunday. The season began in May and continued every Week-end through October.

There were rules of conduct for horses and handlers in the competitive events. There was no criteria such as age or gender to become a member; a member did not even have to own a horse. About the only reasons any person could be barred or kicked out of the Association was for being cruel to their horses, disrespecting other horsemen or horsewomen, or for failure to show good sportsmanship in competitive events!

There were three kinds of competitive activity: Halter, Pleasure and Contest. There were numerous events, each sometimes lasting for a few minutes sometimes up to an hour, depending upon the kind of event and the number of participants. Five places were awarded for each event, five points for first place, four points for second place, three points for third place, two points for fourth place and one point for fifth place. Scores for each member were recorded for highpoint awards given at the end of the year.

The Halter category was a judged event. It had special categories for different breeds and an all show category where all breeds were judged together. Judges selected winners based on the conformation, grooming and behavior of the horses being exhibited. The demeanor of the horse handler was also a consideration.

The Pleasure category were judged classes for people who enjoyed showing their horse’s training and ability to perform three particular gaits in a calm and collected fashion. These gaits are the walk, the trot and canter. While not specifically expressed, the quality of saddles, along with the style and quality of dress of individual riders was a consideration taken inot account by judges. The Pleasure category had classes for specific breeds and there was also an open Pleasure class where all breeds competed with each other.

The Contest category consisted of five main race events: barrel race, flag race, pole bending, stake race and the dash for cash. Each contestant individually ran his horse through the pattern of each event. An electronic timer recorded the time within thousandth of a second. A typical score would for a barrel race would be something like 16.225 seconds to complete a pattern. The breed of horse did not matter, but a western saddle was required. Horse and rider were disqualified for not completing the pattern. There were few other rules. Fastest time won the event! The horse with the most number of points won the highpoint trophy for the day. At the end of the year, the horse with the most points in each event won a highpoint trophy, and the horse with most overall points in all the events won a year highpoint trophy.









Black Kentucky Derby Winners : 

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