Vital & Danny Horse (Danny)and Vital Thibeau beside horse trailer

CHAPTER 34

Summer of 1975

My friend, Jack Moore was keeping a few horses; he told me I should have one. I thought about it. I had a brother-in-law that had a horse he wanted to sell. I asked him how much he wanted for it, he told me he wanted $90.00. It was a nice looking horse, he wasn’t too big, about 1200 pounds, so I bought it. One Saturday my friend Jack and I went to Minto to pick up the horse, his name was Danny. We brought it to my friends place and I rented a stall from him for $20.00 a month.

Then I had to get myself a saddle. I went to the Fredericton Co-Op where they were selling saddles and horse equipment. I bought a saddle for $295.00. When Jack heard that, he thought that was pretty good, paid $295.00 for a saddle and only $90.00 for the horse, he had a good laugh about that.

There was a problem with the horse, every time I would leave the barn he was ok, but when it was time to come back, when I got about a quarter of a mile close to the barn he would start bucking and fussing, just like he had a fear to go back into the barn.

There was a young girl about fourteen years old that also had a horse, her name is Mary Ann Bramstrup, and we would ride the horses together. One day we took them out for a ride, we went up this old road about a mile and a half, then we had to cross a river, there was no problem at that time because we were far away enough from the barn that he was behaving pretty well. Then we had to cross it again, still no poblem.We took the Pokiok road, we had about a mile or so to go, but we had to cross the river again, we were getting closer to the barn, so Danny started acting up again, Mary Anne crossed the river with no problem, we had about 20 minutes to the barn, Mary Anne wasn’t too long getting there. My horse wasn’t doing very well, I thought it would be a good idea to get off him and walk him down to the river. Then I got back up on him. The river was about three feet deep, when we got in the middle of it he started bucking and he fell, I also fell off, I couldn’t swim, so I was holding on to the saddle for dear life. I was a bit scared. In the spring of the year there is quiet a strong current, so we went down river for about 100 yards or so. The water was deep enough he could swim to shore. I was still hanging on to his saddle, but when he got on shore, I couldn’t keep up with him, I had to let go, he was going too fast.

He started walking towards the barn, but he had to cross the Trans-Canada highway, I was wondering how he would make out; because I was afraid he could get hit by a truck or car. Jack was coming towards me; he asked how I was doing. I told him I was ok, but I was soaking wet. I told him what had happened, he told me I was very lucky, I could have drowned, he was glad everything turned out alright. Then I went back to the barn, cleaned Danny up and put him in his stall for the night.

The next day I took Danny out for a ride again, we went about a quarter mile, and then came back; I got the surprise of my life, because he came back with no fuss or bucking what so ever. I had to look twice to make sure it was my horse because he was working the very best. He kept that up forever from then on. When he fell in the river, that must have cured him, because after that we would come and go from the barn without any problem, he was fine. I had a lot of fun with Danny.

Mary Ann, the young girl I used to go horseback riding with is now a Doctor, and a real good one at that.  She is my family Doctor. She still has her horses, and still enjoys them very much.

In the summer, there were a lot of horse shows, they had them pretty well every week, and they were on Saturdays, which was a good past-time. I keep Danny for about two years, someone wanted him, so I traded him for an outboard motor to put on my canoe, I used to go fishing with it quite a lot, it wasn’t very big, but it was doing what I wanted it to do.

My nice little riding hat that I was wearing when I fell off Danny is still resting in the bottom of the St. John River somewhere.

One day I was out fishing in the river, I caught a fish and then got another surprise of my life, when I got the fish out of the water; it was wearing my precious little hat that I had lost.

Vital & Danny