Arizona Republic from Phoenix, Arizona on April 16, 1961 · Page 103
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Arizona Republic from Phoenix, Arizona · Page 103

Phoenix, Arizona
Issue Date:
Sunday, April 16, 1961
Page 103
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Page 103 article text (OCR)

was to wait him out. Peanuts would try to go-but he couldn't pull the rig and Popcorn too, so the only thing was to wait until Popcorn would change his mind and consent to go on. I never whipped him for this because I knew it was useless and would only make him worse. I tried petting, rubbing his nose and other diversions to take his mind off his balk. He wouldn't budge until he got good and ready. THIS BECAME trying to my disposition and besides I began to fear Popcorn might communicate his balkiness to Peanuts. The climax came one day when my wife and I started out from Roosevelt in the buckboard to go over the Maz- atzals, by way of old Fort Reno, into the Verde Basin. We turned out of the Tonto and got up beyond old Reno and reached Red Hill, nearly to the top of the divide, when, on the steepest, narrowest~§pot in the road, Popcorn decided to balk. WE BLOCKED the rear wheels and waited. Finally I tried coaxing and petting him, but got nowhere. At last, in desperation, I got into the seat and handing my wife the shotgun told her to hold the butt against a boulder and to fire it when I gave the word. I grasped the lines and when the gun went off I gave Popcorn a cut-with the whip. The noise scared both horses, but Popcorn jumped ahead first and by the time the slower Peanuts lunged it resulted in a see-saw. It ended in my having gained only a few feet and Popcorn still refusing to pull up the steep hill. THERE WAS NOTHING to Jo but unhitch the team, turn the buckboard around and go back down the, mountain, back to home. How I ever got that buckboard turned around-on that steep and narrow road is a wonder. I had to unload it and getting under it lift it around inch by inch with my shoulders. Finally, however, it was done, and with the tongue point- ipg down hill, and rocks under the wheels, we replaced the load. It was then we discovered that by holding the shotgun against the boulder in discharging it, the stock had split from the recoil impact. I should have known better. I do now. In any event we got the team hitched up again, and with the weight of the buckboard pushing against him on the steep downhill grade, Popcorn had to go. We went flying down the steep, rocky _ road, fortunately without upsetting, and by the time we reached the Payson-Roosevelt road along the lake, Popcorn had forgotten about balking and we made it back to the dam without further trouble. ENOUGH WAS ENOUGH. I sold Popcorn to Bud Norton, who had the mail contract from Globe to Payson, and got another more tractable horse to go with Peanuts. Good old Peanuts, the friendly and reliable! I think of him today with a good deal of affection. Bud Norton used Popcorn on the mail route for several years and somehow —probably he was smarter with balky, horses than I was—kept him going both on the buckboard and under the saddle. He told me what I already knew, that Popcorn had endless bottom, and that in spite of his great waste of nervous energy he could out-go any two horses he owned. More than once when Tonto Creek'was up he left the buckboard at Howell's ranch, swam the torrent, and carried the mail bags into Payson on the saddled Popcorn. "He's mean as hell, and never will give up fighting me," said Bud. "Once in awhile he balks in harness, and when he does I tie up the lines and walk around for awhile. Maybe in half an hour he'll go again. All hell couldn't move him 'til he gets ready." BUD AND I agreed that he surely was "some horse" and we both wished he could be turned loose in some "horse heaven" where he could roam wild and free for the rest of his days, as the strongest impulse of his nature demanded. Popcorn was a rare horse, in his unceasing desire for freedom. He finally foundered himself so badly, working for the humans he detested, that he died. It is to be hoped that his spirit now ranges free and wild in tho heaven of horses. , ALL EDIT HemekeiVs Heinekenfe Heinekeris i n f\ A TREASURE OF PLEASURE FROM HOLLAND TO HERE! Fully aged-Natural carbonation only-Brewed to Heineken's exclusive old-world formula Heineken's HOLLAND BEER GEN. U.S. IMPORTERS: VAN MUNCHING & CO., INC. .NEW YORK. N.Y. BAK-R-FOAM Whatever your home now has . . . block, stucco, wood, etc. . . . Alsco Insulated Siding fits snugly Into place, right over It. Ideal for remodeling or new construction. New Acrylic Baked-on Finish In all colors. As Featured on "MAVERICK" M Yean Experience Behind Every Job BEN CORBETT CONSTRUCTION CO. U12 E. Monte Vista, Phoenix, Arliona I am Interested In a no obligation demonstration Alsco SMIni. Name Address State ANYWHERE SONOTONE brings you §MtfttW HEARING • Wafchas • D.slt Clocks • Pan Sats • Transistor Radios • Jawalry J. A. STARR Manager ARIZONA DAYS AND WAYS MAGAZINE, APRIL U, W1 X7

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