4/4/15

AtoZ Letter D~Dad and Sixteen Hands Dan

"Golden horses - that's what they call the palominos. And palominos have quite a history. You know, the history of my own palomino began right here at this ranch.  If I hadn't-a gone through that gate a few years back, I'd never have gotten my pal, Trigger."  Roy Rodgers, My Pal Trigger (1946).


My Dad could have just as well spoken those words and been Roy Rodgers' double.  He and Roy had a lot in common beginning with their love of Palomino's. 

Their origin can be traced back to the Crusades and were often the choice of steed for many royal leaders.  Queen Isabella of Spain was so captivated by the Palomino's golden beauty, she wanted them to live on, breed and spread throughout the New World. 

From Mexico to Texas and throughout the Southwest the Palomino was the Native American Indian's choice of a mount for hunting and traveling quickly.
 
Annie Oakley I was not.  About the only trick riding I did was keeping my seat while riding bareback.
Dad's first rule if one wanted to ride or give rides, was 'Get On and Off on Your Own'.  So, here's **Sixteen Hands Big Dan and 'All Legs Barefoot Sue' whose longest reach could not get a handful of Dan's White Palomino Mane.  Even if I could have, Dad nor anyone else would give me a boost. 

My cousin from Iowa...the one wearing Dad's black Stetson...tried, but threw me over Dan's back. Getting off was easier...we just slid off his golden tail behind.  Oh!!! That counts as a Trick...I was Annie Oakley.

**How To Measure Horse Height...
the Cowboy Way
 
The 'Hands' measuring method is very old, but easy to understand.  People long ago did not have measuring tapes as we do today.  They used what was 'handy'...their hands. 
 
At various times in history and in different locales a "hand" was defined as the width of a person's hand and widely accepted to mean 'Four Inches'.  Though the origins are ancient, a hand is still the unit of measurement for horses today.

 Here's how it's done: Using a straight pole or level measuring tape, measure from the ground to the high point known as withers...red line on Dan measured 64 inches. 
 
Well, pardners, that's about it for Dad, Dan and Annie Sue Oakley, but there is a bit more about Roy and Trigger.  Remember I told you in the beginning that Dad and Roy shared a love of Palominos?  It wasn't just them, it was everyone of us who rode Big Dan and watched Roy and Trigger on our black and white TV's back in the 1950's.  Roy once said,  "Cowboys weren't allowed to kiss girls in pictures, so one time I gave Dale a little peck on the forehead and we got a ton of letters to leave that mush stuff out.  So I had to kiss Trigger instead."

31 comments:

  1. Ride 'em, cowgirl! That's funny about Roy and Dale's on-screen kiss on the forehead. What would they think of movies nowadays? *sheesh*

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    1. Yep, Dale and Roy's forehead kiss would have to take a number between 59-100 in todays count of Screen Shades of the three letter 'S' word scenes....we spelled it back in the 50's-60's.

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  2. Man, your dad was tough -- get on and off on your own. I guess you showed him.

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    1. I climbed on fences, the porch steps and even the hood of cars to vault on Dan. It was easier when he was saddled and I could reach the stirrups and saddle horn. It was a good rule...mostly for Dan's benefit...LOL!!!

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  3. You go Annie Oakley! :) What lovely pictures - horses always look so calm and collected. Does riding a cow bareback count? Of course I was less than two so mostly that was to do with my aunt and mother ::g::.
    Tasha
    Tasha's Thinkings | Wittegen Press | FB3X (AC)

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    1. Yes, bareback cow riding counts...altho, I wouldn't advise sliding off their rump.

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  4. Minion Carrie dropping by to cheer you on! Keep up the excellent work! :D Enjoy your day off tomorrow and have a blessed Easter! http://www.carrieanntripp.com

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    1. Thanks for stopping by Carrie. Thanks for your Minion work on the challenge.

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  5. Great story about Roy and Dale! It was also nice learning about you and your dad. It's great to meet you through A to Z! I'm your newest follower!

    Julie

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    1. Always big Roy and Dale fans at our house. Thanks for stopping by and following.

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  6. neat pics and great memories. I got bit by a Shetland once - that ended any possible infatuation with horses. I'd rather read Black Beauty than ride one.

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    1. Dad never though Shetlands were REAL horses. They are cute, but not really all that friendly. Black Beauty was my brother's favorite, too!

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  7. What a fun post! I enjoyed it very much.

    Hugs,
    Kathy M.

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    1. So glad you did, Kathy. Thanks for stopping by. I'll be by to visit...didn't see your blog on the AtoZ this year.

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  8. I love, love, love all your old pictures! You had such a movie-star family! :)
    ~AJ Lauer
    an A-Z Cohost
    @ayjaylauer on Twitter

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    1. Thanks AJ....the most we new about movie stars were John Wayne, Roy and Dale, and Gabby Hayes.

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  9. I LOVE Palominos. They're such a beautiful horse. Though I think my favorite remains the Appaloosa. I also can't get over how cowboy your father is. He's very handsome! :)

    Thanks for stopping by my blog. Loved the history lesson.

    Alex Hurst, A Fantasy Author in Kyoto
    A-Z Blogging in April Participant

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    1. My Dad loved Appaloosas, too. They are beautiful horses. My Cowboy Dad was a bronc buster and a ranch hand for many years while I was growing up. I though everyone's Dads were cowboys until we moved to town. Then my best friend's Dad was a doctor. Big surprise...he didn't own a Stetson.

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  10. I loved Roy's rope tricks and humor, even though my sister was the real horse lover. Thanks for this interesting post!
    -- JEN Garrett

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    1. It was fun to see Roy twirling his rope while sitting on Trigger. He was such a handsome man. His history is very interesting. I've always wanted to visit his museum. Thanks for stopping by.

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  11. Sue, you may enjoy this: when my son, now 25, was 3 years old, he became obsessed (I don't remember how) with watching rodeos on TV. His favorites were the broadcasts from the Mesquite. Texas Rodeo, hosted by Don Gay. I taped as many as I could so he could watch them over and over. He knew the name of every bull on the circuit, and how many riders had stayed on each one for 8 seconds. Strange hobby for a little boy from New Jersey, huh?

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    1. Not so strange for boys to love the bull rides at all ages. The TV Bull Riding Circuit is very exciting, but seeing it in person is kinda scary to watch. My grandson at age 11 and 12 rode in the Texas Junior Bull Riding Circuit....he loved it....I could hardly watch and did so through the eye of my camera. I was glad when he decided to play football instead. A different kind of 'Bull' game. Hope he will give that up for golf.

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  12. Dan was a beauty! My niece used to climb up the back legs of their horse, Miss Brown while holding on to the tail and ride her bareback, holding her mane. (She was an extremely gentle horse!) My husband's first horse, and pride and joy, Hank, was very tall like Dan.
    Life & Faith in Caneyhead
    I am Ensign B ~ One of Tremp's Troops with the
    A to Z Challenge

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    1. Somehow I knew you'd have a special horse story. Miss Brown must have been a very gentle gal...neat! I'm glad I had horses in my life as a kid. Lots of good lessons learned and not just about learning to stay in the saddle.

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  13. Hi Sue .. I've always wanted to ride .. but never did (well as a kid and was thrown, and again at 21 - thrown then too) ... Palominos are lovely colours ... while it sounds like the family had fun with their horses and your Dad was a star for you ... cheers Hilary

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    1. Getting thrown once is usually enough for most folks to not want to ride again. Getting thrown twice would probably done it for me, too. Dad made sure we only rode gentle horses growing up, but in my 20's I rode a few thoroughbreds that were race horses. WOW...they were so fast, but kinda scary. I don't remember ever getting thrown, but if I had, my Dad would have put me right back up.

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  14. Hi Sue. Thanks for dropping by my blog. We have something in common. My granddaughter are, as they say "Texas girls." I also loved palominos and watched Roy and Dale elugiously...alsong with Sargent Preston of the Yukon, Sky King, and circus Boy. Thanks for the memories.

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    1. Yes we have much in common...I have two Texas Gals for granddaughters. I also was a fan of Sky King and Sargent Preston....don't remember the circus Boy. Thanks for those reminders.

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  15. I've ridden a horse 3 times. I should say I was on a horse 3 times. First and third time, I slowly walked around a ring. The second time, some friends and I rodes horses on a beach. The horse was stubborn about heading out, but when we turned back, he galloped all the way home. Gave me a scary thrill of my life -- that I would fall and never get back up on the horse. lol
    The View from the Top of the Ladder

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    1. Oh...riding on the beach...very cool. I have ridden on the beach in Mexico as a tourista. Those horses do know their way BACK to the corral.

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  16. Love the story and the pictures.
    Yes things were slightly different back in Roy Rogers TV day weren't they. I never thought about it until you said that about the kissing. I don't remember did they even hug or hold hands ever? And I watched Sky King too.
    TV trivia - do you remember Sherry Lewis and Lamb Chops.... Do you know why they took her off TV when we were kids? Back in those days things were sure different and so were we as kids. We were kids and didn't know the things the kids do today at a young age. Apparently Ms Lewis had an abortion and the network felt that would corrupt us young-ins and she was a bad role model. I don't about you but I didn't know that watching her show. Not sure how they came to that conclusion.
    Now there's no innuendos or hidden secrets it's all out there. LOL I'd probably watch Roy or SKy now thinking how lame the show is. Roy and Sky were my heros.

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