By Buddy Hazell
At the time this transpired, I had sold my first horse. Blaze and I wanted another horse. I had looked at several horses that were advertised in the paper, but didn’t see any I liked.
One day I decided to go to the North Houston Sale Barn to see what they might have. All I had was $50, but thought it might be enough. When the sale started, the first thing to enter the ring was a small black and white paint mare, she stood about 13-14 hands high and seemed to be gentle as a lamb.
Back then, all horses came into the ring wearing a braided grass rope halter with a lead rope three or four feet long. One of the men working in the ring got on her and rode around the ring showing what she could do. When the bidding started, the auctioneer started her at Twenty-five dollars, she went to Thirty dollars, and I bought her for Thirty-five.
I had hitch-hiked to get there, and thought, “How am this going to get this mare home?” Of course the solution was simple; I would have to ride her home. We lived 10 or 12 miles from the sale barn, and I didn’t have my saddle or bridle, so I had to ride her home bareback. I was fortunate she was gentle because all I had was the halter she had on. I would ride awhile, get sore, get off and walk awhile and then ride again. Didn’t think I would ever get home, but I did.
The next day, I saddled the mare (I didn’t have a name for her yet) and headed toward the Hempstead Highway where a friend of mine lived. He and I often rode together, and I wanted him to see my new horse. It was hot when I got to Royce’s house and stopped at a pond just inside their gate to water my mare. She walked out into the pond, pawing at the water as she went. She was soon knee-deep in the water and something happened that I had never experienced before. She just laid down and started rolling over and over; I thought she was dying so I jumped off and got her up. She shook herself and was just fine. I later shared this with “Old Man Shelton,” and he said that she must have been a “May Colt.” He explained that colts born in the month of May would lie down if they got in water over knee-deep.
Now you may not believe this, but every time she got in water over knee deep “Water Baby,” that’s what I named her, would lie down.