August 15, 2006
By Joyce McBride
Show Low Historical Museum
Moylen Owens: And my grand dad let me break the yearling horses. He had several horses. He let me break the yearlings but I didn't have a saddle. I never had a saddle; I'd just ride them bareback.
Joyce McBride: Hmm, and you could break them that way. You waited a year before you would break a horse?
MO: When they were yearlings. Now, they usually wait until they were two or three years old before to break them. That was a good. I liked that. So, I'd break them, and then by the time they were old enough to really ride, they were already gentled down and ready to go.
Did I tell you about breaking horses for the race, racehorses?
MO: What was his name? The people that had racehorses out here beyond the high school, where the high school is, what were their names? Anyway while I was working for Shell Oil, I also broke racehorses for him.
JM: Oh! Like quarter horses?
MO: No they were Thoroughbreds. That's where I decided I'd never have a Thoroughbred. But later I found out why they were so hard to break, and ornery. Going to those auctions down there he could get these Thoroughbred racehorses pretty cheap, unbroken. He'd get the ones that were kind of cantankerous pretty cheap. So he got a bunch of them and was bringing them here and I was breaking those ornery things.
JM: And you were thinking that was a typical Thoroughbred.
MO: Yeah, I thought that was just Thoroughbred nature. And some of them threw me pretty hard and high. We'd put the western saddle on them first as I was first breaking them and then after . . .
JM: How old were you then?
MO: I was working for Shell Oil, so I was married.
JM: Okay, you were married by then so you were getting a little stiffer now than when you were a youth.
MO: Well, I still like to ride. I enjoyed it. Working with the western saddle until they calmed down and learned what I wanted. Then we'd put the jockey saddle on them. The stirrups were way high, you stand up in the stirrups and the stirrups were way up. Every now and then one of those things would go back into the old trade of pitching. You try to balance yourself up there with a pitching horse. I never did get throwed off either. And I had a lot of people watching me riding with a horse a' pitching in a jockey saddle. I broke a lot of horses for them. They had one little Palomino mare that they wanted to break to ride, a Thoroughbred. So they turned that over to me to break, and I taught it all western stuff. One day I was driving the weaner calves from our corral in town to the Bench. After we weaned them from their mothers why we'd drive them. I was going to drive them to the Bench to pasture. We kept them in the corral until this time. Okay, I was driving them towards, down that street towards; you know where Bill's Bar was?
JM: Uh hum
MO: Towards Bill's Bar. And then they were supposed to turn to the left and come on down to the Bench on Old Linden Road.
JM: then 6th, yeah.
MO: As we got just about to Highway 60 some of these calves started turning to the right, so I gave this mare the spurs and we took off to head them back. I couldn't hold her from then because she'd had learned to chase and turn cattle like that. Then she made a turn on the pavement and we were going 90 miles an hour. And down we went. We slid across the highway on her side and wore the candle off the saddle and right up into Bill's Bar. And it wore the candle off my leg too. Oh! That did hurt! Wore all the side of my leg off! But all those people standing around, I just couldn't act hurt there. I got a hold of her and pulled her out and got back on her and went on with the calves. But when I got up to that corner I started feeling sorry for myself. Oh! That did hurt! It put me out of commission for several days there, weeks after that, because it made me lame on that side.
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The opinions expressed in this interview are those of the interviewee only. They do not represent the views of the Show Low Historical Society Museum. Please contact the Show Low Historical Society Museum with questions about the use and reproduction of this resource.