By Ralph Chain
They always say, “In a person’s lifetime, you have one good horse and one good dog.” Of the dozens of horses that have been on our outfit in my lifetime, there have been a few that really stand out in my mind.
A lot of our saddle horses are either owned by the ranch or by the employees themselves. One horse that I will always remember is Ole Buck.
It was my father and grandfather’s practice to buy mules throughout the region and gather these mules up from different farmers who would raise them from colts. A lot of the farmers back in those days, before the introduction of tractors, had a few mares that they bred to produce mules with. This was a source of income for the early-day farmer, and it was my granddad’s practice to go through the country and buy these mule colts from the farmers. These mule colts were brought to our home place and put together in large groups. They were eventually sold and went to the cane fields of Louisiana or the cotton fields of the South in Tennessee and Mississippi.
In our own farming operation, we never worked horses; it was always mules. The only horses that were used were saddle horses. It was my surprise one day when my grandfather purchased a bunch of mule colts from a man named Dan Studeville, who lived on the North Canadian River, about nine or 10 miles north of us. In this group of mules was an outstanding buckskin horse colt with a white blaze face and two white stocking feet. He was one of the prettiest buckskin colts that I had ever seen, and I could see why my grandfather bought him along with the mule colts.
Learn more about Ole Buck in the February issue of OKFR!