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A Man and his horse

April 16, 2019
By Joyce Wiese , Toledo Chronicle, Tama News-Herald

Often times you read a story how some animal, usually a cat or a dog, has done some miraculous thing. Maybe walking a great distance to find their way back to their owner, or some other type of thing. Some folks tell how their pet cat or dog woke them when there was a fire, or perhaps warned them some one was breaking into their home. The stories go on and on.

My story is about a man and his horse from right here in Toledo, Iowa. In February this year we had snow nearly every day for several days, continuing to become deeper and deeper, which made outside work doing chores a real problem for those who had livestock.

Larry Mason, a local man from Toledo, has had horses all his life, and takes time every day to care for them. He has five horses of his own, and boards five other horses. He also has three minis. Needless to say this requires someone to provide food and water daily. Every morning you will see Larry heading west of town to take care of his horses.

Article Photos

“Shimmer” is what Larry Mason describes as “one of the best horses he has ever owned or ridden.” Shimmer came to his aid last winter when he collapsed in the snow.
-Photo provided

The late February snow was the most we have had for a few years, as well as some drifting. Drifts in places were quite deep, up to two feet or more. Larry, with his wife Teri, in their pickup started out to their pasture a couple miles west of town. Here is his barn and pasture where he keeps his horses. Pulling through the gate and heading up the hill to the barn Larry ran in to one DEEP snowdrift and buried his pickup. Sometimes it is possible to do a little shoveling or maneuvering so the pickup can go on through or back out. Not so for Larry. His truck was buried.

Larry knew he needed to get to the top of the hill to do chores so he started out on foot. Walking through 12 or more inches of frozen snowdrifts is one tough job for anyone. Larry found this to be true in a very short time.

Larry had a triple by-pass procedure a couple of years ago and that morning found his heart was not made for deep snow hiking. Traveling a short distance up the hill in the snow, Larry collapsed falling face first in the snow. His wife Teri immediately came to his aid and got him turned over so his face was out of the snow. This would allow him to breath if she could bring him back to consciousness, but by then Larry was starting to turn blue. Teri rushed back to the pickup and called 911 for help, immediately explaining the circumstance.

Meantime, Larry's horse "Shimmer" came down the hill to see what all the commotion was about. Shimmer saw Larry laying on the ground and immediately came to protect him, standing over his body, front feet on one side of Larry and back feet on the other side. Shimmer stayed in this position and patiently waited until help arrived. When the EMT's arrived and brought equipment to aid in the rescue to get Larry down to the ambulance, Shimmer moved to one side and watched.

Larry has owned Shimmer from the day of his birth, about 12 years ago. He also owned Shimmer's mother "Sweet Thing." Shimmer gets ridden nearly every day in most kinds of weather. Larry says Shimmer is one of the best horses he has ever owned or ridden.

Many of you reading this article will remember the book "Black Beauty and will recall how faithful an animal can be. Shimmer is not Black Beauty, but is just as faithful and Larry claims just as smart.

Years ago when horses were a necessity for all people, a faithful horse could make the difference between life and death of many a person, the same as Shimmer performed.



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