Horsing around is his pastime

Staff writer

Larry Britton of Florence isn’t usually found far from a horse, in fact nearly every day he can be found riding one of his three horses around Florence.

“It’s the only place my family will let me ride by myself,” he said. “They get worried when I ride outside of town alone in case something were to go wrong.”

Unless it’s too hot to ride, Britton travels around Florence, taking in the sites and offering rides to kids outside playing. On days when his kids, grandkids, or even great-granddaughter join him, they travel between Florence and Burns. Britton has even led a trail ride to the county lake with his family, where they had a picnic.

“I would ride all day and every day if I could,” he said. “I love it.”

Britton said he doesn’t know what started his love, but knows that since he was three, he could usually be found on horseback.

“My grandpa and my dad rode, I guess I just took after them,” he said.

Riding has led Britton to have many jobs on horseback including working for a feed lot and riding eight hours a day seven days a week.

“It was quite the life, you were always sore, but it was some good times,” he said.

Even though Britton is no spring chicken, he still enjoys breaking horses, and is currently breaking a 3-year-old mare for Phoebe Janzen.

“It can be dangerous,” he said. “I start out teaching them how to lead and stand, then work my way up.”

Britton said he taught all his nearly 100 horses he’s owned the meaning of the word whoa before ever putting a saddle on them.

“That way they know how to stop before I get on,” he said.

Despite being kicked, bucked, and thrown off many horses, Britton said he has never broken a bone.

“I’ve been very fortunate,” he said. “I’ve been stomped on and all black and blue, and I still get up and do it again.”

He believes the horses have helped keep him young and active. Horses have also taught him how to relate to people with different personalities, because their personalities are so different.

“They’re like people,” he said. “The nicer you treat them, the nicer they’ll treat you.”

 

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