A Visit with Lloyd
by Beth Sutt
Lloyd Boston has lived in Keswick nearly all his life . .He was born and raised just o!T Rome 616 and wem LO school at the neighborhood black schoo l located not far from his home. north of the old Albe marle Coumy Poor House. T his one room schoo l held first through sevent h grades, attended by those who were willin g or able to stay that long. Lloyd was anxious to leave class each day LO go work at Keswick Farm, localed across Route 22 from the Post omce. This was the home of Mr. R.O. Hall. It was with this family that IJoyd's career wor ing with horses began in 1927 when he was nvelve.
"I was light then." Lloyd remembers with
a laugh... They put me up on the young horses. We h,id a lot of fun b reakin' them horses. Mr. Hall would lead me 011 a three year old, then soon as we know he wasn't guin' to do nothin', then we'd put him on a longe line. We'd jump him over liule jumps- oneortwofeet. Then we'd set up
biggcrjumps in a chute.The poles fit in slots in the fence so the horse couldn' t knock 'em down. We co uld set a pole out at the bouom if he needed to stand back a little.
That way he'd learn LO jump on his own. We·ct set the fence up to fou1· feet and higher if we wanted.
"We used to hack the horses out on the road (Route 22) . The re wasn't many cars in those cla ys. I'd ride a young horse behind Mr. Hall or one of his boys, Chet and Richard, on an older, brnke horse. We'd go through fields, up the mountain, all over. After that they wasn't afraid of nothing. That's the way we broke those horses."
Mr. Hall had a private packof foxhou nds that he hurlled throughoUL t he Keswick area . He bred his fielclhunters by a race stallion of his good friend William ·'Billy" Garth (Ingleside Farm ). His favorite broodmare was a work horse used on his own dairy farm.
\<\/ith the help of Lloyd and the boys, Chet and Richard, these half-breed horses were trained Lo hunt both "drag" and live fox,and to showsuccessfully ove r co ur ses of fences that measured 110 less than fourfeet. (These days, local amateu r hun ter classes test horsesover courses that start at two feet six inches or three feet. )
Hunting in Albemarle in the late 1920's and early 1930's was fond!)' recalled by Bill Ga rth' s dau ghter Berta Jon es in the Farmington Hunt Club's Re miniscences.
"The hunting was wonderful in those clays. Therewasno wire. And the jumpswere big - nothing under three-eight. Many were four feel and more. All good stiff jumps and yet there was rare ly a fall.
"Even before we had a hunt at Farmington, a group ofuswould go over to Keswick and hunt.Julian Morris was Master then. We'cl Lake the trainat the C&OStation and ride over to Keswick for an eleven