Many of Phil's stories from his home county of Warwickshire (now I believe known at the West Midlands) involve horses. His father, Cyril, used them for both his milk and greengrocery rounds and also for general transport for his wife, himself and of course Phil too when still a a youngster. Cyril in fact never owned a motor vehicle of any kind.
There was apparently a horse his dad owned that could be quite a scoundrel and would grab Phil's dad by the hair and swing him around when the belly strap was being tightened. His dad used to get rattled when he would see young Phil riding his little pedal car straight through under that same horse but the animal must have understood it was a child as he never moved or tried in any way to hurt Phil.
Another horse story Phil was telling me the other day was when the family were heading into town one day. They were only about half a mile along into their journey when suddenly the horse, this one's name was Bob, wandered into the ditch on the side of the road and dropped dead. I asked Phil what happened and in his matter of fact way he said "I guess mum and I just walked back home and dad got help to have the horse taken away".
Life seems so different to we city folk (which I've been since I was 6 years old) and so I asked if the cart tipped over or anything. Apparently it didn't, but remained upright so none of the three were thrown out. Just another day in country life I guess.
Cyril then purchased another horse (the first one he brought home, a grey, was found to be lame so had to be returned), and it was a Welsh mountain pony, a feisty little girl named Doll. As you know this type of horse is a chunky little animal and very strong. Phil told me that one day he and two of his young friends decided to all hop it its back together. They all got up OK but as soon as they were settled Doll sat down and they all slid off onto the ground. It seems they decided not to try that caper again.
I think this was the general idea .... although there were only three of them. Doll just wasn't having any of it.