chapter  4
Leaving the West: The 1890s
Pages 21

Almanzo Wilder had a secret advantage: the farmer’s wife liked to farm. His Bess, who would not promise to obey, was more than ready to stand by

and farm. Her frequently stated belief in marriage as an equal partnership extended to the business of farming which, although personally satisfying, often involved dangerous, dirty, and physically exhausting labor. Sharing the workload increased productivity, and Laura was a major asset from the first season. She shared Almanzo’s passion for horses, especially Morgan horses, and learned how to drive the binder behind a restless team. 1 Early in the marriage, probably with Almanzo’s expert instruction, she began to break and train bronco ponies. As always, she tended the cows and kept a large garden, which increased the self-sufficiency and profitability of the Wilder farm.