This Equestrian Mom tribute comes from our own fearless leader, Susan. Hpapy reading!
For this Mothers Day, I want to recognize the role of my mom as strong influence in supporting my love of horses.
My mom was not a rider herself, but she did have a deep love and appreciation for horses not only in general, but for those who ride well in particular. The first time I realized the depth of my mother’s appreciation for equestrian sports was when she and my dad took their 4 daughters to the Washington National Horse Show. I don’t remember what classes exactly we watched (if I ever knew) but I know it was a Grand Prix jumper class of some kind. We were in a front row, so the pounding of the horse's hooves and their breathing combined to make a sound which reverberated throughout the ring. (I also remember shock at how much the riders swore as they approached jumps - something that I associate with competitors even today.) My sisters and I loved the beautiful animals and loved watching them go over every jump apparently effortlessly. As we kids gushed over the horses, but my mom directed my attention to the rippling of the horse's muscles and the concentration on the rider's face. My mother was tuned into the athleticism of the event and I changed from a giddy kid in love with anything horse-related to someone who appreciated the sport.
On Sundays, while we lived in the DC area, my mother insisted that after church the whole family take a ride into Virginia to explore horse country. At mom's direction, sometimes we would stop to pet horses in pastures and view the beautiful farms. I can't imagine doing that now!
Eventually, we found out that we would move back to Minnesota and live on a hobby farm. As mom and dad planned our life on the farm, I remember mom continually reminding my dad that she wanted a few horses to “dot the landscape”. With those words, my sisters and I had farm horses to ride!!!!! Dad had bought us a few old work-horses for a couple hundred dollars that we learned to trail ride. We didn't have any formal lessons or training. We just hopped on and never looked back!
Thank you, mom, for teaching me about horses and providing me the opportunity to have fun in my teenage years trail riding. Your passion was passed on to me, and I passed mine to your granddaughter who still rides today.
Thank you. I love you. Happy Mother's Day!