I've had a new addition to my gang, Barbara Repta. She lives in Park City, and has a trainer up there, but, has rented a home in St. George for the winter. When she came out to Lava Bluffs to introduce herself and take a look around, she almost apologetically told me her age. I quickly told her not to think a thing about it, that I didn't currently have a client under the age of 50. Her response was, "Oh my gosh, don't you find that depressing?". I said absolutely not, in fact I find it inspiring. I hope and pray I am still riding for as long as I can clamber into the saddle, and these ladies never let me forget what is possible. Not only that, I love how eager and appreciative they are. I think I am extremely lucky to have such a dedicated bunch, regardless of their riding goals. The one thing they have in common is a desire to learn to ride, respect for their horses, respect for my time, and a strong appreciation for my efforts to stay on top of my game and find new and better ways to convey information. They always finish their lessons with a thank you. I am lucky to have them.
I've introduced Brenda and Karen in previous posts, and they have been riding with me longest. Karen is actually one of my first clients as a professional. But I haven't introduced Sarah Glidden, Beth Hart, or Barbara Repta yet.
Sarah, like Karen, did not ride or own horses growing up, or even in early adulthood. She owns a 14 year old Arabian gelding named Daz, and at the age of 64 is only just learning to ride. Her horse was bought for her granddaughter years ago, but something in her heart told her to find a way to keep this horse in her life. She’s had to sacrifice a lot to keep him, but it has been worth it and she can pilot this little power house with sheer grit you will not find on a golf course.
Beth has worked with many young horses over the years and loves teaching youngsters the basics. Her background has been primarily western disciplines, and for many years she was heavily involved in the breeding of Appaloosa's, and later Paints. While she no longer starts young horses, she still owns two geldings, Clu and Charger, that she cares for entirely herself. She does all her own farm chores and repairs, and works too!
Barbara owns and rides a 9 year old Norwegian Fjord mare named Petunia, and at 69, can ride circles around most people a third of her age. Let me tell you, from first hand experience, that if you can ride Petunia, you can ride any horse. She's talented and beautiful, and knows it, but she has definitely read the book, and if you don't ride 100% correctly, she isn't doing it!
Last Saturday, I had the girls out for a photo shoot, a short trail ride, and some drill riding in the arena. I must stay, they were beautiful riding in formation. From left to right in the group photo in the arena are: Brenda & Ruby, Sarah & Daz, Beth & Clu, Karen & Tanner, Barbara & Petunia, and myself on Charisma, who can't wear a saddle yet but is loving this new walk only plan.