I have documented my mother's riding abilities in this blog before. You can see her jumping here and here. Now, though, she is doing the thing that is often taken for granted in the horse world - EXCELLENT HORSEKEEPING. While I am away, each morning my mom has been feeding, turning out, cleaning stalls, scrubbing inside buckets, breaking the thick ice and scrubbing outside buckets and then doing it all over again in the evenings. As all of you know, these tasks are difficult in nice weather. She has been doing this in the bitter cold of our Pennsylvania winter.
The thing that is often forgotten in a horsekeeping story like this is the subtleties of horsemanship that is necessary to do this job well. Not only do you have to have the physical stamina to clean stalls and buckets, but you have to have the quiet, calm horse knowledge to lead hot Thoroughbreds safely around the barn and pastures. My mother has both. Pie and Sovereign have been perfect angels for her because she knows how to finesse them into being good. This is something that you can only learn over many years with horses. I pray that horses are still part of my life when I am 66 years old and that I am as able, then, as my mother is now. She is my inspiration.