This is a picture of my mother's QH/Morgan gelding, Dusty. Yes, that's right, I said my mother's. My mother has a horse!! She got him last summer, before I got My Boy! Now if you had known my mother throughout my childhood, this would surprise you. She was afraid of horses. She would pet ours nicely on their heads, paid for their hay, signed us up for 4-H and hauled us to shows, but never had an interest in riding. Until this past year.
She finally found a horse passion of her own! She started with lessons and built her confidence on the ground, then under saddle. She learned natural horsemanship methods and became a Parelli follower. Before long, she was enlisting my help in horsey shopping. I knew she was growing in her abilities but she was still fairly green, and it took the right horse to get her going. We were lucky to find this 10 year old gelding. He is not perfect. He is not registered, has a dropped hip, and is a "Curious George." But he has been very patient with her (she spoils him rotten so I am assuming he is trying to stay on her good side!) In the 6 months she has had him, her comfort with him has grown and she has worked through various scenarios with him, thanks to a supportive instructor and new horsey friends at the stable she boards him at. The great thing about Dusty is that he would never intentionally hurt her, but he is challenging enough for her skills to grow.
I am so proud of my mother!! Goodness, it has been special to see her find a hobby of her own and to learn something new (and isn't learning new things the key to keeping our minds fresh as we age?) I think she is an inspiration to anyone who is thinking of becoming a cowgirl. It is never too late to start riding horses, as in her case; or to start riding horses again, as in my case. Let's keep recruiting new riders to our wonderful equine world!