Saturday, March 8, 2014

Quiet Horse 2008

A few nights ago I stayed up late looking though old albums of my mothers.  One of my favorite photographs was an early image of her in cowgirl regalia on a small paint pony being led by her older brother, Grant.  Other, later photos showed her with different horses, and then, as an older teen with her own horse, a bay mare called Daisey. Another favorite:  my mother leading Daisey with a small, proud figure on her bareback--my cousin Sue at  the age of  4.  The last photos of Daisey are with a newborn filly by her side, Pretty Penny. *

I can only guess at how important horses were to my mother as she was growing up, the last of five children in a dysfunctional midwestern family.  Horses gave her strength and unconditional love, and, later, they also gave her a connection to her sister's middle daughter, her young niece Sue.  Sue also turned to horses for probably many of the same reasons my mother did, and it was a bond the two shared for many years.  Now, as my mother struggles with memory loss, and as her world closes in, it is Sue who drives from Colorado Springs to Santa Fe once every two months to spend a week to ten days with her.  Sue helps her stay organized, cleans out cupboards and closets, takes her to doctor and dentist appointments, bakes her pies and loves her.  I don't know if  their love of horses started the bond between them, or if, both being horse girls, they were just naturally drawn to each other.  Whatever the reason, now some sixty years later, as Mom once helped Sue stay on top of Daisey, Sue is now the one leading the horse and helping Mom to stay on until the ride is over.

*Not long after those photos were taken Daisey and her baby were sold for next to nothing because Mom  couldn't afford their upkeep.


2 comments:

  1. A wonderful post Holly. Poignant, tender and lovely.
    There is a magical bond between a girl and a horse.
    Your post took me back and held me there for a while.
    Thanks Holly.

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  2. Love this one. The stories that go with them are as interesting as the paintings.

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