We don't live on a farm (yet), and we don't know all that we want to about horses (yet), but it sure is fun being out at Sorrell Hill Stables in Warners each week. Erin has been taking riding lessons now since March and it has been as much fun for me as it has for her. There is something about it.
My mother in law would have been 82 this year and there wasn't a horse around that she didn't like. She had her own painted horse named FLASH when she was younger. She was a fantastic barrel racer with her horse. They won most of the events that they entered. Dorothy even went to college with FLASH - Ithaca. And think about it, she would have been 82 this year, so back in her day, women heading to college was exciting enough, let alone a woman heading off with her horse. Even at 78 she wanted to ride. I remember her story about a farm in Florida looking for some help. She went in to talk to them and told them she was 75. When we asked her why, she said, well they would have laughed at a 78 year old woman wanting to ride a horse....oh, like those 3 years would make it any less crazy!!!!!
All the years of hearing about FLASH, and hearing the horse stories from my Mother in Law must have stayed with Erin, as she loves it just as much. I will never forget the first time Erin rode at the farm, she told me that "Grandma was riding with her...she felt her watching her."
This weekend we returned home from an outing to the Lake to find a package from my Father in Law. It was a book printed in 1934 called Crazy Quilt. It was his favorite book about a painted pony. He has spoken about this book for years and about how much he treasures it. Well, there it was in an envelope addressed to Erin, with a note telling her that "I hope you enjoy and treasure this as much as I did". Love Grandpa!
Today, Erin got a chance to canter for the first time! I don't know that I have seen such a magnificent smile on her face in a long time. No laughter like yesterday, but just a gigantic smile that spread from ear to ear, and a whisper when she passed me on the rail...."Mom, I did it....I finally got to canter!"
Talk about an odd feeling. I felt my mother in law's presence with us so much today. It has been 1 1/2 years since her passing, but today it was like she was right there with me and her smile was a big as Erin's.