outweighs sense or as my grandmother, Grace Edna, used to say,
What makes someone decide to just take up horseback riding
“Courage takes having more strength and less sense.” Learning to
in midlife – a sport which most people who become really good
ride on horses with issues takes more strength and less sense for
tend to start as kids, Linda said, “It is nice to have something that is
sure and maybe a touch of insanity.
all mine after raising two fabulous daughters and then to see how
For Linda, learning to ride at forty-five and ride Pietra was a
proud they are of their old mom.” Women of any age can do any-
journey for the brave. Forty-five is about the age when midlife
thing we set our minds to do. It takes grit to decide to learn some-
horsewomen start to feel every childhood fall. Falling at 45 can
thing and achieve a certain level of success at it during a time in
be deadly. Pietra had serious baggage that made her dangerously
life when most equine athletes are slowing down and beginning to
spooky at times. Linda said, “ Pietra and I struggled for many years
spend more time on the ground teaching than in the saddle riding.
as she carried with her some horrid baggage. A ‘cowboy’ trainer
What made it work? My niece Mary Elizabeth says that some
had tried to cure her of her spookiness and really messed her
people have a “whatever” button meaning some people just don’t
up.“ Since Pietra came with all her western tack, Linda tried rid-
sweat the small stuff. If you are the kind of person who suffers with
ing western first. Then the pair switched to dressage when Linda
every little setback or inconvenience, you are unlikely to ever be-
figured out that it teaches you to use all of your rider aids and also
come a really good rider. You certainly won’t be able to enjoy the
makes the horse a fine athlete progressively.
ride. I think Linda has that “whatever” button that has allowed her
About her and Pietra’s journey, Linda will tell you that, “ We
to master horseback riding at a challenging point in life. She says
have a wonderful history together and hopefully it is inspiring
it is because of her journey with Pietra that she can now ride just
to other women. You are never too old to realize a dream, never
about any horse.
too old to try something that is hard but so satisfying. “ One of
It does not take much to get Linda talking about her desert
the best things about riding a bit later in life is that there are of-
princess. Watching them ride, it is not hard to imagine Linda as the
ten many other women at the same point in life doing the same
musician she is. Linda said, “ I always thought music was my pas-
things. Some will have a lifetime with horses. Some perhaps gave
sion and now I find Pietra is.” Music and riding are a lot alike. They
up riding for a while to raise a family or have a career. Life takes up
both take patience, commitment, gentleness, spirit and cadence to
time and sometimes dreams get put on hold.
Continued from page 71
The August/September 2013 issue of The Arabian Sport Horse Magazine.