Our Lady of the Blue Highways

Our Lady of the Blue Highways
Portrait in oils by Jackie Poutasse

Friday, October 14, 2011


Spent last Sunday at a horse show - the first in decades. Brooke entered with her horse, Justine. It was the first show for her since she was a teenager, and she was as nervous as any first-timer. But, she did great! Brought home two ribbons!

She wasn't expecting that, this show was just for experience and to ease her way back into showing. Her friend was there with her 6 year old daughter, Tiffany, who, in addition to Lead line classes, performed for the first ever time in the barrel race - walk-trot type. She did a great job! Six years old and already on the barrels. It was so exciting to watch everyone having such a great time.

Lisa is a trainer, and some of her students showed up for their first shows also. One of the ladies celebrated her birthday with 4 ribbons. What a great day she had. They really knew how to do it up proud, too. They had a pavillion tent, and brought a feast. In the old days, no one ever thought of "tail-gating" as a matter of fact, I had never even heard that term until I arrived in Virginia.

I was really Impressed with Lisa's students. They were near my age. I figured if they, and they were all beginners, could do it, maybe, just maybe, I'll find myself on board a horse once again.

From age 14 - 30, I was always around horses. I think that at one time when my kids were small, we had 7 horses. I remember this horse/pony we had - named Half-Pint. He was smart, fast and gentle. Brooke took him to a play-day one day. She entered in a "goat tail tying" class. We watched with interest the kids who rode before her. Some were successful, others not. The action was that upon "GO!" the rider would take off as fast as 4 hooves could take them, across the arena to where a goat was staked on about a 12-15' rope. The object was to jump off the horse, run to the goat, and tie a ribbon on it's tail. Of course, the goat's object was to defeat the attempt. Some of the mounts took one look at the goat, and took off for the nether regions. Others riders got close to the goat, but took all their allotted time chasing the goat, trying to catch it.

Then, Drum roll, please, it was Brooke and Half-Pint's turn. At the word GO!, HP dug in his heels and took off like the very devil himself was on his tail. Then approaching the goat, as soon as Brooke took the weight off her right stirrup, HP literally sat on his hindquarters in a stop on a dime movement. Brooke was out of the saddle, and after the goat, who was standing peacefully in front of HP, having it's nose licked - Brooke was at the tail, tied the ribbon, held up her hands, showing she was finished, in show stopping time! A Blue Ribbon for Brooke and Half-Pint. It was the funniest thing to watch!!!! Some where I have a photo, but it was taken across the arena with a camera with no telephoto - but hey, if I ever find it again, I'll scan it in and see if I can enlarge it enough to see it clearly.

All three of my girls were active in 4-H and horse shows. We all have very fond memories of those times.

While at the show, Sunday, someone mentioned a horse that was for sale. They talked about how beautiful he was, and how big. So, of course, you can't ever own just one horse (They are like pistachios), after the show Brooke and I went to look at him. Oh, my. Brooke got on and rode him around the pasture, with just a halter and lead rope. He responded to everything she asked him to do. I watched him trot - my what a smooth ride that must be. We learned that he was previously owned by "Medieval Times" - He has to have been extremely well trained! His current owner says he knows the horse (Jake) probably knows so much more, but he doesn't know how to bring it out, cause he just rides around the trails in a near by park. Someone who saw Jake in a parade once says he has a high step that just won't quit.

Well, let me say this about that. If Brooke gets him, I WILL ride him. Lisa has already indicated that when Sugar foals (sometime around March) She intends to get me riding. Well, folks, my first choice would be to be on the road by the first of February - sorry Lisa.

Brooke lives in Southern Maryland, and I am amazed at the beauty of this area - small towns and farm country - and horse country, too. Many parks with riding trails. And, it's about 30 miles from downtown DC! Lots of country roads to wander down.

I just learned that plans are finally underfoot for our family reunion in Montana next summer - I am really looking forward to being there!

Until Next time,
Bear Hugs
She believed she could do it, so she did!