Editor's Postcard

The Value of Age

The Value of Age
Catherine Madera

Senior Horses Enrich Lives

By Catherine Madera

 

Tigerbelle and me (circa 1987). Photo credit Catherine Madera

We are not a culture that values age. Instead, we idolize the youthful, the athletic, and the beautiful. This trickles down to horse ownership: forget the old grey mare, we want the young, black stallion.

My most interesting horse growing up was one purchased for the family, a 25-year-old Arabian/Appy/ Tennessee Walker cross named Tigerbelle. By the time we got her she’d long since lost her looks, but she remained a grand mare of great dignity, wisdom, and patience. I’ll never forget the day my non-riding father jumped on her at a fun show, impromptu, and won the Western Pleasure 40 and Over class. He received a silver trophy because old Tigerbelle knew what to do each time the announcer called for a change of gait (“And trot your horses; and lope your horses…”). She kept Dad safe and made him look good that day in the way only an older, seasoned horse can do.

We have a beautiful issue this month featuring the unforgettable show Cavalia, an exclusive interview with Hollywood horse trainer Bobby Lovgren, head wrangler on the new film War Horse, plus all our regular columnists who consistently bring you valuable information on horse care and training. Still, the heart of this issue is the senior horse and our essay winners will touch your hearts with stories of two aged horses that changed their lives. Congratulations to Ellen Archer and Alatia Babin and don’t forget to read the honorable mention essays online. I appreciate each and every reader who entered this contest. It inspired me to dig out a picture of Tigerbelle and thank God for the lasting memories she made in our family.

As always, email your thoughts to me at editor@nwhorsesource.com.

Merry Christmas!

 

Published December 2011 Issue

 

 

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Editor's Postcard
Catherine Madera

Catherine Madera attended Walla Walla University in Eastern Washington where she majored in communications/journalism. After winning a national competition for Guideposts Magazine in 2004, Catherine concentrated on non-fiction inspirational stories. Since then, she has published numerous personal and ghosted stories for Guideposts and their affiliate publications. Catherine has published in many regional and national magazines/newspapers and her work is included in several anthologies. She specializes in equine-related topics and profiles and serves as editor of The Northwest Horse Source. In 2010 Catherine’s non-fiction story, A Hero’s Work, received the Merial Human-Animal Bond award given by American Horse Publications. She has also authored three works of fiction and provides editing/writing assistance through Word Horse Writing Services.

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