When I am an Old Horsewoman

May 20, 2015

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When I am an old horsewoman

I shall wear turquoise and diamonds,

And a straw hat that doesn’t suit me

And I shall spend my social security on

white wine and carrots,

And sit in my alleyway of my barn

And listen to my horses breathe.


I will sneak out in the middle of a summer night

And ride the old bay gelding,

Across the moonstruck meadow

If my old bones will allow

And when people come to call, I will smile and nod

As I walk past the gardens to the barn

and show instead the flowers growing

inside stalls fresh-lined with straw.


I will shovel and sweat and wear hay in my hair

as if it were a jewel

And I will be an embarrassment to all

Who will not yet have found the peace in being free

to have a horse as a best friend

A friend who waits at midnight hour

With muzzle and nicker and patient eyes

For the kind of woman I will be

When I am old.

-By Patty Barnhart


Originally published in The Arabian Horse World magazine in l992

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Happy Birthday to me!

Thank you Ramie Edwards for these awesome photos!

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Erin Stiver-Henson 2013