When your passion is horses, there is no age requirement necessary to the pursuit of that passion. No one knows that better than Lucy who recently celebrated 84 years in addition to a renewed sense of her equine passionate self. Born in Seattle, Washington and raised in Canada, Lucy’s early equine experiences were slightly less than positive. At the all girl’s high school that Lucy attended, riding lessons were a part of her daily routine, though her fear of horses made it her least favorite part. After a bad fall Lucy chose to hang up her riding helmet for what she thought was a permanent departure from both horses and the horse world.
It wasn’t until last summer when Lucy ventured up to Howarth Park to take her dog for a walk that she spied the ponies and horses in the pony corral. Slowly making her way down the hill with the assistance of her assistant Charles, Lucy approached the corral with a trepidation that still trailed her from her not so positive past trail experiences. Though her old fears were still very much alive and well, Lucy could not help but smile at the sight of a site that had once instilled so much fear within her. Lucy realized it was a part of her past that she had never really put behind her.
At first Lucy remained a spectator outside of the Howarth Park pony corral, watching as inside it was alive and bustling with kids, ponies and horses all doing what she had done, though somewhat uneasily, so many years ago. Taking a moment to take the moments in, Lucy soon relished in the fact that the corral made her feel young at heart and in time, even at home in the company of her past. Despite her eyesight not being what it used to be, Lucy could see and hear the enthusiastic equine enthusiasts in the corral. Still somewhat wary of the weight of her past equine experiences, Lucy vowed to come back every weekend to this place that placed her back in her old horse haunts.
And so she did time and again, soon becoming a regular visitor inside the pony corral often times bringing carrots and apples for the ponies and horses to feast on. One could see it in her eyes, though oft times shaded in the shade of dark glasses, how they would light up at the sight of the horses and ponies that had now become her friends. I sensed a new sense of renewed confidence in Lucy and hence decided to take her equine experience one step further.
“How about we put you back on the back of a horse Lucy?” I asked her one day. To my surprise she accepted my offer, almost as if she had been waiting nearly a lifetime to do just that.
On top of her horse, Milo, Lucy feels on top of the world. She says it makes her feel young again, not such a bad feeling no matter how old you are. With her balance sometimes making her feel out of balance, Lucy has had to learn to let her body follow that of her equine leader. Lucy’s physical therapist has said that as a result of her newly pursued equine passion, her flexibility and muscle tone has improved. Not to mention the fact that her spirit is much more spirited. Lucy will tell you just how alive she feels to be alive, and back in the saddle again. She says there are no words to describe the feeling of feeling young at heart while on her horse.
And so began a love affair of equine proportions that can only come with the time it takes for one to conquer old fears and replace painful pasts with a vision of a fearless future. With a renewed sense of confidence Lucy can be found most weekends riding high on her favorite Howarth Park equine, Milo, who was also a special guest at Lucy’s 84th first ever pony birthday party. So inspired by her recent inspiration to conquer old fears, Lucy is determined in her desire to take riding lessons once again. For it is as they say, one is never too old, or too young to realize that the outside of a horse is ever so good for the inside of a man…or a woman named Lucy.