This Blog is dedicated to the Noble and Great horses in our lives and throughout history. Visit the land of the unicorns in Behind The Mist, the horse lover's fantasy for pre-teens to adults.

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Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Even Unicorn Riders can get old!

Well dear readers, I just had my 60th birthday. I tried to forget about it but my wonderful family and friends in Oregon and Colorado didn't let me. One of them, the photographer for my Trail Guide books, Lynn Johnson, sent me this poem.

When I am an Old Horsewoman

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
(horse feed) 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


In my first post on October 14, 2010, I told you about my very first horse, Tai, who I am sure is a unicorn by now. As I write this new post, sitting in my tan breeches with hay in my hair, I want to tell you about the three horses that fill my barn and my heart.

My littlest horse is Hardy, a 14 hand 1/2 Welch pony, 1/4 thoroughbred and 1/4 Arabian. He got the best of each breed. I got him when he was 2 and 1/2 and started training him. He is now 16. He is the smartest horse ever and an absolute blast to ride. He can jump the moon and is one of those "Point and Jump" horses that picks his position for the jumps perfectly. I sometimes feel guilty that I have him instead of some 12 year old that could be taking him to the national pony championships...but I love him so much!

This is a picture of my biggest horse, Jazz just shortly after I bought him as a four year old from American Sport Horses in Utah. He is much more developed now as he is 10 and doing great in his dressage training. Yes, he is the star of Behind The Mist! He is a Hanoverian and has been a fabulous horse. He was the 2009 Rocky Mountain Dressage Society 1st Level Adult Amature Champion and the 2010 Rocky Mountain Dressage Society 2nd Level Adult Amature Champion as well as the 2010 1st Level Freestyle Horse of the Year. He is so loving and tries so hard to please me. If he could, he would just curl up on my lap and sleep! I love him, too.

This is Kit on top of Kenosha Pass in Colorado. If you read Behind The Mist carefully, you will remember that Kit in the book was an Appaloosa mare. Obviously, this handsome bay thoroughbred is NOT an appaloosa mare! But that is part of writing a fantasy horse story, I can make up anything I want! Anyway, Kit is my oldest horse. He just turned 20. I have had him since he was 6 and trained him in Dressage up through level 2. He was the 2001 RMDS 1st level champion, the 2003 1st level freestyle champion and the 2005 2nd level freestyle reserve champion. He loves me deeply...something I found out when I sold him. It only lasted 5 months. He was so unhappy that he was misbehaving and lost so much weight that he looked like a rescue horse. I bought him back and promised him that I would never sell him again. I even had to move to a place where I could have three horses so we would have room for him. He is the cover horse on both of my Trail Guide books: Riding Colorado and Riding Colorado II.

Send me the story of your future unicorn! Write to me at:

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