We Are Not Dead, We Are Just Old

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By Barb Margulies

I’m at the end of my story. I’ve had a wonderful life even though I can’t sing like Whitney Houston, or dance like Fred Astaire, or paint like Van Gogh, or compose music like Beethoven, or ride like Charlotte Dujardin, or, well, I could go on and on.

But I have learned to be satisfied, and thankful to God with what I have, and what little I have achieved.

I was poor but I managed, through hard work, to go to school and graduate. I was able to work and was eventually able to take a few riding lessons which, after many years of searching for a meaningful career, made me decide working with horses is where I would spend the rest of my life.

Since I was not loved as a child, I found love in God and became a sister when I was older in a modern community in which we live in the outside world and serve God when we discern what He wants us to do. For me, it was taking care of horses, studying equine massage, first aid, dressage, and sharing my knowledge and experience with kids who cannot afford it.

In this horsey business I found years of happiness and wonderful friends. And, of course, the horses.

But my history isn’t my story, it is the present. Years ago, I fell off my horse and broke both my legs. Now, I have difficulty even walking and, at present, I can’t ride, teach, or work at the barn. So, I finished a workbook for kids. I wrote it as if I were giving them a lesson, not in riding but in stable management. I did this as therapy for myself as I am recouping from a double hip replacement (not both at the same time).

I hope I will be able to use the workbook and be a traveling instructor, mostly on a volunteer basis, so the poor kids who cannot afford lessons have the opportunity to learn and gain a good basic knowledge.

My wish is that each stable would devote their friendship to an older horsey person. A person who cannot afford a horse, and is even too old to ride, but has never lost the burning desire to ride, compete, teach, or share her knowledge and experience.

Please imagine what you will do when you are my age (83), can hardly walk around, but want to ride or be around horses and share your knowledge with anyone who wants to learn. To be part of a barn, wanted, and needed; what a wonderful world it would be. You can’t afford lessons but still have the desire to learn; what a wonderful thing it would be if each stable had one person they would sponsor. What a waste to have me sitting home on my rocking chair, when I could be at the barn doing something, teaching somebody something, or helping in some way. My body will not do what my mind wants it to. I am not dead; I am just old.

Also, for those of you who may be grieving the loss of an animal, I’d love the opportunity to hear your story. When we lose our animals, it’s a horrible time and I would like to respond and help those who need a little something. Writing is great therapy, so please feel free to email me at sislittlehoss@aol.com.

Sis Barb

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