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Riders We Admire

When you think you can't do it, or life is too hard, think about our little group because believe me, we're not just a bunch of happy go lucky ladies, living in Arizona,  with nothing better to do than to ride our horses and eat bon-bons.  Each of us has our own story, our own battles, and ultimately, our own triumphs.  Our common thread is our love of horses, and our determination to KEEP going, despite any negative that decides to slow us down a little.  It's not that we think we're extraordinary, we're just friends who really admire each other and face our setbacks with empathy, support a good sense of humor - and with our love of horses as a cementing bond.

Cancer Is Not An Excuse

Sue has lived in New River AZ longer than most of the members of our riding group and when we all moved into the neighborhood, she was the first to be ready to go riding.  Very active in her church and involved with her family, Sue is quick to see the good in everyone she meets.  When we all first met, she was riding Toby, a big hearted bay thoroughbred and despite some hot blooded antics on Toby's part, they were a great team. 

ack in the saddle after surgery

It was at the end of the summer of 2004 that her health threw her a curve.  The diagnosis? Lung cancer, and no, she never smoked a day in her life.  She had beaten lung cancer years before but it decided to come back with a vengeance that including a large tumor located in her abdomen.  But the battle was on and her first round of chemotherapy was frightening in its intensity.  But so was the rally that included friends and family, who prayed for her recovery and supported Sue's will to not give up.  Finally, surgery was successful in removing the abdominal tumor, but the battle isn't over.  Sue now schedules riding around her chemotherapy.
In the days that Sue's health was precarious, Toby went to a home with a more active rider.  In the mean time, Abby, her paint mare, acquired a reputation as difficult by those who rode her to keep her fit while Sue recuperated.  Sue got back on Abby late last spring and much to everyone's surprise, Abby is a different animal.  She's calm on the trails, responsive, sure footed & steady - a true pleasure to ride.  Maybe Abby was just waiting for Sue and not willing to compromise with anyone other than her rider, after all.  Sue & Abby have been out early this year and both had great rides!

Sue is a driving force for our riding group AND this website.  After coming up with the name, Old Gray Mares as a label for ourselves one day, she quipped, "You should make a website for us."  And here it is.


Sue & Abby in June, 2008

February 24, 2009  Sue is in the hospital, and things do not look good right now.  Please keep her in your prayers.  Thank you

February 27, 2009
  Sue is now with our Lord in heaven.  Please remember her family in your prayers.  And keep her spirit of love in your heart. 

April 2010
  Sue's family united to spread Sue's ashes on her favorite horse trail, the one she named the Poppy Trail.  


  Hip Replacement?  No Problem !

Gail moved to New River in 2004 from Hesperia, CA and no stranger to desert living.  She brought her dear mare Pepper with her & her husband rides a rascal named Starbuck.  She also brought Cato, her lovely gelding.  Gail rode Pepper and we noticed that she limped a little, but tossed off any suggestion that something was wrong.  Until the fateful ride that brought her to tears, such was the intensity of the pain in her hip. 

Gail & Dayla - June, 2008

After MUCH exploration to find help, Gail underwent hip replacement surgery.  She seemed to breeze through the recovery.  She said the post operative pain was SO much less than the pain in her hip before the surgery.  One would never imagine that she was suffering that much because she never complained about a thing.

The question was, could she ride again?  The doctors didn't say she couldn't, but they were cautious.  And since riding had become so physically painful, Gail wasn't sure that riding needed to be a priority in her life.  In addition, Pepper had aged to the point that she is still loved, but needed to be retired from riding.

Then Dayla came into Gail's life.  Gail was NOT looking for a quarter horse, definitly NOT a mare, let alone a very young and very TALL mount.  And Paul, her husband, didn't think they needed a 4th horse in their barn either.  But Dayla needed a good home and her former owner felt that Gail was it. 

Gail & Dayla have been a team now for just a little over a year, and a true team they are.  Dayla, for all her size and youth seems to relish the job of taking care of Gail.  She handles everything with an intense yet calm curiosity, and has a long, smooth, level stride that does not jar or hurt.  Dayla and the new hip has returned the joy of riding to Gail.  Climbing heavy terrain & rocks are not Gail's choice, but she trusts Dayla and all of their rides have been GOOD rides.  The hip pain?  As long as Gail wears her knee brace, her question is "What hip pain?"

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Copyright 2006-11 by C Troisi-Hoerr for OldGrayMares.com.  All Rights Reserved Updated 02/10/11