Gratitude, Day 19: Horses

NOTE: I am a fan of 30-day challenges, and November is traditionally a time of two: National Novel Writing Month, and 30 Days of Thanks. As I am not a fiction writer, this year I have chosen to publish a daily blog for the entire month, expressing my gratitude. This may not be entirely food-focused, but expect recipes aplenty. Feel free to join me in the comments below. What are you thankful for today?


I got my first horse when I was 36. Sadie was a 20-year-old retired racing thoroughbred and dressage school horse.

Although I had read nearly every book about horses growing up and then added to that knowledge volunteering for Save The Horses in Georgia for three years before I adopted her, Sadie really taught me what it meant to own a horse. She was patient while I made every mistake known to horses and never let me down. She taught me how to be a sensitive rider; as a dressage horse her sides were very sensitive, and as a race horse her face was, too, so for the first year I rode her with by legs away from her sides and the reins loose.

Across all of the changes in my life in the past decade, Sadie was a constant.

She died last year at age 31, well-loved until her very last breath.

Today I am grateful for horses. 

Everything about them – their grace, beauty, and acceptance. The way they can teach you about yourself, if you’ll let them, and how willing they are to be your partner.

I have thought about getting back in the saddle, so to speak, but every time I look for opportunities to volunteer or ride it reminds me of the loss of Sadie, from my life when I had to leave her in Georgia first, and then finally from this world just a year later.

What are you grateful for?