We Middle Aged Gals Should Stick Together

I’m almost fifty six, well into my middle age.  Aside from the requisite hot flashes of this time of life, I’ve come to recognize a few common characteristics between myself and other women I know who are in my age range in comparison with what I see in the older mares on my farm.  I spend time every day with these Haflinger mares–one age 17+ and the other 19+ (who are not quite menopausal but sometimes act like it.)

For instance:

These mares still have a lot of life left.  They run like the wind when turned loose, their hair flies in the wind and they can buck, kick and fart with the best of them.

These mares know who they are.  There is no identity crisis here.  They are mothers who have pretty much finished their mothering years, and may well be on to their grandmothering years.  They still like to flirt and haven’t given up on the idea that they can still attract attention from a certain fella in the neighboring field.

These mares know their jobs very well, sometimes too well and anticipate what is being asked before it is requested.    They can go for long periods without work but once saddled or harnessed up and pointed in the right direction, it is like they’ve been doing their job every day for years.    No need for a steep learning curve, or reminder lessons.   No funny business or messing around.   There is pride in their work.   They can be a bit out of shape though, with a tendency toward the fluffy side of fitness, so they need a moment to catch their breath once in awhile.  Their muscles sometimes hurt the next day.  They break out in sweat easily.

These mares are opinionated.  There is no question they know their own minds, what they want and how they are going to get it.

These mares are stubborn.  Once they’ve decided something, it takes a sharp whack on the behind to change course.  Once they’ve decided they don’t like another horse, the only way to change that opinion is for the other horse to adopt an attitude of complete servitude and submission, giving way whenever approached and grooming the boss mare whenever asked.

These mares are hungry.   Always.  See “fluffy” above.

These mares don’t sleep much.  There is too much reason not to.  They might look like they are napping, but they are actually meditating on the next plan of action.

These mares are not as fussy about their appearance as they used to be.  The four foot manes have been rubbed down to two foot manes and may have a few more tangles in them.   They stride through mud puddles without a second thought, whereas when they were younger, there was no way a hoof was going to set foot in such dirty stuff.

These mares don’t keep as tidy a bedroom as they used to.  Why bother?

These mares know how to make best friends and keep them.  If their best forever friend is not turned out with them in the field, they will stand at the gate, and call nonstop for an hour asking where she is.

These mares know how to give great kisses and hugs.  Especially if you are hiding a carrot on your person.

Yes, we middle aged gals, human and equine,  do have a lot in common.    Nice to know we can stick together, through thick and …well, thick.

8 thoughts on “We Middle Aged Gals Should Stick Together

  1. this is a question instead of a comment…I am a 65 yr. old woman who is just starting to ride my haflingers. What kind of saddle would you recommend?

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  2. I ride my haflinger mare with a Wintec dressage saddle, just one size too big (for me). It has a wide tree so it fits her back nicely, and since it’s synthetic, I just hose it off when it needs to be cleaned. Having ridden dressage for years, this is most comfortable for me although now I only trailride.

    And I’m a 67-year old; I do resonate with the bit about not being as compulsively tidy as I was once. My mare is younger (she’s nine), and she surprised me in May with a half Arab filly, so she’s still on maternity leave (or so she tells me). These mares certainly are opinionated. People tell me it’s because they both mares AND (practically) ponies. And ponies do have attitude (gotta love ’em!). And Haffies? Adore them! Where have they been all my life?

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  3. Thanks again, Emily, for a wonderful read and more thoughts to ponder…..I love your chronicles and insight…and where do you find the time to make it all happen!! M

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  4. Enjoyed and identified with your comments. I just bought my first haflinger about 3 wks. ago. She’s a cutie and I am really enjoying her. She has a thick fuzzy type mane and forelock. What is a good product to help it lay down better?

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  5. Wonderful to read about those older mares – and relate to us older women. Horseless the last 2 years for the first time since I was about 13. I live in town now but am hoping to make horse acquaintenances in the Seattle area so I can get my horse fix again…

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