A Valentine For My Riding Instructor

Candace Wade takes a moment to honor a special person in her horsey life.

Jan and a young student. Photo by Candace Wade.

Jan and a young student. Photo by Candace Wade.

To Jan Stroup at the Equine Training Center in Mt. Pleasant, Tennessee: “To be able to say how much you love is to love but a little,”(Petrarch) but, hey, I’ll give it a try:

I love how you listened with Job-like patience when I first called and blathered on about my experience (such as it was), concerns and weaknesses as an adult rider.

I love how you believe in me, yet understand my struggle to believe in myself.

I love that you never — ever — sigh and thump your head when I do something stupid, again, oops, again.

I love how you smile when I am over-the-moon at making a breakthrough.

I love that you will find time to have a girl-time trail ride with me. Oh, and that you were okay that we just strolled back in the rain.

I love that we can talk … and can be quiet … when we work and ride.

I love how your brain works when you explain “how and why.”

I love your Michigander voice calling across the arena, “Are you on the correct diagonal?”  And laugh with me as I rummage around for the right answer.

I love that you laugh at my crotch mump comments when I ride bareback.

I love that your time and horses are always available for 4-H, Kids’ Camp, unicorn birthday parties, low-income kids, mid-life adults who are eager to feel the youthful thrill once again and for a “once-upon-a-time” roper who now fears cantering and can only come at 6:00 p.m., and still gather two truck-loads of Christmas gifts for lonely seniors at the nursing home.

Thank you, Jan, for my horse-joy, my horse memories and your friendship.

Leave a Comment


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *