Written by Rocky Mountain Woman on April 11, 2011 – 12:09 pm -

Linking up to Jenny Matlock’s Alphabet Soup. If you would like to join in the fun, please click here http://jennymatlock.blogspot.com/

I posted this in the original Alphabet Thursday for “H”. I just love this poem, however, and think it is time for a reposting!

This poem by Patty Barnhart was originally published in the Arabian Horse World magazine in 1992 when I was just getting into showing Arabian Horses.  I loved it when I was a young horsewoman and I love it even more now that I am an old horsewoman.  Here it is with my photographic comments…

When I am an Old Horsewoman

When I am an old horsewoman

I shall wear turquoise and diamonds,

And a straw hat that doesn’t suit me

And I shall spend my social security on

white wine and carrots,

And sit in my alleyway of my barn



And listen to my horses breathe.



I will sneak out in the middle of a summer night and ride the old bay gelding,

Across the moonstruck meadow

If my old bones will allow

And when people come to call, I will smile and nod

As I walk past the gardens to the barn

and show instead the flowers growing

inside stalls fresh-lined with straw.

I will shovel and sweat and wear hay in my hair

as if it were a jewel

And I will be an embarrassment to all

Who will not yet have found the peace in being free

to have a horse as a best friend

A friend who waits at midnight hour

With muzzle and nicker and patient eyes

For the kind of woman I will be

When I am old


Rocky Mountain Woman

Posted in She Rides | 67 Comments »


  1. laterg8r Says:

    what lovely pics to go with the poem. i esp like the wearing a straw hat and diamonds part 😀

  2. Julie Harward Says:

    Hi there, thanks for the visit to my blog…I do live in So. Central Utah..Wayne Co. We live about 15 no. of Capitol Reef National Park. I love Park City, my grandpa lived there and we went there so many time..before it got to be the way it is today. Love it there! I love your blog, looking through it…I love horses too, loved this poem..We have horses and I love “everything”about them…the smell, the touch, their muzzles, the smell of the saddle when we are out riding!
    I am a dreamy Pices, loved that night mountain shot! I love Market St. Grill too…YUM! My sis was a Arabian horse trainer..Ali Judy, she had the most gorgeous stud…”Golden Ali”,,,lover chestnut with a blond main and tail and all his babies looked just like that too. Well, come say hi often, I am going to put your blog on my blog list! 😀

  3. Rocky Mountain Woman Says:

    I know your sister and I remember her stallion.

    She trained for a while from the barn where I kept my stallion. He’s a son of Nariadni and she always admired him. He isn’t a stallion any more, but I have some cute babies out of him. As a matter of fact, the picture of the baby running at the bottom of my post was his last baby.

    Nice to meet you! I’ll be back to visit…

  4. Mrs. Jen B Says:

    That poem touched my heart in a major way and I don’t even have a horse. I think it’s something to do with the idea of being free to be whatever kind of character you want to be. Beautiful – thanks for posting it!

  5. Rocky Mountain Woman Says:

    Thanks, it’s been a favorite of mine for years.
    Here’s to freedom!


    Rocky Mountain Woman

  6. Christy Says:

    i read this and immediately thought of my aunt—this is HER!
    truth be told
    i think everyone should spend all their money on carrots and wine!

  7. Rocky Mountain Woman Says:

    I bet your aunt and I would get along….

  8. lissa Says:

    great poem and great photos to go with it

    I would definitely like to be that person when I get old but I don’t know about owning a horse

    thanks for your visit

  9. Rocky Mountain Woman Says:

    Horses are really a life style commitment, but, in my opinion, worth it!

  10. Laurie Says:

    Your photos are lovely!!

  11. melinda cornish Says:

    I love this post so much…the pictures you show and the pictures in my mind as I read it…I want to be this woman when I grow old too!

  12. The Muse Says:

    right back, my new found friend…
    SIGH indeed :)

  13. Rocky Mountain Woman Says:

    Oh, how sweet…..


  14. Rocky Mountain Woman Says:

    There’s really something magical in the relationship between woman and horse….

    Thanks for stopping by…


  15. Amanda @ House Revivals Says:

    Such a beautiful post. Love the poem, and the pictures are amazing.

  16. Rocky Mountain Woman Says:

    Thanks for stopping by. I loved your site!

  17. Garden Of Daisies Says:

    Loved this take on the purple poem. Yes, when we get to a certain age, I think we should be able to do whatever we want. 😉

  18. onceinabluemoon Says:

    oh i loved this!

    thanks for stopping by food for thought, i hope you can find the time to join in, every other saturday, love to see what you are reading~

    you asked about kindle, mine was a gift and i wasn’t sure how i would feel, but once you start reading you are so quickly lost in the story you don’t even notice you are clicking the pages! i do LOVE instant gratification when you want you a new book, there is seconds is humbling!

  19. Rocky Mountain Woman Says:

    I’ll certainly try to stop by on a Saturday. I feel like we are kindred spirits! Your site is amazing….

  20. Rocky Mountain Woman Says:

    It’s great, isn’t it? I love the purple poem also. The best part about getting older is the freedom it brings. Now, the achy joints, those I can do without!

  21. jeff campbell Says:

    Thanks for your visit to my Haiku blog…so love the poem and the horse pictures…ride on:-)

  22. Kathy Says:

    What a beautiful poem. I don’t have horses, but this certainly speaks to me. Thanks for stopping by. Definitely plan a trip home, this was the best thing I’ve done for myself in a very long time. It was wonderful to reconnect!

  23. Stepheny Says:

    What a great poem and photo accompaniment. A real treasure.

  24. jo Says:

    lovely poem, and wonderful photos … i’m still waiting for the pony i asked Santa for when i was 6 … there is not much on this earth as beautiful as a horse.

  25. GFDiner Says:


    I just found your wounderful blog. Keep up the good work. check out my new blog at

    take care


  26. Rocky Mountain Woman Says:

    Thanks for stopping by!

  27. Rocky Mountain Woman Says:

    I love Haiku. I tried my hand at poetry once and then decided I liked reading good poetry better than making bad poetry. I love your blog!

  28. Jenny Matlock Says:

    I love this post. The poem, the photos. Just absolutely wonderful!

    Thank you for sharing this for Alphabe-Thursday H.


  29. Rocky Mountain Woman Says:

    Thanks for stopping by..

    Love your blog!!

  30. Sarah Says:

    Sorry to arrive late. This is a terrific post. Love the poetry and the photos of these horses.

  31. Ann@Apples and Twinkies Says:

    Stunning pictures and beautiful poetry!

  32. Pondside Says:

    I love it.
    I haven’t been on a horse for many years, but other people’s horses were a big part of my youth.

  33. Jackie Says:

    Somebody must love horses to have written such a lovely poem . I enjoyed that!

  34. Julie Harward Says:

    I loved it again..and I am that old woman too! ;D

  35. Jingle Says:

    how neat…

    welcome sharing your poetry with poets rally…

    beautiful talent.

  36. Mary Says:

    Oh I love this…your photos are wonderful with the horses & moonlight…wonderful poem, sentiment & illustrations. Thank you!

  37. JDaniel's Mom Says:

    What a wonderful blending of pictures and words!

  38. Teresa Says:

    That is a wonderful poem, and your pictures are perfect!

  39. Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella Says:

    And I’d love to come along! What a wonderfully inspiring post RMW! 😀

  40. Jen C. Says:

    What a great poem :) The photos go wonderfully with the words too!

  41. Maggie Mallard Says:

    Good morning sweet friend
    I so loved this post of yours today. Wish we could all be as free as this poem suggest us to be. By the way I love this poem too….it is you!
    Miss my horses and all the wonderful bliss they brought to my life.
    Now I am catching up on your other writing.
    Thanks so much for your get well wishes. I so appreciate you

  42. Barbara Says:

    What a lovely poem and your photos are exactly right! I really, really need that hat!! (even though I’m not an old horsewoman)

  43. La Says:

    What a wonderful poem. Your photos are amazing, Barb.

  44. Slice of Pie Says:

    Love this … My dad was a lover of all horses and I have a brother who is just like him! Two of the horses we had as kids lived to be an old age .. my brother actually took them to his farm … Three generations of babies sat on those horses … and two generations of kids learned to ride on Rocky and Junior! Thanks for stirring up my memories.

  45. Keri Says:

    Wonderful. The photos go with it perfectly too.

  46. Sue Anderson Says:


    Word and photos. Just perfect.


  47. Splendid Little Stars Says:

    This is really wonderful–poem and your photos!

  48. Francisca Says:

    th essence of your post resonates with me… freedom means a lot to me and your accompanying images are great. Cheers to wearing funny hats or whatever move you!

  49. Pearl Maple Says:

    Great post, Jenny’s Alphabet Soup is great fun to see the different ways people play with the letters.
    You have some fun things going on in your blog space, thanks for sharing and your kind comments on my post earlier.

  50. Rachael @ Mrs-Adventure Says:

    What a wonderful post – thank you for stopping by so I could find your beautiful blog :+)

  51. Judie Says:

    Oh, what a divine post! Wine and carrots are my favorites!!

  52. Cindy Adkins Says:

    Wow, these photos are so amazing they should be in a magazine–pure splendor!!!

  53. Life in Rehab Says:

    Best. Retirement. Plan. EVER. I’ll bring the wine.

  54. Raw Thoughts And Feelings Says:

    The photos are just outstanding, and the poem says what I’ve hope to be when I’m old..

  55. Gattina Says:

    Lovely poeme, I would replace “horse” by cats but and only have to clean the litterbox. Unfortunately they are not to be used for riding !

  56. H Says:

    Beautiful poem! How good to be free of what others might think!

  57. Susan with Permanent Posies Says:

    I love your writing and though I am not a horsewoman, I am a dog gal. They are my companions.

  58. Susan with Permanent Posies Says:

    Ok….I just realized that you said it was written by someone else….ha. I guess I skipped that part the first time through and jumped to the poem. Whoops!

  59. Ames Says:

    Beautiful and dreamy. Love the hat too!~Ames

  60. Jenny Matlock Says:

    This is magnficient. And it made me cry. I hope this dream comes true for you in 30 or 40 years! Why do I not doubt it will? Because you are everything you write about.

    What a totally wonderful link to Aphabet Soup this week.

    I am enchanted.


  61. Cookie Says:

    What a beautiful post; the pictures, the poem, the wisdom that comes with aging. Thanks for sharing the simple beauty. (But, you are not old!)

  62. Barb Says:

    I have the When I’m an Old Woman poem hanging in my Breckenridge house. I bought it when I was young and now that I’m old, think maybe I AM that old woman! I love this horsewoman one and your photos are awesome. The moonlit pic and the running foal are my favorites.

  63. Betty Says:

    Enjoyed your little poem and wonderful pictures.

    You must think I’m nuts. I had you mixed up with someone else…now I’m trying to remember her blog name. Maybe something like Colorado Lady??? Anyway, she’s living in Texas and would rather be in Colorado like you.

  64. Peg Says:

    I LOVE this post. You did a beautiful job with it. My daughters rode horses. They are such magnificent animals.

  65. Rocky Mountain Woman Says:


    Thanks! I have been enthralled with them for years, it’s been such a wonderful part of my life…



  66. Snowhawwk Says:


  67. Rocky Mountain Woman Says:


    So sorry for your loss. I know how you feel. It’s the price we pay for having these wonderful creatures in our lives.

    I have two horses who are nearing 30 and I am dreading the day I lose them. Hugs coming your way…



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