From Endurance to Dressage
I am blessed to have two moms. I am even further blessed because my two moms treat each other kindly and with respect, and it's not because they have to, but rather because that's just the kind of women they are. I didn't show as a child so I didn't really have a "Show Mom" growing up, but that's okay because now I have two who have done nothing but cheer me on every step of the way. This a tribute to my moms on Mother's Day.
My dad, mom, and me in 1971. I love this photo because I look so much like my mom here!
My first mom, the one who actually gave birth to me, is one of the kindest people you will ever meet. There is not a mean or snarky bone in her body. She will drop anything that she is doing in order to run to the aid of anyone in need, friend or stranger. She is generous with her money, time, and compliments.
Do you remember the Robert Fulghum book, All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten? If not, you can find the important text here. I bring this up on Mother's Day because it was my mom who taught me all of the things on that list and more. She taught me to be kind, to share, to take turns, and to recognize the difference between right and wrong. She also taught me to do the right thing even when no one is looking. She made sure that I knew who God is and encouraged me to develop a relationship with him. She also insisted that I go to college and urged me to get a degree before marriage. And on a more practical level, she taught me to save for retirement and plan for my future.
I only lived with my mom until I was twelve years old, but the lessons she taught me were the kind that form the person you are. I don't get to see my mom very often, but I am grateful to her for making sure that I grew up with a moral compass that would guide me for the rest of my life.
My dad, Judy, Hubby, and me in 2009.
I met my second mom when I was only eight or nine. My parents had already been divorced for three or four years and my dad had had several girlfriends, but none of them impressed me very much. I liked Judy right away. (It didn't hurt that she had a horse!) I could see that she was different from my dad's previous girlfriends. She was sweet and kind and seemed to like my sister and I right away. She was just a soft, comfortable person. I can remember thinking that I hoped my dad would keep her since she was so nice.
I know it seems silly to want someone around just because they're nice and sweet, but frankly, I needed someone just like that in my life. Living with a single mom and a troubled little sister was difficult. Judy was always a friendly face in what was a confusing and rough world for a pre-teen girl struggling to find balance.
When I moved to my dad's to live full time, Judy was a safe haven during my adolescence. She helped ease my transition from an angst-ridden twelve year old to the well-grounded adult I would become. She was a voice of reason to my dad when boys, make up, and shaving my legs became an issue. She simply offered a reasonable view every time trouble crossed my path, and she never said no. She always tried to show me a better way through the example she set. Her way was one of balance and sensitivity.
I don't get to see Judy very often either, but I am also grateful to her for being a mom to me when it probably would have been easier to just leave my problems in the hands of my parents. She helped me become a woman with good sense who knows the value of being loved. Oh, and the book All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten? It was Judy who taught me that warm cookies and cold milk are good for you ... and brownies, banana nutless bread, apple pie, and a host of other baked yummies.
I hope all of you have moms like I do. Competing, whether it be endurance, dressage, or some other discipline, can be challenging. When we have a solid support system made up of loving family and friends, we are always successful no matter what we score or how we place.
Happy Mother's Day, Mom and Judy!
5/12/2012 11:53:44 pm
Thank you Karen for the sweet tribute. It brought tears to my eyes. It's been an honor to be part of your life as a friend and as a second Mom! And thank you Martina for sharing your Daughters with me!
5/13/2012 02:37:00 am
I hope you have a very nice Mother's Day, Judy. You've earned it. I wish I could spend the day with you, but the drive is a wee bit far. Look for a package tomorrow, but there may not be a return address thingy on it!
5/13/2012 12:24:12 am
That was beautiful!
5/13/2012 12:43:06 am
It sounds like you grey up with some wonderful mothers in your life - thank you for sharing your story! It's a hard task to be a mom and raise children that you can be proud of and it sounds like your mothers were able to raise a woman they are both proud of! :)
5/13/2012 01:09:12 am
What a lovely tribute! Great pics of both your families.
5/13/2012 01:43:10 am
Karen, It is hard for me to respond to such wonderful thoughts from you. It was hard at times being a single Mom and I really took to heart the responsibilities of molding you girls into good and kind adults. I do remember trying to encourage you to excel at whatever you chose to do. There were many times that I certainly could have done things differantly but things are what they are. You turned out to be stupendously wonderful. I am so very proud of you and I don't take the credit for that. I'm sure Judy and Dad also greatly influenced you. I am very grateful to Judy that she was willing to take the role on as mom. I don't consider her a "second" mom at all. She deserves first place in my book!! I did the same thing for Joe and I know how much he appreciates me. I will cherish your letter and plan on saving it. I think you have a show coming up so I will look forward to seeing your results. Love you so much, Mom
5/13/2012 02:37:39 am
Happy Mother's Day, Mom!
5/13/2012 01:48:52 am
Bye the way Karen, just yesterday I got a mysterious package in the mail. When I opened it I discovered the very book you wrote about in your letter. How odd is that. The post mark says it was mailed from Seattle but no return address was on it. I'm going to read it in the next few days. I almost threw it away thinking it was junk mail
5/13/2012 02:37:56 am
I hope you enjoy it!
Comments are closed.
About the Writer and Rider
I am a lifelong rider.
I began endurance riding in 1996 where I ultimately completed five, one-day 100 mile races, the 200-mile Death Valley Encounter, and numerous other 50, 65, and 75 mile races. I began showing dressage in 2010.
Welcome to my dressage journey.
About Speedy G
Speedy went from endurance horse to dressage horse. After helping me earn a USDF Bronze medal in the summer of 2020, he is now semi-retired. Speedy is a 2004, 15'1 hand, purebred Arabian gelding. His Arabian Horse Registry name is G Ima Starr FA.
Izzy was started as a four-year old and then spent the next 18 months in pasture growing up. I bought him as a six-year old, and together, we are showing at the lower levels. He is a 2008, 16'3 hand warmblood gelding. His Rheinland Pfalz-saar International (RPSI) name is Imperioso.
National Rider Awards
State Rider Awards
State Horse Awards
CDS Sapphire Rider Award
Third Level: 63.514%
Third Level: 62.105%
2023 Show Season
(r) Ride-a-Test Clinic
2023 Show Schedule
2023 Completed …
2023 Qualifying Scores
Regional Adult Amateur Competition (RAAC)
Qualifying Training Level
3 Scores/2 Judges/60%: