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Mother’s Day [publisher's letter]

Publisher Tracy Patterson with her dog sitting in the desert resting up from a hike

Tracy Patterson

Reading this month’s Eco Tip brought back fond memories of Mother’s Day with my mom. We started a tradition when I was young; instead of buying her a gift, we would do something together. And that turned into a specific project I would take on for her each year.

Since we had horses and Mother’s Day landed during shedding season, the yearly project became me clipping the bridle path and legs and generally doing a “spring horse cleaning.”

It was actually my mom’s idea. She had pretty much everything she needed, and since we both had a horse hobby, spending time together with the horses meant a lot to her. Getting rid of her horse’s winter hair was the one activity that she found more of a chore, and she didn’t mind passing it off to me, particularly given she wasn’t an expert with the clippers! Mind you, neither was I, but it’s all relative…

So, every Mother’s Day, we’d head out to the boarding stable, and I’d fire up the electric clippers and get to work. For a number of years, she had an Appaloosa. This breed is known for its sparse mane and tail, and Blue was no exception. He had such a skimpy, ratty mane that clipping the bridle path turned into roaching (shaving off) his mane.

And then came the arduous task of brushing the mud off the legs and fetlocks (the ankle areas) so that I could get the clippers to work properly and not get them gummed up with mud.

Finally, major shedding blade and brushing jobs of the whole body, and voila, a shiny new horse!

There was a lot of chatting and laughing along the way, especially since the hair coming off the horse usually ended up stuck to our clothing―we were quite a sight after this endeavor!

My mom passed away many years ago, but I’ve always been able to smile at the thought of our time spent together on Mother’s Day, and throughout the year. In the end, these times turned out to mean more than any trinket I could have bought her, and I’m so grateful for the memories.