When I started this blog, it was with an intention to explore what two old horses could teach me about aging.

What I’ve come to realize is that my focus was much too limited. While Bud, Pepper and their friends do indeed help me look with realistic eyes at my process of growing older, they are more broadly teaching me about life in all ages and stages.

I hope they’ve helped me become a better person, a person that most of the time I’m proud to know.

With their expert guidance I’ve been challenged to experience patience, kindness, the power of routine, acceptance, commitment, humor, focus, self-confidence, loyalty, strength, and compassion. I’ve learned to notice the beauty in the world in which I live by paying attention to the smallest details around me.

There are two older mares in the herd that are adding to my life training in the pasture.

You’ve met both of them many times in these posts.

Chickadee is an official member of the Herd of Oldsters, and Mama is an honorary member.

These two old girls have an inner light that makes them glow.

Their sweet natures are obvious to anyone who takes the time to get to know them.


Both are teaching me about gratitude and humility.

Mama and Chickadee are shy. They hang out at the fringes of the herd. They know their limitations and seem to accept them. They don’t push to the front of the gate for snacks. They don’t get into power struggles with the other, stronger, more dominant horses. They have a quiet confidence that comes from years of life experience. They seem quite content to simply be who they are.



When we toss hay cubes to Mama or Chickadee, each gets the most adorable expression on her face.

“For me? A hay cube for me? Oh thank you so much,” they seem to say.

They express gratitude for every single cube or nugget of horse candy they receive. Talk about positive reinforcement for me!

I could go broke handing out treats to these two loves.


In the field of positive psychology, researchers have been reporting for some time about the power of cultivating gratitude.

We humans are advised to create a daily gratitude list. We’re told that when we focus on the things for which we’re grateful, we improve our emotional and physical well-being.

In other words, gratitude is powerful medicine. Chickadee and Mama remind me of that every time I’m graced by their presence.


How about you? Could you up your game when it comes to feeling grateful?