Mar 27, 2009

The Real Mother's Day!

Having married into a large family, I learned early on that Mother’s Day is not about me – it’s about getting together with family – well -- specifically, my husband’s family. And if I even think about skipping out – doing what I want to do on my Mother’s Day, my kid’s will whine and my husband will be in trouble with his mom. There will be whispers around the table about why Tammy isn’t here and how I’ve taken my husband and kids to the dark side (riding horses! Gasp!) So unless I’m having brain surgery, I had better be at the family dinner table on Mother’s Day and I’d better like it!

In anticipation of this blessed family event, the first spring that I started trail riding back in 2001, my friend Tammy M. and I took off from work the Friday before Mother’s Day. We invited a couple friends to come along and we rode the Oak Creek Trail. Tammy M. recalls doing this every Friday before Mother’s Day with other friends long before I had horses, but it was my first. And once I do something I like, I make it a tradition. When 2002 rolled around, more friends were invited and each year since, the ride has grown. Last year there were close to 120 women celebrating Mother’s Day on the Friday Before Mother's Day!

I never in 100 years would have thought this many women would take the day away from work and/or family and come ride with me on our little Oak Creek Trail. But they did and they still do! I’ve had riders come from three states and several hours away, some driving in the night before and spending the night at the trail head! I don’t think it is so much about where we ride but having the opportunity to ride with other women and enjoy our day. And having food catered the last few years, is just icing on the cake! It truly is a Mother’s Day.

Originally, I thought I would rotate the ride to different trails each year but upon further contemplation, I decided the Oak Creek Trail had just what I needed. First, I know this trail like the back of my hand since I helped build it with the Nebraska Horse Trails Committee. It’s close enough to home that we can run over a few times prior to the ride and clear any downed tree branches that the illegal ATV traffic did not move over the winter. And the trail is not difficult by most horse trail rider standards. It runs along a hiking and biking trail which was once a railroad line. Riders can avoid most of the trail obstacles or water crossing by going around them next to the limestone, if needed.

The ride hasn't gone without incident. There is the annual fight with my husband about making sure we have water for the horses at the trail head. (I want it done yesterday and he thinks "zero hour/9 AM" is fine!) There have been a accidents; a rider sustained a few broken ribs and another a broken ankle. The locked bathrooms caused quite a stir last year. But most of all, there have been smiles among women and friends and yes, mothers and daughters, as they share the day.

Now that Expo is over, I’ve got the Friday Before Mother’s Day Ride on my mind. I hope to see you there on the Friday Before!

Pictures from past rides


  1. This post made me smile to myself. Before I had kids, I bent to the wishes of the matriarchs and attended the day long dinners. But after my sons were born I was a mother! I, too, would much rather be doing what I wanted to do on Mother's Day. Riding! Both my mom and mother in law thought this was horrible and the guilt that unsued was unbearable. Finally my husband came to my rescue and reminded his mom that I was a mom and it was just as much my day as hers. I had the same conversation with my mom. No more dinners for me! I do send cards and flowers...but I'm out in the saddle. :-)

  2. wow, that looks like fun! Hmmm, I'll have to think about it. How far is Nebraska from New Mexico??

  3. Jill - where my guilt started was with my kids. How could I THINK of wanting to go somewhere else when all their COUSINS were together to play! LOL! My own mom and sister worked some weekends so we were always flexible with the holidays on my side of the family. My mom is gone now, so as long as I get my "Friday", I'll take one for the team, I guess! But good for you AND good for your husband for making it YOUR day!

    Fantastyk -- ah, its not that far up here! Come on up & I'll loan you a horse! :)

  4. fun pictures of past rides. Made me smile. Wish I could have been on one of them....maybe some day I'll make it back for one one them. (even if I'm not a mother!)

    hope you have a great (and safe) ride again this year.


  5. I look forward to when my daughter can ride along with us. :-) It's a good time.

  6. It seems to me that many of us women trail riders can completely identify with your entire post. The only thing I can add by comment is to recommend Basic Training for a Safe Trail Horse with subtitle of Eliminating the Fear Factors. It is a small paperback with narrative and instructions that is especially suitable for recreational trail riders who keep horses at home. It has information about how to teach your horse to be as safe as possible for trail riding without using bits, spurs, longe lines or round pens. To read a review go to It is available at Amazon and book inquiries can be made at

  7. Woowee, I WILL have to think about it now. Serious? I was debating bringing my Scout or Nadia but it's a long way to trailer when I'm not used to it. But my little car gets great gas mileage and it would only take one looooong day's drive...

    I would love to visit and ride that trail. Do you do all 26 miles in one day?

  8. That looks like so much fun! What a great idea!

  9. Gypsy girl3:04 PM

    I was wondering if anyone can ride with you on this ride. It sounds like great fun. I am an avid trail rider. It has been my favorit thing to do. I am always looking for a new place to ride.

  10. Gypsy Girl. Absolutely! This ride is open to whomever wants to join me that day! There is a link to the online flier with ride information on the blog. Hope to see you there!

  11. Hello friend!

    Fantastyk Voyager just told me about this ride this afternoon. She really wants to do it, as it would be her first serious trail ride..and what better way to jump in than with a bunch of other women who love horses, too?

    Although I won't be strong enough and healed for riding trails, she asked me if I might like to join her, and I'm really thinking about it.
    Just being around all the horses and horse lovers would be a great experience I think.

    I could bring a book (about horses, of course) to read while everyone's riding and then listen to all the stories when everyone returns.
    I'd also be happy to photograph everyone if they'd like, and post the photos for them in a central location. (I know how difficult it can be sometimes to get photos of ourselves...and ourselves on horses...even more difficult. lol!)

    So, hopefully you'll be seeing us next month....all the way from New Mexico!


  12. are Husband allowed to attend?

  13. Yes, they sure can!



I am so glad you stopped by and look forward to hearing from you! Do come again.