Monday, March 2, 2015

When I am an Old Horsewoman.....

 Constance Reeves, Cowgirl

A few years ago I found this poem, 
"When I am an Old Horsewoman" by Patty Barnhart.....

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.

Originally published in The Arabian Horse World magazine in l992

Constance Reeves, Cowgirl

This poem was a huge hit and still is!! So I went on a search for the author Patty, and I found her. Here is what I learned.....

Patty started writing for an equine newsletter in the late 70's and 80's. This is where she started writing her poems. Patty decided to send her poems to a magazine. The editor contacted Patty to publish her work.... and the rest is history. Patty submitted "When I Am An Old Horsewoman" and it took off, appearing on all kinds of websites!!!

And while the Poem is incredible, what Patty does today is even more interesting and fun!!! Patty has a beautiful guest ranch in Lakeview, Oregon called Willow Springs Guest Ranch. The fun and interesting fact of this ranch is that it is run totally "off the Grid" !!!!

Patty and her husband Keith moved to their present location, Lakeview Oregon, in the fall of 1996. It was their intention from the beginning to make their 2500+ spread into a guest ranch. They swung open their gate for clients a few short years later.

The ranch is surrounded on three sides by public land which makes the riding pretty much unlimited and guests can bring their own horses and point them in almost any direction and ride. The ranch does get a fair number of international folks and guests without horses of their own, and they maintain a herd of quiet ranch horses for those guests. The vistas are spectacular and encompass high desert sage flats, pine forests, rim rocks, and even a lake or two depending on where the guest ride.

The ranch has a high volume of repeat clients that Patty and Keith think of as friends. They love to sit around the campfire with them, eating Keith's good Dutch oven fare, and thinking about what the day has presented.


When Patty and Keith moved to Lakeview, they realized there was no commercial electricity and that they would have to generate their own. There was a small existing array of solar panels, which they relied on for several years. They eventually put in an up-dated system, a wind generator. They have a propane generator when there is neither wind nor sunshine, which is not often!


Their cabins are outfitted with propane fireplaces and hot water heaters for creature comfort and LED lanterns for use after sundown. The guests love it!

Patty says..."I think we all have a sense of getting in touch with our "inner pioneer"! "

Almost all the guests ask about Patty and Keith living "off the grid" and Keith is happy to give the green energy tour.

Their guest season begins in April as a Bed and Breakfast, then midway through May they offer horse-back riding and outdoor dinners. This continues through September when they put the outdoor activities on hold until spring, but they offer the ranch experience as a Bed and Breakfast for the month of October.

If you want a true "Old West Cowboy Experience" with a "green" twist, visit this ranch!!!! And while you are there tell Patty how much you love her Poem!!!!!!

Willow Springs Guest Ranch
34064 Clover Flat Rd.
Oregon 97630

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