menopausebarbees
... the tales of two sisters

Dana lives in Seattle, and Tracie lives in Germany. We are businesswomen, writers and humorists. We write about life, dating, and today's modern women.

Horses Give Us The Wings We Lack…

It is said, to ride on a horse is to fly without wings.

I have loved riding ever since I was a wee one and my dad would take us out. Be it in the open fields of Wyoming or the easy gallop along Ocean Shores, there is a magical feeling exploring from up high on these gorgeous animals. I recently learned a significant history about horses and today I am compelled to share.

First a question, how did you sleep last night?  Were you warm enough? Did you have ample covers?  Perhaps an electric blanket?  Did you drift off with the television on, or your favorite novel resting on your chest? Perhaps you chatted on the telephone or fixated on the season finale of Dirty John as I did.

Surrounded by my creature comforts, I can’t help but imagine what life was like for my ancestors who were forced to reside on the Belle Meade Plantation,  in Nashville, Tennessee which I visited last weekend.  As my sister and co-blogger, Tracie shared yesterday, last weekend we enjoyed the music, food, Honky-Tonks, and southern hospitality.  We are both history buffs, so our trip would not have been complete without exploring the journey of the African American’s brought to Belle Meade starting in 1807 and who for over 100 years built an equestrian legacy from enslavement to freedom.

The temperature was frigid as we walked the estate on 30 acres of property owned by the Harding-Jackson family.  In the late 19th century, the plantation encompassed roughly 5400 acres.  Since 2004, the managers of the plantation have begun to concentrate on how to share the stories of 136 enslaved African Americans who were held at the plantation.  I stared at the photos of these handsome faces who were nurses, caretakers, laborers, and their mainstay of breeding thoroughbreds, as well as racing them.   At the end of a long day, when the horses were fed and put to bed, a typical slave cabin as shown below held two families to retire in.

 

“The most famous African American jockey of the 1800s was Isaac Murphy, who is thought to be one of the greatest jockeys in American racing history.  He won thee Kentucky Derbies and forty-four percent of all races he entered, a record that has not been rivaled in recent history.  Unfortunately, Murphy died at the age of thirty-four of pneumonia, cutting his successful career short.”  Bellemeadeplantation.com

Isaac Murphy slept in the dank, darkness with inclement winters, and raging heat of the southern days.

Tonight, as you nestle in your covers, think of Isaac Murphy, the horse whisperer.  My prayer for Mr. Murphy is as the saying goes…