Some people do things that need to be done knowing that they may not see the fruits of their labor.

And so it was at our place.

People would often ask why us why  were so dedicated to the therapeutic riding program, 15 years as volunteers, then, to start our own program when Tom retired.

Tom’s answer would typically be, “We try to do for others what we can’t do for our own.”  A mysterious sort of answer, but no one ever asked him what he meant by it.

Our grandson, Jamie, has special needs.  In 1987, Tom decided to look into therapeutic riding to see if this was a venue that would help Jamie.  He liked what he saw, and he stayed.  For reasons that I can’t/won’t go into, Jamie – who was four at that time – never did ride in the program.

In fact, when I met Tom in 1988 as a volunteer for the riding program, I didn’t know about Jamie until maybe a year later.  Not that he was keeping it a secret, but, the opportunity to say anything didn’t come up during those riding sessions.

Time past, and although Tom often felt disappointed that Jamie was unable to participate, his dedication to the program amazed me.  Then, several years later after we married and settled on our farm, he was very supportive of purchasing horses, building an arena and starting our own program.  All in hopes that Jamie would have a place to ride.  But, by that time, Jamie became fearful of horses and wouldn’t even step into the barn.

Today, Tom would have been proud!

Earlier this week, Jamie and Tom’s son, Wes, came by to do some work around the barn.  After the work was done, Jamie looked at the horses and said, “I ride.”  His dad and I looked at him and asked, “Do you want to ride a horse?”  Jamie smiled and said, “Yes.”

Jamie's first ride

I told Wes to bring him on Thursday so Jamie could ride in my adult session.

He came and even helped groom the horse.  Then I brought out Tom’s endurance saddle.  “Here, Jamie,” I said.  “This was grandpa’s saddle.  He would want you to ride in it.”  Jamie just smiled.  I’m not sure he understands that grandpa is gone…he never asks about his absence…perhaps he does understand.

Jamie mounted the horse like he’d been doing it all his life, while his dad led him around for the lesson.

Maybe it didn’t happen in his lifetime, but, Tom’s dedication to therapeutic riding has finally come to fruition for his grandson.  I’m sure Tom was looking down on him and smiling.