My dad started me riding when I was 3 years old and I enjoyed riding with him until he was 86. Many of those last years he rode with two artificial knees.My dad could ride better than he could walk.For his 90th birthday I made "A Horse in the Barn Door" wall hanging for him. My brothers and sisters helped me brainstorm the names of all the horses that had been in his life, from his pony ,Rex, to his stallion, Paolo Jim, his first brood mare, Miss 'Sippi Sioux and all her offspring, to the beautiful black Tennessee Walking horse he bought when he was about 80 years old. I printed all their names in the squares around the outside of the Hole in the Barn Door block. Dad was delighted. I couldn't have made anything better for him. I now have the wall hanging back, a wonderful horse history for our family. This photo is from an Illinois State Stock Horse Association 100 mile trail ride that I went on with my dad when I was in high school. Dad went on these rides for 36 years. I was riding Kiowa, a beautiful Buckskin horse with a choppy little canter, and Dad was on his favorite horse, Pepper.
Over the years I made most all his Western shirts, trying out new quilting techniques as I learned them: trapunto, pieced stars, shadow applique, and seminole piecing. He would wear them when they were well past being worn out, and would proudly tell everyone that his daughter had made his shirt. I wish I could make him one today.