An Enduring Legacy
Updated: Jan 31
“Don’t adventures ever have an end? I suppose not. Someone else always has to carry on the story.” – J.R.R Tolkien
Timberlane Riding School was heaven on earth for a horse crazy little girl. Every week the owner, Sue Webb, would swing by our school and load up a whole gaggle of girls into the back of her covered truck (legal in South Africa).
Timberlane was everything a riding school should be. We cleaned tack together, groomed and rode a variety of horses, played exciting games of hide and seek (galloping around bareback) all over the farm, took our ponies swimming in the dam on hot afternoons, and on rainy days huddled around the heater in the tack room to study horsemanship.
We were all members of the local branch of pony club and attended their monthly rallies at the agricultural show grounds, about an hour’s ride away. On rally days we would sleepover, camping out on Sue’s living room floor, so that we could set off early in the morning. I can still picture us now—riding single file, a long line of ponies (plaited and groomed within an inch of their lives), with their excited chattering passengers on board.
We loved rally days, playing games and participating in jumping clinics and competitions. It was pure organized chaos with kids and their ponies milling about in every direction. Pony Club is the largest equestrian educational organization in the world. The cornerstones of their foundation are education, safety, sportsmanship, stewardship and FUN, and I will always appreciate the solid foundation in horsemanship skills and introduction to competitive riding that Pony Club gave me.
Sue is no longer with us, but her legacy continues in me and so many others whose lives she impacted. She took a rough and ready self-taught rider and gave me the fundamentals of good equitation. But even more importantly, Sue gave me a vision of the kind of instructor I wanted to be – solidifying passion into purpose.