Dona's Farm

In the midst of all the downs and ups with jobs and husbands, Becky kept making friends. One of these was Dona, the well-organized and prosperous comptroller for a Washington, D.C. electrical contractor. She lived in a house around the corner from Vickie's in Middletown. Vickie and Dona were connected by horses, which also drew Becky in. This is something else that's really breathtaking about Becky. Because of the bleak prospects I thought I had when I was a kid, I let my horse dreams slip away. By the time I could have one of my own--and did--I couldn't recover the energy to see it through the way I would have liked. In spite of growing up in the sameenvironment and with the same pressures, Becky never lost her dream. Never let it go. She kept the energy close and has never let horses get very far away.

Some time in the 1980s, Dona built a house atop a hill on Mt. Tabor Road west of Middletown. She built a barn and exercise ring for the two horses she had at the time. Becky made friends with Tristan, an aging steed that was the first member of Dona's herd. Tristan followed Becky around the paddock like a puppy. Becky would give him an apple and Tristan would give Becky big slurpy kisses, licking her arms and never seeming to get enough of it. Becky once tried to see how long he would go at it; she gave up before he did after about 15 minutes.

Jessie and SummerBecky obtained (on permanent loan from Ellen, another horsey friend; also a riding instructor) a dressage mount for Jessie. She kept the horse, unofficially named Summer, at Dona's farm, in exchange for help with feed, chores, and farriery.

Summer was an elderly but sound school horse who knew her job and was happy to do it. She did very well by Jessie. They showed for two years around the Frederick area. Horses are a fantasy of most girls and Summer helped Jessie live hers. Their ribbons trimmed Jessie's early teenage bedroom walls.

A view from Dona's farmDona's farm is scenic perfection in the perfectly scenic Middletown Valley. A stream bisects Dona's pasture behind the stable and burbles down Station Road to join Catoctin Creek, which tumbles along side Shank Road.

There is plenty of hilly Maryland countryside to ride through, including a stretch of road past Dona's paddock where somebody dumped an old easy chair. The horses get spooked by it, but Becky says they probably just enjoy the game.