Tuesday is hands-down the best day of the week... at least according to Cheff Center's superstar client, Barbro. Every Tuesday, Barbro arrives at Cheff with husband, Norman and finds her way back to the barn. She was a member of our original silver saddles program which started in 2008 and at the spry age of 82, she's still going strong.
One glance in the arena during her lesson and you'd never know that Barbro is blind. Back straight, heels down, hands four inches apart, and eyes up, she guides Smarty around the arena with assistance from her volunteer, Chris.
A rider from the age of 11, and a horse owner for about 25 years, Barbro confirms that her vision loss has not affected her comfort on a horse. It's evident that fear is not an issue. In fact, when enough support is available, she enjoys riding completely independent, using volunteer "living" dressage letters to orient herself in the arena- her most memorable lesson being the time our Korean interns acted as those letters. "I couldn't tell the difference between about four of the letters, but it was fun!"
After eight years of riding at Cheff, Barbro has seen many horses come and go, but she holds a special place in her heart for Dan and Ellie. She credits all the horses who have partnered with her at Cheff as well as her instructors for vastly improved balance and posture outside of the arena as well.
In addition to horses, Barbro is passionate about music. She has a rich history as an orchestra member and continues to enjoy playing cello.
When we asked her what was the best part about riding at Cheff, she replied with the famous Winston Churchill Quote: "'There's something about a horse that's good for the inside of a man.' That's just it."
We couldn't agree more and hope to continue seeing Barbro at Cheff for many, many Tuesdays to come.