Skip to main content

Team #652 Sharon Petrone and Bubbey

Team #652: Sharon Petrone and Bubbey
From: Prescott Valley, Arizona
Ages: 76 & 25
Combined Age: 101
Test: WDAA Level 1 Test 2
Date: June 3, 2023

I’m Sharon, and I grew up on a farm in Iowa. Animals have always been an important part of my life. I inherited my love of horses from my dad who put me on an old Shetland pony when I was two. I do not know how we survived childhood and any of you with a little “vintage” know what I mean!!

The love started early for me, and the horse addiction only got worse as I grew up. I was the old term “tomboy.” My mother had a heck of a time convincing me to wear a dress and act “lady-like.” If she were alive, she would still be working on that one!

Dad was a hard-working farmer and Mom stayed home to do the "mom things" in the 1950s. It was tons of hard work for both, but we were kids and in another world which, thank heavens, they insisted on. We were never rich or even “well-to-do” – a factor that does not enter a child’s head.

Occasionally there was time to take me to a “fun show.” We rode all day for a dollar, falling in the dirt and getting right back on to do it again. We called it fun! The Shetland taught me to treat her right or into the water tank I would go. My wild mare from Montana, who only knew how to run, taught me to hang on and think fast! At 13 years old, I saw my horse born from that same mare, which is a night I will always remember. The big-grade Quarter Horse showed me a spin and how chasing calves can be really fun (until Dad caught me!).  As I grew older, those were the days I can never forget.

Then came a 20-year hiatus after marriage (no money) and then I went back into the saddle as quickly as I could! A little Arabian taught me English riding, but never wanted to get in a trailer (this is where the horse education section needs to be inserted!). All we had was what we had seen in the 1950s and it was always very rough. To the books I went to try and learn a better way.

Now at the ripe old age of 77, I find it’s easy – just slow down and listen. My two boys are 20 years old and 25 years old and both have been blessings. Bubbey, my Paint, got me through chemotherapy for cancer and then the tables were turned, and I got him through two colic surgeries. We will be there for each other as long as I am blessed to have him in my life. He’s done everything I’ve ever asked. Western Dressage was entirely new to us when we moved to Arizona to live out our days. He loves it! Gone are the days of all-day trail riding, reining, ranch riding, etc. Our bodies wear out, but the heart and try are still there. Kissing spines raised its ugly head a couple of years ago and to the Equibands we went. The butt lifts and the abdominal lifts helped to strengthen him, and here we are – back in that Western Dressage arena. He will let me know when we are “done,” and I’ve told him I will respect that and out to the pasture he will go – with an occasional easy ride now and then. He is well loved and has plucked the heartstrings of many and will continue to do so as long as that is what he wants.