Ageless Aiken

Two girls. Two appy's. One love.

Years ago, there were two girls. Both rode appaloosas. They met in Pony Club and attended horse events together. Both had a secret language they shared with their pony. They were often caught giggling in a stall when they were supposed to be studying for know-down. Years later, each girl still has horses and they still share a secret language with their equine friends. The love of horses transcends age, and survives the weight of maturity. Regardless of our life path, choices, and how we spend our days, the love of horses still lingers.

The love of horses is constant.

Jessie and I had not spent time together since we were in Pony Club. More then a decade later, here we were: picking up right where we left off. The boys, Samson and Sophie, and I went to visit Jessie at her home in Aiken, SC. Her husband and darling lab puppy, Penny, welcomed my clan with opened arms – the dogs were welcomed by a little black nose swimming in a butter cream coat. I though I had found Aiken’s first polar bear cub! With bountiful licks, Penny won our hearts and Sophie found a new playmate.

Garth and Joey - new friends!

Over the weekend, we enjoyed beautiful hacks. Meandering through open fields with hills that begged to be galloped on, our conversation evolved from horses, to life, and to future plans with horses in our lives (naturally). Our evening was spent sipping wine on a brick patio with soft lighting, as the magnolia trees were cooled by a blanket of evening shadows. A perfect evening.

Iris, Jessie’s mother in-law, reminisced about my visit 10+years ago during a college spring break – who needs Cancun when you can go to Aiken?! One of her boarders graciously offered me their horse to ride. In one of the fields, the horse reared high atop the hill. Iris was a bit worried, concerned I was alright. My response, in true Katie fashion: “Not to worry. I had the most beautiful view of the farm from up there!”

The boys felt cramped in their private field...

I was sad to leave. The weekend went by so quickly. Spending time with a childhood friend, still laughing, still riding – it was as though the years that now separate us from our youth had never passed.

I long to return. Perhaps Southern Pines has new competition for 2013. After all, Chime Bell Farm‘s galloping track was begging for a go, and Garth’s canter continues to strengthen. Perhaps I will enjoy another brilliant view of the hillside, and the vast fields peppered with horses grazing among emerald grass.


Hills. Hello conditioning!

Katie Murphy

[email protected]

Facebook: Murphy Eventing



  1. chrissy says:

    that top photo of the two appy butts is SO CUTE!!!
    I miss Jazz 🙁

  2. Jayshree says:

    Nostalgic!!!! Wanted to be there with you….when I was reading it I felt like I was there!!! Enjoy all these moments and Thank you for sharing them with us

  3. Dale says:

    Katie, I know you, I know Jessie, Iris and Aiken, but your description of a weekend with animals and old friends was beyond that – profound and universal. Life is about relationships. Than k-you for sharing.

  4. Pam says:

    I remember you both on your little “spotties!”. Loved you both then, and love you both now! So glad you had such a wonderful reunion!

  5. Jessie says:

    Katie, thank you so much for sharing your thoughts. You write so well. I am honored to have been part of your southern experience! Take care, and safe travels home.

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