One person said that Mary Miller was the only Amish woman who cared for horses? Really? This stereotyping of the Amish really isn't fair. Let me tell you about Joe and his horse.
My daughter, Karamarie, and I visited quite a few Amish in Smicksburg a month back. We stopped in to see Joe, a young man of 25 who has a three kinner (kids). He's just a gentle soul, plain and simple. We've been doing business with Joe (construction) and we had a business idea for him. It would allow him to work from home.
"I'd really feel better being home," he said. "I don't like leaving my wife and kids...and horses alone all day...."
Horses? In the same sentence as wife and children? Really? I probed, as usual.
He went on to say that his favorite horse got loose when he was at work miles away. His Amish neighbors tried to lasso the horse, but it stepped into a rut somehow, breaking its leg. "I've never had a horse like that one, and if I was home, it wouldn't have happened," Joe said.
I was going to ask him things how would have been different if he was home, and then thought of when he and Noah (who I call my Amish son) lassoed my neighbor's horse when it got loose. Noah got a rope, swung it in a circle which then gracefully fell over the horses' neck. He was like Michael Landon on Ponderosa, and my daughter, a teen at the time, blurted out, "Amish men are real men!" (I used her crush on Noah in my book, Knit Together)
So, if Joe has a home business, he would have lassoed his horse, keeping it from harm. In Western Pennsylvania, we have many of ruts in the ground, due to a long freezing and thawing season, expanding the ground. So a horse let out on uncharted territory can be dangerous.
But Joe's love for horses probably started as a little child. The Amish I know breed miniature horses, and they ride them in pony carts. (I want one for my granddaughter) All the talk about how backwards the Amish are, fueled by some new “reality” shows about them, really makes me sad. I can’t say it any plainer. I also hear it locally, too. People who know I write about the Amish just have to tell me a story…one that bashes them. “Do you know how deprived ONE Amish teen feels?” Well, that’s one person, and one person doesn’t represent a complete culture, because I know many Amish teens who thank the dear Lord above they're Amish.
(I will now get off my soapbox)
A little Amish boy in Smicksburg riding his pony cart.