Archive

ShareThis Page
Hempfield woman gets her final wish – one last horse ride | TribLIVE.com
Westmoreland

Hempfield woman gets her final wish – one last horse ride

Mary Pickels
| Wednesday, June 17, 2015 11:39 p.m
gtrlastride4061815
Alexandria Polanosky | Trib Total Media
Patricia Glasser, 84, of Hempfield rides Gunner at Bogley Performance Horses stables in Wyano on Wednesday, June 17, 2015. Her wish to ride a horse one more time was granted, thanks to the Westmoreland County chapter of the national nonprofit Twilight Wish Foundation.
gtrlastride5061815
Alexandria Polanosky | Trib Total Media
Patricia Glasser, 84, of Hempfield thanks Gunner at the Bogley Performance Horses stables in Wyano for helping to fulfill her wish to ride a horse one last time on Wednesday, June 17, 2015.
gtrlastride2061815
Evan Sanders | Trib Total Media
Cherie Bogley (left), owner of Bogley Performance Horses in Wyano, congratulates Patricia Glasser, 84, of Hempfield on her successful a ride at the indoor arena Wednesday, June 17, 2015. Glasser had her wish fulfilled to ride a horse one more time, thanks to the Westmoreland County chapter of the national nonprofit Twilight Wish Foundation.

As a girl, Patricia Glasser loved nothing more than riding horses.

It was her passion, her devotion, her calling.

So when she met, then married her husband, Harold, who shared her passion, it was only natural that they would spend their days tending to horses on their North Huntingdon farm.

“I showed horses, and I rode horses for pleasure,” she said.

But years later, Glasser, 84, hated to think her her days in the stable were long gone.

Deep down, she hoped for just one more ride, one more time to saddle up and ride off on one of her beloved horses.

And so it was on Wednesday that her wish to climb back in the saddle came true, courtesy of the Twilight Wish Foundation, a national nonprofit that grants wishes to senior citizens.

“It’s almost like Make-A-Wish for senior citizens,” said Jamie Bostard, who coordinates the Westmoreland County chapter.

Glasser, who now lives at Weatherwood Manor, an assisted-living facility in Hempfield, had lunch at the Cracker Barrel in New Stanton with some Weatherwood staff members and Twilight representatives, then headed for Cherie Bogley Performance Horses in South Huntingdon.

Glasser stepped into the stable and walked right up to Gunner, a 15-year-old light brown gelding.

“He’s super gentle, a really nice horse,” Bogley said.

The bond was instant.

Someone handed Glasser a brush.

She held Gunner’s halter in her left hand and gently ran her right hand along his neck and back.

“I started riding at about age 10,” she recalled. She hung out at a nearby stable and often rode horses boarded there to exercise them.

“My grandmother lived on a farm and had a lot of animals, including a horse. Every time we went to see Grandma, I’d go see the horse,” Glasser said.

The Glassers rode until several years ago, when her husband suffered a blood clot and his leg was amputated.

“That stopped our riding,” she said.

Then Harold Glasser died in 2012.

When she mentioned to Weatherwood caregivers that she would love to ride again, marketing director Julie Alakson, a Twilight volunteer, approached her niece. Mikaela Hixson works at the facility and boards a horse with Cherie Bogley.

Gunner was chosen for Glasser because he’s “bomb-proof” — impossible to spook, Hixson said.

“I think we like each other, we really do,” Glasser cooed softly to the horse. “You’re a good boy. I won’t hurt you.”

“I’ve always been good to horses and they’ve always been good to me,” she said. “I was never bitten. I was never kicked. I was never thrown.

“If you treat them gently, they will treat you gently.”

After Bogley arranged Gunner’s saddle, Glasser stepped onto a small stool, slipped her feet into the stirrups and hoisted herself up. Clearly at ease, she picked up the reins and nodded at Bogley, who led her around the indoor arena.

Lifting one hand, Glasser waved at well-wishers gathered behind a viewing window.

At Bogley’s urging, Glasser tapped Gunner with a foot and gave verbal commands: Move. Back. Stop.

Rider and horse circled the arena for several minutes.

After the others helped Glasser to dismount, she gave Gunner a few final pats and thanked everyone for granting her wish.

“That was great. It makes me feel younger,” Glasser said. “I really enjoyed the horse. I really enjoyed the people. I just had a great time.”

Glasser was presented a plaque from Twilight acknowledging that her wish was granted, and Bogley gave her a horseshoe.

Glasser fed Gunner a few carrots. As she left, she looked back once more to wave goodbye.

“Thank you, Gunner,” she said.

Mary Pickels is a staff writer for

Trib Total Media. She can be reached at

724-836-5401 or mpickels@tribweb.com.

Mary Pickels is a Tribune-Review staff reporter. You can contact Mary at 724-836-5401, mpickels@tribweb.com or via Twitter .

Categories: Westmoreland
TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.