When I was nineteen, I met my friend, Trisha, through a pen pal ad in Just About Horses.
She lived just twenty minutes from my college apartment, on a forty acre horse farm owned by her parents. We exchanged a few letters, arranged a meeting and hit if off immediately. For the next three years, I spent nearly every weekend riding horses with Trisha.
Except it wasn't just riding. Trisha would pick me up in the morning, and I would spend the entire day with her and her family. I ate their food, watched their tv and used their washer and drier. This could have been annoying, but fortunately, Trisha's parents didn't seem to mind. Norm and Donna treated me like family, and for a few years, they really were my second parents.
|photo by Meghan Scott Molin|
And what horse girl wouldn't have wanted a second dad like Norm?
|Norm's 2011 Century Club (where the age of horse and rider total at least 100 years) ride on Amie Phoenix+|
Although not a rider, he was definitely a horseman. In addition to breeding and showing Arabians, he also worked as a horse show announcer, served as president of the Colorado Arabian Club and was active in the Colorado Horse Council. He was a founding member of the Rocky Mountain Horse Expo, an original board member of the Colorado Horse Development Authority and part of the management team of the Western National 4H Horse Classic. Norm was named Colorado Horse Person of the Year in 1995 and received a Lifetime Achievement award in 2013.
Norm knew everyone. He introduced me to so many notable horse people and was my best job reference when I applied for my first post-college job.
In the decades since then, we've seen each other only sporadically, but Norm always greeted me like his long lost daughter. He made me feel like I was exactly the person he wanted to see. I'm sure he was like that with everyone, but it always made me feel important, special, seen.
He was one of the most hardworking, cheerful (except when his team was losing!) and ageless people I've ever met.Norm Brown passed away last week. I will miss him terribly.