I don’t remember the first time I saw Pat Coulter, but I do remember the first time I talked to her.
It was on the second floor in the PA Farm Show during the Intermediare/ Intersport Model Horse Show. It happened during the week of the PA National Horse Show. The Pennsylvania NAN occurred years before there. I was at the performance ring, of course, when I ran into her and Niki Hertzog.
Maya Angelou had a quote that said: “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” The quote didn’t hit until I began trying to recall what was said. I can’t remember the topics we went on about. All I remember is how I felt, and I’d felt included and welcomed into their fold.
Since we both enjoyed performance and tack making, we would bounce ideas off of each other and talk craft. Pat was always open and willing to give knowledge and encouragement about the hobby. Showing can be Serious Business, but if you do it around friends, it’s fun and hilarious.
I won’t forget the Plastic Pony Weekend she, Niki, Elizabeth Mace, and I had. We made tack and props and watched Frozen and the NAN DVD. We put dressage models into western tack and laughed.
At Breyerfest, I would often end up in her room and talk. Sometimes for long periods, and other times short. It will be weird to not do that again. I thought I had a picture of us together, but I don’t. You always say next time, but that’s under the assumption that time is freely given.
The hobby friendship spanned over into real horses. When I showed on my college’s IHSA team, Pat came to watch me ride. The show was in New Jersey and she reached out about where it was. I don’t have words for how grateful I was, and still am to this day about it. She didn’t have to come but wanted to. She didn’t actually get to see me ride because of the pacing of the show, but she was there to support me and that’s all that mattered.
Pat was loyal, tough, and had a wicked sense of humor. The world is dulled without her in it. My thoughts are with her family and those closest to her. Cancer is awful.
Farewell Pat, and thank you for everything. I will miss you.