She came the same time every morning. She would enter the dark stable, her long skirt rustling as she walked. She never smiled and never said so much as a "good morning." She would ask for her horse and I would hold the reins as she mounted the chestnut stallion. She never needed help getting on the animal. She would throw one muscular leg over the saddle and pull herself into position. Taking the reins from me, she would thank me and then gallop off into the early morning.