There’s a part of North Texas that’s considered horse country. Gaye and Rodney Dryden call this area home, along with their children Reed, 15; Brooke, 12; and five horses. Between horse shows with her daughter, after-school activities and working part-time at the family insurance company, Gaye is enjoying the ride.
Your family is big into horses. When did that start? Rodney and I both rode horses growing up. One of the reasons we moved to Argyle was because there are a lot of people with horses. We bought a place with four acres, fenced the area and built a barn. I used to jump horses, but now I just ride trails with my friends. Most of my time is spent with my daughter, who has a show horse, an Appaloosa. That horse is named Duke, and the others are Cisco, Rocket, Tinkerbell and Cookie.
What brought about your passion for horses? Hmm … I think I was born with it. We lived in Houston when I was a little girl, and our next-door neighbors had horses. That may have started it. I remember going to their house and seeing their dirty cowboy boots by the front door. I just knew one day I would have muddy boots too, because I had to have my own horse! I adore everything about them. My favorite horse, Cisco, is the horse Rodney bought me when we got married. He was just a baby then, but now he’s 22 and he’s the love of my life.
Don’t tell Rodney! Exactly! But he knows. There’s just something about being around horses. It’s a passion of mine, and it’s such a blessing that my daughter has developed the love for horses that I have.
Is Rodney a big rider? Not anymore. He rode growing up and occasionally he’ll go out on a trail. My son has no interest – he’s way over it. He likes anything with a motor.
By your bed: Fashion or horse magazines. My dad said I’m so opposite with such extremes, because I love make-up and fashion, but I love horses and don’t mind getting dirty.
Favorite place to shop? Gosh, I’m a big shopper. I love Bebe and everything at NorthPark. I love clothes … my style is trendy. I love to shop for shoes, but I also love jackets and coats.
Favorite restaurant? The Classic Café in Roanoke for me and for the family it’s Olive Garden.
Coffee or Diet Coke? I don’t do a lot of either. I’m just a very energetic person. I find that not sitting down is the best thing. If I sit down the tired sets in.
In your purse: Make-up, lip gloss, hand gel, money … sometimes. I’ve always got extra pins for Brooke at the horse shows.
Multitasking secret: Take things as they come. I used to get a lot more stressed out about the little things. Life moves so quickly with the kids you just have to take it as it comes.
Proud mom moment: Watching my kids reach out to someone who needs help or maybe someone who doesn’t have a friend. As they get older, that’s so important because everyone wants to feel like they fit in.
Most helpful mommy advice either given or received: Don’t sweat the small stuff. I do tend to be a perfectionist, but when you step back and look at the big picture you realize what’s important and what’s not.
5 words to describe motherhood: Well, I tell whoever – especially my husband – that as a mom you will have your highest highs and your lowest lows. It’s exciting, exhausting, thrilling, joyful and quite frankly scary.