Helen Smith has lived a life surrounded by horses.
As a teenager she broke wild mustangs in rural Nevada. As an adult, she ran a cowboy bar in Ogden. In between, she raised and raced horses around the West.
But at the age of 90, Smith had gone two decades without being on a horse.
That changed at the Scotsman Center in Mountain Green a few days ahead of her 91st birthday. Brookdale Senior Living, Hoofbeats to Healing and Wish of a Lifetime partnered up to get Smith a ride on Olivia, a therapy horse.
Smith, who gets around with assistance in a wheelchair, was in good spirits as she was lifted onto her horse. She discussed her plans for stealing a horse, gave details on which cowboy she wanted to give her birthday spankings and tried to talk staff into taking her to a bar after leaving the arena.
“I think I could get use to that,” said Smith after wrapping up her 15 minute ride around the arena.
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Helen Smith takes a close look at Olivia, a therapy horse on Wednesday, Jan. 24, 2018, at the Scotsman Center in Mountain Green, before riding the horse. Smith, who turns 91 at the end of January, spent her entire life riding horses, but hadn't been on one in two decades before riding Olivia.
Helen Smith meets Olivia, the therapy horse she plans to ride on Wednesday, Jan. 24, 2018, at the Scotsman Center in Mountain Green. Smith had the opportunity to ride with help from the Wish of a Lifetime program which helps seniors revisit important moments from their life.
Helen Smith jokes with Dennis Bromley, right, as he helps her onto a horse on Wednesday, Jan. 24, 2018, at the Scotsman Center in Mountain Green.
Helen Smith rides around the Scotsman Center with assistance on Wednesday, Jan. 24, 2018. Smith says she started riding horse nearly 80 years ago when, as a teenager, she would try to break wild mustangs that lived in the mountains around her family's ranch in Southern Nevada.
Helen Smith leans back and closes her eyes as Riley Clegg assists her on her first horse ride in 20 years at the Scotsman Center in Mountain Green Wednesday, Jan. 24, 2018. "I'm gonna steal a horse before I get out of here," Smith joked.
Friends of Helen Smith and other residents from Brookdale Senior Living in North Ogden watch as Smith rides a horse on Wednesday, Jan. 24, 2018, at the Scotsman Center in Mountain Green.
Helen Smith pets the nose of Olivia before riding the horse at the Scotsman Center in Mountain Green Wednesday, Jan. 24, 2018. "I think I could get used to that," commented Smith after finishing her ride.