Mary Weeks and Summer - Reenactment in Action
By Mary Weeks
As a retired English teacher who minored in theater in college, I have been able to combine my love of history, theater and literature into a wonderful hobby that has become a passion
- reenacting history. The primary cause of this pastime is my relationship with WRA Summers Kiss (The Infidel X Minstrils Kiss), a straight Egyptian mare who has the good sense to
carry this somewhat crazy 63 year-old lady safely through musket and cannon fire and through crowds of spectators who rush to her as if she were a "goddess" of horsedom.
Summer, a rescue horse, came to me as a sidesaddle replacement for my home-bred mare, My Molly Banat, who became too elderly to maintain the frenetic schedule I keep as a
reenacter, parade-goer, horse show attendee and sidesaddle demo giver. We participate in these events through our membership in Hoosier Ladies Aside, a group of ladies who join
together to promote sidesaddle in all its facets.
At our very first reenactment, Summer was a hit. She became the favorite horse of Rebecca Swain Wright who lives in the Laughery Valley near Cincinnati in the late 1700s. Her brother,
a sea captain, found the mare in Egypt and shipped her all the way to Nantucket to be part of Rebecca's busy life in the Western colonies. Rebecca's crimson habit, trimmed in gold braid
was made for her by a seamstress in Boston, then shipped through Pittsburg, down the Ohio, to the Laughery Valley in Indiana.
Summer also carries Mary Swanke Callahan, whose husband is in the Royal Scots Guard. Clad in the coat of the Royal Scots, Mary Callahan also wears the Swanke plaid skirt as a tribute
to her seafaring Scottish family. She accompanies her husband to a gathering along the Wabash River called the Feast of the Hunter's Moon where she visits with both French and British settlers at the site of an old trading post and fort.
When Summer and I arrive at these events, people anxious to meet this beautiful, placid creature with the very kind eye inevitably mob Summer. And like the queen she really is, Summer loves every minute of the attention she gets from her minions. It has long been my opinion that this mare is representative of the true desert mare whose place was in the tent with her family. And so it truly is with this mare whose ancestors were from the deserts of Egypt. Her personality overshadows anything I do as her owner/trainer/rider. Her Egyptian ancestors' blood truly flows in the veins and her grace with the large crowds, confusion and chaos of these events is a true reflection of the innate nature of the Egyptian Arabian Horse at its best.