NEW PALESTINE — She was considered an institution in the horse industry and known as a kind and caring mentor to anyone who enjoyed it for business or pleasure, those who knew Rosie Faut said.
Faut, 86, of New Palestine, died in her sleep Friday at Kindred Transitional Care and Rehabilitation in Greenfield. She had been recovering in the facility since July 22 after suffering a major heart attack.
Since 1959, the renowned horse trainer and riding coach had worked with young horse enthusiasts in Hancock County, teaching youths all she knew about riding and caring for horses at her stable in New Palestine. Horse riders throughout the county, state and nation knew Faut as “the horse lady,” family members said.
She was deeply entrenched in 4-H equine activities and taught riding lessons, sponsored numerous horse shows and operated a boarding stable where she trained horses for more than 60 years. Through the years, Faut taught riders from as far away as Arizona, Texas and Pennsylvania.
Faut was married to Clyde Faut. They divorced before his passing in 1992. While married, the couple was instrumental in starting the Hancock County 4-H horse and pony shows, friends said.
She was a lifetime member of the Inter- collegiate Horse Show Association, Arabian Horse Association and the Appaloosa Horse Club. She was also the founder of Hoosier Acres Saddle Club.
Angie Armstrong, Faut’s step-granddaughter, loved being around her so much she lived with her grandparents until she was 16, despite pleadings from her mother to come home.
Armstrong has many fond memories of traveling across the country with Faut in her 1970s station wagon. She learned plenty from her grandmother during those trips, including the importance of dedication, doing the best in whatever a person sets out to do, Armstrong said.
Faut’s compassionate nature extended beyond her work and into the way she treated her friends and neighbors; if she sensed a need, she did what it took to meet it, Armstrong said.
“No matter if it was a dog she took in at the end of the driveway or a kid who she didn’t think was being treated right, they’d come and stay for weeks on end,” she said.
Armstrong spoke with her grandmother the day before she passed and said Faut was in great spirits and seemed to be getting better, but she didn’t wake up the next morning.
Longtime friend and local 4-H horse and pony club leader Wyneta Duncan had a good visit with her dear friend a few days before her death, she said.
Duncan said there probably isn’t a rider in Hancock County who didn’t know and respect Faut for her dedication to the craft.
Faut developed a love for horses and cattle while watching her father, Woodruff Arbuckle, raise them, Duncan said.
“She loved horses and all animals, really,” Duncan said.
And with that love came long hours and hard work; Faut wasn’t afraid to get her hands dirty; she was a firm believer in respect, manners and dedication to doing a job right, her family said.
Tarah Thom grew up in Hancock County and learned how to ride and care for horses on Faut’s farm. She took lessons and attended horse camps there when she was a young girl. Riding is a hobby she enjoys today.
“Rosie planted a seed in me that now, as an adult, I can’t seem to get rid of the love of riding and horses,” Thom said.