We Can Ride Volunteers Bev and Dick Lindeman Named 'Horseperson(s) of the Year'

The volunteer spirit is alive in Minnetonka. A couple of 'seasoned' We Can Ride volunteers are making sure of that.

Dick and Bev Lindeman
Dick and Bev Lindeman
When Bev and Dick Lindeman of Minnetonka received the Minnesota Horse Council Horseperson(s) of the Year award last weekend, Bev told Dick that this was probably the last award they should expect in this lifetime.

That's because they've now been honored by every organization they've ever joined.

"Giving back to the community and teaching others about horses is just a small bit of what they've done and continue to do," according to the Minnesota Horse Council.

Bev and Dick's daughter Jane called Bev after being approached by the Minnesota Horse Council. Bev was not supposed to know about the award, but she believed only Dick was being honored.

"Mom, I don't know the timeline for Dad's greatness!" she said to Bev.

Bev gathered photos and information about the couple's volunteer journey. 
"He had no idea, and it was such a shock for him," said Bev, who felt like she had been "sneaking around" for months.

It was long meeting. It began at 5:30 p.m. and the award was announced after 10 p.m. Dick said to Bev, "It's past my bedtime," but she got him to stay.

When the Horseperson of the Year was announced, it was for both of them. Only twice before has the award been given to a couple.

Dick, who just celebrated his 87th birthday, and his younger woman, Bev, 78, have volunteered with We Can Ride and The Hennepin County Home School in a variety of capacities for more than 20 years.

Dick still hasn't retired, even though he's been thinking about it. With a career that spans 75 years, Dick still works at Hopkins Dental Laboratory three days a week, where he manages several accounts.

"Some 87-year-olds can't even write their name," joked Bev. 

Dick believes it’s the horses and the children that keep him so young.

We Can Ride is a nonprofit, volunteer-based organization whose mission is serving children and adults living with physical, cognitive, emotional and behavioral disabilities. Its goal is to enhance people's skills through horseback riding and carriage driving. 

From the young first rider they assisted in 1991, the pair was hooked. Bev and Dick continue to volunteer at We Can Ride on Saturdays for early childhood classes. Dick educates volunteers on horse care, and Bev talks with parents and comforts them. She has been told many times that she gives good hugs.

"This is a recognition of some wonderful volunteers, and volunteers are the backbone of our program," said We Can Ride Director Mary Mitten. "And for two of our more seasoned volunteers, it's really wonderful for them to be recognized for the work that they do."

"Dick said a little 'thank you' speech and he was tearing up, and I was tearing up, and other people were tearing up," Mary said. "They are just so wonderful and humble at the same time."

The first thing Bev said to Mary after they got the award was that she hoped they could publicize it, in order to bring attention to We Can Ride.

"It's not for us, it's for We Can Ride," Bev told Mary. "Even when getting this great award, she was still thinking of others."

We Can Ride is always looking for willing volunteers or donations. We Can Ride's premier fundraiser, the Chef's Brigade Dinner, is coming up on March 2.  

Also see: Bev and Dick Lindeman: Constant Sources of Light to learn more about the Lindemans.

Editor's note: Bev and Dick are favorites of many, me included. Since writing a story about them two years ago for Patch, I have become a We Can Ride volunteer and also have kept in touch with them. They have saved me a seat at We Can Ride functions and made me feel like a member of their family. Bev is always the first to comment or like my Facebook posts, which always makes me smile. Congrats, Dick and Bev!


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