Thursday, June 10, 2021

My First Endurance Ride with my New Shoulder and my "New" Horse!

June 5 2021

Sure, I already had two shoulders, and I've already partnered with the Standardbred Hillbillie Willie to ride some 765 AERC miles over the last 5 years, but Day 3 50-miler at the City of Rocks Pioneer endurance ride in south-central Idaho marked my first 50-mile ride since my Hot Mess of a shoulder was repaired 6 months ago, and my first ride owning Hillbillie Willie!

Due to a change in life circumstances for all of us on the Crick, and a great big heart, Steph Teeter gave me Hillbillie Willie in April.

Finishing that 50 on Saturday was enough to make a grown man cry!

Sunday, March 7, 2021

Dudley’s Hill

Saturday March 6 2021

He stands on the hill, gazing, listening, appreciating, absorbing, thinking.

It’s like this at the end of every ride. From the crest of the hill, we ride down, until he pulls over and comes to a stop at this point - Dudley’s Hill - and I get off, and he stands there. We stand there together, Dudley gazing at his home below and the hills around us, and the mountains to the west. I look at the scenery, too, but mostly I stand there and gaze at him, such a hunk of a horse, such an intelligent horse, a kindred spirit who loves to stop and breathe and take it all in. It doesn’t matter if we ride 7 days in a row; he always stops here, and I get off, and we stand together and look. Sometimes we’ll stand there for five minutes, before he’s ready to follow me down the hill and back home.

It’s been two years since we’ve done that together. Two years where nothing fills that void, nothing takes his place in my heart.

He stands on his hill in a different form now, his spirit always looking down, always present, always remembered.

Monday, November 30, 2020

Horse Book Giveaway!

Monday November 30 2020

I’m giving away a holiday package for 3 of my horse books:

Soul Deep in Horses: Memoir of an Equestrian Vagabond, Tevis Cup Magic: Taking on the World’s Toughest 100 Mile Endurance Ride, and Tales From The West: Four Seasons in the Owyhee Country.

To enter, sign up for my newsletter, which comes out occasionally, and informs you about my newest books, ebooks, e-short stories, photo galleries and unique handmade art.

Here’s the link to sign up:

Your email will be entered in the drawing which will happen Dec 10th at noonish. (And if you’re already a subscriber, thank you, and your name will be entered also!)

I’m also happy to be a member of . 

This is the brainchild of equine author and adventurer Heather Wallace, who recognized a niche for primarily Independently Published Equine Authors. 

Check out their website for a wide (and growing) selection of both fiction and non-fiction equine authors and their books!

Here’s a link to my Amazon page to gander my published books: 

Again, here’s the link to sign up for my newsletter and enter my 3-book contest. Happy trails!

Monday, November 23, 2020

Fresh Off The Range: New Owyhee Mustang Herd Available for Adoption

Monday November 23 2020

From the family of sire JUSTIFY, this first "A" crop of one-of-a-kind all-recycled**, hand-made-with-love Owyhee Mustang siblings are recently-rounded up off the Owyhee Range. They are tamed and gentled and halter broke… but not broke to ride. They are easy keepers - won’t eat you out of the hay barn and are happy with just sunshine and admiration.

By adopting an Owyhee Mustang you are an owner of an authentic Wild West bronc, made of genuine recycled baling twine fresh off hay bales, so in addition to owning a very unique objet d’art, a piece of The West, of course you’ll also be helping to save the planet from choking plastic or toxic burn fumes.

Owyhee Aristides (Blue-Orange nose)

Owyhee Arrogate (Orange-Blue nose)

(Go Boise State Bucky Broncos! Go Denver Buster Broncos!)

Owyhee Affirmed (Green nose)

Owyhee Adios (Yellow nose)

Owyhee Allez France (Yellow-White nose)

Owyhee American Pharoah (White-Blue nose)

Owyhee Assault (Blue-Orange-Blue nose)

(Go Boise State Bucky Broncos! Go Denver Buster Broncos!)

Available for adoption fee of $75 (add $5 for shipping per horse, USA only). Comes with bona fide certificate of adoption card, nametag, and bragging rights. contact

See the gallery of horses here:

**100% recycled… made of baling twine, used buttons, stuffed with used horse magazines

#trashtotreasure #trashtoart #trashintoart #balingtwine #bailingtwine #balingtwineart #bailingtwineart #recycledart #repurposed #reclaimed #recycledbalingtwine #recycledbailingtwine #recycleme #wastetoart #waste2art #trashintotreasure #recycled #recreated #fiberart #buyhandmade #buyusa #blackfriday
#owyhee #owyheeart #wildwestart #wildwest #owyheemustangs #idaho #onlyinowyhee #adoptawildmustang #adoptamustang #justify #Buckybronco #busterbronco


Wednesday, October 7, 2020

Fire Breathing Hillbillie Dragon

October 7 2020

He'd had a solid 4 weeks off since his 50-mile ride at Old Selam, partially due to smoky skies, and shoulder doctor's orders (mine). The last week he'd been zipping and ripping and romping around the pastures here, sparring with his herd-mates and Sneaky Shark-attacking Disco.

So I figured Willie would be pretty raring to go on a training ride. I left him in charge (as long as he made the right decisions) as to which forks in the trails to take, and what gait he wanted to use.

I rode a fire breathing dragon! Trotting, cantering, pacing, blowing sparks and snorting smoke, and when we hit Frodo sand wash, he wanted to roar up it, way faster than I wanted him to or needed him to (plus he was feel-good spooky, and I didn't want to dismount involuntarily!) 

But what's so good about Fire Breathing Hillbillie Willie Dragon is that while he is hot as a firecracker and powerful as a freight train, he doesn't pull! He snorts, he bows his head, he high-steps and powers up the trail on a light contact rein.

Makes me feel like the Khaleesi!

Monday, September 14, 2020

Hillbillie Delight at Old Selam

Monday September 14 2020

Old Selam was only Hillbillie Willie's second endurance ride of the year. I was a little nervous about the first five or so miles: at his previous ride at City of Rocks, this Standardbred ex-racehorse (owned by Steph Teeter, ridden by me) was hot hot hot, pulling and yanking, rooting, throwing his head up, mouth gaping open or chomping on the bit. He wore me plumb out those first miles, and while it was great to be back in the saddle, I sure wouldn't call them fun miles.

I suspected the bit might have something to do with it; I'd seen some signs on training rides he was no longer thrilled with the bit he's been wearing for four years, so after the City of Rocks ride I experimented, and changed it, from a Kemberwick three-piece mouthpiece to a Kemberwick solid bar with a little whoop-de-do in it. (I tried a simpler three-piece snaffle and he did not like that either… I think the broken pieces now irritate him.) While it's a heavier bit, he seems to be much happier with it. Who knew he would decide he didn't like the bit he's always worn, but there you go.

As at City of Rocks, we rode with Willie's former ranch-mate Smokey and Nance. Jack didn't go with us this time, since Debbie Grose was ride manager and wasn't comfortable riding while managing. But Smokey and Willie had a fun ride together on the 50.

And Willie was a gem throughout the day, even at the start of the ride. He was hot to trot, but there was no yanking, pulling, jerking, chomping, and he was moving along with his head lowered, without me having to ask!
just look at him! ❤

Willie looooooooooooves charging along the winding two-track overgrown logging roads through the forest, always eager to see around the next bend, bear or moose or no.

Ooooh that feeling, when your horse is fast and smooth and forward and steady and strong, not spooky (except for coming around that one corner and seeing… two big concrete blocks just sitting right there… where he slammed on his brakes, then jumped back to a trot), powering up hills, slipping to a smooth canter and back to his big trot…

It's taken many years to get him to this point. Of course, he's not always like that, smooth and rounded up, and I call him a continual work in progress, but those great moments, minutes, and miles, are getting longer and more frequent. (Figuring out the bit change really helped.)

:) :)

Photos of Willie and me by Steve Bradley!

For more stories and photos on this awesome Old Selam ride (that you don't want to miss  next year), see:

Friday, August 14, 2020

This Old Horse

August 14 2020


Fed Ex man came to deliver something the other day, and he was concerned about the horse standing out in the driveway/road out front. “I’m worried he might run off.”

Not the slightest chance of that happening. That’s just my Golden Oldie Stormy, 29, (a.k.a. Old Farticus) who just hangs out up there occasionally. He and old man Krusty (R.I.P.) used to wander out there and eat grass, stand in the road and doze, just hang out together. 

Now that Stormy’s old and doesn’t have enough teeth to eat hay, he gets full range of the place, wandering wherever he wants to eat grass (and he gets yummy mashes twice a day). He doesn’t care anymore if the herd leaves him; he just wants to eat and doze. Sometimes he’s on the grass on the pasture; sometimes he wanders out front and mows the grass; sometimes he hangs out in the road snoozing, the equivalent of an old man falling asleep in his lazyboy taking an afternoon nap. Maybe he dreams of the days he and Krusty, the two old patriarchs, hung out there together. 

Sometimes you have to drive around Stormy because he won’t move out of your way, but there’s no danger he’s going to run off anywhere. Except back to the house if he hears me open the door to the feed room on the other side of the creek, because while he has Selective Hearing, he’s got ears sharper than a spy for the sound of that squeaky door, which brings him running!

Just in case, though, I got this sign made for him.