Quiet Storm and Stephanie

Last year about this time, Darling and I were preparing ourselves for the heartbreak of a lifetime…we’d sold Quiet Storm. Stephanie came to pick her up in early December. I think I cried more than Darling. The only saving grace of the day was, of all things, the snow. It was keeping my face just wet enough that it hid my tears. I cried for a month, quietly, silently, hiding from Darling so she wouldn’t see. Darling dealt with her grief through writing. Eventually, though, the pain eased and life went on…

Until Molalla. We were just a week from leaving when we received word from Stephanie that her income was dwindling and there just wasn’t enough money to care properly for Quiet Storm…and could I possibly take her back? Half elated, half dreading, I said yes. City Boy would not be happy, I knew, but what else could I do? Horses aren’t selling well right now, and Storm…she’s special. I couldn’t just let her slip away into just anyone’s hands, so home she came with 3 other mustangs which were here for gentling.

Quiet Storm hadn’t changed. She was still small, still the bottom of the pecking order, and still trying to walk on your toes. Darling and I saddled her up and we went for a ride, me on Jet, she on Quiet Storm. All went well.

As suspected, City Boy was less than thrilled over the turn of events. While he likes Storm, she made mustang #8 out in our tiny field. I made a half hearted promise to find her a new home while secretly longing for her to be able to stay with us forever…


Is she not just the most adorable little pony you’ve seen?

I spent the summer playing with and gentling the other mustangs. What I didn’t do is put much effort into finding a home for our little mustang. Now and then I’d speak with someone about her, but things never worked out. Finally, in October, I decided I just needed to bite the bullet and let her go. Darling had her new horse, Dude, and in all honesty there just wasn’t room for her in the barn.

But you’ll never believe what happened next…



Okay, so the mail comes and in it is an envelope addressed to me.  Return address?  Las Vegas, NV.  I open it up and it’s a hand written card from Mindy, who works at Diablo’s thanking me for my visit.

What visit?  Did I miss something?  Was there drinking and partying and a romantic entanglement and I’ve just forgotten?

And if I did visit…I thought what happened in Vegas, stayed in Vegas!

It’s a good thing my husband isn’t one of those guys who’s obscenely suspicious or jealous…or travels for his job and is left wondering how I spend my time whilst he’s away.

I’m contemplating sending the card back, along with my own handwritten note telling how that trip was confidential, and now my husband suspects foul play…and that he’s accusing me of having some torrid affair and my marriage is doomed and I’ll be living on the streets now, trying to make a living as a horizontal working girl.

Perhaps you’d care to share how you think my life has taken a turn for the worse as a result of Mindy’s thank you note?


2 Horses, with “Is there anything stuck in my teeth?” Congrats!  You’ll need to email me your mailing info so I can get your prize to you.

Darling and Dude Lee Doright

Say What?

Give me a caption and make it a good one!

Winner gets a…a…well, something.

Desperate To Find A Home

Joe is desperate for a home.  I am desperate to find him one!  Joe is a super sweet, willing and athletic 2 year old mustang gelding.  He came home with me in July for some basic ground work.  He had an adopter, a gentleman from the Seattle area who wanted to adopt a wild horse.  Joe was curious and walked up to introduce himself and let the man touch his nose.   The man liked Joe, filled out the adoption application, paid his money and left Joe with me for gentling…and was never heard from again…

Okay, that’s not quite true.  He called the next day and said he found a different boarding facility, so I took down the details so we could change the location on the application.  Then I got busy making friends with Joe.  I was also preparing to go spend a week at our county fair. Darling, of course, was bringing the sheep, and this year I had some wild horses coming along for gentling demonstrations.

Cheveyo gets a scratch during a gentling demo

By the time we returned home from the fair, 4 weeks had passed and I realized I’d not heard one breath from Joe’s adopter.  I called, but got no answer.  I called again…still no answer.  The third time, however, I was successful and reached him at work.

“Oh…well…I really can’t afford a horse down here.  I didn’t know it was so expensive…”

That was not what I needed to hear.  Had he called prior to the fair to let me know, Joe could have gone there and been adopted along with the other two horses.  But now?

Joe sits outside with my gang.  He’s a pleasant, kind 2 year old that is harboring a lot of physical talent.  Unfortunately, the horse market is in a huge slump, and people are barely considering wild horse adoption.  And that’s bad news for Joe, because if he doesn’t leave here with an adopter soon, he’ll need to head back down to the wild horse corrals, where he’ll be turned back in with those untouched.  His chances for finding a home decrease, and the possibility of him ending up on the euthanization list increase.

And that, sadly, is why I’m desperate…

Dude, Jet and Joe wait for a handout.

The sun was shining and City Boy had the day off; it was a perfect day for traveling before the winter rains set in.

“Come on, City Boy!  Let’s get Darling out of bed and drive to Winthrop!”  So we drug Darling out of her warm, snug bed and loaded ourselves into the car and set out on our journey over the mountains.

The highest point in the drive came a couple hours into our journey at nearly 5500 feet above sea level.  Prior to the completion of North Cascades Highway, Native Americans used this corridor as a trading route from the Eastern Plateau country to the Pacific Coast.  In 1897 a road was roughed out to Gilbert Landre’s Cabin.  I don’t know who Gilbert Landre was, but from the sounds of the Dept of Transportation page I found with that bit of information, it sounds like maybe I should.  In any case, it was a slow and laboring task, to be sure, as it  wasn’t until 1972, nearly 100 years later, that the highway was officially opened.

Winthrop is a quaint little western town settled in the late 1880s.  I’m pretty sure the streets were not paved back then, but they did manage to keep the boardwalks through town.  High above the town on a bluff that overlooks the Methow Valley sits a little museum with buildings that were once scattered about the region.

Can you believe six people lived in this tiny thing?

By the time we arrived at the museum, we’d been in the car nearly four hours and had climbed a steep hill.  Darling decided she needed a nice long soak in the tub.

Of course, the whole purpose for driving to Winthrop is not the beautiful scenery, the quaint western town nor even the nice, hot bath (although if they’d been so kind as to provide water and bubbles, that may have been more appealing!

No, the real, one true reason for driving over the mountain range is this:


That’s right!  My parents drove over for ice cream when I was a kid and now I’m dragging the CityBoy and Darling over for the same reason.  City Boy is confused…he wonders if we have ice cream on the left side of the mountains that doesn’t involve and 8 hour round trip?  Darling, however, is totally on board and is crowned the new Ice Cream Diva!

One Trick Pony

I don’t really know what has possessed me, to be honest.  I never did anything so risky as a child.  I’m Ms. Play It Safe.  Chances on horseback were not things I took.

So tell me, please, dear readers, why have I suddenly got a penchant for climbing on my green broke 4 year old not only bareback, but without a bridle?  Why is it I think it’s okay to trot in circles, lope up the fenceline, and cross the trail bridge when I have absolutely no real control?

I must have fallen off and bumped my head.  I don’t remember falling, but what other reason would there be for me also to decide now is the time to start climbing up into the saddle and standing, with my notoriously poor balance, bad knees and at the ripe old age of 47, on the back of this same green broke horse?

Perhaps it’s a midlife crisis.  I suppose it could be worse, eh?

Now…if someone could just help me down.