Horse Stories, Poems and Quotes

Great Expectations Ranch

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We will be adding to this page from time to time.  Some of these additions will be on the funny side, some will tug at your heart and some will be historical quotes.  If you feel you have something for us to add, please feel free to send it our way.  :-)

Horse Sense:


Just up the road from my home is a field, with two horses in it.  >From a distance, each looks like every other horse.  But if one stops the car, or is walking by, one will notice something quite amazing.

Looking into the eyes of one horse will disclose that he is blind.  His owner has chosen not to have him put down, but has made a good home for him.  This alone is amazing.

Listening, one will hear the sound of a bell.  Looking around for the source of the sound, one will see that it comes from the smaller horse in the field.  Attached to her bridle is a small bell.  It lets her blind friend know where she is, so he can follow her.

As one stands and watches these two friends, one sees how she is always checking on him, and that he will listen for her bell and then slowly walk to where she is, trusting that she will not lead him astray.

Like the owners of these two horses, God does not throw us away just because we are not perfect or because we have problems or challenges.

He watches over us and even brings others into our lives to help us when we are in need.

Sometimes we are the blind horse being guided by God and those whom he places in our lives.  Other times we are the guide horse, helping others see God.

Subject: Flicka's Story - Clinicians!

My name is Flicka and my Owner is a Clinic Junky!

Yes, it's true. She went through her mid life crisis  and came to the

sale barn and bought me. I spent my  whole life misbehaving and being 
passed from  Greenhorn to Greenhorn till someone finally got  smart 
and sent me to the sale barn. I was seriously  hoping to be picked up 
by one of those show horse  fellas so I could live in a fancy barn and

stand  around and look pretty, but they told me my butt was  too 
small, my head was too big, and the crest on my  neck from a bout with

grass founder (thanks to owner  number 2) was not desirable, and in 
general I was  just not that capable of looking pretty, so I went  
home with Phyllis instead. She pets me and loves me,  and in general I

had a pretty good life at first.
Then she heard about those guys who whisper to  horses. Life has 
never been the same.

First there was Pat. At Pat's clinic Phyllis learned
to twirl a big stick and chase me around a round pen
till I was wringing wet with sweat. Once I had
"calmed down" (I was never really fired up in the
first place till that guy came at me with the stick
like an idiot) she began learning to ride me with no
bridle. Talk about giving an old spoiled horse an
opportunity to have some fun! Initially I went along
with it. I'd lope around the pen real nice like, and
everyone would oooh and cooo over my natural horse
abilities. Then, just when everyone had gathered
around to watch, I would see the SCARIEST!!
(tehehehe)  shadow in the history of scary shadows
and switch directions and take off with my rider  clinging terrified to my back. Every other horse on the place was
envious of me because their owners
would take them out back and beat them with that
overpriced stick when no one was watching, but I
knew my Phyllis would not. Eventually Philly (as I
like to call her) gave up on Pat.   Off
we went in search of another guru.

In our search we found Monty. He threw a string at a  horse and 
talked to the horse with winks and stares.
I spent some time with his clinic horses. I saw the  demonstration 
where an unbroken 2 year old became an  overnight Reiner. Later I 
talked to the 2 year old.
He was actually 5 and had been doing this same  routine for about 5 
clinics now. The first time  Phyllis broke out the string I, again, 
went along  with it. Well, until she got tired of me stopping  and 
looking at her like she was stupid. When she  went to get herself a 
glass of water and refer to  that chapter in Monty's book ,  I grabbed

the string  and chewed it to pieces. And this is how I got my  Jolly 

Then there was the Indian fella with a name I can't
pronounce. To get the full effect of his clinic
Philly painted stuff on my body and put feathers in my hair. I looked

like I was in a
Costume class, but, hey, whatever floats your boat.
I thought maybe at least with this guy we might get
to play Indian pony games and have mock battles or
something,  but no. More round pen work and
gimmicks. This time there was a fire in the middle
of the round pen and they danced around it while
praying that I would become a good horse and always
mind my owner. He only took her for a couple
thousand pelts and a bottle of firewater.

There's been the Australian guy. Training with a  Boomerang, while he

hopped around like a kangaroo  and called me his mate. Sorry fella, 
you're cute and  all, but my mate has 4 legs. I just don't swing  

Then, there was a horse psychic who told Phyllis my  momma didn't 
lick me enough when I was born.

After that, a guy who used his hands like ears to  talk to me and, of

course, the touchy feely lady.

I can't complain though, I've got an owner who loves me and has
devoted her time to trying to make me a
better horse. I really should behave, really I
should, but I think I am contributing to her youth
by giving her a reason to take me to all these
clinics. Maybe the next clinic will involve turning
me out with the mustangs, so I find my inner wild

Sincerely, Flicka

 In a press release today, the National Institute of Health has announced
the discovery of a potentially dangerous substance in the hair of horses. This
substance, called "amo-bacter equuii" has been linked with the following
symptoms in female humans:
   *reluctance to cook
   *reluctance to perform housework
   *reluctance to wear anything but boots
   *reluctance to work except in support of a horse
   *physical craving for contact with horses (may be an addiction)
 Beware! if you come in contact with a female human affected by this
 substance be prepared to talk about horses for hours on end.

 This was a public service announcement ...

 Surgeon General's Warning: Horses are expensive, addictive, and may impair
 the ability to use common sense.
Be careful out there ladies.

Joke #1:


The Riders:

Natural Horsemanship devotee looks like a throwback from a Texas ranch, despite the fact that he grew up in the suburbs of NJ. Rope coiled loosely in hand (don't want to send any messages of tension, after all in case he needs to herd any of those kids on roller blades away from his/her F-350 dually in the Wal-Mart parking lot. Cowboy hat is strategically placed, and just soiled enough to be cool. Wranglers are well worn, with that little wrinkle above the instep of the ropers, and lots of dust, well, you know, from the round pen on the lower legs.

Dressage Queen is freshly coifed. Not even she remembers her own hair color, but she has taken great pains to ensure that Rolfe, the hairdresser, makes the perm and highlights look "natural." Diamond studs are elegant and stately, and not so large that they blind the judge during the entire passage-piaffe tour. $30 denim jumper worn over $300 full seat white breeches and Koenigs.

Hunter/Jumper competitor is in an aqua polo and those breeches whose color could be compared to, um, well, okay, let's say they're khaki. The polo is so that folks will think they're a jumper rider until they put on their shirt and stock tie. Baseball cap is mandatory after a ride, in order to provide free advertising to that trainer's stable for whom they shell over a mere grand or so per month, and to hide "helmet head."

Eventer is slightly hunched over. This could be from carrying three saddles, three bridles, three bits, and all related color coordinated gear to every event, or it could possibly be a defensive posture where he/she is
unconsciously protecting his/her wallet, which is, of course, nearly empty from buying three saddles, three bridles, three bits and all related color coordinated gear. Looked down on by the H/J's as "people who just run their horses at fences" and by the DQ's as "not real dressage riders." Eventers are smugly convinced that they are in fact the only people in the horse world who CAN ride, since the H/J's don't jump real fences and the DQ's don't ride real horses.

Endurance Addict is wearing lycra tights in some neon color. Has not read the rule that lycra is a privilege, not a right. The shinier, the better, so that they can find her body when her mount dumps her down (another)
ravine. Wearing hiking sneakers of some sort and a smear of trail dirt on the cheek. Sporting one of the zillions of t-shirts she got for paying $75 to complete some other torturous ride. Socks may or may not match (each other).

Backyard Rider can be found wearing (in summer) shorts and bra, (in winter) flannel nightgown, buck boots, down jacket. Drives a Ford Tempo filled with dirty blankets and dog hair. Usually has deformed toes on the right foot from being stepped on in the Wal-Mart sneakers that are worn for riding. Roots need touching up to hide the grey. 2-horse bumperpull behind barn willed with sawdust/hay. Can be found trying to teach her horse to come in the kitchen to eat so she doesn't have to walk all the way to the barn.

The Horses

Rusty is the quintessential NH mount. Rescued from a situation where he was never initiated in the NH ways, he's learned to run down his owners at
feeding time, knock children from his back under low hanging branches, and could even spit like a camel if provoked. The embezzlement has never been proven. The hospitalization tally for his handlers was twelve until he met Spherical Sam. After twelve minutes in the round pen, he is teaching algebra to high school freshmen, speaks three languages fluently, and can put on his own splint boots (with Spherical Sam's trademark logo embossed clearly).

Fleistergeidelsprundheim ("Fleistergeidel" for short) is an 18-hand warmblood who was bred to make Grand Prix in a European nation where his breeders are still laughing hysterically when they talk about 'zat crazy American.' Despite being runty, his owner fell in love with his lofty gaits, proud carriage and tremendous athleticism. Never mind that this talent was not revealed until he was chased down by a rabid raccoon, and has not been repeated since. Has been injured 16 times in the last year, preventing his move to PSG at age 6, despite living in a 20' x 20' padded stall and providing family supporting wages to a groom whose chief job duty is "don't let him get hurt!"

Neverbeenraced is a prime example of an American Thoroughbred. The coat is deep bay, no markings, the textbook TB head, and no unusual conformational characteristics. Perfect, just perfect. Overcame a near fatal flat in his H/J career when he learned that the plants in the jumps are NOT real, and therefore did not require him to stop and taste. Has learned to count strides all by himself, and asks in midair which lead his mistress would like today.

Fastnhighasican is a Thoroughbred track reject who never won a single race - perfect eventer! He has two speeds, gallop and stopndump, and they are used, at his discretion, for all three phases of eventing, although he has some creative variations of gallop to spice up that boring dressage. There is the gallopdowncenterlineandrear, the gallopdepartandbuck, the extendedoutofhandgallop, and, a favorite among spectators, the gallopzigzagpirouette in which the gallop is performed entirely while hopping on his hind legs. His favorite phase is cross-country where all obstacles regardless of size are jumped at the height of 5.5 feet, and because that is where he gets to employ his personal favorite movement, the stopndump. This is the most fun when performed at cross-country water obstacles where his person invariably stands up soaking wet with murky, smelly water and threatens to sell him to Fleistergeidel's owner while he follows up with another fun gallop variation, the imfreeandyoucantcatchmegallop, another crowd-pleaser.

Al Kamar Raka Shazaam was often called "you bastard" until he found an other as hyper as he, an endurance addict. Can spook at a blowing leaf, spin a 360 and not lose his big trot rhythm or give up an inch to the horse behind him. Has learned to eat, drink, pee and drop to his resting pulse rate on command. Has compiled 3,450 AERC miles, with his rider compiling 3,445 - those five miles being the ones he was chased down the trail after performing his trademark 360 turn, without said aforementioned rider.

Snook'ums is the backyard rider's horse. Big head; stride of a gerbil. Duct tape holding shoe on until farrier gets out next month. Has a little Quarter, Arab, Standardbred, Tennessee Walker, Shetland blood. Mane cut with scissors straight across. He's been there so long she forgot how she got him or where he came from. Frequently seen ambling around the yard. Been known to join family picnics on the back porch.

Frequently Overheard

NH Devotee - "Well, shucks ma'am, tweren't nuthin'!" "It's simple horsemanship." "With this special twirly flickitat'em rope ($17.95 plus tax), you'll be roundpenning like me in no time." "You silly human, that just ain't natural for a horse."

Dressage Queen - "On no, he's hurt again?!" "The check is in the mail." To Herr Germanlastname: "Can't you tune up those one tempis for me?" To the groom: "Get me that mounting block - can't you see my nails are still wet?" To the show manager: "That footing has ruined my chances at Olympic Gold in 2000, I'll have you know." and "What were you thinking, stabling me next to that nobody? That horse could be 'diseased'?" To anyone who will listen: "When I had dinner with Hilda / Lendon / Robert..."

H/J Competitor - "Did you tell Neverbeenraced how many strides between fence four and fence five - I can never remember!" "Is my butt sticking out enough when I post?" "Oh no, I can't jump 2'6", my trainer will KILL me!" "I can't wait to do jumpers with Neverbeenraced - then we can wear one of those tasseled ear covers!"

Eventer - "I broke my collarbone/ribs/ankle again last week, but I'll be fine for the jog-up tomorrow." "How do you get pond water out of saddle leather?" "Did you see our show jumping where Fastnhighasican bounced the two stride combination?" "Did you see our final gallopdowncenterlineandrear? I think he is finally starting to relax in dressage." "Oh, it's just a little concussion. Have you seen my horse?"

Endurance Addict - "Anyone have Advil?" "Anyone have food? I think last year's Twinkies finally went bad." "For this pain, I spend money?" "Oh, I never bring hay or water to the vet checks - there's always plenty around." "Quick, quick, did you look, was his pee okay?" "Shazaam, you bastard - it's just a leaf [thud]!"

Backyard Rider - "It's too hot/cold/wet/dry to ride." "I used to show." "Where's my Metamucil?" "Has anyone seen Snook'ums? Last I saw he was across the road in the cornfield." "Here's a picture of Snook'ums when he was 43 years young!" "Snook'ums stop slobbering on me."



Joke #2



If Horses Were In High School

Quarter Horses: Definitely jocks. Strutting around flexing those muscles,showing off their butts. Not real bright.But get passed on since they are responsible for all the trophies in the glass cases. (Paints-just QH with too much make up on.

Thoroughbreds: Preppies. They are athletes, never 'jocks'. Monogrammed blankets, leather halters, Nike eventer shoes, the latest custom trailer and tack.

Appaloosas: Could only be the stoners. They like to drop acid so they can watch their spots move.


Shetland Ponies: Frightening, spiky hairdos, snotty attitude and any color of the rainbow. Gotta be PUNKS. Some even sport tattoos.

Friesians: Big, buff, and always in black, they are the biker clique. Cigs hanging out of the corner of their mouths, dangerous glint in the eyes, daring anyone to cross their path.

Morgans: They're the nerdy teacher's pets, running around doing everything from yearbook to decorating the gym and ratting out the bikers, stoners and jocks. They have perpetual wedgies.

Drafts (all breeds): No real clique, they're just the big guys who sit in the back of the room and fart a lot (and then laugh). Who's going to STOP them?

Icelandics and Paso Finos: They're the little squirrelly geeks who flit around a dance trying to fit in and fail miserably. The kind who wear Toughskins jeans from Sears (or would that be ripoff WeathaBeetas??).

Ahkle Tekl (Akle Takl? Ackle Tackle....!! Akhal Teke!!): Foreign exchange student(s). And no one can spell their names either.

Hackney Ponies: A breed this manic would have to be band geeks. Marching along with their knees and heads held high.....even going to the bathroom.

Warmbloods: The school staff and faculty. Looking down their noses with righteous indignation and disgust. Secretly wishing they were having half as much fun.

Saddlebreds: The popular ones. The pretty ones. The gifted students.
Always voted homecoming king or queen. Always only date each other.
Frequently marry after dating through high school and college and obtain their M.D. Move to a wealthy suburb and have 2.5 beautiful children. Everyone hopes they will divorce or get fat or go broke, but they never do.

God Jumps

God gives us horses and compels some of us to love them. Yet why does the horse, an animal with such a big heart, live such a short life?

Perhaps it's because if our horses lived any longer, we wouldn't be able to bear losing them. Or, perhaps it's because God wants them with Him.

Perhaps God looks down on the fine horses we raise and decides when it's His turn to ride. He gives us a few good years to care for and learn from them, but when the time is right, it's up to us to see them off gracefully. OK, perhaps not gracefully. Blowing into a Kleenex is rarely graceful. But we can be grateful.

To have a horse in your life is a gift. In the matter of a few short years, a horse can teach a girl courage; if she chooses to grab mane and hang on for dear life.

Even the smallest of ponies is mightier than the tallest of girls. To conquer the fear of falling off, having one's toes crushed, or being publicly humiliated at a horse show is an admirable feat for any child. For that, we can be grateful.

Horses teach us responsibility. Unlike a bicycle - or a computer - a horse needs regular care and most of it requires that you get dirty and smelly and up off the couch. Choosing to leave your cozy kitchen to break the crust of ice off the water buckets is to choose responsibility. When our horses dip their noses and drink heartily, we know we've made the right choice.

Learning to care for a horse is both an art and a science. Some are easy keepers, requiring little more than regular turn-out, a flake of hay, and a trough of clean water. Others will test you - you'll struggle to keep them from being too fat or too thin. You'll have their feet shod regularly only to find shoes gone missing. Some are so accident-prone you'll swear they're intentionally finding new ways to injure themselves.

If you weren't raised with horses, you can't know that they have unique personalities. You'd expect this from dogs, but horses? Indeed, there are clever horses, grumpy horses, and even horses with a sense of humor. Those prone to humor will test you by finding new ways to escape from the barn when you least expect it. I found one of ours on the front porch one morning, eating the cornstalks I'd carefully arranged as Halloween decorations.

Horses can be timid or brave, lazy or athletic, obstinate or willing. You will hit it off with some horses and others will elude you altogether. There are as many "types" of horses as there are people - which make the whole partnership thing all the more interesting.

If you've never ridden a horse, you probably assume it's a simple thing you can learn in a weekend. You can, in fact, learn the basics on a Sunday - but to truly ride well takes a lifetime. Working with a living being is far more complex than turning a key in the ignition and putting the car in "drive."

In addition to listening to your instructor, your horse will have a few things to say to you as well. On a good day, he'll be happy to go along with the program and tolerate your mistakes; on a bad day, you'll swear he's trying to kill you. Perhaps he's naughty or perhaps he's fed up with how slowly you're learning his language. Regardless, the horse will have an opinion. He may choose to challenge you (which can ultimately make you a better rider) or he may carefully carry you over fences...if it suits him. It all depends on the partnership - and partnership is what it's all about.

If you face your fears, swallow your pride, and are willing to work at it, you'll learn lessons in courage, commitment, and compassion, in addition to basic survival skills. You'll discover just how hard you're willing to work toward a goal, how little you know, and how much you have to learn. And, while some people think the horse "does all the work", you'll be challenged physically as well as mentally. Your horse may humble you completely. Or, you may find that sitting on his back is the closest you'll get to heaven. You can choose to intimidate your horse, but do you really want to? The results may come more quickly, but will your work ever be as graceful as that gained through trust? The best partners choose to listen, as well as to tell. When it works, we experience a sweet sense of accomplishment brought about by smarts, hard work, and mutual understanding between horse and rider. These are the days when you know with absolute certainty that your horse is enjoying his work.

If we make it to adulthood with horses still in our lives, most of us have to squeeze riding into our over saturated schedules; balancing our need for things equine with those of our households and employers. There is never enough time to ride, or to ride as well as we'd like. Hours in the barn are stolen pleasures.

If it is in your blood to love horses, you share your life with them. Our horses know our secrets; we braid our tears into their manes and whisper our hopes into their ears. A barn is a sanctuary in an unsettled world, a sheltered place where life's true priorities are clear: a warm place to sleep, someone who loves us and the luxury of regular meals...Some of us need these reminders.

When you step back, it's not just about horses; it’s about love, life, and learning. On any given day, a friend is celebrating the birth of a foal, a blue ribbon, or recovery from an illness. That same day, there is also loss: a broken limb, case of colic, or a decision to sustain a life or end it gently. As horse people, we share the accelerated life cycle of horses: the hurried rush of life, love, loss, and death that caring for these animals brings us. When our partners pass, it is more than a moment of sorrow. We mark our loss with words of gratitude for the ways our lives have been blessed. Our memories are of joy, awe, and wonder. Our Partnership with the Horse is absolute union. We honor our horses for their brave hearts, courage, and willingness to give.

To those outside our circle, it must seem strange. To see us in our muddy boots, who would guess such poetry lives in our hearts? We celebrate our companions with praise worthy of heroes. Indeed, horses have the hearts of warriors and often carry us into and out of fields of battle.

Listen to stories of that once-in-a-lifetime horse; of journeys made and challenges met. The best of horses rise to the challenges we set before them, asking little in return. Those who know them understand how fully a horse can hold a human heart. Together, we share the pain of sudden loss and the lingering taste of long-term illness. We shoulder the burden of deciding when or whether to end the life of a true companion.

In the end, we're not certain if God entrusts us to our horses or our horses to us. Does it matter? We're grateful God loaned us the horse in the first place. --Author Unknown

The Pearl of Them All

Gaily in front of the stockwhip
The horses come galloping home,
Leaping and bucking and playing
With sides all a lather of foam;
But painfully, slowly behind them,
With head to the crack of the fall,
And trying so gamely to follow
Comes limping the pearl of them all.

He is stumbling and stiff in the shoulder,
And splints from the hoof to the knee,
But never a horse on the station
Has half such a spirit as he;
Give these all the boast of their breeding
These pets of the paddock and stall,
But ten years ago not their proudest
Could live with the pearl of them all.

No journey has ever yet beat him,
No day was too heavy or hard,
He was king of the camp and the muster
And pride of the wings of the yard;
But Time is relentless to follow;
The best of us bow to his thrall;
And death, with his scythe on his shoulder,
Is dogging the pearl of them all.

I watch him go whinnying past me,
And memories come with a whirl
Of reckless, wild rides with a comrade
And laughing, gay rides with a girl -
How she decked him with lilies and love-knots
And plaited his mane at my side,
And once in the grief of a parting
She threw her arms round him and cried.
And I promised - I gave her my promise
The night that we parted in tears,
To keep and be kind to the old horse
Till Time made a burden of years;
And then for his sake and one woman's...
So, fetch me my gun from the wall!
I have only this kindness to offer
As gift to the pearl of them all.

Here! hold him out there by the yard wing,
And don't let him know by a sign:
Turn his head to you - ever so little!
I can't bear his eyes to meet mine.
Then - stand still, old boy! for a moment  ...
These tears, how they blind as they fall!
Now, God help my hand to be steady ...
Good-bye! - to the pearl of them all!

by William Henry Ogilvie

  Rescue Rainbow Bridge

Unlike most days at Rainbow Bridge, this day dawned cold and gray, damp as a swamp and as dismal as could be imagined. All of the recent arrivals had no idea what to think, as they had never experienced a day like this before.  But the animals who had been waiting for their beloved people knew exactly what was going on and started to gather at the pathway leading to The Bridge to watch.

It wasn't long before an elderly animal came into view, head hung low and tail dragging. The other animals, the ones who had been there for a while, knew what his story was right away, for they had seen this happen far too often.

He approached slowly, obviously in great emotional pain, but with no sign of injury or illness. Unlike all of the other animals waiting at The Bridge, this animal had not been restored to youth and made healthy and vigorous again. As he walked toward The Bridge, he watched all of the other animals watching him. He knew he was out of place here and the sooner he could cross  over, the happier he would be.

But, alas, as he approached The Bridge, his way was barred by the appearance of an Angel who apologized, but told him that he would not be able to pass. Only those animals who were with their people could pass over Rainbow Bridge.

With no place else to turn to, the elderly animal turned towards the fields before The Bridge and saw a group of other animals like himself, also elderly and infirm. They weren't playing, but rather simply lying on the green grass, forlornly staring out at the pathway leading to The Bridge. And so, he took his place among them, watching the pathway and waiting.

One of the newest arrivals at The Bridge didn't understand what he had just witnessed and asked one of the animals that had been there for a while to explain it to him.

You see, that poor animal was a rescue. He was turned in to rescue just as you see him now, an older animal with his fur graying and his eyes clouding. He never made it out of rescue and passed on with only the love of his rescuer to comfort him as he left his earthly existence. Because he had no family to give his love to, he has no one to escort him across The Bridge.

The first animal thought about this for a minute and then asked, "So what will happen now?" As he was about to receive his answer, the clouds suddenly parted and the gloom lifted. Approaching The Bridge could be seen a single person and among the older animals, a whole group was suddenly bathed in a golden light and they were all young and healthy again, just as they were in the prime of life.

"Watch, and see" said the second animal. A second group of animals from those waiting came to the pathway and bowed low as the person neared. At each bowed head, the person offered a pat on the head or a scratch behind the ears. The newly restored animals fell into line and followed him towards The Bridge. They all crossed The Bridge together.

"What happened?"

"That was a rescuer." The animals you saw bowing in respect were those who found new homes because of his work.  They will cross when their new families arrive. Those you saw restored were those who never found homes. When a rescuer arrives, they are allowed to perform one, final act of rescue. They are allowed to escort those poor animals that they couldn't place on earth, across The Rainbow Bridge.

"I think I like rescuers," said the first animal.

"So does GOD," was the reply.

(Author Unknown)

The Game Horse

He was tied up to the trailer out behind the stands,
a blaze-face sorrel gelding, roughly 15 hands,
High withers, slightly ewe-necked, back a little swayed,
white hairs on his muzzle,eyes sunk in with age.
An old warrior with his best years long since gone away,
left here baby-sitting at a small-town horse play-day.

Watched over by her parents, a young girl kissed the horse;
they coached her on the fine points and wished her luck, of course.
He hardly seemed to notice when the small girl took his lead;
he followed without balking but not with any speed.
She climbed on and walked him round some, he went without a fuss;
his head was down, the reins were slack, his feet dragged in the dust.

When they called her name his ears pricked up, she sat up in her seat;
trotting to the gate there was new lightness in his feet.
When they got into the alley he flared his nostrils wide,
picked up the bit and arched his neck, she latched on for the ride.
She let him go and as they went the years melted away,
and he was once again the barrel horse he'd been in younger days.

With eyes on fire and muscles bunched, raw power in his stride,
blazing speed and energy wrapped in horse's hide.
He had chased the cans from old Cheyenne to the Calgary Stampede,
from Amarillo to Salinas, he had lived the game horse creed:
"Run to live, live to run," it was printed in his genes,
from nose to tail his big heart pumped blue blood through his veins.

Coming through the pattern they touched the last can some;
it was still up on its edge when they were halfway home.
When she asked him for a little, he gave her all he had;
the barrel stood, the run was good, and the time was not too bad.
When she pulls the saddle he's an old horse once again,
but while he's running barrels, he's all he's ever been.

So here's to that old gamer -- may our golden years like his
be filled with golden moments and glorious memories,
Of races run and races won, of places that we've been,
of friends we've made along the way and good things we have seen,
And someone who will need us for what we still can do--
may our needs be small, our wants be less, and our troubles be but few.

by Tony Schwader

Liz and Savannah

In This Kodak Moment, Lies a Priceless Memory
Liz Vought
Savannah, I'm desperately missing you,
But in my heart you will stay.
All encumbrances removed, no ties, no strings attached, just home free.
Bought you on a bone-chilling cold January's day: my brother, mom, Kelley and me.
Very second I laid my eyes on you, knew you were mine forever and for always.
Lying in a bed of hay out in that pasture,
A couple pieces of alfalfa hanging from either side of your mouth.
Whistling you looked over at me; our eyes met and locked in a trance-like gaze.
At that moment of eternity; only you and me, the world ours for the taking.
Understanding and wisdom shown clear as day through your dark brown eyes, that is when
our immortal bond rooted then blossomed; entwining through our souls like a wildfire out
of control, only thing embracing that stronghold then and forever more being our
unspeakable need for each other.
That day I really knew there was a God in the heavens; he shined brighter than ever before.
A faith in me came to the knowledge that miracles do happen.
Bless the Lord my Father, for he does work in mysterious ways.
Two weeks passed "with mom's truck, a rented trailer I loaded you up to give your life a
second chance, a fresh start, to bring you HOME.
Savannah you saved my life, I yours; taught me to have faith, never give up, always try
Guiding me through the hell in my life, you were my joy) my world, my everything, my baby.
Picking me up when I was down, while teaching me the difference between right and wrong.
You deserve the world from me horse, but left before I could give it
God gifted me with you whom I'll always cherish; hold within the depths of my soul.
He also took you away because I wasn't in need of your help any longer.
Finally I could stand on my own two feet.
But now this picture's cradled in the palms of my hands; I realize this: you didn't need the
world, only to love and be loved.
We touched each other's lives and hearts Savannah, both given a second start.
Baby you and I grabbed that opportunity by the horns; ran like the wind with it, touching
others along the way.
Questioning everyday your being gone; the memory's come crashing in like a tide against it's
I know you're with me wherever I go, yah you're already there.
All's it takes is that feeling; then you're everywhere, with me by my side, eternally in my heart
until I reach heaven where once again we will meet.
Savvy-Girl it's just gonna' be you and me together till the end which is forever and for


Because of Love ” a true horse story

This is a true story    shared by Willy Eagle

A brother and sister had made their usual hurried, obligatory pre-
Christmas visit to the little farm where dwelt their elderly
parents with their small herd of horses. The farm was where they
had grown up and had been named Lone Pine Farm because of the huge
pine, which topped the hill behind the farm.. Through the years the
tree had become a talisman to the old man and his wife, and a
landmark in the countryside. The young siblings had fond memories
of their childhood here, but the city hustle and bustle added more
excitement to their lives, and called them away to a different life.

The old folks no longer showed their horses, for the years had
taken their toll, and getting out to the barn on those frosty
mornings was getting harder, but it gave them a reason to get up in
the mornings and a reason to live. They sold a few foals each
year, and the horses were their reason for joy in the morning and
contentment at day’s end.

Angry, as they prepared to leave, the young couple confronted the
old folks “Why do you not at least dispose of  The Old One.” She
is no longer of use to you. It’s been years since you’ve had foals
from her. You should cut corners and save so you can have more for
yourselves. How can this old worn out horse bring you anything but
expense and work? Why do you keep her anyway?”

The old man looked down at his worn boots, holes in the toes,
scuffed at the barn floor and replied, ” Yes, I could use a pair of
new boots. His arm slid defensively about the Old One’s neck as he
drew her near with gentle caressing he rubbed her softly behind her
ears. He replied softly, “We keep her because of love. Nothing
else, just love.”

Baffled and irritated, the young folks wished the old man and his
wife a Merry Christmas and headed back toward the city as darkness
stole through the valley. The old couple shook their heads in
sorrow that it had not been a happy visit. A tear fell upon their
cheeks. How is it that these young folks do not understand the
peace of the love that filled their hearts?

So it was, that because of the unhappy leave-taking, no one noticed
the insulation smoldering on the frayed wires in the old barn.
None saw the first spark fall. None but the “Old One”.

In a matter of minutes, the whole barn was ablaze and the hungry
flames were licking at the loft full of hay. With a cry of horror
and despair, the old man shouted to his wife to call for help as he
raced to the barn to save their beloved horses. But the flames were
roaring now, and the blazing heat drove him back. He sank sobbing
to the ground, helpless before the fire’s fury. His wife back from
calling for help cradled him in her arms, clinging to each other,
they wept at their loss.

By the time the fire department arrived, only smoking, glowing
ruins were left, and the old man and his wife, exhausted from their
grief, huddled together before the barn. They were speechless as
they rose from the cold snow covered ground. They nodded thanks to
the firemen as there was nothing anyone could do now. The old man
turned to his wife, resting her white head upon his shoulders as
his shaking old hands clumsily dried her tears with a frayed red
bandana. Brokenly he whispered, “We have lost much, but God has
spared our home on this eve of Christmas. Let us gather strength
and climb the hill to the old pine where we have sought comfort in
times of despair. We will look down upon our home and give thanks
to God that it has been spared and pray for our beloved most
precious gifts that have been taken from us.

And so, he took her by the hand and slowly helped her up the snowy
hill as he brushed aside his own tears with the back of his old and
withered hand.

The journey up the hill was hard for their old bodies in the steep
snow. As they stepped over the little knoll at the crest of the
hill, they paused to rest, looking up to the top of the hill the
old couple gasped and fell to their knees in amazement at the
incredible beauty before them.

Seemingly, every glorious, brilliant star in the heavens was caught
up in the glittering, snow-frosted branches of their beloved pine,
and it was aglow with heavenly candles. And poised on its top most
bough, a crystal crescent moon glistened like spun glass. Never had
a mere mortal created a Christmas tree such as this. They were
breathless as the old man held his wife tighter in his arms.

Suddenly, the old man gave a cry of wonder and incredible joy.
Amazed and mystified, he took his wife by the hand and pulled her
forward. There, beneath the tree, in resplendent glory, a mist
hovering over and glowing in the darkness was their Christmas
gift. Shadows glistening in the night light.

Bedded down about the “Old One” close to the trunk of the tree, was
the entire herd, safe.

At the first hint of smoke, she had pushed the door ajar with her
muzzle and had led the horses through it. Slowly and with great
dignity, never looking back, she had led them up the hill, stepping
cautiously through the snow. The foals were frightened and dashed
about. The skittish yearlings looked back at the crackling, hungry
flames, and tucked their tails under them as they licked their lips
and hopped like rabbits. The mares that were in foal with a new
years crop of babies, pressed uneasily against the “Old One” as she
moved calmly up the hill and to safety beneath the pine. And now,
she lay among them and gazed at the faces of the old man and his
wife. Those she loved she had not disappointed. Her body was
brittle with years, tired from the climb, but the golden eyes were
filled with devotion as she offered her gift—

Because of love. Only Because of love.

Tears flowed as the old couple shouted their praise and joy… And
again the peace of love filled their hearts.

This is a true story.

Willy Eagle


I lost one of my best friends last fall, when my old collie/cross passed away.  I still think of him every day and miss him dearly so I felt it only fair that I include dog poems or stories, as well.


God promised at the birth of time, a special friend to give,
his time on earth is short, he said, so love him while he lives.

It may be six or seven years, or twelve or then sixteen,

but will you, till I call him back, take care of him for me?

A wagging tail and cold wet nose, and silken velvet ears,

a heart as big as all outdoors, to love you through the years.

His puppy ways will gladden you, and antics bring a smile,

as guardian or friend he will, be loyal all the while.

He'll bring his charms to grace your life, and though his stay be brief,

when he's gone the memories, are solace for your grief.

I cannot promise he will stay, since all from earth return,

but lessons only a dog can teach, I want you each to learn.

Whatever love you give to him, returns in triple measure,

follow his lead and gain a life, brim full of simple pleasure.

Enjoy each day as it comes, allow your heart to guide,

be loyal and steadfast in love, as the dog there by your side.

Now will you give him all your love, nor think the labor vain,

nor hate me when I come to call, to take him back again?

I fancy each of us would say, "Dear Lord, thy will be done,

for all the joy this day shall bring, the risk of grief we'll run."

"We'll shelter him with tenderness, we'll love him while we may,

and for the happiness we've known, forever grateful stay."

"But shall the angels call for him, much sooner than we've planned,

we'll brave the bitter grief that comes, and try to understand."

Author Unknown

He had just saved her from a fire, rescuing her by carrying her out of the house and putting her safely in her front yard, while he continued to fight the fire.

She is pregnant.

The firefighter was afraid of her at first, because he had never been around a Doberman before.

When he finally got done putting the fire out, he sat down to catch his breath and rest.

A photographer from the Charlotte, N. Carolina newspaper, "The Observer," noticed this red Doberman in the distance looking at the fireman.

He watched her walk straight toward the fireman and wondered what she was going to do.
As he raised his camera, she came up to the tired man who had saved her life and the lives of her unborn babies, and kissed him, just as the photographer snapped this photograph.
And people say animals are dumb...............




Rules Of The Barn:
1. I am human. You are horse. What I say goes. Please take that into consideration when you are standing on my foot.

2. Spilled grain is not "fair game", especially when it is spilled in another horse's stall. It still belongs to that particular horse. You have no reason to go in and eat it.

3. Poop does not need to be hidden. I clean your stall every day. I will Find it. Do not hide it.

4. I do not need your help when I clean the barn, nor do I need your supervision, or even your presence. I have been cleaning the barn and stalls ever since you lived here. I know what I am doing. Standing at the door staring at me, will not make me clean faster.

5. There is no need to go into the barn and help yourself to the feed. Meals Are given at specific times of the day -am and pm. There is a feed schedule. You know the schedule. I know you know the schedule. You know that I know that you know the schedule. There is no need to help yourself.

6. Water buckets are not toys. Neither is the gate, pitchfork, wheel barrow, whatever is in the wheel barrow, fence,
or the occasional dog.

7. The wheel barrow is there for a reason. Please do not try to move it while I am cleaning your stall.

8. Just because I go into the Barn doesn't mean you automatically get food. There is other stuff in the barn. Stuff you don't want. Like de wormer and fly spray , shots, medicine.

9. Sheath cleaning will NOT be anyone.

10. Water travels through the hose. If you are thirsty, do not stand on the hose. The water buckets will fill much faster.

11. Not everything has to be high drama. None of the following things will kill you: fly spray, plastic bags, balloons, hoses, chipmunks and other small rodents, or bright blue tarps.

12. Although I understand the need for you to go to the bathroom, it is not necessary to hold it in all day until the moment I finish cleaning your stall and put away the wheel barrow.

13. Accidents happen. However, I'm not altogether sure you're not trying to kill yourself. Next time you decide to impale yourself on some sort of object, please try to do it when it's not hailing, midnight, the weekend, or Christmas.

14. While I appreciate your need to be clean, pooping in your water bucket does not make my job easier, and it deprives you of water. Please find a new spot.

15. Whinnying as loudly as you can in my face does not make me feed you any faster.

16. I have to wait patiently too while you are having your shoes tacked on. There is no need to bite me.

Author unk.