Photo & Poem: Coyote Run

Ancient mountains send coarse sand and sharp stone down, just pebbles at a time, to leave us unsteady on our feet, before rolling past us, into dry washes rough-cut across this red desert. On the ebb of cool wind, the voices of women, whispers as loud as shouts, are carried on the tongues of coyotes … Read more

The Next Horse: Remounting after the Hardest Fall of All

    This perfect horse of yours has been with you since he was young, or you got him near retirement, but he taught you the best of what you know. Maybe he was your first horse or maybe he was one of many in the course of your life, but this particular horse just … Read more

Photo & Poem: Hunger Moon

Fresh snow fell yesterday and more will come tomorrow, but in the still between-time, a full moon sits high in the sky, casting steely shapes on the ground, dimly lit to a haunted gray pallor. Unnatural colors that did scare me as a girl, when my shadow chased me for sport. Turn away from the … Read more

Photo & Poem: Hand-Me-Downs

  Leota would send a note warning that she’d put something in the mail and we waited. She was a distant relative who never visited, but she had girls older than us. Soon a big cardboard box arrived filled with pleated wool skirts and pastel sweaters; good school clothes, all store-bought. Leota’s girls must have … Read more

Photo & Poem: Secrets

She attended church with joyless obligation, lip-syncing hymns that praised suffering, with dentures that never quite fit, never a genuine smile. A few cigarettes in the station wagon on the way home, then she made Sunday dinner; chicken, mashed potatoes with beige gravy, and army-green beans. There was plenty, but she always chose the back … Read more

Cantankary: If Not Now, When?

Expecting New Year’s resolutions from me? Nope, I’m not the type. I am so thrilled to have survived another year that I’m holding on for all I’m worth. Not giving up anything. Running like the devil is on my tail. I even get windburn when I’m typing at the computer. That’s when it happened. Just … Read more

Photo & Poem: Horsewoman

There were always horses, some light and some dark. The woman met them in passing or they stayed forever, some were proud and some stayed hidden deep within. After the gelding stumbled and fell, trapping the woman’s leg, breaking her loose from her fairytale romance, the woman and the horse were set on equal footing. … Read more

The Future for Horse-Keepers: Isolation or World Change?

It’s what we do: We keep horses. Sometimes a foal too young to be ridden, so we show patience and keep them. Sometimes it’s adult horses with flawless training and good minds, and while we practice the art of riding, we keep them. Too often we get horses who have been damaged by harsh handling, … Read more

Photo & Poem: Rich

  Our family farm was leased from the man who owned the car dealership in town. Once or twice a year, he came up our driveway in the latest model, looking important wearing pressed trousers and a tie, to drink black coffee with my father. They talked about crop prices on the farm report and … Read more

Calming Signals: How to Show Love

“How do you show your love for horses, then?” A clinic participant asked me at the end of a long day of listening to each horse tell us that we stood too close, that we were too loud, that we tried too hard. Horses are dependably honest and listening to their calming signals is not … Read more