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My Horses

About the author…

I grew up on an Iowa farm, with my Dad and Grandparents. The first horse I rode much as a young girl was a 1600 pound Percheron mare named Bell.

I graduated from Iowa State University in Journalism, and worked briefly with radio and newspaper and did some scriptwriting for audio and audiovisual training programs. I sold a few magazine articles, including one that was published in Horse Illustrated magazine in 1989 on distance riding. I've been a Realtor, specializing in horse properties, and I've managed a boarding stable and given basic riding lessons.

I've enjoyed competitive trail riding and I've recently discovered the fun of riding a Tennessee Walking Horse! Horses are hard work and relaxing therapy and each one is a challenge and a blessing all its own.  And each horse has a different lesson for us.

I had not seen Lady for five months, since Mary Ann bought her. I missed Lady, and I couldnít help but wonder if she missed me. I was afraid to go see her and stir up my emotions, even though Mary Ann wanted photos. I finally went over and took a bunch of photos, and we chose the best ones which I put on a CD. Lady had been mine for 11 years, and I felt we had a strong bond. I didnít have the energy anymore to take good care of her, and I knew Mary Ann would give her a good home. Lady looked gorgeous, and I saw how she and Mary Ann worked together. With a twinge of sadness, I realized Lady no longer was mine. But now I could relax and move on.

Thanks, Betsy.



Russ & Ginger 004

Boss Man's Beauty
We found “Ginger” in April of ‘07 and she was the perfect horse for my husband for almost four years, as bombproof as they come! Unfortunately, having to care for four horses was too much for Russ while I was sick for several weeks, so he gave her to a family that wanted her. An older Fox Trotter mare with Zane Grey in her background, she had arthritic hocks that improved greatly with vitamin and joint supplements. Ginger’s story is in the MARE book.

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Walker’s Velvet Queen
“Lady” is the Tennessee Walking Horse mare that my husband bought for himself in March of ’04 (because of her loving personality), but soon decided he didn’t want to deal with her boss mare ways. We traded her off, then got her back--for me. I’ve ridden her in a few horse shows, on a 9 mile Hunter Pace and on various trails. I especially enjoy her smooth fast gait on the trails and the way she jumps any creek or ditch! She is even learning to accept the four wheelers and large trucks that share our road by the barn. She was the inspiration for my second book “MARES! (ya gotta love em)” that came out in 2008.)

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Whoopie’s Rock a Color
     “Rocky” was my husband’s trail horse for two years, then mine for six. A few years after my husband stopped riding, I decided to cut down to one horse. So one day in early 2013, I watched Rocky leave for a new home. Yes, I shed tears, but Rocky left me with some great memories. A double registered Tennessee Walking Horse/Spotted Saddle Horse from the King Ranch in Missouri, he had a great disposition, and he was smart and willing. I wrote about some of our experiences in my columns.

Syn-cere N Betsy

Syn-cere came to me as a 16 year old Arabian brood mare, proud and full of vigor! She had problems with being tied, with being haltered and bridled, and feeling any pressure on her head, after a previous trailer accident. She showed great intelligence as we overcame those ingrained fears! At 19, she placed 5th on her second Competitive Trail Ride. Syn-cere taught me the need to deal with our issues with quiet patience, one small step at a time. Syn-cere's story is included in the mare book.

Traveller was my special partner for over 14 years, from August of '97 until I had to say goodbye January 9, 2012. He was a sensible, reliable trail horse, the one that let me relax and enjoy riding without worrying what my horse might do. My grandchildren rode him, as well as a few others. An unregistered Quarter horse, he had an amazing trot and a wonderful caring disposition. After his struggle with EPM in 2004, he had some good days and some not so good. Our last good ride was in September of 2010. I miss his welcoming whinny every morning. I really loved the old guy!

Fanny was my true beginning. She was ornery and headstrong, full of spunk and energy, and she reacted to frightful surroundings with intimidating strength. But she was mine and she knew it, for 13 years. Our journey together is shared in my first book, “Sometimes a Woman Needs a Horse,” published in 2004.


Little War Dude
“Dude” was Fanny’s only offspring, born in 1977, a blue roan appy with white blanket. I later taught him to “talk” to me with a flappy lip. We started one Competitive Ride, didn’t finish. He stepped in a hole during a conditioning ride and was never sound again.  I “loaned” him to someone I trusted to care for him while I recovered from shoulder surgery, then discovered later that they had given him away! After telling me they wanted to keep him! I often wonder if he is still alive, and I will never loan out a horse again. Dude taught me a greater appreciation of loyalty and responsibility.

And there were others. There was Sandy, a retired Quarter palomino show horse; Nugget, who bucked after he was wormed; Samson, an older Quarter-Saddlebred who didn’t want to go into a trailer; Sammy, the TWH field trial horse that wanted so much to please but was so nervous he worried his rider; Silver, an Arab endurance horse that slid into a fence and injured his leg the day after I realized what a great horse I had; Mandy, an Arab mare that had been badly mistreated and her young filly, Oksana, who had great promise for starting out as the smallest of twins! Every horse has a story to tell and lessons to share.

And here are a few extra snapshots, including one of my very first ride on my Uncle’s pony!

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