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If God has a kind of plan for all of us, I like to think He coupled me with horses right from the start. It is not just my own mustang, Hobo, that is part of me. All horses call to me. We sort of belong together. This could not be just an accident.
I remember the first time I saw a band of wild mustangs. It was only a flash. My Pa and I were freighting a load of wool over the mountains to California when suddenly he reined in and pointed. I saw the reason. Far off on a mesa a string of mustangs was running into the wind. It must have been into the wind, for their tails streamed out behind and their manes lifted like licks of flame. And just by looking I was out there with them, and I could hear their snortings and their hoofs ringing, and I could feel my own hair blowing and my lungs gulping for air, and I shivered in joy at such freedom.
I remember whispering, "Whose are they, Pa?"
And Pa saying, "They're runaways -- gone wild." There was a look of wanting in Pa's face, but excitement too at the free wildness.
"Will they always live there, free like that...and then their colts and grand-colts?"
Pa startled me with his sudden stern tone. "They could! If men don't get too grabby for every smitch of land for their cattle."
Even as he said it, a cow bawled nearby. And in the distance a fading line of dust was all that remained of the wild ones.
Pa clucked to his team and we drove off. For miles of mountain turns we rode in silence. We were still holding onto the beauty we had seen. I could still hear the echo of faraway hoofbeats. I could listen to nothing else. Yet even as I sighed in joy I felt a vague, uneasy worry. I didn't want anything ever to happen to them; I wantedthem always to be free. But could they?
That was the first time horses called to me. But now I know that God had a plan for me long before that.