“‘He abused me, she struck me, he overpowered me, she robbed me.’
Those who harbor such thoughts do not still their hatred.
‘He abused me, she struck me, he overpowered me, she robbed me.’
Those who do not harbor such thoughts still their hatred.”

~The Buddha
from the Dhammapada

Yet we keep saying it, don’t we dears? Complainin’ about what this or that one said or did to us.
And the Buddha tells us it is so counter-productive – we just feel worse when we think that way.

But when we do not think that way – when we offer loving-kindnes towards those who speak
ill of us, or harm us in some way, our own happiness grows. Amazing!


[My teacher]
Karma Sherab Drolma
A great reminder, at a great time for everyone.


Rodeo in Spearfish

Bucking Horse
in Spearfish SD. March 26 2012 was great fun.

I learned how not to take action shots indoors. Out of over 800 photos, i got about four that the viewer could tell that the photo had been taken at a rodeo. I called Canon, and their tech help line was great! Next rodeo will be different. Shooting in an indoor arena is much different than an outdoor arena like there is in AZ



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A great pony from the past. Apples ran barrels and poles like the wind, better really since the wind can’t turn on a dime and give you back change.
Pony Jumping
Barrel Racing
Even though she was only 12.2 hands tall, she could jump 3’4″ constantly. When I outgrew her, I used her as a lesson horse for kids who wanted to learn to jump and/or compete in Gymkhanas.  

Hawkeye, Horse Extraordinaire

This and the photo at the top of my blog, is Hawkeye. He was a palomino, half-Arabian x Appaloosa. He could do anything, and most things he did well enough to win if we were competing. He drove single or as half of a pair when I had young horses I was teaching to drive too.  At those times, I called him my ‘Anchor’. He’d pull anything you hooked him to, including a motorcycle from the mud in the river bed. He would obey voice commands or even just my body language, even if i was dozens of feet away from him. I used him to compete in anything obstacle, driving or riding, pleasure driving, log pulling and competitive trail rides.

He also jumped anything you aimed him at and I showed him in hunter/jumper classes. He didn’t show well in pleasure classes. The judges said he was too animated for Western classes, and not animated enough for English. For driving he had the best ‘hang time’ in his extended trot of any horse I ever saw.

I got Hawkeye when he was a month old, for a high school graduation present. When the woman that owned the mare got the money, she took the mare away from him and left him orphaned at the breeder’s ranch, where I worked at the time and raised him until he was three months old. Then I took him home and his training started then, I literally bomb proofed him. I wanted to prove that Arabs didn’t have to be flighty crazy horses. When someone, usually a kid, would get lost in the riverbed or desert by where we lived, I always participated in the search with Hawkeye. In the middle of the night, with choppers hovering over our head to tell us to meet up, or that the kid had been found, didn’t ruffle him. Once, we saw a hot air balloon coming down in the desert and raced to where it would crash. It barely missed a saguaro, and the balloon pulled it along the ground for a hundred feet, but the people were okay, and I got to have Champaign with them to celebrate a successful, though unplanned, landing.  It was the only time I had Champaign. Must be an acquired taste.

When he was 24 I retired him to someone with a barn that wanted to learn to drive a cart because they couldn’t ride anymore. I had gotten married and moved, and we no longer had horse property. That’s a mistake for another blog.

Hawkeye, Mia at the reins
Hawkeye, Mia at the reins

The Author’s Own Riding Experience and Horses

Since I am writing about characters that ride horseback, much the same way, and doing the same things I did, I thought I’d post a picture from time to time. Although I never ran into a secret lab underground in the desert and got captured by a mad scientist, but I had great fun and most of the time during those 30 years, I was on a saddle from before sunrise to after sunset, and in the summer we really did go on moonlit, midnight ‘weenie rides’ just like Quirt lead Brody and Suki on in the first book, ‘Rattlesnake’. We’d be out all night, riding, and only stopping long enough to road some hot dogs on paloverde tree sicks.  Pictured is me and ‘Robby’ a horse given to me for ‘experience’. He was a ring-soured dressage horse and I was to put some rough miles on him to show what work really was. And boy did I!

Mia riding Robby
Mia riding Robby