I was deeply moved by a book I read back in the mid-90s called The Man Who Listens to Horses by Monty Roberts. I was living in Amarillo at the time, and I started to really absorb the amazing western culture found in the Panhandle.
I have come to believe that any understanding of the western U.S. has to begin with an understanding of how central the horse is to it. Many of my friends there were horsemen, and I wanted to understand what the mystique was all about. It was so interesting.
I had a hurdle to get over. I was scared to death of horses. When I was a boy, I fell off of a three year old horse while she was running at full gallop through a field dotted with limestone boulders. I ended up okay, but it was a narrow escape. After that, I was pretty much done. If I wanted adventure in a saddle, the little motorcycle I had was plenty; a horse was just too big and scary. Monty Roberts’ book helped me to understand a little about why horses behave the way they do, and it changed my attitude about horses forever. I also learned from the book that there is great nobility in this amazing animal, and that man and horse can learn a lot from each other. He helped me understand the mystery. [Read more…]