This Blog is dedicated to the Noble and Great horses in our lives and throughout history. Visit the land of the unicorns in Behind The Mist, the horse lover's fantasy for pre-teens to adults.

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Wednesday, January 10, 2018


I am excited to tell you that I attended the 2017 EQUUS FILM FESTIVAL in New York City in November. Both of my books that were submitted won their categories and were awarded the "Winnie Award."

"The Stone of Mercy" won the category for Childrens/Middle Grade Fiction and "In the Heart of a Mustang" won the category for Young Adult Fiction.

I was so honored to receive this wonderful recognition for my work. The following is from their website:

"Our festival has been created to highlight and award the diverse and creative efforts of those who artistically pay homage to the horse. The festival empowers storytellers to show the rich history and diverse tapestry of horses in human culture through equestrian content.  We have feature films, documentaries, shorts, music videos, commercials, training educational materials, art and literature." 

Tuesday, November 7, 2017


Some horses get to enjoy a variety of careers in their lifetimes. Such was the case with Trail Guide. He went from a cavalry horse to a big-(and mean REALLLLLY big)time show jumper.

Trail Guide was a two-time Olympic Showjumper. The beautiful thoroughbred was out of Trailoka, a mare who was also an Olympic mount, competing in 3-day eventing.

The famous rider, Hugh Wiley rode Trail guide to an 11th place finish in the 1956 Olympics. When he turned 21, Trail Guide led the US Olympic team to a team Silver Medal while being ridden by Show Jumping legend, Frank Chapot during the 1960 Olympic Games in Rome Italy.

Trail Guide won numerous championships at the top shows. He was ridden by the best riders: Hugh Wiley, Frank Chapot and Bill Steinkraus.
Trail Guide's life ended, shockingly, in 1960 in the show ring of the National Horse Show. He crashed into a five-foot fence and broke two vertebrae in his neck. A curtain was pulled around him and he was euthanized right there in the arena, surrounded by the jumps that he loved and the people who loved him.

Trail Guide was inducted into the Show Jumping Hall of Fame in 1995.
Show Jumping Hall of Fame

Christmas is coming and you and your horse-loving friends and family will love my new fantasy series: The Centaur Chronicles.  The first two of the four books are available now.
This AWARD-WINNING Series is receiving both fabulous critical reviews and national and international awards for middle-grade and young adult fantasy. Please visit my website and order an autographed copy for a Christmas or Holiday Gift.

Click Here:

Also available wherever books are sold.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017


I am so excited to tell you that I have received numerous Literary Awards in the last month.
The first book of my new series, "The Stone of Mercy-Book 1 of the Centaur Chronicles," received the Silver Medal from the Literary Classics Awards for fiction. I attended their award ceremony on the 3rd of September in Rapid City, SD.
When I returned from my trip, I was informed that "In the Heart of a Mustang" won the Silver Medal from the Readers' Favorite International Book Awards! Their award ceremony is in November in Miami. However, I will not be able to attend as I will be at the Equus Film Festival in New York City that same week.

If you love to read horse stories or stories about Horse-Fantasy creatures, you can get these books on my website:
They are also available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble. 
If your local library doesn't have them, please put in a request.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017


As I watch all the incompetence in Washington DC, I think about all the manure that needs to be shoveled out of that town and those government buildings. This reminds me of another time when a ruler was dealing with a Senate that was not functioning and a horse who became a Senator!

Caligula was the emperor of Rome from AD 37 to AD 41. He is one of the better known emperors as he was quite eccentric and pulled some pretty funny stunts. He spent his short term, before he was assassinated, feuding with the Roman Senate. He strove to increase his power and expand the Roman empire into Northwest Africa. But his most memorable actions involved his favorite horse, Incitatus.

Incitatus means "Swift" in Latin and was the emperor's favorite horse. The white stallion was so beloved by Caligula that he was housed in a marble stall and ate from a manger made of ivory. He was draped in a purple blanket. At that time, purple dyes were very rare and hard to come by. Therefore, purple fabric was reserved for royalty and signified great social status. Records have noted that Incitatus was fed oats laced with flecks of gold. Another historian recorded that Incitatus had an elaborate jeweled collar. I don't know if they meant a halter, bridle or a Breast Collar.

History records two funny incidents involved Caligula and Incitatus. The soothsayer for Caligula's great uncle prophesied that Caligula had no more chance of becoming Emperor than of riding a horse across the Bay of Baiae that separated the towns of Baiae and Puteoli. So in 39 AD, Caligula ordered grain barges to be connected front to back clear across the bay. He then rode Incitatus across the floating bridge from Baiae to Puteoli!

The other incident involved Caligula's continual conflict with the Roman Senate. He was so angry with the lack of cooperation he was getting from the Senate that he appointed Incitatus to be a Senator and possibly also a Consul. In ancient Rome, two consuls were elected annually to be the chief magistrates who jointly ruled the republic. This move has caused some to claim that Caligula was insane. I think he was pretty smart to call attention to the manure that was being shoveled out of the Senate. I think President Trump should get a horse!

This stunt is what made Caligula famous. Many movies and works of art have picked up on this story.

In  addition, it has been the brunt of lots of jokes.

I can sympathize with Caligula. I'll bet my horses could get more done than our current batch of Senators!

Saturday, July 8, 2017


I am so honored to be awarded the Silver Medal by the Literary Classics Book Awards for "The Stone of Mercy-Book 1 of the Centaur Chronicles." (You might remember that last year "In the Heart of a Mustang" was awarded the Gold medal by CLC as well!)

Each year Literary Classics looks for the best in children's and young adult literature in various categories, both fiction and non-fiction. They have a team of reviewers who evaluate each book on a 100 point scale. Those that receive 80 points or above move on to the award level and are reviewed again.
I love writing fantasy, especially stories about horse-related fantasy characters! The Stone of Mercy is the first of a four-book series about the fantasy land of Crystonia, home to Centaurs, Ogres, Cyclops, Fauns and the little author-created race of Duende. (That is part of the fun in being an can create what you want so I created the Duende who are half human/half fairy!)

Here are some of the other awards this book has received:

The Stone of Mercy is available on the website or Amazon or Barnes & Nobel.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017


I am so grateful to Blaze Magazine for this wonderful review of "The Stone of Courage - Book 2 of the Centaur Chronicles." Blaze Magazine is a great magazine for horse crazy kids. It is available in print or on line. You can check them out here:

Here is their review:

You can get "The Stone of Courage" as well as "The Stone of Mercy-Book 1 of the Centaur Chroniles" on my website: or on amazon or wherever books are sold. It is also available for Kindle.

Thursday, May 11, 2017


Sunday, May 7, 2017, was a very sad day among the horse people in Colorado. At 3.20 in the afternoon, a fellow Rocky Mountain Dressage Society (RMDS) member was riding her wonderful dressage horse on the trails in her neighborhood in Douglas County. A violent thunder and lightning storm suddenly blew in. As lightning will do, it struck a tree approximately fifteen feet away from the 37 year old woman.
The charge traveled through the ground, up through the horse's legs and into the rider, killing both of them. A fifteen year old girl riding with her was severely injured and is in the hospital. This breaks my heart.

Having spent many days out on trails, I have encountered far too many lightning storms. They are especially common in the late afternoons, though usually later in the summer. Such a violent storm is not that common in Colorado in the spring.

In my third trail guide book, Riding Colorado-Day AND Overnight Trips with Your Horse, I included an article about lightning. I am repeating it here:


By: Steve Deitemeyer, Consulting Forester

Wildland Resources

(Excerpt used with permission from the author)

Horseback groups, large or small, or individual horsemen need to understand and anticipate the risks of thunderstorms and lightning and have some practiced and predetermined plan of action.  Mountain weather records in the west provide us a clear understanding about the high risk and predictability of afternoon thunderstorms with lightning. People and stock need to be down off of high mountains and ridges by noon or before to help avoid risk of death or injury by lightning.  Proper planning and preparation is paramount to protecting people, property and prosperity.

So, here is a set of recommendations:

· Plan and layout the timing of the trip and selection of trails to avoid high peaks, mountains and ridges in the afternoon. Think about having an alternate route available. Organized rides should have a formally established “Lightning Safety Policy” as a part of the overall “Safety Plan”.

· Pay attention to the weather.  Mature storms generate lightning and typically include a sudden reversal of wind direction, a noticeable rise in wind speed, and a sharp drop in temperature.  Buy a weather radio and/or a lightning detector and assign a person to monitor NOAA weather radio broadcasts, which are updated hourly.  Adjust the ride as necessary based on morning reports and predictions, but monitor the reports hourly for any changes.

· Be prepared to make some conservative decisions and suspend activities and riding when you hear thunder.  Measuring lightning’s distance is easy.  The “flash/bang” (F/B) monitoring technique is that for every five second count after you see the lightning and then hear the thunder, the storm is one mile away.  For example, an F/B count of 10 equals 2 miles, an F/B of 20 equals 4 miles, etc.  Do not resume outdoor activities until about 30 minutes have passed from the last observable thunder or lightning.

· Do not use electrical equipment. Stay away from fences, railroad tracks and any tall equipment or structures.

· Get away from water tanks, ponds, streams, lakes, and avoid damp or wet ground.

· Get off of your horse, tie up (but not under the tallest trees,) get away from stock and avoid grouping people together. Think about getting at least 15 feet apart and staying twice the height of the tree away from the tree.

· Use your slicker to stay dry, and do not stand under the branches of tall trees.  Avoid tall objects like lone trees. Find a ditch, trench or other low ground. Shelter may be found in clumps of shrubs or trees of shorter more uniform height. Avoid open country, but if in open country, make yourself as small a target as possible.

· Advise your group members that if they feel an electrical charge, if their hair stands on end, or their skin tingles, a lightning strike may be imminent. Squat in a baseball catcher’s stance, kneeling, on your toes with heels off the ground, feet as close together as possible, arms crossed and resting on top of thighs. This technique lowers your profile and minimizes contact with the ground. Cover your ears with your hands to avoid damage and potential hearing loss.   This is opposed to sitting high on a wet horse and saddle with four widely placed steel-shod hoofs on wet ground that would maximize the opportunity to “close the switch” and complete the circuit.

First Aid is extremely important in lightning strike cases as injuries include electrical shock and burns, including entry and exit wounds.  These individuals carry no electrical charge after exposure to lightning and can be touched safely.  Victims of a lightning strike may suffer respiratory and/or cardiac arrest.  Therefore, administer CPR immediately if needed and first aid, as required.

An individual in full-cardiac arrest is a medical emergency and must be transported to an advanced life-support medical facility as quickly as possible.  If there are multiple strike victims, render emergency medical treatment first to individuals who are unresponsive, and then next to those with vital signs who exhibit the most life threatening   injuries.

I hope you will have many wonderful and SAFE trail rides!