I write romantic suspense and warm, family relationship type novels, often with a touch of humor. Many of my books have featured animals as key players--dogs, cats, llamas, cockatiels, horses...even our son's pet albino corn snake, Sssssid, who appeared in my first Superromance back in 1999.

Animals have been a big part of my life since I was a child. How about you? I hope you'll become a "blog follower" here (see the right-hand column for a place to click) and will come back often. So...let's talk about our pets!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Love, Loss and Horses... THE OLD HORSE TRADER'S TALES #10

Lost love may be a poignant, familiar theme in literature and on the silver screen, but horse trader Verne Upmier remembers a couple of livery horses who played out an equine version as touching as any that a writer could devise.

"Daisy was peppy, and needed an experienced rider," he recalls. "While Freckles was slow and quiet. They wanted to be next to each other all the time, so it worked out well to put a beginner on the gelding and a better rider on the mare.  The two horses would go down the trail, as steady as could be, and I always knew they would arrive safely home on schedule."

Alas, the  devoted companionship of the two horses didn't end  happily-ever-after.  A farmer, desperate for a good horse to use for rounding up cattle, stopped by Verne's and insisted on buying Daisy.

Verne tried matching up Freckles with other livery horses, but Freckles knew who he wanted, and no other horse could fit the bill.  The lonely gelding spent all of his time on the trails nickering and looking out over the countryside for his Daisy.  He would repeatedly try to leave the customary route, and was no longer the dependable, gentle mount he'd been before.

"He got to be sneaky," Verne remembers  "He would be standing quietly with all the other horses who were saddled and tied in the barnyard, waiting for riders.  When no one was looking, he'd escape-- leaving a herd is something that horses don't tend to do--and once again he'd be off, looking for Daisy."

One day a man called Verne from a neighboring town.  "About a half hour ago, I saw a gray horse go by with a saddle and bridle on.  Could it be yours?"

A quick check of the barnyard told Verne all he needed to know,  so he quickly drove to town, but Freckles was nowhere to be seen.  Verne drove and drove, crisscrossing the surrounding area in search of hoofprints.  Finally, far from town, he spied a set of tracks going through a roadside gate and out into a hayfield. No other horses were in sight, but there was Freckles, searching the field and whinnying for Daisy.

"It took months for him to quit looking for her," Verne says with a quiet smile.  "And he never again got so attached to another horse.  Daisy was the one who had captured his heart."

***NOTE:  If you are reading this on Facebook, come on over to the All Creatures Great and Small Blog, for more!  You can google "All Creatures Great and Small Roxanne Rustand" or try this link, though sometimes the links I post here don't work.


Happy trails!


  1. Awwww...that's so sweet. And heartbreaking. Poor Freckles.

  2. I agree. :( I think I would've tried to buy Daisy back! But then, that's probably why it's better that I'm not a horse trader. Emotion would rule, and I'd be broke!

  3. Poor old guy! They really just don't understand. I'd be broke, too.

  4. Roxanne, jump on over to Tales from the Trail - Bill's got a great story about his mustang posted for this week's Ride of the Week.

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