I started riding when I was three years old. My parents used to go to Higgins Lake in Michigan and there was a horse stable near our rental house. It was run by Moe, a former circus trick horse rider. Moe would show us some of his circus tricks. One of my favorite tricks was Moe standing with one leg on one horse, his other leg on another horse and a third horse in the middle, all bareback and all going in a perfectly controlled canter. I wasn’t very big, but Moe had a very small black and white paint pony for me to ride. The saddle had straps that wrapped around my waist to hold me in. Mainly we went on trail rides. I rode every day that I could.

I was crazy about Moe and I think he was crazy about me. He let me name a colt that was born while we were there. The colt was black and I named him Charcoal, how’s that for originality. Charcoal became “my horse” when I was there. Moe had a buyer for Charcoal and when he told me he was selling Charcoal, I got really upset. I was eight years old at the time. Moe decided not to sell Charcoal. That fall, there was a fire in the barn. Somehow Charcoal escaped and broke loose from the barn and ran to Moe’s bedroom window to warn him of the fire. Charcoal awoke Moe and he was able to save the other horses and some of the barn. Moe was sure glad that he had decided not to sell Charcoal. We went to Higgins Lake every summer until I was nine, when my parents decided to start vacationing different places.

When I was in junior high and high school, I took lessons, english and western, at Parker’s Ranch. I really didn’t like lessons, but loved being around horses and just riding.
In the late 70’s my sister, Sally, got cancer. To save her life she had one leg removed. She fought for her life but she could not stop the spread of the cancer and died when she was 38. When she was sick, I did a lot of thinking. I decided that I had always wanted to own a horse and now realizing how fragile life was, I decided to buy a horse.

My husband, Sam, and I bought an Appaloosa pony named Freckles and moved him to our pasture at Lake Quivira. I did not have him all that long, because he had a mean streak. So I traded him in on a combination Welsh Pony and Quarter Horse that we named Blaze. That little pony loved to run. I took him on hunts with my friend Elsie. Blaze could jump with all the other horses. Blaze had a great life at Lake Quivira. He did not stand more than 14.2 hands but he ran the herd. He died of old age in the woods at Lake Quivira, the home he loved so much.

It took me a few years to get over the loss of Blaze, but I had always wanted to own a Paint. It must have been on account of the first pony I had ever ridden that drew me to Paints. I bought Cowboy Bullet and named him Scout. He is still with me at the Painted M.
Until I met Mary Waring, I was not much interested in lessons and learning the technical aspects of riding. She got me and Sam interested in riding and more importantly learning how to ride.

Mary sold us our first Morgan, Figure. We have bought two more since then.
I have decided that what I want is to have fun with my riding. I love riding whether saddled or bareback; I love going to competitions for the friendship of the other riders; and I love having my home next to where my horses live.