Wild Mustang Ranch, Montana/Wyoming Border
Emma Horserider pressed the gas pedal of her battered pick-up truck like a NASCAR driver in
a dead heat with the devil. She hoped no mountain goats decided to go for a walk in the middle
of the road winding around the side of the rocky cliff. She didn’t have time to stop and wait for
the stubborn beasts to decide if they would charge her truck or get out of the way. She was on a
mission to protect the horses she loved and help to keep them unfettered by human saddles and
The call from Margie Hunter, the long-time director of the Wild Mustang Ranch, had been
frantic, almost incoherent, “Terrible. Slaughtered. Horses panicked. Get here fast!”
A lump rose in her throat, and tears threatened at the recollection of Margie’s grief-strangled
message. She shook her head.
“None of that nonsense, Horserider. Marines don’t cry. Semper Fi!” As she shouted out the last
words with a defiant whoop, she rounded the last bend in the road. Stunned at seeing the gates
closed, she skidded to a halt in front of the white truck with the ranch logo parked dead center in
the way. A string bean of a man in a worn Stetson, boots, and shearling vest leaned against the
hood of the vehicle, a shotgun cradled in his arms.
“Holy crap.” She’d never seen anyone bearing arms out here, much less standing guard. Things
must be even worse than she thought. Grateful she’d brought her trusty Mossberg, Emma rolled
down her window.
“Thank God you’re here, Miss Emma.” Ralph, the director’s aged right hand man removed his
hat and dragged the sleeve of his red plaid shirt across his pleated brow. “This is the worst thing
I’ve ever seen in my life.” The creases on his sun-weathered face deepened. “We have no idea
how it happened. No one’s been up here except the employees.” He pointed at the video camera
mounted on the gatepost. “Nobody came through this gate last night. No one.”
“Let me get in, see what’s going on.”
Shoulders sagging, he nodded and opened the gate. “Talk to them, Miss Emma,” he called as
she drove through. “They trust you.”
Much as she kept her gift under wraps from the outside world, here in this equine sanctuary,
everyone knew of her special bond with the animals. Her ancestor, Beautiful Blackfeather,
would have called it horse medicine. Her brother Bert called it telepathy, in keeping with his
work as Director of Homeland Security’s Anomaly Defense Division. No matter what other
people called this ability, Emma had been born with an unbreakable sacred bond with horses,
one handed down through generations of the Crow or Absaalooke people. When old age,
sickness, or injury carried a mustang away, it was hard on the entire herd. But…
Death by violence?
Five Things I’ve Tried but Will Never Do Again
By Sharon Buchbinder
While I have more, for this post I decided to go for some of the most ridiculous ones.
- Rock wall climbing: Every year on my birthday, I try to do one thing that scares me. When I
turned 60, I decided to try rock wall climbing. We belonged to a fitness center with a big one and
those little kids were like armies of spider. Easy, right? After brief instructions, I harnessed up, put
the climbing shoes on and began hauling myself up the wall. At the end of what felt like climbing
Mt. Everest, I looked down to see I’d made it up one story. Slid down the rope and slunk out the
- The Blue Man Group: In Las Vegas we were convinced this was a MUST SEE ACT. It’s not—
unless you’re a 10 year-old boy and enjoy fake vomiting and wearing ponchos for the seats in the
- Cutting my Bangs: One time I became very frustrated with my bangs. It was late at night. I was
annoyed. I had a pair of sharp scissors. Ever see Jane Wyman in Johnny Belinda? Like that, only
shorter and more crooked.
- Owning a Boat: My husband came from a family that was active in power boating. His dad had
boats, until he decided to do his own (terrible) repairs and disconnected the flying bridge and fell
off the ladder. We decided if we were boating, we’d do better, get someone to maintain it for us.
- That’s good until you’re in the middle of a harbor with a bad cell connection trying to reach Sea- Tow for the third week in a row. Now we fish with a captain and he owns the boat.
- Driving Cross-Country with a U-Haul Filled with Cats: Yes, you read that correctly. FULL OF
CATS. A dozen (12) to be exact. You see, my husband and I had this crazy hobby, breeding and
showing cats. When we moved from Albany, NY to Chicago, IL, there were no cat moving
services, so we had to do it ourselves. We also had two dogs. To give the cats room for litter pans,
food and water, we arrayed show cages on the walls of the truck. We also put a blow-up mattress
between the cages so we could take turns driving and nap. As my husband took a nap, we had a
massive jailbreak and twelve cats running around in the back of the van, along with some pretty
excited dogs. Yeah, that was fun
I hope you learned from my experiences—and had a chuckle or two. Tell us what is something you will
NEVER do again to be eligible for a $5 Amazon Gift Certificate!