HOW TO RUN WITH WILD HORSES
Tales from the Research of the Trails of Reba Cahill Series
Janet Chester Bly
In a scene in Book 2, Down Squash Blossom Road, a small herd of wild horses gallops across a Nevada desert terrain and Reba Cahill drives slower to keep pace and stay with them as long as possible.
Reba’s mother is in the car with her and confides, “Getting close to them, it's like trying to capture all the wildness for yourself. It pulls deep inside ... the chase, the rush, the risk." Reba had earlier discovered her mom is known as “Wild Horse Hanna” by the Paiutes in that region.
I enjoyed the research about wild horses for this series. The legends of wild horses invade history as far back as Greek mythology, such as Pegasus, the winged horse. And although the four horses in Revelation 6 are somewhat tamed because they are ridden, they bring the wildness of death, famine, war, and conquest.
Modern day wild mustangs tend to have very long-range vision, more than a mile. Their sense of hearing is also acute, over a thousand feet away. They prefer the plains, as long as it has grass and water. There can be as many as fourteen in a herd. They’re often seal brown or dun, but come in many other colors too.
Wild horses fascinate the human spirit. And any tame horse is not far from being wild. Within one generation of being set loose, any group of horses take on their instinctive wild nature.
Indians loved to ride wild horses. Usually the laggard of the herd, not the best horse was caught. One method was to control the newly captured mustang with a thin thong around its muzzle. When it jerked, it exerted hard pressure on the nose. The Indian talked to the pony with grunts deep in the chest to soothe the terrified animal. Then he passed his hands and a blanket over the pony’s body and punished any protest with a jerk of the thong. He rested his weight on the pony’s back, swung a leg over to mount, and off they’d go.
In Book 1, Wind in the Wires, a different kind of method is used by one of the characters to ride a wild horse. I’ll let you have the fun of discovering that scene.
I happen to live on the Nez Perce Reservation in north-central Idaho. The Nez Perce tribe is very equestrian, noted for their good horsemanship and being naturals on horseback. I love to watch, and video when I can, any horses on the run. On Pinterest, one of my boards is named “Heavenly Horses,” a way to capture the images of the most awesome of these creatures.
What has been your experience with wild horses?
Or have you had interesting adventures with tame ones?
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About the Book: Down Squash Blossom Road
What Secret Lies Down Squash Blossom Road?
Cowgirl Reba Cahill’s schedule is full. Save the family ranch. Free her mom from a mental institute. Solve a murder and kidnapping. Evade a stalker. Can she also squeeze in romance?
Reba Cahill focused on the duties of the ranch, along with her widowed grandmother. But a crippled Champ Runcie returns to Road’s End in a wheelchair and seeks revenge for the accident that put him there. He blames Reba's horse. Meanwhile, a letter from her estranged mom forces her and Grandma Pearl back on the road: I can leave now. Come get me. Love, Mom
When they arrive in Reno, her mother issues a demand and refuses to return to Idaho. They head west instead. In California, Reba’s friend Ginny’s marriage is on the rocks. The family business is threatened. And squabbles turn deadly.
Reba digs deep to find the courage to forge a relationship with her mom and escape a crazed man’s obsession. She also hopes for a future with a horse trainer who offers her a new horse to replace the one she lost in the accident. But why does he have a photo of a pretty woman on his wall?
About the Author: Janet Chester Bly
Janet Chester Bly is the widow of Christy Award winning western author Stephen Bly. Together they published 120 fiction and nonfiction books for adults and kids. Janet and their three sons finished Stephen’s last novel, Stuart Brannon’s Final Shot, a Selah Award Finalist. Down Squash Blossom Road is Book 2 in the Reba Cahill contemporary western mystery series. Book 1 is Wind in the Wires. Find out more at www.BlyBooks.com
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