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It seems like yesterday the first time I saw her. She was a big black beauty, prancing around the pasture head high, mane and tail blowing in the wind. In an instant, I fell in love and knew I had to have her! My good friend Wayne Younts, owner of Sandy Ridge Horse Ranch in Fayetteville, NC had just brought her home from the horse auction. Wayne, a cowboy, business owner and a genuine honest man, had a great affinity for beautiful horses! When I asked him about Raven he said, “She’s a looker, but she has one problem.” What is that? When Alice my exerciser rode her this afternoon, she started snorting like a bull then went into a bucking frenzy and Alice went flying in the air. I still wanted and told Wayne I’d be back with my trainer to give me his opinion on my purchase. The next day Jim and I arrived I was not surprised by answer. “If you don’t buy her, I am,” Jim said. I said, “I saw her first!” We trailered her to the vet for a thorough exam then back to Jim’s farm for training. Jim would not use the word break. He always said, “you don’t break a horse, you train them.” Raven had come from a big horse ranch in Iowa. After several weeks in training, Jim said Raven was very timid of people, as trust was her issue. I can only guess what had happened to her; maybe she was a bucking bronc in a rodeo?

Over the years, I have taken Raven on numerous rides in the mountains of Western North Carolina. Some of my favorite trail riding spots are the Moses Cone Mansion, Love Valley, Harmon Den and Max Patch. Raven has a rich-black, shiny coat that doesn’t fade in the sun and is an AQHA registered Quarter Horse mare with lines that go back to Wimpy.

“When I bestride him, I soar, I am a hawk: he trots the air; the earth sings when he touches it; the basest horn of his hoof is more musical than the pipe of Hermes. ” ― William Shakespeare, Henry V