Terri Farley
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September 1

"I'm not a joiner!"

That's what Jen told me when I tried to convince her that we should join a 4H chapter in Darton. I was never that interested before, but I'd been talking to Brynna about this great idea and well, I really needed Jen for back-up.

I didn't know what to say, but I must have looked stubborn or something, because she kept going and said,

"If I were a wild horse, I'd be a bachelor!"

"You would not!" I told her, because obviously, she's a girl and --

"You know what I mean!" Jen said, and then she tossed her white blond braid over the shoulder of her lilac and fushia first-day-of-school blouse and pretended she was going to storm off.

She knew I'd go after her though, and when she looked back, that's just what I was doing.

I told her she had friends -- me, Ryan and even Jake -- so she wasn't exactly a loner.

Here's what I had in mind. I wanted to start a Wild Horse chapter of the 4H (maybe called the Vaqueras) and teach people what they need to know about them and the big project would be working hands-on with captive mustangs. Not that I thought they SHOULD be trapped and brought into corrals, but if they were, I wanted them to end up as happy as my lovable gelding Ace, and that meant getting adopted into a good, forever home.

Not only did I think it was a good idea, but so did Brynna. She even offered to be our adviser if we wanted her to be!

But first I had to block out a plan for this chapter and go talk to you-know-who at Willow Springs Wild Horse Center.

Here's what I wanted to do: I wanted each 4-H member to work with young mustangs and gentle them. Halter train them, teach them to lead and show them we didn't mean them harm.

When I said that to Jen, she rolled her eyes because I sounded so sappy. And that's when I knew how I was going to rope my best friend into helping me!

"I guess you're right," I said, sighing, but not too dramatically. "You're mainly good at science and there's nothing scientific that people don't already know about horses."

Jen actually took off her glasses and leaned toward me, almost nose-to-nose.

"You'd better be kidding," she said, "Because you know that herd structure and range ecology and understanding the predator-prey thought processes, are really important to communicating with all equines!"

"Yeah, but..." I pretended to be confused.

Then, even though I'm pretty sure she was catching on, Jen linked her arm through mine and said, "Okay, amiga, I'll help you out, but only if you let me use Silly as my project horse."

I know she was kidding. At least I hope so!