Terri Farley
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April 1

I rode Penny today! Brynna felt guilty because her mare wasn't getting enough exercise, so she asked me to help out. I've got to admit, I was a little worried. I love Penny, but riding a blind horse is different. I wasn't wrong about that, but it turned out to be different in a good way.

Jake went with me. He'd ridden Witch over to help Dad with Blue Wings. When I came out of the house and started saddling up Penny, I saw Dad and Jake look at each other. Maybe when I'm THIRTY Jake will stop being so protective!

Penny is a beautiful mare with such smooth gaits, I almost forgot she was blind. Then, we reached War Drum Flats. Penny's ears pricked forward. She tilted her head and started snorting. Witch glanced at Penny and slowed her long black legs to match Penny's short sorrel ones.

I didn't know what they were "talking" about until, out of nowhere, this windstorm blew up. It swept all the loose sand for miles around into a shape that looked more like a towering sand snake.

I heard Jake sigh just a little as he persuaded Witch to do what she was told, but I didn't have the same trouble with Penny. She knew the wind was coming, checked it out with her other senses, and decided there was nothing to fear except a couple of uncomfortable moments.

REALLY uncomfortable. I held my reins with one hand and pulled up the neck of my shirt with the other, to cover my mouth and nose. I closed my eyes, too, because I didn't want the grit to pelt through my eyelashes, and I thought about Penny.

Out of the darkness, the grit came pounding at her face, but sweet Penny just stood quietly. She's so smart and Brynna was so smart to adopt her.

I heard this pecking sound and opened my eyelashes a teeny bit to see Jake tip his head down, letting his black Stetson take the force of the wind. I didn't blame him for not taking a hand off the reins. Witch was determined to be skittish. Not that Jake couldn't ride without hands ... bronc riding is in bloodlines!

She danced all the way home, as if she were proud of herself. And I'm proud of her, too.