My New Artistic Journey – Part 1

by Ann Ruttan

Hello!  Remember many months ago and my announcement about a blog? Well, finally – here is blog number one. I am starting a new project for my art life. This is “The Year of the Horse.” It is a long story and will come in installments.

Two years ago, I met a wild black stallion in the Ochoco National Forest. It is a beautiful place east of Prineville.  Tall ponderosa pines, chartreuse meadows, wild flowers. Gorgeous. My husband and I were invited to participate in the wild horse count put on annually to monitor the herd of wild horses that call the Ochocos home. This was the most thrilling thing for me. A dream come true.

What could be more fantastic than to ride out in the beautiful wilderness and look for wild horses? Nothing. Lucky me. I was riding with Kate Beardsley (you can find her here on Facebook) who was, at that time, a new friend. I was lucky enough to be riding her Ochoco mustang, Duncan. Sure footed, reliable, sensible Duncan was my partner for the day. We set out on a lovely crisp morning with our assignment – to cover our section and make notes about any wild horses we might encounter. We also noted signs of off trail use and damage to report to the ranger district personnel.

Our morning ride was such fun. I practiced being quiet (hard for me), and we rode silently through the brilliant meadow.  Suddenly, we spotted a beautiful little family band of mustangs.  A bright bay stallion, his lovely wife (a black mare), their daughter from the year before, and their little 3 – 4 day old baby, passed quietly. (I don’t think Kate or the other riders would be quiet so anthropomorphic) It was so thrilling to see these spectacular creatures.  They drifted off into the forest after about 10 minutes.  Another mile or so on our journey, and we came upon interesting tracks. Kate stepped off her horse to examine them to see if they were horses or elk.  As she was about to remount we heard a whinny and lo and behold – Reuben appeared.  He was beautiful, as you can tell by this picture.

Reuben in motion

I fell in love on the spot, and have remained in the goofy teenage girl-mode about this animal ever since.

More of the story comes along next week. I will tell you how he became Reuben and more chapters.

Leave a Comment

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Kaye Moreton

Looking forward to the next Chapter! Kaye


Kate Beardsley

More! I want to hear more!!!


Mary Summers

Great story, Ann—lovely photo of Ruben!!! He is sooooooo handsome!!!


Patti Murphy

Swooooooon! Beautiful adventure! I’m in! Patti


Helen Conachan

I too soooo love horses – I am really looking forward to seeing the fruit of you new obsession. I also look forward to keeping up with you on this new blog. Many blessings Ann.


Debby Friend

I can see why such fascination with this horse. Wow. It’s actually uncanny how much he and even his pose, look almost identical to a childhood treasure that I have had for over 50 years of an 8″ high black horse figurine. I think that I was told at the time that the horse was a “Tennessee Walker”. I am enchanted by Reuben as well.


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