Girls Horse Club Blog

Int*l Horse: Sanuye

Published by • Mar 27th, 2010 • Category: by Madelaina, Fiction, March for Wild Horses
by Madelaina, age 14 Chapters: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | Epilogue

Chapter 1

When I was younger, I remembered sitting on the green-tan Nevada hills, listening to my dad dictate the beauty of the landscape with his admiring voice and that adventurous glint in his eyes that nothing else can lure out. The highlight of these quiet moments, when we locked ourselves away from the world, was the sight of a mustang band in the distance.

We’d listen to the creek giggling not too far away from us — the halfway point between our world and theirs, the mustangs’. It was almost a symbol of mutual understanding; we’ll admire them afar, they’ll keep their freedom.

What makes me angry is that these wild horses are being taken away. Back home I would imagine myself hearing the horrible racket of helicopters, bullying the mustangs away to somewhere terrifying. I was sorry to know inside that these thoughts were real.

I’d never seen a round-up. Most of them, I gathered, were in the middle of nowhere so people couldn’t see the terrors, the whites in every eye, the snorting… Outside my window, I’d see some lonely dust settling at a distance just before the disappearing horizon. I reasoned that they were upset by a helicopter, low-flying to prepare for the gathering of the herds on the Great Basin.

As the fluttering dust were slowly returned to the earth by gravity, or whisked away by the silent yet mourning breezes, I thought about how the captured horses were dragged back to the ground, forced away by humans to an undecided fate — a fate I longed to change.

I felt invincible before, as I sat with my dad and watched the sunset melt gold and scarlet into the sky. Now I wondered what had become of that fearlessness. It was probably washed away to some mysterious place I can’t ever find again, along with those many souls of mustangs.

I feel so alone, you know? Having nothing there for me to turn to for some stability in life; even my dad’s working extra hours at the county gas station and general store to battle with the costs these days. But I guess I’m not alone in the sense that there might be many other girls who loved the mustangs, but one day found them all gone. When you lose the only thing that gave you courage, where can you find the strength to pick yourself up again?

“Dad,” I’d say when he wasn’t busy or resting from his long day, “I don’t know where the mustangs are anymore. How am I supposed to ‘look for the wild horses’ like you said whenever I asked you for help?”

He’d only look at me, the smirking tug at his mouth speaking a phrase that was worn with usage: “Look for the wild horses.” I soon discovered he could no longer help me, either, for he never told me anything else.

When the day quieted at dusk, I’d creep out of the house against my mother’s will. With Dad always tired, she had two sons, one husband, and an entire farm to tend to — and only me for much needed help. I would gaze at the scenery, but it was bland, my eyes only registering monotones. There was no colour as far as the eye could see, no horses as far as the eye could see.

Upon my return home, mum would scowl until I thought she would wrinkle permanently, and my brothers would jeer at me for ‘leaving my dirty chores to them, lazy sis’. I’d only get a break from this displeasure when I reached my dad, who would either be silenced by fatigue…or roaring with it. My brothers would snicker like immature idiots when he snored, but I could only remember how great the thunderous sound was when the wild horses were galloping outside my window.

Chapter 2

Today, I found a wild horse.

Sturdy and attentive to his surroundings, he merely stared at me when I found him at the creek quite late in the afternoon. His slightly shaggy summer coat had battled many cold, gusty nights, and with his strong feet and heavy shoulder blades I easily defined him as a mustang typical of these parts of Nevada.

He was also very fit and healthy, the sorrel of his coat glowing a vibrant sheen. I didn’t get a chance to look at his eyes for fear of him thinking me a threat to him.

“Hi there, I’m Sharlett,” I said calmly, trying to be friends. “Let’s give you a name, for the sake of making communication easier for us both.” He shook his head, whipping his chestnut mane into the air and rippling his impressive muscles humbled by a thick layer of red hair. I completely forgot the fact that he couldn’t understand English, and that he wasn’t likely to respond to his name even if he had one.

“I could call you Red after your chestnut coat, but wouldn’t that be original?” I joked, slowly lowering myself into a sitting position. I laughed to myself, but “Red” decided he didn’t like the strange noise and shivering that was coming out of me. I could feel him tensing, so I started telling a story in a soft voice to calm him down and hopefully keep him around for a while longer. My words faded into the wind for no one else but him to hear:

“My dad loves mustangs, ones like you. I remember, when I was young, we’d watch the horses settling down at the far side of the creek, and dad would always look at something, point at it and say, ‘Look at that beautiful sanuye, Sharlett.’ I didn’t know what he was going on about.”

Red looked at me, as if we achieved some understanding between us. I continued, “Then I noticed he always pointed at one of those clouds that look like floating lava in the sky at sunset. I figured out that ‘sanuye’ is Native American, meaning ‘red cloud at sundown’.”

The Native American word seemed to sound familiar to the mustang since he never took those remembering eyes off of me. I suppose it wasn’t that surprising, considering his ancestors probably heard the same word.

“Hmm…now, I think Sanuye fits you,” I declared, giving him a smile. “It’s much better than Red anyway.” I waited for his response, but he only flicked his ears, eyes big and staring.

I think I choked on my own spit when he slowly shifted the weight from his front hooves and came walking towards me. My mind clouded over as if it was in a dream as I recounted every second in my brain, trying to absorb every detail of this experience. I offered an upturned hand. Soon he was so close that his warm breath graced my palm, the whiskers on his muzzle greeting me gently. I reached for his neck. He came closer. For the first time, I stroked that unruly chestnut coat that earned him his name. It was almost like touching the dreams I’ve only ever seen when asleep, or re-uniting with the strength that wild horses have given me.

His eyes I saw for the first time. They were a strange concoction of colours — black in some places and golden brown in others. They reminded me of the comfort I used to find in my mum’s eyes. Now the pressure of keeping the family going had drowned out that loving gaze.

I reached out my hand to Sanuye, scratching him on the withers to mimic a horse nuzzling. He would flick his ears towards me in surprise, and I think confusion too, but he didn’t protest so I assumed he understood a little bit of what I was trying to do.

Almost too soon, he snorted, stamping a hoof and turning his head to the horizon as if he heard a call to him. Chances are he probably did, for horses have better hearing than people could ever have. I was excited at the fact that there were other mustangs out there, so you can say I wasn’t that disappointed when he started walking off, soaring through the creek and galloping to his calling.

Something had re-lit inside me, and I gazed after him until the red clouds disappeared from the darkening sky.

Chapter 3

“Is it too much to ask for your help, Sharlett?”

“No, mum,” I sighed out.

“I wish you can feel some responsibility,” she continued. “When will you stop running off and exploring like you’re still the five year old you were nine years ago?”

Maybe because then everything wouldn’t be so different, I thought. But I remembered Sanuye, and how more unhappy I would be now without having met him. I decided to keep my mouth shut and go to the county like my mum asked to buy my dad lunch and give him a break from homemade sandwiches. I was requested to get him some meat pie for protein and strength.

The corner shop was modest, nothing all that interesting inside or out. Mrs. Finch, the manager mum had so approvingly chatted about, was in her early fifties, the auburn of her hair losing its flair and rapidly on the way to becoming grey wires. When I asked her about pies, she gripped my shoulders from behind and hurried me over to the counter, behind which was a series of racks stocked with hot food.

“I recommend this new pie that’s just arrived,” she spoke excitedly. “It’s made with ingredients from around these areas, and we’re the only shop that’s got it.” She lifted a pie from the heated racks, holding it as if it was made of diamonds.

I admit it looked alright, healthily steaming with a tempting glaze of gold all over. The price was surprisingly cheap too, and I was about to buy it before I realised why.

“Horse meat?!” I cried out, my stomach suddenly hollow and somersaulting. “This pie is made from HORSE MEAT?” A numb coldness reached into my blood, freezing my whole body.

The horrible woman mistook my detest for enthusiasm. “Wonderful, isn’t it? But these are just samples, with beef fillings. They haven’t gotten a chance to kill any horses yet.”

My respect for mum’s taste in people vanished completely. “NO!” I choked out, “I-it is NOT wonderful. W-w-where did you get this pie?”

“My husband’s a great man, going out there and rounding up the mustangs that destroy the Great Basin. Most of them are going to slaughter for better use to people,” she explained. How I wanted to slap some sense into her. “He suggested selling those pies at our shop, even though most of it is going to be shipped overseas. Would you like to pre-order a pie? I heard the horses at the holding facility a couple miles from here are going to be towed away a week from now or so. It won’t be too long until you can get your or—”

“Get your husband to stop it, NOW!” I interrupted. I had no intention of being polite anymore.

Mrs. Finch frowned. “You’re not one of those horse lovers are you? I say those mustangs are better off in our stom—”

“Where is the holding facility?” I jumped in before the words could stain my ears. Then I realised she’ll never tell me if I was so rude and against her beliefs. “I, I just wanted to go see Mr. Finch and congratulate him on his efforts. That’s why I was so eager — to catch him before he goes.” I never lie, and you can’t really say I was. I understood it as bending the truth. I would congratulate him alright, in my not-so-nice ways.

Then I gulped, ‘bending the truth’ an extra mile and forcing out the next words for the sake of being convincing. “I hate…horses.” I decided that once out of her sight, I needed to teach myself a lesson.

She seemed pleased, the wrinkles of her face twisting into joy once again. “Ah, what an angel you are. If you follow the road just outside down left, just walk until you reach a small lake and turn right at that corner. Then all you need to do is keep going and you can’t miss it.”

“Thank you so much,” I replied, twisting my face into a smile. Before she could ask if I still wanted to buy a pie, I sprinted out the door, turning left.

Mrs. Finch’s smile faded, a smirk replacing her happy curves. “Like I’m stupid…kids these days. Good thing I gave her wrong directions.” She rolled her eyes, then disappeared to the back of the shop.

I smirked as well from my crouched position, looking through the corner of the viewing window. “Actually,” I said to myself, “you aren’t all that smart.” Little did she know, she had given me the exact directions to my house.

I headed off down the road to the right, knowing she had lied about the directions as much as possible to get me far from the holding facility. Mrs. Finch needed to learn about reverse psychology in children.

Chapter 4

I was always pretty strong, toughened by the wrestles with my brothers and the criticism of my mum. But when I arrived at the holding facility, I did everything to keep the tears coming.

If you had ever seen those trapped mustangs, you would miss the sight of a happily grazing horse like you would miss food after a month of hunger. It was like someone had turned the tables, so that horses were now the pitiful weaklings and humans had power and control. It was a sight that empowered me with passion, but even I, who believed in the strengths of passion, knew it wouldn’t be enough to return to these mustangs the freedom they had. I thought about this, asked myself questions, looked for answers — but I found none. These horses were trapped, and in their eyes I could see they’d do anything to get out.

I allowed myself to be free with wreaking havoc here and do whatever it takes to free the mustangs, but there was the law to consider, so I couldn’t have total liberty. Yet there were so many opportunities, even though none of them felt right. For some peace in scheming, I looked for a nearby hiding spot clear of sage brushes (I was in no mood to get a rash).

I laid down on the other side of a small hill near a Mountain-mahogany grove, my spying head camouflaged into the grass. And then, I heard some hoofbeats. No, not some — many.

Before I knew it, around ten horses erupted at a gallop from the grove almost right next to me. All of them looked like they had draft blood in them and resembled Sanuye in grace and movement. Their heads were up in disapproval, showing they were chased by something frightening. Adrenaline pulsed through my veins as I realised they were wild mustangs — mustangs being rounded up.

Looking more carefully into the trees, I saw a familiar chestnut figure approaching. “Sanuye!” I gasped, not able to believe I saw him again. He perked up his ears and picked up his pace, the longer strides carrying him quickly out of the grove. In open, broad daylight, he was even more magnificent than in the afternoon, with his pelt emitting a fine glow and golden threads of sunlight playing through his tail.

I stroked him on the neck as he watched the mustangs being galloped by two riders into a tight corral. I swore there was a fire flaring dangerously behind that steady gaze. “That’s your band, isn’t it?” I asked, already knowing the answer and feeling relieved that he wasn’t caught.

I realised then that Sanuye wasn’t staring at the horses as much as he was focused inquisitively on the two men riding. I wasn’t sure what he made of this strange sight, this unlikely hierarchy of control. He flicked his closest ear at me, asking me if I would someday take charge of his will like those riders had with their horses.

I always had a continuous desire to ride a wild horse, but this time I thought differently. I replied confidently to reassure him, “No, Sanuye, I won’t ever take your freedom away from you.” I never lie, only sometimes bending the truth, but this time I didn’t even do that. The choice was in my hands, not the BLM’s, and I preferred it to be the one where the mustang remained free.

Chapter 5

As Sanuye and I watched, one of the men on horseback spoke to the other, “We got all of them this time, except for that lead stallion.” I shifted my eyes to Sanuye, knowing that they were talking about him.

“I don’t think you can keep him in even if you caught him again, Timmy,” the other replied bluntly. “You wouldn’t have known what a bulldozer is until you saw him barge through that gate with half the herd.”

“Yeah well, we got that half back just then anyway.”

“Hey, would you mind popping up to the county gas station and general store to check if they’ve got our order scheduled?”

A gasp caught in my throat, threatening to escape into the quiet air and expose my spying. My dad worked at the gas station and general store!

“Don’t be so worried, Finch,” retorted Timmy, “we could always stop at some other gas station on the way to the knackers and get supplies there if the order messes up.”

“No, I don’t want any questions being asked. Do you know how many people are against the mustang gathers these days?” said Finch.

Oh you’re right about that, I thought angrily.

He continued, “Getting so worried as to order food is the price to pay for being in a small county where they ain’t got enough food to last ten men a long road trip.”

“Wow, these men aren’t very bright, or would you call that being overly paranoid?” I remarked, “It shouldn’t be too hard to outsmart them.”

Timmy climbed into a small truck and the engine revved energetically. I slipped quietly through the trees with Sanuye, heading along the shortcut through cross country.

Many times when I stumbled I returned to the thought of riding Sanuye, but I kept to my promise, encouraged by his nickers of concern whenever I tripped.

The gas station was located on one of the county’s main roads with its general store set further back behind it. While Timmy parked the truck and strolled inside, my brain had already started working on a plan. I had to delay those men on their journey, through the only way I could — Dad.

Chapter 6

“Run, Sanuye, hide away,” I whispered to my chestnut companion. He nudged me playfully, but when I kept still he got the message and trotted away towards the back of the store.

I jogged over to look through the right hand side window, feeling like a sneaky thief plotting for chaos. There was a counter, with Dad on its right and Timmy on its left. Listening intently, I could make out Timmy’s voice saying something along the lines of “Just wanted to check on my order, it’s all to be ordered and delivered as soon as it arrives?”

Dad was nodding and saying, “No problem there.” He smiled warmly, and I wondered what that kind face would look like if he knew who the man was.

They talked some more about adult nonsense as far as I could hear. I was nearly bored to sleep, but then as Timmy left, I rushed speedily around the corner to hide. When the coast was clear, I raced like a torrent through the store door.


“Sharlett! What are you doing here?”

“Er, nothing. Just wanted to see you,” I answered, my brain stranding together words as I went.

Dad smiled, but it didn’t make me feel better at all. The lines on his face were etched with exhaustion and yearning for rest. It reminded me how much the family needed my help, and all I could do was ‘run around with the horses’, according to my mum.

I sighed. “Go get some rest, Dad, I’ll take over the counter now.”

“Ah,” he uttered, “I might just take you up on that offer. Thanks, honey.” With that he sauntered drearily to the staff lounge at the back.

I kept my smile as long as it could hold, but dismay gurgled vigorously inside me. “If only I was worth thanking.” Dad would definitely not be happy if one of his customers weren’t satisfied with his service. The family couldn’t afford any losses of income. Not that it ever lost any before, but now, I’d change all of that with my plan to save the mustangs.

Often I helped Dad with his paperwork when his brain was too weary to make out the figures. I knew exactly where he kept all his order forms, and sure enough, when I looked a large purchase was to be ordered for tomorrow under the name of Andrew Finch.

Grinning evilly, I discovered the date for the order to be made was the 21st. Selecting a fine, black gel pen from the counter’s drawers, I proceeded to change the 1 into a 4, mimicking the font as flawlessly as possible so it would look like it was meant to be the 24th. I dedicated every ounce of concentration to those touches of ink, knowing a little slip up would completely spoil everything. But if everything worked perfectly, I’d gain valuable time to free the gathered horses.

“Sharlett?” My dad.

My head jerked up and a bone cracked at the back of my neck, sending a pulse of pain that turned to worry. My rapidly beating heart seemed to have migrated to my ears, drowning out all clear thoughts. But looking around, I found that dad was only calling from the back. I sighed, relaxing, my heart rate normalising.

But when I heard his approaching footsteps, it quickened again. Finding myself dangerously close to hot water, I dashed over to delay him. “Dad, wait!” I shouted desperately. He stared at me with confusion, legs halted in mid-step. Oh great, now what do I do? “Umm, look at…” Just then, I saw Sanuye through the window in the back door, fogging it up with his breath as he spied on what was happening inside. “…look at that monster, Dad!” I screamed, pointing to where Sanuye was behind a thin layer of fog, safely covered from view, “RUN!”

I was actually secretly saying it to Sanuye, not wanting my dad to find him. When I heard swiftly departing hoofbeats, all of my muscles loosened along with a sigh of relief. Dad followed it all beautifully; being puzzled by the strange ‘monster’ and warning me to stay put while he grabbed a broom and ventured outside.

While he was being brave, I hurried back to the counter, fixed everything up and ordered the paperwork as they had been before. When dad returned, saying how it was probably some rowdy boys, he didn’t suspect a thing and proceeded to beckon me home to help mum with dinner while he checked over the deliveries and orders he’ll have to make.

All seemed to be working in my favour as I walked outside with my dad delving headfirst into the paperwork. Sanuye trotted up to me from his little hiding spot, having enjoyed the excitement.

“Let’s hope all goes well, boy,” I said quietly, wondering if he understood what I was doing for him. “We’ll get you your herd back. Now we just need to free those mustangs.”

Chapter 7

I escaped from the traps of sleep long before the day of the 25th dawned, my dreams tainted with worry. So far, none of my plans had come close to being realistic. Deciding sleep wouldn’t be of much help, I got up, dressed, and ambled downstairs.

On the couch, lying limp and tired, was my dad, awake and staring into space. He was wearing ruffled work clothes, having presumably just returned from another long day trying to scrape up as much money as he could. He turned his head towards me as I descended the stairs. “Sharlett, you’re up early.”

“Why aren’t you sleeping, Dad? Today’s your break day,” I asked him quietly.

He replied simply, “I’ve been thinking.” There was silence as I expected him to say more. “Let’s go for a walk, honey.”

I suggested he get some rest, but he was determined to go.

We strolled to our hill, a sight familiar to our eyes yet strange with neglect. Dad made a comment about that, I only kept quiet so I wouldn’t accidentally say something about my meeting with Sanuye.

Once settled comfortably, he spoke with more solemnity than fatigue had ever triggered, “Sharlett, there are men nearby from the BLM. They’re leaving with the Basin’s mustangs for the slaughter house.”

I stiffened with recognition, not knowing what to say.

“A man came up to me yesterday when I was working to ask why his delivery wasn’t made. They said they were initially going to leave the county that day, after they got their supplies for the trip from me.” He paused, trying to believe what had happened. “But there was a mistake in the paperwork. I was supposed to deliver it on the 24th, not order it.”

I grimaced; he needed to know the truth. “Dad…” I choked out.

But he was lost in his own miserable thoughts. “He was very unhappy when he left,” he continued, “I thought everything was going to be alright once I had delivered it next week. But Mr. Finch called later, saying horrible things about how the BLM wouldn’t tolerate service from them like mine. He mentioned something about leaving for the knackers tomorrow after lunch…I, I knew what was going on immediately.”

“Tomorrow after lunch?” I widened my eyes in alarm. “Which means t-today?”

“Yes, honey, at noon. And I…I don’t know if there’s anything we can do.”

“Oh yes, there is,” I whispered firmly, glaring into the distance, but knowing perfectly well I had nothing up my sleeve that could back my determination. “Dad,” I said more decisively, “don’t worry.” Staring at the rising sun, I took a deep breath. “I’m going to put it all right. No mustang gatherer’s going to get what they want.”

Chapter 8

The day was just beginning to brighten when I arrived at the holding facility. I expected it to be quiet with slumber, but the sight that greeted me was one where men were running around frantically, preparing for the day’s journey.

I saw that two horse trucks were parked near the corrals. Neither of them had any windows save for some slits at the top of the holding compartment. I could only imagine the dark and dirty conditions inside. And then I had the most wonderful idea I could think of at the time.

I sprinted to the corrals with the horses in them. Immediately the mustangs dashed as far away from me as possible. I hesitated as I took in the fright and the ongoing panic, but then regained my sense and proceeded to unlock the gates.

As soon as there was a little gap, the horses inside galloped through, snorting and ears perked forward as they marveled at the feeling of being free again. It sent a buzz of delight through me as well, and turning around for the other horses I was eager to feel the bliss again…only to slam headfirst into a towering man.

“Do you know you’re trespassing, miss?” he asked in a dangerously calm fashion. “And that you’ve just released half of our hard work and money from the knackers?!” Timmy joined in, positioning himself on the other side of me.

“Well, if you haven’t realised…” spoke another voice, this one loud and set at a low, sinister tone — Finch. But what rumbled a louder note was a black pistol, poised and aimed at my head, gripped tightly in his hands.

“Ah, hi Mr. Finch,” I replied chirpily, sounding like an idiot, “I remember now, I was going to congratulate you.” Bending the truth, Sharlett, I thought. Bending the truth.

“Oh?” He imitated surprise, but he and I both knew he could care less. “What would that be?”

I was vaguely aware of a fast-approaching orange-red spot in the background, and I hoped like I had never hoped before for it to be who I thought it might be. “Just congratulations, you know,” I started, “on being a…” I looked over his shoulder, then turned back to him. “A complete idiot who cares nothing about the welfare of horses and who deserves what he’s about to get.”

He looked smug as he readied his finger on the gun’s trigger. “And what—” He paused, the blood in his neck running cold as the skin was grazed over by a warm breath. The tension in the air felt like an active volcano, ready to erupt.

Before he could react anymore, the chestnut mustang landed a hoof on his back. Timmy and the other man immediately sprinted away, but Sanuye started chasing them around until he eventually knocked the both of them down, to my amusement.

I was starting to enjoy the excitement until one man, brandishing a thick whip, came ushering Sanuye away and kept an eye on him. The others quickly hurried over and restrained me.

“Don’t think anybody here is up for a fight with a mustang,” one of them said, looking at Sanuye grabbing the whip in his teeth and giving chase after the man.

“I say we call the police, and throw this little trouble maker into jail!”

“Go ahead,” I snapped, “call the police!”

Timmy fished out a cell phone and did just that. Once connected, he started accusing me of a list of crimes, half of which weren’t true. All the men seemed to enjoy taunting me, and talked about the trouble I was in. I only rolled my eyes and waited patiently until they were finished. Then I released the bombshell, “Wouldn’t they like to know you’re acting against the Wild Free-Roaming Horse and Burro Act? The part where you’re not allowed to slaughter wild horses?”

I laughed to myself, feeling smart, as their mouths opened and Finch glared accusingly at Timmy. “You idiot!” he screamed, “why did you call the police?!”

“Oh, who cares? Just run!”

They were about to high-tail it out of there, until the sound of a siren froze their legs. I smirked and laid on the retorts, “Getting caught by the law is the price to pay for being in a small county where the police station is right down the road.” The triumph of seeing Finch stare at me in horror made my day. Sanuye gave a snort as if he was jeering at them, and I couldn’t say I blamed him.

The police arrived; so did my family. I knew I had a lot of explaining to do, but for the time being I just hugged Sanuye and whispered, “We did it.”

Chapter 9

The chief policeman was talking to my parents and two brothers. “I heard the family hasn’t been doing well, with mum working at home, dad scraping up money, and this little horse-lover saving mustangs.” He chucked wholeheartedly. “What a hardworking bunch. I’m not allowed to do anything, but I’d be happy to find you some sponsors for your help in keeping the mustangs safe.”

I was far away with Sanuye, but I didn’t have to see my parents’ faces to know how ecstatic they were. My brothers were hissing “yesss!” and high-fiving all over the place like the annoying boys they were.

Sanuye and I stood at the creek, watching twilight fill the skies. “Thanks for putting my life right, Sanuye,” I murmured to him, savouring the feeling of speaking to this wild mustang, “and for teaching me to look for the wild horses, when there didn’t seem to be any left; teaching me to look for hope when I thought there was none.”

I swallowed hard. “You’ve given me my family back… I should do the same for you.” I reached for him and he allowed me to embrace him, blessing my neck with his comforting breath. I cried freely then, but he didn’t mind the teardrops on him.

I would never forget the amber, mangled coat that was silken to me, or the bottomless eyes so loyal and trusting. He carried his own grace, one defined by a draft-like, strong build. His spirit was like his chestnut mane and tail – both were braided from the wild and tangled beyond human understanding.

I stepped away from him then. He nickered at me, and my heart somersaulted in pure glee despite the pain it was in. “Run, boy!” I told him, and like the wonderful mustang he was, he picked up his hooves and soared away.

I followed his form with my eyes until I could follow no more, whispering after him, “Run, Sanuye, run.”

The tears eventually stopped as I gazed contentedly at the red clouds in the sky. “Hey Dad, look at that beautiful Sanuye.”


They sailed upon the ground, bleaching it with the purest grace and power. Gliding collectively, they were like a darkened cloud that never tired, but instead of rain, they brought sunlight and with it — hope. Perhaps it was some magic that pried out this ability, or maybe it was because they are the epitome of true freedom.

They are the wild mustangs.

As part of March for Wild Horses, young authors were invited to submit a story about an American Mustang “character” who represents the story of many horses taken off public land and held until they’re adopted, or worse. Authors were encouraged to research the history of wild horses in the US along with what’s happening today, then create a fictional character based on fact.

The original intent was for GHC to “adopt” one of these characters into our stables. After careful thought, LeadMare has decided there’s no reason to contain and domesticate the healthy, free-hearted mustangs in these stories when there’s more than enough public land to sustain them.

These characters are fictional, but in the spirit of March for Wild Horses they will remain free as a symbol of our hope for the Mustangs.

3 Nickers »

  1. Beautiful and amazing story- you have a wonderful way with words! I love Sanuye, he sounds like a sweet hearted horse! The storyline was great too!

  2. That was like magic, the way it flowed. I love Sharlett’s devilish spirit, and the very end, was like music. Made, you truly are the BOMB when it comes to writing! I love your descriptions, and the way you word things. This was amazing! :)

  3. Amazing story, especially the end-like mustang23 said, it flowed like music!!! loved it! :)