Tag: free


dayton horses dayton poster Dayton


If you haven’t seen this film yet – take a little time this evening to treat yourself to the spirit of the West and a cowboy’s passion.

The director of the movie says it best in her own words;
“When I first encountered Dayton Hyde he was living alone on 11,000 acres in the Black Hills of South Dakota, surrounded by the thundering hooves of horses and the music of song birds. His stories of the West and his passion for wildlife captivated me, and I knew I would be back to create a film about a man who found freedom in the horses he is saving. Twenty years later, Running Wild: The Life of Dayton O. Hyde captures the essence of a man who as a cowboy, a poet and an inspiration, has handed his heart over to the West. The film looks back on his rich, diverse life and looks forward to his legacy, opening the eyes of a new generation to the beauty and fragility of what is left of this natural landscape.”

Suzanne Mitchell (Movie home site)

Buy the DVD. Rent / buy the download.

It’s a reel treat – enjoy the show! Don’t forget it’s Valentine’s Day coming and you need to get your GIFTS!!

Your ‘ol pal down the trail – tim

In the Beginning.

“A great journey starts with the first step.” – as the saying goes, so when are we leaving? Everyone has a story inside them, it just takes a little looking. My dad used to say, “If you write a page a day you can can finish one book a year.” That doesn’t sound so hard until you sit down to do it! We’re all looking forward to seeing some of your great short stories, if anyone  wants to send them into the forum or write on Alec’s facebook wall.
Don’t forget you can find all these stories and more at the gift shop, anytime.

The next book – or is it just The Beginning??
The Black Stallion stood seventeen hands tall, his dark coat glistening with renewed health and shining in the light of Alec Ramsay’s campfire. The night sky over the Arizona desert was a brilliant field of stars. Alec took comfort in their nearness and brightness, thankful that he and his horse were alive to share the night.
He had given the Black one month’s total rest since their terrible trials on the high mesas of the Indian country.* Now, at last, the stallion was bucking and playing once again. Alec wished he too could forget the earthquakes that had rocked the mountains and the rain of fire that had fallen from the sky. The turmoil had seemed to herald the end of the world. The aftershocks from the earthquakes had continued for weeks, but finally the stillness of the Arizona desert had returned.
The stallion moved away from the campfire, his black body well camouflaged in the darkness. He came to a stop when he reached the end of the lengthy longe line Alec had attached to his halter. His head turned in the direction of the south. He was a giant of a horse, with an inky mane and tail and eyes large in the night. There he stood, head and tail erect and nostrils wide, the image of horse perfection and beauty, as noble an animal as ever ranged those plains.
Alec went to his horse and gazed with him to the south. Something was out there, he knew, and the Black was aware of it. But all Alec could see were tall cactus looming in the distance, their limbs outstretched to the sky.
Alec realized once more how little the desert had changed since the beginning of time. True, the highway ran through it, but one had only to move off a few miles in any direction to know the overall look and feel of the desert, its vastness and majesty and, Alec admitted, the solitude he had grown to love.
Alec remained close to the Black, smelling the scents of the desert mixed with those of his horse.
“What do you see?” he asked aloud.
The Black did not turn his head, and his eyes remained large and bright in the starshine. As Alec’s vision became clearer in the darkness, he made out what he thought were several antelope skimming over the distant plain. But he knew they might have been wild mustangs as well, and that could account for the Black’s restlessness.
Alec led the Black into the trailer, reluctant to put him inside but having no alternative, lest the mustangs lure him away. The Black shoved his nose into Alec’s chest, and the warm breath of his nostrils felt good. Alec breathed the smell of his horse and, for the moment, forgot all his cares, everything but the joy of being with the Black.
The stallion was settling down for the night, and Alec decided it was time for him to get some sleep too. Tomorrow would find them on the road again. There was no wind, and the dry air was gradually getting colder, perhaps to end with a frost before dawn. It didn’t matter to Alec. He had stable blankets for both of them. He pulled two blankets from the cab of the truck and stretched out beside his horse.
Looking above the half doors at the rear of the trailer, he turned his eyes to the stars once more. He had never seen them so bright and numerous as they were that night. No wonder the Indians read their legends and prophecies in the night sky. Despite the millions upon millions of stars, there was too much emptiness up there, he decided. Space was boundless, extending in all directions. One had to believe in legends, as the Indians did, to understand the cosmos.
He settled back more comfortably on the straw bedding. His eyes remained on the stars while desert sounds became sharper in the clear air. He heard the distant call of a coyote. It was soft yet piercing, very sad and heartrending, almost like the wail of a lost child. He shuddered at the loneliness of the cry. It was as if the coyote were calling for someone who would never come.
Alec found Sirius, the Dog Star, in the night sky, gleaming far brighter than the other stars. Moving on, he found Lepus, the Hare, and his eyes followed the tracks of the great rabbit. Above Lepus he made out the constellation of Orion, easy to recognize by the three stars in the hunter’s belt. It was there his gaze remained.
If he were to believe in legends and prophecies, as the Indians did, it was there that his life with a black horse had begun many years ago.
He recalled going with his parents as a child to the Hayden Planetarium in New York City. Among the photos of the heavens taken by the world’s most powerful telescopes was a picture he would never forget.
It was of the Horsehead Nebula in the constellation Orion, three light-years across and one thousand, five hundred light-years away from the earth. Directly in the center of the nebula, as plainly as one could see, was the head of a beautiful black horse, silhouetted against a curtain of glowing gas and illuminated by millions of stars.

For more of the story (pdf) –22nd book chapter

Enjoy your weekends and ride on! – tim

#20 – Ever seen a Ghost?

All the books and more @ Black Stallion shop

This is a story Dad wrote in the late nineteen sixties. The Vietnam war was daily news, and it was the first time we had televised images of war’s horrors. There were a lot of huge events happening all over the world, assassination, nuclear threat, rockets, steps on the moon … Mr. Ed :)

Read more

19 and a Legend


Young and in LOVE. That’s the best… or is it? Hard choices, but it’s what we have, what was given to us – “to use or lose” – some would say. This story, the last my dad wrote, was kinda dark and the publisher has taken it out of print more than once, even though I personally think it’d make a really good movie. The beauty and spirit of the high desert brought him out here to the land of the Hopi and Navajo, where the Legend lives on.

  You can find it any all the books, ebooks and movies at the Trading Post (of course).


Alec Ramsay jogged around the racecourse infield, his body very lean and taut beneath a heavy woolen sweat suit. The temperature was below freezing and the racing strip alongside him was flanked by ice and snow. A frigid wind blew down the stretch and he lowered his hooded head against it.
Alec thought of himself as an outdoorsman and stayed indoors only when necessary. He jogged all year long to keep in shape, to keep his wind. A jockey needed strong legs and good wind. Jogging opened your lungs. It helped in the afternoon, when you raced.
But that morning’s conditions were not normal even for December in New York, and Alec would have much preferred clear skies and a little higher temperature. While racing held many good memories for him, it also had taken its toll, just as it had for many other jockeys he knew. His hands were strong, thick and calloused, capable of moving with the quick skill of a musician—yet he felt an excruciating pain between the first two fingers of each hand where he held the reins when he rode.
It was arthritis, the doctor had told him, which would be especially painful during the winter months. Alec shook his hooded head in dismay. Arthritis (which he had always associated with older people) while still a young man! To say nothing of the calcified pain he suffered from a mended collarbone. But falls and broken bones were part of racing. There would be still more pain in the years to come. How much physical resilience was left in his body? Alec wondered. How much longer could he go on?
Alec had a good view of the Aqueduct’s empty grandstand and clubhouse as he jogged down the long stretch. High above the tiered floors and glass-encased newsroom were the videotape cameras fixed at the edge of the clubhouse roof. His gaze shifted to the track on the other side of the infield rail. It was sloppy with a light snow falling on it. He knew that today every rider should concentrate more on surviving than winning races. But that wouldn’t be. They had to race to win. And soon, for it was only three hours before the first race of the afternoon, the stands would be filled with thousands of hardy fans who could have stayed at home.
Alec buried his face in the hood and lowered his eyes to the snowy ground before him. While he had to be there, he couldn’t be blamed for envying the riders who were racing in Florida and California during these cold winter months. Despite his sweating, he was wearing too much clothing to get loose the way he should. His knees were beginning to bother him too, and he hoped he wasn’t getting water on the knee like some of the other jocks. Anyway, he had a nice, warm whirlpool bath and a steam box to look forward to when he got to the jocks’ room. He’d get loosened up that way and lose a few more pounds while at it.
Alec hoped he’d be able to get down to 104 pounds today. If he didn’t, Henry Dailey would have his head as a Christmas present. Their filly, Pam’s Song, was the lightweight in the race, assigned only 110 pounds, which meant with six pounds of tack Alec had to step on the scales weighing no more than 104, six pounds less than his usual weight. That was another reason for jogging and jogging and jogging.
It gave him time to think, too, before riding. One had very little time to think on a racehorse. You just did it, moved when you had to move. His thoughts turned to Pam’s Song, the beautiful, strapping filly he would ride—a burnished blonde shade of chestnut, the color of her dam, not her sire, the Black. Yes, and the color too of the golden hair of her namesake, Pam. But he shouldn’t let himself think too much about Pam today, for Henry had told him it affected his riding. Henry was right. When Alec thought of the girl he loved, it was difficult to keep his mind on anything else.
Pam had left Hopeful Farm for Europe over a month ago, leaving behind memories so vivid they would always be a part of him.* But Alec wanted more than that. He wanted to be with her during the Christmas break. This was the last day of the track meeting and he looked forward to a two-week vacation before racing resumed in January. If he could get away from duties at Hopeful Farm, he would fly to Europe if only for a few days. He had named the beautiful filly for Pam as a Christmas present to her.
Alec’s gaze turned once more to the empty stands as he recalled the dark Saturday afternoon in November when Aqueduct was jam-packed with eighty thousand people watching the running of the classic Empire State Handicap. Pam had raced the Black that day—to prove to herself as well as to Henry and the huge throng of fans that she could hold her own with any male jockey in the land.
Later, back at Hopeful Farm, she had said, “Letting me ride the Black was the greatest thing you could have done for anyone.”
Alec remembered his answer. “You’re not just anyone, Pam. I love you.”
“And I love you, Alec. More now than ever because I know what you gave up for me.”
“I don’t want you to go, Pam. I want you to stay. We’ll get married.”
He never doubted her love but it hadn’t been enough to keep her with him. Pam wanted more time to seek out new experiences and challenges, all that life offered one as young as she.
“It’s too soon for both of us,” she had told him with tears welling in her eyes. “I’m not ready for marriage even if you think we are, Alec. And I think too much of marriage not to be ready for it. It’s the greatest challenge I’ll ever know and I want to make it work. I want to have more to give you than I can give you now. Please, Alec,” she pleaded. “I want to stay here with you but don’t let me change my mind. Let me grow up a little more, then we’ll be together always.”

More? –19th book chapter

Enjoy the ride and don’t be afraid to write!!  -tim