Skip to main content Skip to navigation

Horses

Michelle Gordon riding horse Mac
Fall 2018

Back in the saddles

Winding through barren April wheat fields, my 4Runner rumbles down a gravel backroad heading toward the small farming town of Colton. Rounding the corner, I spot a sign for the Pat Weber ranch and follow their lane to the barn.

Near the corral, a young woman in a riding helmet turns and waves. Michelle Gordon, Washington State University junior and president of the recently revived WSU Equestrian Team, is here along with several other students for lessons with English riding coach Laura Bagby Moore ’08.

“I’ve known Laura most of my life,” says Gordon as she brushes a bay gelding named Mac. “We’re both … » More …

Spring 2007

Vaulting ambition

Despite the icy air of the late October afternoon, Todd Griffiths strips down to his skin-tight spandex uniform and lifts himself atop a bay horse named Darby. His legs move forward and in one fluid swing are back behind him, pulling him into a handstand, part of a warmup before he gives us a full display of his vaulting skills.

Vaulting is not a widely known sport in America. So tell an equestrian that you know a vaulter, and he’ll be impressed. The activity is a combination of gymnastics and dance performed atop a moving horse, so amazing, it’s hard to tear your eyes away. … » More …

Summer 2006

Uncommon access: Gaylord Mink shifts his focus from viruses to wild horses

Gaylord Mink, hunched over and quiet as a mule deer, picks his way through rugged rangeland near the center of the Yakama Indian Reservation.

Mink stops, straightens, and scans toward Dry Creek Elbow in the distance. Much closer, five wild horses lift their own heads to meet his gaze. They are all well within range.

The small band’s stallion snorts a warning as the nervous mares and a colt seem anxious to bolt. Mink snorts back, and the stallion circles even closer to take up the challenge, dragging his wary entourage in his wake.

Mink is a hunter who doesn’t pack a gun. He shoots … » More …

Summer 2008

An interview with Edward Heinemann – a life of horse sense

Ed Heinemann was just a freshman in the spring of 1936, when the students at Washington State decided to strike. A group calling themselves the Student Liberty Association wanted more freedom from the administration’s puritanical social regulations, particularly those imposed by the dean of women, who set dress codes and early curfews.

Heinemann remembers walking on campus one May morning to see posters on buildings and doors announcing, “Strike.” To his surprise, the faculty joined in, cancelling classes. In the wake of the upheaval, the dean of women was dismissed, and the rules were gradually loosened.

Heinemann, who earned … » More …

Summer 2007

Horses They Rode

Midway through Sid Gustafson’s new novel, Horses They Rode, I found myself put in mind of all the second chances I have had. His take on the reknitting of family, friendship, and one man’s tumultuous life is such a story—a tale of second chances where hope effervesces across a storyscape of high country, horse corrals, drunkenness, and regret that seems, at moments, irresolvable. It’s a wholly American novel, for of course, America is a land forgiving of first mistakes—where a shot at trying again is fair and right.

Wendel Ingraham, Gustafson’s protagonist, is a ranch hand who has roamed Washington State’s Inland Empire, Idaho’s panhandle, … » More …