The Natural Horseman, Steve Stevens

The Natural Horseman, Steve Stevens.

The last month has been interesting. My Dad came out for a surprise visit and to help out on the ranch, keeping me in line. We watched the Olympics and preseason football.

While he was here, Amanda found out her grandfather passed. Amanda went to the funeral in Scottsdale, A.Z., and took the kids with her.

I had to stay back to care for the numerous horses, dogs and cats. We have chosen a beautiful path in life. Our goals are to help horses and people and to raise our children with good moral values and provide for them.

When choosing this lifestyle, you give up a lot of things that people take for granted. The hours can be crazy. You might have to stay up with a horse all night long colicing, the weather can be burning hot, freezing cold, or everything in between and livestock still has to be watched and cared for.

You can’t always leave at a moment’s notice for a great party, vacation or even your wife’s Grandfather’s funeral.

We chose this life because we had a dream to wake up in the morning and watch the sun rise over our own horses. We wanted our children to appreciate a hard day’s work and to have a life with animals. We wanted to know that whatever money we earned, we worked hard for.

Roping lessons with Papa. (Photo courtesy of Steve Stevens)
Roping lessons with Papa. (Photo courtesy of Steve Stevens)

As we spend twenty-four hours a day with many horses, and we see how they interact amongst each other. We get to appreciate their personalities and their qualities.

My dogs don’t have to be walked on a leash and we can see the stars at night.

While Amanda was gone, the house was quiet, eerily quiet, uncomfortably so. I thought it would be a nice break, but the lacking sounds of kids running, screaming and crying made life feel empty.

I saw some beautiful sunsets and storm clouds roll in and out over a few days. But that can all feel bland without your family to share it with.

I got a lot accomplished, but towards the end of the week we got a lot of rain.

So Amanda and the kids came back to mud.

For us, because we are so far from the cities we were raised in, I think it took Amanda a while to regroup, as it had been a long time since she had been to where she grew up.

For the first time, she was able to take our children to places that she had experienced as a child.

I haven’t been home to southern California in at least three years. It is a funny feeling when your home you once had isn’t your home anymore. When you are raising your children somewhere other than where your family and friends are, it can be an unusual feeling.

But this was all a part of our master plan. We gave up what gave us comfort, to strike out on our own. What once was just a little adventure has become so much more.

Our dedication to horses and people went from a potential occupation to a lifestyle.

I’m not here saying it is all peaches and cream.

Making a living outdoors in Texas can be challenging for the toughest of people—heat, rain, ice, wind, hail, lightning, tornadoes and floods.

But we keep moving forward because of the blue sky, watching our horses be able to run more than ten feet for feed time, the Texan spirit, and people, and, yes, most of all the strong Texas people who have become our friends, partners, and mentors.

No one ever said this life would be easy, but no one also ever stopped us from chasing rainbows.

A beautiful North Texas sunset. (Photo courtesy of Steve Stevens)
A beautiful North Texas sunset. (Photo courtesy of Steve Stevens)