Author Archives: dawndi

About dawndi

I've been a very happy film producer (commercial and long format) for over 20 years. But, the horses have always been foremost in my heart... Currently I live on a small ranch in California with my wonderful husband, 13 horses, 4 dogs, 3 cats and various woodland creatures. Life is good!

Norma Jean.

I don’t know how to express what a great being she was…

Kind, quiet, strong, honest.

My friend.  For 28 years.  My heart actually aches with missing her.

I didn’t realize until today, how much she actually shared her life with me.  We were good girl friends.

Having her as a free-range donkey was such a gift.  Norma would come to me when she was happy and ask for a treat or just to hang.  She came to me, sometimes running,  when she needed comfort or help.

Her days were full of good times and freedom.

But I think this recent bout with laminitis, broke her spirit.  –She was improving.  In fact, I had just purchased her a new winter blanket.  But… I think the prospect of her freedoms restricted, broke her heart.  She didn’t want to spent most of her time in a dry paddock.

I can only surmise that this week, the vet and I had been chatting in front of Norma.  We talked about having her wear a grazing muzzle during limited time outside the barn.  We talked about keeping her in a dry paddock during Spring and early Summer.   She would have to wear boots…

But Norma didn’t want that kind of life for herself.  She LOVED being able to roam around the ranch and make her own choices.  A life in the barn with boots and a grazing muzzle was not a life for Norma.

I think she was mulling this over and decided that it just wasn’t worth it.

This morning, she came to me, put her head into my chest and told me that this time, she didn’t want fixing.  This time, she was done.

I couldn’t believe it… she was doing so well…

But her mind was made up.  She wouldn’t eat (and I tried everything).  All she wanted to do was lie down in front of her fans.  Even her breathing changed.

–I could have kept her going… but I knew that she didn’t want that.

She trusted me today, to hear her and help her.

Which I did.

And I didn’t want to.  I didn’t want to let her go at all.

But as I sat with her, waiting for the vet, I told her that Slick and Dodger would be on the other side … and I let my best girl – go.  It was just like that.  She was lying down, and she put her head down and left.  Her way.  The freedom way.

The Donk Squad is together again.

HORSE AND MAN is a blog in growth... if you like this, please pass it around!


TODAY, I will clean the barn of cobwebs and dust…  those spiders are amazing!


I love his hair blowing in the wind.


I’ve posted this previously, but I love it.

This looks like a real-life Disney movie.

Who knew?!

I did a double-take.

I thought the banquette was genius.

Cute, wild baby!

Beautiful wild one.



Great idea!


This is beautiful.

HORSE AND MAN is a blog in growth... if you like this, please pass it around!