Category Archives: Michael Johnson

I went to visit our friend and author, Michael Johnson. Shine and Joe Ben were there!

I’ve written about our friend, author Michael Johnson, often.  He is a very, very good man.

Michael has written heartfelt, humorous and life changing books about his three horses.  The books are titled “Healing Shine” (A Spur Award winner), “The Trials of Joe Ben Black, Confessions of a Rope Horse” and “The Story of Blue, A Rope Horse”.

These books will make you think, make you laugh and make you cry.  And even better, the people are real and the horses are real.

These books have given so much support to so many horse people – I cannot tell you how many emails I’ve received regarding Michael Johnson and how his books changed peoples’ lives and their lives with their horses.

Well, now it was time for Michael to collect on all of his good works… you see, Michael’s heaven-sent wife – very unexpectedly and suddenly – passed away .

Michael was and is – heartbroken.

So, I gathered my most friendly and loving, funny friends to pay him a visit.  We flew to Texas and embraced Michael, Shine, Joe Ben, Ernest Shiner Johnson Ranch Dog in Training and an assortment of lovely cats.


Michael rallied himself for our arrival, was dressed spiffy and the place was groomed to it’s life.  All the grass was mowed, the fences perfect, the barn spotless, the horses groomed… everything was tip top.  So much work – just for us.  Thank you, Michael.

My friends didn’t know Michael, and they aren’t really horse people… but they are very loving and playful.  So, for them, they didn’t see the sadness and heartache that I saw in Michael, and maybe that was for the best.  Michael delighted in telling us stories of his amazing life, and we lapped it up like dehydrated lost hikers.  Michael’s stories fill the soul.  He cannot help himself; when he starts telling stories, they fall out of his mouth in the most warm and engaging way.  I suppose that’s why his books are so perfect.  He just writes how he thinks – perfectly.

Michael showed us around, brought the horses (Shine and Joe Ben) up for us to fawn over, told us that he had lost Blue… but he was buried in his favorite spot… he BBQ’d an amazing dinner (after all, we were in Texas!), we drank wine on his porch and slept like kings and queens in his glorious house.  In the morning, we had coffee on his wraparound porch, took walks, ate an enormous breakfast and said very sorrowful goodbyes.  New life-long friends were made, as I knew they would be.

If any of you have ever loved a MIchael Johnson book or CD, please send the biggest hugs and love his way.  Although he is holding his head high, the pain is just right there.  He loved her so…


Most of these pics were taken by my friend, Marcy, who adored Michael, our visit and the property.  She is still talking about it…

Marcy with Joe Ben Black

Marcy looking out over Michael’s property

Michael with Shine and Joe Ben

Shine and Joe Ben grazing

Stevie communing with Joe Ben

Joe Ben drinking with his goldfish friends.

Michael’s roping steers – all grown up.

Michael and Shine

Ernest Shiner Johnson

His house has a porch all around… notice the perfectly groomed HUGE fields. Just for us. Thank you, Michael.

Stevie playing with Shiner.

An amazingly warm and friendly barn – for both humans and people. One side is for humans and the other for horses. Fire pit and furniture making – outside.

The horse side of the barn.  Michael made all of the furniture

One of the adorable cats

I wanted to take her home.

Marcy was being artsy here

Stevie and I – relaxed and easy on the porch. LOVELY

My tearful goodbye.

IF YOU’D LIKE A JOE BEN BOOK OR A BLUE BOOK, we will know your purchase is dedicated to Dr. Sharon Johnson – a loved and greatly missed soul. 

All proceeds will benefit The Keep Them Off The Truck Fund

–To purchase a Joe Ben Black book (for $29.99 includes shipping) click here.

Click image to order book

–To purchase a Blue book (for $29.99 includes shipping), click here.

To purchase, click image





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GREAT NEWS! Michael Johnson is writing his next book about his horse, BLUE!

Let’s talk about something amusing and wonderful, shall we?!

The esteemed author, and our friend, Michael Johnson, is writing a book about Blue.

–If you have not read “Healing Shine” or “The Trial of Joe Ben Black, Confessions of a Rope Horse”, you need to.  There is not a horse person who will not see themselves and want to do better by their horses after reading and living these books.  Click here.  (No affiliation other than I love the books and I think Michael sits next to HorseGod.)


So a few weeks ago, I received this email from Michael:

I haven’t been communicating because I made a vow years ago

to only write things that lifted people up.

Blue died on October 28th.  I always thought I would go first.

I know you think I’m destroyed, but oddly I’m not.

While it is sad, I cannot help but think about what a blessing it

was to be with him for 20 years.

Friends have suggested I write a third book about him

to complete the trilogy.  I am going to do that.

I begin tomorrow.

I have been torn between telling people I love and care for about this.

but I have decided to tell them.  I am telling you because I would

want you to tell me.

I have always been so grateful for your friendship.

More later.



And then I said that the book was a terrific idea… but that Blue better have that wonderful voice that he has in the Audio CD books and in print (Michael does all the voices of his horses and characters in his amazingly powerful Audio CDs – and those voices come through absolutely in his books.)

I told him that I would miss that voice.

… and he said back to me:

Trainer Greg Dial told me, “When you do this book,

if Blue doesn’t talk like he always does, I’m gonna’ drive

up there and beat the h**l out of you!”

Later that day, Bronc Fanning told me the

exact same thing.

Nobody needs to worry because

I never could get Blue to stop talking anyway.

First line of Shine…

“I don’t know why I was the way I was about him.”

First line of Blue…

“I know why I was the way I was about him.”

I’ll keep you posted.


I’M SO LOOKING FORWARD TO HIS NEW BOOK:  “Otoe’s Boy – The Horse Called Blue!”

Last I heard, he has 7 chapters done.

Otoe’s Boy – The Horse Called Blue

I cannot wait!  Of course, I will keep you all posted!

Michael and Blue.


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