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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Only one comment so far...

  1. Sonya

    Oh dear… How sad… I will have to drop by his space with prayers!
    Thank you for letting us know, Dawn!

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