OMGOSH the BEST 9 hours you will spend in your car… Michael Johnson’s new Audio CD (and book) ‘THE TRIALS OF JOE BEN BLACK, Confessions of a Rope Horse’ – the sequel to HEALING SHINE – is here! A great gift and the purchase benefits the December Bucket Fund!

Michael Johnson generously sent to me his brand new audio book, “The Trials of Joe Ben Black – Confessions of a Rope Horse.”

Oh My Gosh.  OH MY GOSH!!  This was the best 9 hours I’ve ever spent in my car.  It was so absorbing, I found myself excited that I was in traffic!  I swear! I laughed, cried, nodded, smiled, grinned and mused over this enchanting, yet real (and true) horse and man… story.  And the best part… the storytelling itself.  Michael’s unassuming nature and buttery soft voice Calgon you away in to his world.   My mind’s eye had created the entire landscape – and I was so sad when it ended.  I wanted my new friends to stay with me.  Truly.

On top of all of that, I learned.  I learned what I didn’t know and what I’ve known all along.  Michael goes deep without you even noticing…  Life lessons in the form of a dessert platter – very easy to swallow and leaves you craving more!


So, without further ado…I present to you Michael Johnson’s follow up book to HEALING SHINE!

Oh, and not only is this audio CD terrific, but Michael will donate a percentage of all sales to The December Bucket Fund in Mama Tess’ honor!  I love that!

And, Michael is donating 5 SIGNED BOOKS to the December Bucket Fund in honor or Mama Tess!   So sweet!

Click here to purchase one of the 5 Signed “The Trials of Joe Ben Black – Confessions of a Rope Horse” for a $40 donation (includes shipping)  to the Bucket Fund!



1)  AUDIO CD:  Here is a link to purchase the Audio CD of THE TRIALS OF JOE BEN BLACK (includes shipping) for $40.  You will get it in time for the holidays!

2)  Here is a link to purchase the book of THE TRIALS OF JOE BEN BLACK (includes shipping) for $35.

All sales benefit the December Bucket Fund – Michael’s gift in honor of Mama Tess!  Thank you all and Thank you, Michael, for this wonderful gift of literary delight that captures the essence of the bond.


Here is a review sent to Michael from Greg Dial.  He is a horse trainer in Lampasas, Texas…

Dear Miguel:
The Trials of Joe Ben Black arrived in the mail a week ago, and I finished listening last night. I wasn’t sure what to expect; you’d said it took unexpected directions in the writing of it. Much about it was unexpected for me, as well:
I didn’t expect to feel my eyes brimming over at 11:00, and again at 16:02, and at more places than I could keep track of…but I did.
I didn’t expect to find myself gesticulating like a Baptist preacher in punctuation of your mentors’ advice…but I did.
I didn’t expect to find myself nodding and grinning in assent with the hard lessons, the pain of spiritual growth, and all the “A-ha moments”…but I did.
I didn’t think I’d be leaving the house early to get into the truck and onto the next section, nor sitting at the front gate in the evening with the diesel idling just to hear a chapter to its end…but I did.
I didn’t expect to feel such empathic pain for Shine at his revelations to Blue…but I did.
I didn’t expect to feel the odd combination of pride and humility at your use of my words in such august company…but I did.
And I didn’t expect the laughter to bubble out of me at the same time as the tears came once again when Blue sang…and Joe Ben…and Shine…but they did.
I listened with my heart. Your words flowed over me and through me, and I hit the rewind button when traffic distracted so that I could feel everything without analyzing, experience it all without dissecting for structure and meaning and message. There’s so much I want to tell you about how it made me feel, this next stage on the spiritual odyssey that started with Healing Shine; about the depth of feeling that came with this story, about how the diversions and meanderings and twists and turns looped around and over and under but came together in a coherent whole. And about what it taught me. I wish some special barn were through the next gate on our county road, that you and Sherry and Gina and I could sit in the barn aisle with a cold beer or warm bourbon and branch (owing to the season, of course), Shine and Blue and Joe Ben and Susie, Kappy and Burt and Copper and Wrangler hanging their heads out the stall doors and into our conversation. I wish we could talk and laugh about the journey, and the process, and the little miracles in our lives. I was disappointed when the last CD ejected, and even though every story has its end, I wished that this one didn’t. So for now, I’ll listen again.
Which brings me to my only quibble with Joe Ben: at the close, it sounds like you’re riding up on some personal end…of writing…or roping, and that alarms me. I can’t divine your meaning there, but neither one will stand. We’ll talk much more about this soon.
I thank you for the CDs. More deeply, I’m grateful to you for what you shared, and the way you shared it.
Best to Sherry.
Keep writing, and keep riding…dammit.

DECEMBER BUCKET FUND in honor of Mama Tess… Let’s help the old mares of The Golden Carrot:  Lucy and Glory!  Click here to read their story.

Look at that face?! This older gal has lots of life in her!

Look at that face?! This older gal has lots of life in her!

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