Bint Al Bahr Arabians

Preservation Breeders of Straight Babson Egyptians


Losing Your First Love

By Julie Carter  

An article included here with the kind permission of the author.

I remember my first love as if it were yesterday. He was tall and handsome. He gently taught me all those firsts with the patience his 20 years of living had given him.  

He gave me unconditional love for over two years. He loved me like he loved no one else. I would call his name and he was mine and mine alone. But then he died suddenly one early summer morning. At the tender age of seven I learned the reality of losing a love that could not be replaced.  

Ranger and little brother Lon with Julie directing  -  August 1959 photo

His name was Ranger. He was a dark sorrel gelding that for whatever reason in his golden years, took a liking to a scrawny little girl. I rode him everywhere. I thought he was the greatest horse in the world, never knowing then what good care he took of me. He jumped logs and ditches slowly and carefully enough I thought I was National Velvet.  

 And the best part was, he'd let me catch him out in the meadow with a small rope and a can of grain. And only I could catch him. I'd call and call and finally he would come.  

Ranger and Lon with Julie directing

My dad would try to catch him and he'd run 'til my dad was mad enough to shoot him. If Ranger needed caught for anything, I had to do it. I'm sure it was the very foundation of any self confidence I was to gain in life. He made me feel very special.  

As I grew up, I had many many other horses, but none as special as the first one, Ranger. He found a place in my heart and soul that will never leave me.  

Last week those emotions were stirred again when I watched my son grieve the loss of his first horse. Hoot, another fine old warrior who had raised a couple other little boys and then came to raise mine. He apparently liked little boys as he did such a good job letting them think they were in charge. 

Little cowboys are pretty big in their minds at a very young age. You'll see a three year old pull his hat down tight, buckle up his chaps and insist that he can rope anything that needs roped. If Dad can do it, so can he, just ask him.  

Lane and Hoot

Hoot had been a calf roping horse in his younger years. When an adult rode him and took down a rope they better have a deep seat because Hoot was going go to work and do it at full speed. Crossing rough country with ditches and deadfall, Hoot took care of himself and the adult rider better just settle in for the trip.  

But not with the little cowboys. He almost tiptoed through the brush, gently stepped over the wash outs and if a rope showed up in the hand of a kid, it was like he didn't even notice. He nurtured a little boy's confidence with every ride. And he did it until his age no longer let him safely travel the pasture miles.

When old age finally took the old guy it was a blessing for him, but a sad day for the cowboys, big and little. Hoot you won't be forgotten. Little cowboys growing up to be big cowboys will always remember their days in the saddle with you.

Adios Old Friends


Julie Carter is free lance writer and columnist with a background in ranching, rodeo and all things country.  She grew up on a Colorado high mountain ranch, followed citified careers from Colorado to California, and then completed the circle back "home" to a ranch in south central New Mexico.  She writes most often of rural life, cowboy lore, and finds something to laugh about in all of it.  Her stories take on an Erma Bombeck slant as she laughs at life in agriculture and more often when she laughs at herself. 


When I was growing up I was fortunate to spend my summers near Meadows Idaho on my grandparent's cattle ranch. I spent those growing up days running barefoot through cool grass, riding horses and swimming in Goose Creek. One of my earliest memories of the ranch was a bay gelding named Ranger. Ranger followed me around and allowed me to think I was riding him. I greatly treasured his company. He was very special. Perhaps it was Ranger and the ranch horses that followed that led me to the horse farm we have today. 
Diana Johnson

Krigbaum Ranch - a split rail fence built by my Great Grandfather, Ross Krigbaum and repaired many times since by the following generations. 


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