At first it seems as if no one is home. A sorrel-and-white stallion with an injured front foot is grazing in the yard. I knock on the door to the screened-in porch, but there's no answer. Cupping my hands around my eyes, I peer inside. Saddles and bridles hang from racks and hooks, but the place is deserted. I walk around to the back of the house. Pink snapdragons and white daisies line the path. Beyond the driveway is an empty bright blue corral. Still no sign of anyone. Suddenly, I feel the ground under my feet vibrate, and I hear stampeding hooves. I spin around to see a herd of black-and-white paints racing in from the back pasture. At first I want to run as they head toward me, but then, rounding a bend, is a man on horseback whooping, "AAAIIIEEEYA!" Vernell looks like every woman's dream of an Indian horseman. His light blue denim shirt with cut-off sleeves reveals smooth, muscular arms. A black ponytail glints in the sun. He's in control of the herd as he maneuvers them into the corral, yet he appears wild and impulsive as he spins his horse around and keeps the flashy paints moving in a fast, tight circle. After this performance, Vernell casually dismounts, takes off his hat, and shyly approaches me. With pride, Vernell White Thunder tells me that he owns seventy-two horses, which he keeps on 1,100 acres. He inherited the land from his grandfather. For ten years, Vernell worked for the federal government, then he taught school for another ten years, but he wasn't happy until he was around horses – like when he was a boy. According to Vernell, the horse has a soul, and the soul absorbs what we're feeling. If we're angry or tense, we shouldn't ride – just walk outside and spend time with the horse. When we're patient and calm, that's the time to ride because a horse requires us to know and understand its limitations. "Long ago Indians and horses were related. We thought of our horses as our grandsons."