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Ladybug was the catalyst for what we now call the "freedom project"...

From the day I first saw her on I was taken by her perfection, her powerful yet tender presence. This was in May of 2006.

Silver Gal Shea...

aka Ladybug influenced me to take a closer look at the true nature of human ~ horse relationships.

Purchased as a “ranch raised, ranch broke, reining and working cow horse, the owners personal mount, from a large Texas ranch." It seemed she would be a nice broke horse, perfect, my dream horse.

As our relationship developed I discovered she was overly sensitive and highly explosive... a physically and emotionally damaged friend with a heart of gold.

Perfect in every way!

As each of her injuries, sustained in the name of training, were revealed to me it forced me to learn how and why. The progression from the obvious saddle sores, to the not so obvious lacerated tongue and shattered supra-orbital process, opened my eyes to the suffering horses endure at our human hands. Endured only for the sake of turning them into non thinking beasts of burden, machinery, living amusement rides.

Part of my processing all of these new realizations was making this book for Ladybug. Setting her free from all of my expectations and needs was really the beginning of learning to set myself free.


: the quality or state of being free: as a : the absence of necessity, coercion, or constraint in choice or action b : liberation from slavery or restraint or from the power of another : independence c : the quality or state of being exempt or released usually from something onerous d : ease e : the quality of being frank, open, or outspoken f : boldness of conception or execution g : unrestricted


There are so many ways we all give away our freedom. We allow important decisions about who we are and what we do to be made by other people, the past, and society. Ladybug and all of the horses, to me, symbolize freedom... and the definition of freedom is ever expanding!

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