Home Magazine Second Chance Stories Stormy (Tia’s Desert Storm)

Stormy (Tia’s Desert Storm)

by Merri Melde

These are my favorite photos of my (most beautiful) horse (on the planet), Stormy (Washington-bred Tia’s Desert Storm), who raced at Emerald Downs 1996-98 for Alana Goff and in 1999 for Doris Crozier and Chris Stenslie. He won $45,880 in his career. I got him from Chris at the end of 1999 and retired him from racing. Since then he has actually earned a little of his keep in California as a pack string leader for the US Forest Service and as a wrangler’s horse on a big dude ranch. Now he hangs around with endurance horses in Idaho, eats (a lot) and spends time in and out of Weight Watchers programs. At age 17, he gets ridden occasionally on trail rides when he is sound and not suffering from navicular.

Stormy – The Most Beautiful Horse On The Planet

It breaks my heart that Stormy has gone to brighten the next world. Appropriately, a thunder and lightning and wind storm blew through as he left.

I’d known him for 25 years, owned him for 21. He went from being a (mildly successful) racehorse (I was his groom), to retiring and being My Horse, to working with me for the Forest Service (pack string leader) in California, to working on a dude ranch (wrangler horse) in California, then to Idaho with me as a resident Lawn Mower and Endurance horse companion and Old Duffer. His favorite thing in the world was EATING.

Once he became mine, he became a Wild West Horse, never set foot in another stall and was never happier.

I already miss not hearing his nicker three times a day for his special mash. I miss that striped face looking for me. I miss him.

You were the Best Horse Ever. Nobody will ever fill your hoof prints. It’s the end of an era. RIP, my dear Stormy.