My Horse, Dakota

Bailey here –

I love my horse, Dakota.  He’s the best!  Well, I mean, he’s skittish, doesn’t like other people, and spooks easily – but I think he’s perfect.  He’s a brown and white Paint Horse, and he always takes my breath away.  Sometimes I can’t believe he’s actually mine. 

Two years ago, Dad and I went to the Spring Creek Horse Rescue over in Bayfield, and I fell in love with a skinny Paint gelding huddled in the back of his stall.  He had whip marks on his flank and an outgrown halter on his face.  The manager said the gelding kicked and reared – nobody could get near him. 

But then Dakota’s eyes and mine locked, and I knew he was meant to be mine.  Dad was dead set against him and left the barn to look at the other horses.  But I stayed and talked softly to Dakota.  After a long time, he inched his way over and let me pet his nose.  Then I slowly removed the halter from his sore face.  And the rest is history.  Dakota’s now strong and muscular, and he’s my closest friend and confidant.  I never have to worry about anything I tell him.

I’ve heard some people have the gift of ‘animal whispering’ – communicating with animals through telepathic energy.  It’s really a trip if you think about it too long.  I mean, communicating brain to brain, without talking out loud, human to animal and back again?  Of course Jazz thinks it’s all nuts.  But I don’t.  I don’t discount anything.  There are too many mysteries in the world. 

I’m no animal whisperer.  It’s just that Dakota and I connected.  Maybe because I was patient and let him come to me.  I think animals can tell if you’re going to hurt them or not.  Maybe they can even feel your intentions.  I don’t know.  But I do know I don’t like being forced to do things – by my parents or anyone else.  I’d rather think about things for a while and make up my own mind.  And if I end up doing what they wanted me to do in the first place, fine.  But it was my decision.

Don’t you like to make your own decisions?

Native American Flute, Carlos Nakai

Hey, it’s Bailey again.

So speaking of gifts and talents, have you ever heard of Carlos Nakai?  Or listened to his amazing music?  I know it may sound odd that a teenage girl loves Native American flute music.  But hey, I’m an admitted Native wannabe.  I like rock music and even some country, too.  But for the Native flute, as far as I’m concerned, Carlos Nakai is the master.  What Carlos does with the flute is haunting and beautiful; moving and inspiring.

Now Carlos (who is of Navajo-Ute heritage) was originally trained in the classical trumpet, and I’m willing to bet he was good at it.  Really good at it.  Probably thought he had his whole life planned out.  And then disaster stuck.  He was in a car accident and got the horrifying news that he’d ruined his embouchure (which means the facial muscles necessary to play the trumpet). 

Devastating.  His whole life must’ve come to a grinding halt.  How could that happen to him?  Why the injury to the embouchure to someone who wanted to play the trumpet?  Why not an injury to the arm or the leg?  Okay, so what do you do now?

During his recovery, I think an uncle or a close relative presented Carlos with a traditional Native cedar flute, and challenged him to master it.  Now I’m sure Carlos went through all the emotions anyone would in that situation – disbelief, anger, sadness, wanting to throw in the towel and just curl into a ball.  But somehow he made it through it.  And he took that cedar flute and mastered it.  And I thank the Creator he did, otherwise I wouldn’t be enjoying it right now. 

Carlos now travels the world to play his music.  He plays solos, plays with symphonies, with jazz bands, and joins with other solo artists.  He has over 30 albums out there.  So, what if he’d just curled into a ball when tragedy hit?  What if he hadn’t taken his musical ability and applied it somewhere else?  I love Carlos Nakai’s music, but I think I love his spirit and his story even more.  You can find Carlos and a list of his amazing music at

I’m starting to believe what Mrs. Creek said – that each of us has many talents to choose from.  Have you thought about what your gifts and talents are?  About what you were given to share with the world?

Gifts and Talents

I spent today with Mrs. Creek (Jazz’s mom).  She’s one of my favorite people in the world.  She’s a tribal holy woman and you can feel the peace and calmness coming off of her.  She wanted to show Jazz and me how to make Native American jewelry, but Jazz wasn’t interested.  She left to go work on the school newspaper, but I stayed and made my first turquoise and black onyx bracelet!  Came out pretty cool. 

While we were beading, Mrs. Creek told me that every person has many gifts (or talents), and that each of us can choose which gifts to develop.  Made me wonder what my talents are.  She told me to think about the things I’m interested in – the things I seem to have a knack for – and that’s where I can find some of my gifts.

Take Jazz for instance.  She’s good at running, sinking a rebound, and she can write.  She’s actually the editor for our school newspaper, and she’s even written a couple articles for the Durango Herald.

As for me, I really loved making the jewelry – thinking of the design and using my hands to create something.  I’m a decent runner, and I can play basketball, but professional athletics aren’t in my future.  But I do want to be a detective/crime profiler.  Hopefully my insane attention to detail and weird love of research will help me make it through the Criminal Justice program at Fort Lewis College.  Oh, and I can just feel things sometimes – like I know certain things are going to happen.  Call it a sixth sense, intuition, or whatever, but I always listen to it because many times what I think is going to happen, does. 

Do you know what your gifts and talents are?

Good Run

Jazz and I had another good run this morning.  We’ve kept it up all summer, running at least 3 times a week.  We’ll be ready when the Basketball and Track seasons start.  As usual, Jazz outran me.  She does every time.  We did 5 miles today, and she still beat me on the sprint home.  Maddening.

We ran up in the San Juan Mountains and passed a kiva (holy place of the ancient Aztecs).  I told Jazz the place had magic, and that I could feel the ancient peoples watching over us.  She just rolled her eyes.  She doesn’t believe in anything she can’t see.  But I believe mysteries surround us all the time.  Wonderful, mystical things we can’t see, but can feel if we want to.  And her mom’s a tribal holy woman.  I don’t know what’s wrong with Jazz.  She doesn’t believe any of it.  But I do.  What do you believe?

Rafting Trip!

I met the hottest guy when Jazz and I went rafting today!  His name is Luke and he was our guide.  All rafting guides are hot, but he’s the best I’ve ever seen.  And he totally flirted with me!  He has short tousled brown hair, warm hazel eyes, sensual lips and a slight dimple when he grins.  He’s athletic and muscular, sultry and sweet.  He even did a back flip off the raft into the river.  It was way cool.

He goes to Bayfield High and I think he’s a Senior.  Jazz thinks he’s too old for me, but hey, I’m a Sophomore.  Not so bad.  I almost fell to the ground when he took off his shirt.  NICE.  And he said he wants to take me out sometime!  Eeeek!  I can’t wait!

Awesome Dream

I had a totally awesome dream last night!  He was a magnificent Indian – tall and muscular, with long, silky black hair, dark mysterious eyes, high cheekbones and perfectly-shaped lips.  He would’ve been a warrior in the old days.  He was riding a grey horse toward me across a meadow and his hair was streaming behind him.  He looked a lot like Dog Star from the Into the West mini-series.

He rode up to Dakota and me and we both dismounted from our horses.  Then he was right in front of me looking down with those dark, mysterious eyes.  I couldn’t tell what he was thinking – he looked angry or serious – but he was way intense.  Then his hand was on my cheek, then in my hair, and I leaned toward him.  And then I woke up.  Bummer!  I tried to go back to sleep and continue the dream, but no luck.  I so want my Indian!

Bailey Tucker’s Journal

Bailey’s Intro

Hey!  I’m Bailey Tucker and this is my life.  I live in Durango, Colorado and I’m on the basketball team in the Winter at Durango High, and on the track team in the Spring.  I love river rafting, riding my horse Dakota, and hanging out with my best friend Jasmine Creek (Jazz).  She’s a Southern Ute Indian, and I’m as white as the snow.  She likes the blonds and I like the Natives.

I have a pain-in-the-butt mom – overprotective, always worrying and trying to keep me from doing the things I want to do.  I’m an only child and I sure wish I had a brother or sister to take her attention from me.  But my dad’s cool.  He’s a detective with the Durango Police Department, which is what I want to be.  I want to be a profiler, actually.  A crime profiler analyzes evidence, explores the criminal mind, and figures out how the crime was committed.  I so want to do that.

Anyway, this is my journal and I hope you enjoy it.  Feel free to drop me a line and ask me questions anytime.