It was a peaceful Utah winter morning. Levi stood next to his bedroom window and pulled back the shade. He squinted as his eyes took in the brilliance of a new day. Fresh snow lay like a blanket over the corrals, the meadows and the mountains beyond. Puffy little cotton-ball clouds clung to the peaks like chimney smoke. The sky-blue background made it look like God had decorated Heaven’s wall with ceramic tiles.

As if on cue, at the far end of the loading alley, Levi saw a vision. A reflection of a fairy tale illustration from his childhood: It was Pegasus, the flying white stallion, thundering down the alley, snow billowing behind him and his wings spread as if to mount to the sky.

“Holy Nephi!” Levi yelled at himself.

In seconds the vision took shape. It was not Pegasus … it was his $3,500, cream-colored with a white blaze, newly purchased, future sire quarterhorse colt.

What appeared to be wings was actually a shiny galvanized corral gate. Positioned in its exact center was the head of the wild-eyed colt. Levi’s adrenalized dilated pupils noted the colt’s trajectory was so center-fire that neither end of the eight-foot gate was touching the alley boards.


The colt swung into an opening of an adjacent pen full of ranch horses. They broke apart like a hand grenade going off. Those that didn’t go straight up went out the other side, crumpling a second gate into tinfoil.

It took Levi three minutes and 26 seconds to dress, call the hired man and reach the pen. The colt had one more trick. He made a pass toward the broken gate, somehow stepped on his galvanized necklace, did a tuck-and-roll flip-flop, popped out of the noose and landed on his back, unharmed, to everyone’s relief.

Reminiscing with his wife later at breakfast, Levi said, “I’m not sure what we’d have done if he hadn’t pulled himself loose.”

“You could have roped him,” she said.

“I doubt it,” he said.

“Sure you could. You’ve got a shiny buckle there on the dresser that says you won the Big Loop in Jordan Valley. If that’s not a test of your big loopin’, I don’t know what is!” PD