Bonnie Jean Kerr: An Elegant Horsewoman & Elegant Lady

by Mike Thomas

Bonnie and Mike
Photograph © Tami Jo Gramont

This section is dedicated to a very beautiful young horsewoman in the making! She came along at the right time to rescue an old man and make him feel that he is going to live forever. She does this with every Horse she meets and some selected humans, very carefully. She is gutsy, made of steel and sugar; her word is better than any contract that an attorney could write!

Her feel for the horse is truly genuine! Tom would have loved her and helped her any way he could. Tom respected the qualities of the inner horse and the inner human, that was really true to the horse. It was easy for Tom to find the inner horse, but it took him years to find the inner quality of the human (per a non-published article by Jim Overstreet of Big Timber, Montana).

Like Tom, Bonnie is extremely sensitive with every horse and some humans! To Bonnie, it is up the human to earn her respect and yes, real love! She has a near-contemplative approach to horses, really trying to feel what they feel. While we worked together, we worked many horses and was exposed/rode with Ray Hunt, Buddy Uldrikson, Paul Dietz and more.

She has paid her dues in developing her skills with horses! It has not been an easy ride and she has traveled a dedicated road to the horse. I see ads for "The Road to the Horse" and many other competitions for young people trying to be recognized in the horse world. Bonnie has developed into one of the greatest horsewomen in the making. She rode for years in many flat saddle (hunt/jump/dressage) and western (colt starting and cow working venues), for very little return. Her devotion to the horse transcends hundreds of others that I have seen and worked with over the years. This young lady has paid the hard way for her beliefs - and most of the time with a smile on her lovely face! Her neck has been broken twice, and in her horsewoman mind, this is just treated as "...the real road to the horse... but don't make the same mistakes twice!" She has real try!

Bonnie is just as comfortable in the saddle, with colts, or staying up all night and diving into foaling a broodmare, straightening out a leg or two with blood and slime up to her shoulders, and the whole time giggling. Treating one or more scoured foals and all kinds of vet tech work is also done with a smile and a grin. Haltering babies and others is even more fun. High tech vet practices are just part of daily routine. Good groundwork, saddling, first and more rides are just normal and with a grin on her pretty little face. 18 hours a day, if needed, is just fine. Bonnie has the internal strength and integrity of a superwoman, and all this in a little tiny body of 5'5", maybe 85 pounds. She is 33 years of age and looks like 16. A mind, body, soul, integrity and honesty with no quit in her whatsoever! A pure treasure in any horse operation.

I have been very lucky in being able to work with Bonnie on several "super-problem colts" and we had a lot of fun! I would do the initial problem solving, bring Bon in, she would take over, and with team effort it always worked! I would show Bonnie a procedure and move, and she would just put it to work immediately. She could ride fractious or squirrelly horses owned by others and just laugh - sometimes bareback, but never gripping with her legs or knees. She is and was awesome! Last year we worked on three horse colts that went to the NRHA Derby Sale in Oklahoma City in May, 2007. The colts had 45-60 days of riding and all were spoiled horse colts when I first worked with them. All three sold in the top 10 of the sale!

Bonnie moved to Georgia to be near family and for family reasons. Bonnie is "an undiscovered jewel in the horseworld", a true horsewoman in the making, a fine lady, a fine friend, a fine partner in working with our horsemanship world, as it should be. I hope each person that reads this will be so lucky as to get to know my very dear friend...Bonnie Jean Kerr...(Herself)


Mike Thomas (Himself)