Carole Mercer of Eagle Point grew up on a ranch outside Sheridan, Wyoming, dreaming someday of becoming a cow girl.
It was that dream that led her to Oregon, but it wasn’t instant gratification. She spent the next 27 years achieving that goal. And during those 27 years, Carole kept a journal of events in her and her daughter’s lives. She journaled at length, partly because as a single parent, she needed adult conversation that a child couldn’t give. That journal contained all the thoughts of life on a rural property and the struggles she had while working as a cowhand, gathering cattle in the Cascade Mountains and working at the old Rogue Valley Auction Yards.
After sharing her journal with friend Carol Kirkham, a Texas resident, she was encouraged to make the journal into a book. After several friends read the work, they too, encouraged Carole to have it made into a book. The search began for an editor and publisher.
It didn’t take long for Carole to realize that she didn’t have enough discretionary money to spend on editing and publishing. After a long search, she finally hooked up with Lisa Petersen in Ontario Canada, someone with experience in both writing and editing. Turns out, Petersen is also involved with Morgan horses, a passion of Carole’s. When they finally hooked up, they learned they could work together and the book came into being.
The Far Side of my Dreams is written in four chronological sections. The first is 12 chapters, each one representing a month in Carole’s life in Eagle Point. Section two is her life spent gathering cattle in the foothills of the Cascade Mountains also contains stories of working in the stockyards and life on the farm, east of Eagle Point.
The dark section, Section three, details the loss of her daughter and the personal and emotional struggles she went through in trying to deal with the pain of the loss. The turning point came when, at wit’s end, she was ready to commit suicide. She readily admits that she had the rope around her neck and was standing on a bench in the barn when suddenly two of her dogs came running in and she “knew I couldn’t do it in front of those dogs” So she got down from the rafters and decided on the spot to get on with life. She made a decision to raise a million dollars for a library dedicated to her daughter. She says she failed miserably in that pursuit, but was able to inspire enough people that Jackson County spent some $38 million to build several branch libraries.
Section four, is the re-invention of Carole Mercer. In her mind, there was little left of the old life, so, being the goal-oriented person she is, she began working on creating that persona that she had dreamed about as a child: a cowgirl. She worked with and trained Morgan Horses for performances around the country. The pinnacle of this career was being invited to the World Equestrian Games, a milestone marking her progress as one of the best in the country.
Section five included her performance at the World Equestrian Games and her decision that life on the road was no longer for her. She made a decision to make an exit from that discipline while at the top of her game. The experience from that gave her confidence that she needed to complete two more important phases in her life. She now trains what are termed “Liberty” horses, animals that respond to voice commands with no other tie to the handler. The picture is that three horses fall into order and perform based on the commands of the handler. In some of the drills, the horses are free (thus liberty) to run as they please, in others, Carole will ride bareback on the grey horse while flanked by two others. The sport is very demanding and Carole excels at it.
Carole’s book is available on Amazon.com in both the paper and electronic versions. Information about the book is also available at her web site: wwqw.carts-carriages.com and Carole can be reached at (541) 826-5998. She will be doing demonstrations at her Alta Vista arena twice monthly and her books will be available there also.