Everything was Easy: Remembering Laramie Johnson’s Gelding “Easy”

Laramie Johnson experienced heartbreak in losing star breakaway horse “Easy” ahead of competing—and winning—the 2023 Southeastern Circuit Finals on a borrowed horse.

Laramie Johnson's "Easy" was a larger-than-life gelding with a no-fuss method in the breakaway pen.
Laramie Johnson's "Easy" was a larger-than-life gelding with a no-fuss method in the breakaway pen. Photo by Darlena Roberts.

Some horses and riders just work, and that was precisely the relationship Laramie Johnson had with her partner of one year “Easy,” before unexpectedly losing him to colic in November.

“Everything about him was real easy,” Johnson, 27, said. “I’ve never seen a horse fit his name so well. He was easy to be around, easy to haul, easy to rope on.”

Originally purchased from Harvey Lynn in fall of 2022, Johnson regained confidence on the 17-year-old gelding. It was something she’d lost in the aftermath of star mare “Loretta” passing from an aneurism in a warmup pen during Oct. 2022.

“Easy taught me how to win again,” Johnson said.  “He made it fun. He didn’t require a lot, so you got to focus on yourself. You knew he was going to do the same thing every time. His demeanor was good, he was an easy keeper, and the way he scored and ran to a calf—he’s going to be hard to beat.”

Easy’s best qualities

Well into his later teen years, Easy had seen enough breakaway runs to know the drill. According to Johnson, he was going to carry you to the spot and never take the throw away. He was an expressive gelding, always showing his option on his face and heart on his figurative sleeve. He loved his Minty Muffins so much it spawned the hashtag ‘#mintymuffinsforeasy.’

Perhaps the only thing bigger than his personality was his dedication to get the job done.

“I didn’t realize how much run Easy had to him, not until I went to Pecos and Cheyenne and had to run one down on him,” Johnson recalled. “He was older, and he knew how to protect himself. If the ground was a little harder, he would adjust.”

The fateful day

On Wednesday Nov. 1, Johnson found Easy showing discomfort. It turned out to be a rare form of colic—strangulation of the intestines via a hernia in the intestinal wall. According to veterinarians, there was nothing Johnson could have done, and he was put down shortly after arriving at the vet’s office.

In the shock that followed her loss, Johnson was faced with another challenge—Southeastern Circuit Finals in about a week.

Josey Murphy to the rescue

 It was then that Johnson heard from Southeastern Circuit peer Josey Murphy, who offered her mare, “Chex” to Johnson for the Finals.

“The first time I ever competed on her was at the circuit finals,” Johnson said. “I’d seen the mare go a bunch, and knew she was good.”

Johnson went on to win both the year-end and average titles at the Southeastern Circuit Finals, earning $16,867 on the year and punching her ticket to the NFR Open. For her, it was finishing what she and Easy had started together. And if any horse was capable of feeling pride in a roper’s achievements, it would have been Easy.

McKenna Hickson_2024_San Angelo_Andersen C Bar C
"If he was sorrel I'd love him just the same."
Spotlight on McKenna Hickson's Appaloosa "Spot"
Sarah Angelone_Wilma_Pedigree_Click Thompson
All kinds of kinds
In Their Blood: 2024 American Rodeo Breakaway Horse Pedigrees
Lil Punch proved himself a gamer from the start—taking to breakaway so easily Shelby (Boisjoli) Meged found herself trying to keep him from being mischievous throughout a run
Packing a punch
Lil Punch's Winning Formula: Shelby (Boisjoli) Meged's Expertise Shines in Rodeo Prodigy
Taylor Munsell jokingly waves her hands following her near-miss in Round 4 of the 2023 NFBR.
Taylor Munsell’s Hotrod Song AKA “Colonel” Wins Team Player of 2023 NFBR
Josie Conner's "Tonka" is one of the three oldest horses competing at the 2023 NFBR.
Oldies but Goodies: The 3 Oldest Horses Competing at the NFBR and What Makes Them Great
Taylor Munsell is calling on Hotrod Song or "Colonel," at the 2023 NFBR.
A-Team Energy: The Official Lineup of Breakaway Horses for the 2023 NFBR

"*" indicates required fields


Additional Offers

Additional Offers
This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.