Welcome to the World and Music of Dan Roark

Welcome to the world and music of Dan Roark. I have lived here for a while now and it's not a bad place to live, really. Although on some level, it's probably just as well you're only visiting. But hang around as long as you like.

Here you can listen to my songs - and buy them if you wish - read my thoughts in posts on my blog, see my pictures, and find out when and where I am playing. 

You can also hear live versions of my songs on Reverbnation, as well as see videos of live performances. You can also see my videos on, and subscribe to, my YouTube channel


When a Trip goes Awry – More than Once 

On a Thursday morning, I took a bag out to the van to start loading the last few things before I headed to Colorado for my last two week tour of the year via Amarillo. The driver’s window was all the way down. I checked to make sure everything was still in the van from the night before. When I started the van and tried to roll the window up, there were things grinding at the bottom of the door. The glass was still at the top of the door as normal, so I was hoping the glass was intact. I called our son, Cameron, who works at O’Reilly, and asked him who I called to fix that.

He said, “It’s the regulator – it’s fried. I’ll be over in half an hour. It’s under warranty and we’re not paying twice.”

Cameron did, indeed, get there between half an hour and an hour. We got the regulator off and he went to O’Reilly for a replacement. About two hours later we had the window fixed and Cameron checked all the windows and sliding doors just to make sure they worked. He stayed and talked while we cooled off inside. By the time he left it was hours later than I wanted to leave. And I still had to finish loading the van. 

I made it to Amarillo  about 6:30 or 7. Fortunately, I had food and beer with me. After a restful night, I headed to Woodland Park and arrived without further incident. I was there for a week and a half. I played a few shows and a couple of open mics. Except for having to occasionally air up the very slow leaking right front tire, there were no more incidents. 

I left to return to Amarillo on Labor Day. I got down the mountain and through Colorado Springs. I was driving on 25 through Fountain when the tire pressure light came on and the air was escaping the right rear tire. I pulled over, pulled out my Ryobi inflator, and aired up the tire. I was trying to get to Pueblo to Discount Tire (you see it coming, don’t you). 

I drove about three miles before the tire was about to go flat. In the middle of filling up the tire, I had to change to the second of my three batteries. I repeated the scenario. After I had used the third battery, I found myself on the shoulder of the exit for Pikes Peak Raceway. I called AAA and learned it would be over an hour for someone to get there.

Like the trip from Farmers Branch to Amarillo, I was once again glad I decided to wait and take a shower at the hotel. I had plenty of gas so I had air conditioning. But I couldn’t read or concentrate on anything but not thinking about the time. When I was thinking it was about the time they had estimated, my phone rang and the driver said it would take him about twenty minutes to get to me.

While I was talking to him a State Patrol officer appeared at my door. He asked me if I could take the exit. I couldn’t see anywhere to pull off. He said if I would take the exit and turn right I would see the spot he was talking about. I did so and pulled off on dirt and grass area just before the entrance to the Raceway.

I had just parked when the officer appeared at the door again. I jumped and rolled the window down. He said that was much better and if I had any more problems I could call them as he handed me a card. Not much later, the tow truck arrived. I asked if he could just tow me into Pueblo to Discount Tire. Of course he said they were closed. 

He put the donut on, I thanked him, and headed for Pueblo at fifty miles an hour. I found a Walmart not far off the highway. After another hour of waiting, I had a new tire.

I arrived at the Econo Lodge Amarillo East (formerly Sleep Inn Airport) about 9:30.  I had called them while I was waiting for the tow truck to tell them I’d be late. They have inexpensive rates, decent rooms, and a very friendly staff. 

The next morning I left later than I ordinarily would, but there were no further incidents other than idiot drivers. I was glad to be home.


Keep writing the songs that are in your heart.

Peace be with you.



When the Rain Finally Comes 

By Dan Roark     When the rain finally came last week, it came in the middle of a lesson. When the thunder and lightning began, the riders reluctantly dismounted. Ordinarily, the volunteers get to ride after the lesson, but not that evening. But the disappointment gave way to joy when the rain actually began to fall and the temperature dropped.

Pictures by Cyndy Roark and Susan Altshuler.

The riders and volunteers hung out in the barn and education room. When most of the riders had gone, the volunteers and a rider enjoyed the coolness of the rain. As little as it’s rained this year, they had forgotten what it was like. And a chance to be silly on a school night was a major bonus.

Ride on and ride for hope.





The post When the Rain Finally Comes first appeared on New Hope Therapeutic Riding.

Emily Rogers, New Volunteer Coordinator 

Emily Rogers
Emily Rogers Volunteer Coordinator

by Dan Roark    Although Emily Rogers is new to the Volunteer Coordinator position, she is no newcomer to New Hope.

Emily was born and raised in North Texas and currently lives in Argyle. She went to Oklahoma State University and received a Bachelors Degree in Business. After college she worked in corporate Information Technology recruiting and sales. Her love for horses and knowing first hand how much equine therapy impacts individuals in a positive way led her to New Hope. She began as a volunteer and is now the Volunteer Coordinator.

Emily is fitting into her position quite nicely. A volunteer training session she set up on Saturday, September 16 with 8 new potential volunteers went very well. She also came to New Hope the following Saturday with breakfast tacos for the volunteers. The staff and volunteers in this little universe we call New Hope look forward to working with Emily. And she is absolutely thrilled to be back around horses and a part of such an amazing organization!

Ride on and ride for hope.

The post Emily Rogers, New Volunteer Coordinator first appeared on New Hope Therapeutic Riding.

Ways to Support New Hope 

Susan gives the riders instructions before the lesson begins. Drew waits to lead Lucy on Duke.

By Dan Roark     Fall lessons have begun at New Hope and so has a need for support. Many of our participant’s families are financially challenged with the additional medical costs or needs for other services. Our actual cost per ride is over $150 but we try to keep our rates to half of the cost. Assistance in helping these families cover the cost of equine therapy is extremely helpful and appreciated.

In addition, there are the costs involved in housing, feeding, and caring for twelve horses which are constantly increasing along with everything else. The monthly cost to feed and care for one horse (including farrier visit and horse treats) is $285.

Today is North Texas Giving Day and you may make a one time donation here.

You may make a one time donation on the New Hope website or a monthly donation.

You may round-up your purchases to the next dollar by linking your debit/credit card.

You may Adopt-a-Horse. Click on choose campaign and then click on Adopt-a-Horse.

Libby and I saying Thank You! Thank You! Thank You!

The upcoming Gala is our biggest fundraising event of the year, which is on Thursday, October 12. You can help by buying tickets and planning to attend. Even if you can’t attend, you could participate by promoting ticket sales at your place of work, school or worship.

And/or contribute to our auction, both live at the Gala and our on-line silent auction. Donate items for the auction now by Sept 28 and bid on the auction during the evening.

Whichever way you choose to support New Hope Equine Assisted Therapy, know that every little bit is greatly appreciated by the staff, volunteers, riders, and the horses. We could not do it without your help!!

Ride on, and ride for hope.

The post Ways to Support New Hope first appeared on New Hope Therapeutic Riding.

With the Cooler Weather, Lessons Begin Anew at New Hope 

Susan gives the riders instructions before the lesson begins. Drew waits to lead Lucy on Duke.

By Dan Roark    The riders were excited to get back to lessons after the summer break and the extended period of excessive heat.

Susan Altshuler, the instructor, was as excited as the riders and volunteers to have lessons resume. The cooler weather helped the mood considerably. The volunteers, horse leaders and side walkers, are riders who aged out of the program and are now giving back to the program while staying close to the horses.

After the lesson, the volunteers were able to ride horses, exercising and working with them.

Lesson Activity
Juliana riding Duke


Claire riding Libby









Drew on Tommy and Ava on Rain

It was a fitting start to Fall lessons. The smiles were contagious. And things are just getting started in this little universe we call New Hope.

Ride on and ride for hope.

The post With the Cooler Weather, Lessons Begin Anew at New Hope first appeared on New Hope Therapeutic Riding.

Hope Gala Invitation Sponsor – Minteer Real Estate Team 

By Dan Roark

New Hope is proud to have Minteer Real Estate Team as invitation sponsor for the New Hope Gala again this year. They were the invitation sponsor last year at the inaugural gala.


Minteer Real Estate Team is dedicated to providing our clients Real Estate With Results through our years of experience, superior market knowledge, and a WOW customer service experience.

  • At Minteer Real Estate Team, real estate is more than just a house with a for sale sign in the front yard. It’s about bringing people home where they can build their lives and make lasting memories or even saying bye to the home they loved. We feel every home and every client we work with has a story, which is why we promise to be with each of our clients every step of the way, giving them the premier real estate experience so they can start the next chapter of their life.
  • These eight values are at the root of our entire company and how each of us strives to do business every day —with you, our vendor partners, and other real estate agents.
  • We commit to honesty, integrity, and a win for all.
    •     • We anticipate, satisfy, and WOW our clients.
    •     • We continue to learn and grow in order to best serve our clients.
    •     • We embrace forward thinking through technology and innovation.
    •     • We lead with positive, competitive, and motivated attitudes.
    •     • We encourage team member excellence and happiness.
    •     • We serve, support, and embrace our local communities.
    •     • We strive to create ongoing, life-long partnerships with our clients.

For your real estate needs contact Minteer Real Estate Team. For a tremendously enjoyable evening supporting New Hope Equine Assisted Therapy Center with delectable food, cocktails, great music and entertainment, and enjoyable conversation, get your tickets to the Hope Gala. There will also be ample auction opportunities to further support New Hope, allowing them to feed and care for the horses while providing the services that people with a variety of disabilities need.

Ride on and ride for hope.

The post Hope Gala Invitation Sponsor – Minteer Real Estate Team first appeared on New Hope Therapeutic Riding.

A Day in the Heat at New Hope, Pt. 3 

By Dan Roark   Hugo getting involved, regardless of being invited or not –

Big or small, Hugo can find any puddle of mud!
Seeing fresh mud being made, Hugo interferes with Cyndy rinsing Missy.
Cyndy sprays Hugo so he’ll go away










Hugo hangs out in the mud puddle in front of the shower stall while Cyndy rinses Flash.

Ride on and Ride for hope.

The post A Day in the Heat at New Hope, Pt. 3 first appeared on New Hope Therapeutic Riding.

Hope Gala Sponsor – Tito’s Handmade Vodka 

By Dan Roark   New Hope is proud to have Tito’s Handmade Vodka as Bar Sponsor for the Gala again this year. They were the Bar Sponsor for the inaugural Hope Gala last year.

Tito Beveridge wasn’t always “the vodka guy.” He was born and raised in San Antonio, went to Vanderbilt for a year, returned to Texas  to attend UT and earned degrees in geology and geophysics. Then he went into the oil and gas business in Texas, then Venezuela, and back to Texas.

Then Tito started a drilling company in Houston. Eventually he tired of “chasing the buck” and moved back to Austin. In Austin, he got into water geology, then gave the mortgage business a try. It was around this time, in ’92 or ’93, when he started making flavored vodka as gifts for friends. One night he was at a party and a stranger came up to him and said “Hey you’re the vodka guy,” and he said “No, contraire, I am the mortgage guy. “ But, that really got Tito thinking…

When mortgage rates went up a couple points, he started going to liquor stores to ask the owners and managers if they would buy his flavored vodkas. They all turned him down saying, “No, go look at all the dust on the shoulders of those bottles there!” But then they told Tito that if he could make a vodka that was so smooth you could drink it straight then he might have something.

Once he had “a vodka that was so smooth you could drink it straight,” Tito tried to get some financing, but hit a wall. Investors turned him down again and again, convinced that he would never get his permits, as there had never been a legal distillery in Texas, and they said he would never get a distributor. So, he ended up just taking the money he had saved up while working overseas, and racked up 19 credit cards to the tune of about $88,000. Tito built a one-man distillery, fought to re-write the laws in Texas, setting the precedent for the microdistillery movement, built a production still, and just kinda got himself into business.

Early on, Tito worked day and night in the one-room shack, cooking vodka and catching sleep sporadically. He spent his days hand-bottling vodka, screwing caps on bottles, and putting Elmer’s glue on paper labels. He would canvass Austin, meeting with local liquor stores and bars, and taking his vodka around to parties, introducing his brand and building up a cadre of loyal followers. Tito would head home exhausted and exhilarated; then, he would wake up, and do it all over again. “I’d go out and make it and sell it and come back and make some more and you know, I was sleeping next to the still and you know just kind of boot-strapped it up.”

It took the company more than eight years to really find its legs. Today, Tito’s Handmade Vodka is one of the most successful distilleries out there and remains one of the cleanest spirits available. Tito unknowingly started a revolution, and has stayed true to those upstart roots even today.

Hope Gala guests will have an opportunity to try Tito’s Handmade Vodka during the evening. New Hope thanks them for their second year of sponsorship!!

Ride on and ride for hope.

The post Hope Gala Sponsor – Tito’s Handmade Vodka first appeared on New Hope Therapeutic Riding.

A Day in the Heat at New Hope, Pt. 2 

By Dan Roark   Volunteers have helped Kim, the barn manager, during the summer to keep the horses and other animals rinsed off and fed to survive the heat when all they have sometimes is a Ryobi misting fan as opposed to the air conditioning we all take for granted.

Cyndy rinsing off Missy
Kim is rinsing Duke who posed for the camera.
Duke comes in for his close-up.










Libby and I after I rinsed and dried her.
Libby waiting in line after Duke as if she got another turn when she was first.











Ride on and ride for hope.

The post A Day in the Heat at New Hope, Pt. 2 first appeared on New Hope Therapeutic Riding.

Join my mailing list for the latest news

Previous events