A local TV station has begun the new season of vintage shows with two of my old favorites: Rawhide and Gunsmoke. I think those old cowboy shows of the late fifties and early sixties may be responsible for my love of horses. I lived in town and there was no hope of having a real pony. But that did not stop me from galloping around my neighborhood. My grandfather lived two doors down and had a huge front yard. That yard was the neighborhood playground. I rode my horse, Leafy, for hours as I rounded up cattle and fought off the bad guys.
My first bicycle was outfitted just like a cowboy’s horse. It was tan, had suede fringe on the handlebars and suede saddlebags fitted across the rear wheel. It even had a matching rifle scabbard. Now I could really “ride like the wind!”
It wasn’t until after I was grown and married with children that I had my first horse. Then we jumped in “whole hog” as we say here in the south. Two horses and two ponies entered our lives; lives that were never the same after horses. Everything revolved around the horses – building fences and shelters, feeding, cleaning, and spending money on the horses.
For thirty years horses were the center of my existence. I went to school and got an AAS degree in equine technology, ran a boarding and lesson barn and bred Arabians for a while. I am “retired” from horse ownership now. I got old, the children grew up and moved on and it just didn’t make sense doing all that work for very little money alone. I miss the people as much as the horses.
I guess that explains why writing became important to me. I enjoy sharing what I have learned about horses with others. That teaching part of me was a huge part of what I loved in the horse industry. I never stop learning. Writing opens doors to me to learn more and more. Then I can share what I’ve learned with you, the reader. Then you readers share your stories with me, and I never get tired of hearing them. At every book event, at the coffee shop, and through comments on my blogs and social networking someone tells me a story about a horse in their life. It is wonderful, this bond we have with one another because of horses, animals that have been our companions and helpmates for centuries. Learning and sharing, it is a never-ending loop and I am glad to be a part of it.