Wednesday, February 17, 2016

For Those Who Love Horses

I have always been a lover of horses—from birth I think. I always wanted a pony for Christmas, but we didn’t live anywhere I could have an equine friend. Finally, my parents bought a small farm and my first Welsh pony First Fling, a black-and-white paint. Much later in life, I bred, trained and showed the magnificent Andalusian horse (the horse of the bullrings in Spain—either quick or dead). The Andalusian is known for its balance and ability to perform the old battle movements that now are only seen in classical dressage (like the Spanish Riding School). My stallion Bonito was three times National Champion in the conformation class.

I was, at some point, predestined to write a book about horses and the people who love them. I never participated in 3-Day Eventing, a very demanding and dangerous sport, but my friend in Florida was an eventer. If I ran into a problem with the technical information, I called Helen. She’d walk me through the event. I didn’t ramble off into too much detail because I didn’t want to bore the non-horsey reader. The techniques of the half-pass, the shoulder-in, and the canter pirouette are probably not familiar to most people outside horsey circles.

Gambler’s Choice is the name of a jumping class in a horse show. I think that name and the excitement of that race against the clock inspired the book. In this class, each team (horse and rider) that makes a clean round goes on to the next. The fences are raised, and again they must beat the best time of other entries. A sit-on-the-edge-of-your-seat kind of experience.
I named the equine star after the class. Though the book is a romantic suspense, the story is really about two people who love one horse. Becca is willing to pay any amount for Gambler’s Choice. Austen is not going to sell his best friend for any price. Perhaps, a horse person is the only one who’d understand how dramatic this conflict is!

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