Monday, April 6, 2020

In the Story: Show Time!

At a horseshow, all the barns have banners up, not only to identify themselves, but they also use the backdrop to hang ribbons. When the Nethers go to their first horseshow, Kyle had a banner made especially for Rosey's Hunter's Ridge in honor of his mother.

There's a lot of excitement in the air when arriving for a horseshow. It's a fury of unpacking, setting up, unloading horses. Each stall has to have wood shavings, water buckets hung and filled, hay nets, and of course...horses!

My Boys at the Show



Corey is always so nosey when I go into Zorro's stall. 

In the Story: Going to a Horseshow!

I was a late comer to the world of horses, but no matter when you join this prestigious club, you'll love it. 

There is nothing like getting ready for the horseshow. It is constant motion from packing up, to loading, to unloading. I found it an amazing process. It is two, three, sometimes more days of non stop action. 

All the riders have special trunks, usually uniform with the barn they represent. We had large wooden trucks specially designed for our barn. But boy are they heavy. Yet one by one they get loaded and make the trip. 

And so it begins...

My boys loading for the show!

Here we go!

Saturday, June 15, 2019

In the Story: Meet the Real Noble Guardian 

So I'm often asked as an author, where did the idea for the book come from? For most of my books, I can tell you exactly what set off the creative process that led to a finished novel. Noble Guardian is the exception to that rule. 

I was in a real writer's block. Something I've rarely experienced over the years of writing. But this time I was stuck. Twice a year, I go on a writer's retreat with a group of authors. We like to rent a B&B and have the run of the place for a four day weekend and write and wine it. Well this one was coming up and I honestly had no idea what I was going to work on. I felt void of any creativity. As it neared the date to leave I had a visual flash of Allison and her old ranch. I could see her and see the grounds around her, dry, dusty, and old. I felt her pain and longing and knew a story had arrived. It literally landed on my head and held on as if it had talons. I had no choice but to write this book or have a bad headache forever. 

I wrote Noble Guardian in about thirty days. That's record time. Of course did some editing afterwards to shorten it, but it still flowed out of my brain like melted snow bursting through an ice dam.  It was an amazing experience.  

So who is Noble Guardian and how did that tie into my young character, Allison Nethers, life? I knew the story would have a horse in it. It had to because the ranch I was seeing had a lot of similarities to the one where I keep my horses. 

As I wrote the book, the horse I describe is actually Zorro. The coloring and his style. But I had no title for the book, nor did I have a decent name for the horse. I happened to be at the barn chit chatting with other horse owners. Alvaro (Alvero) was standing in the aisle listening as we talked. Alvaro's owner, Jen, said I should call it Noble Guardian because the story I'm describing sounds like his life story. 

Alvaro (Noble Guardian) was very interested in what I was saying, he stepped very close to me to listen. We tease him at the barn, he likes to coffee clutch. So that's where the title came from but I will tell you, Alvaro was more than thrilled to hear I was writing this story about him. 

Alvaro turns 18 this year and has a long illustrious career in showing. Jen shows him in Hunter classes. He's a beautiful copper colored Thoroughbred with a heart of gold. He does have his quirks. For example, he's terrified of donkeys. If he hears one hee-haw, he's a goner. 

We were at a horseshow when someone had brought their donkey for a fund raiser. The donkey started making noise. Jen and I turned to see Alvaro's response. He was standing there frozen with white eyes. Jen had to pull him from the show. He told an animal communicator that he had been beaten up by a donkey once and is terrified of them.  Whatever happened, a donkey will stop Noble Guardian dead in his tracks. 

I love this! Jen's truck. She spells his name with an "e" I spell it with an "a." 

At one of the horseshows, Alvaro got a nosebleed. Now a horse has a big nose. Jen described it as looking like a crime scene. Blood everywhere. Others came to help and Jen remembers Alvaro snorted and sent a giant blood clot flying through the air and it landed on someone. Jen didn't know who. I found the story so funny, I wrote that scene in the second book to Noble Guardian, Game Changer.

Noble Guardian training

 Walking the course before the competition.

Noble Guardian has quite a history. He was stolen once but with persistent and a little detective work, they were able to find him and bring him home.