Today is National I Love Horses Day—now officially one of my favorite days of the year. How could I blog about another subject rather than wax poetic on this?
I’ve been a horse lover since the very first time I went to visit my maternal grandfather in Oregon (we live in Colorado). He lived in a small town (which I used when creating my Serendipity, Texas novels) with a patch of land with a lovely “crick” running behind it. At various times he had chickens, a really mean rooster, adorable donkeys and two palomino quarter horses named Suzy and Cindy. He had an old tack shed that smelled like horse and leather and inside his house he displayed an impressive spur collection. One of my favorite memories is how he played the fiddle without knowing a note of music.
I spent hours outside just watching the horses and enjoying being with them. My grandfather once hooked them up to a wagon and we participated in a parade. And when I learned to ride, he allowed me to saddle up and take Suzy around town.
My grandfather also subscribed to Western Horseman, so whenever I was inside, I was reading months’ worth of the magazine from cover to cover. In the classified advertising in the back I discovered people who “showed” their Breyer horses (with snapshots), and for a while collecting and showing Breyer horses was my favorite hobby.
Every summer I would go to the Campfire Girls weeklong horse camp, where I always chose my favorite horse, a white Arab called Pitonio. I enjoyed shooting bows and arrows and taking hikes, but I lived for the daily horse rides.
Back home, I loved visiting our local library and would come home with stacks of books both nonfiction and fiction, everything from How to Care for Your Horse to Black Beauty and Misty of Chincoteague. I learned all about different horse breeds and which breeds I most leaned toward (Arabians!) I dreamed of having a horse of my own.
Fast forward forty-some-odd years. Still no horse of my own, but I absolutely love visiting my sister’s horse sanctuary, Happy Haven Farm and Sanctuary, standing out in the field surrounded by curious horses. My worries and cares fade away around my equine friends and I’ve discovered a true happy place. Occasionally, my sister and I take trail rides into the Rocky Mountains. Heaven on earth!
And then I met Moscato. Love at first sight, and it doesn’t hurt that Moscato is also my favorite wine. He’s a three-year-old gorgeous bay Arabian with a lovely personality. His smooth gaits bring tears to my eyes, especially when he’s galloping free with his head and tail high in the air as only Arabians do. I’ve worked with him in a corral, and the connection we’ve made makes my breath catch in my throat. I finally adopted a horse of my own.
I’m not sure my sister will appreciate this, but I’m thinking tiny house on her eastern Colorado property so I can be with my Moscato every day.
I often write about horses in my books. My January release from Harlequin Love Inspired, Their Unbreakable Bond (Rocky Mountain Family #4), features draft horses Percherons Preacher and Deacon and Shires Jack and Jill.
What about you? Do you love horses? What’s your favorite kind of animal and why?
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The Marine’s Mission (Rocky Mountain Family #3) is out now!