Writing about Riding

- by Patricia Rosemoor

I love writing horse books. Whether they’re rounding up cows, being raced or being bred, I’m in. My new novel,Born to Be Wild BORN TO BE WILD from Entangled Publishing’s Dead Sexy line, is something of a horse book.

Back in the day, I rode at least once a week for nine years. Some of you may ride every day, but if you do, chances are you own your own horse and may have your own barn. I envy you.

I’m a city girl.

My first experience riding was visiting relatives in Brooklyn, NY, when my Uncle George took me riding through Prospect Park. I was (maybe) twelve. I was in love. The next time I went riding, it was in Mexico. My cousin and I rented horses on the beach. Then we and my mother took a long ride into the back hills and across a river. I was hooked.

After that, I took group English riding lessons and learned to post. I competed in competitions. Rode out in the forest preserves riding with a Western saddle. Then I moved to a new stable and took private hunt seat lessons. Shared board on a horse. (A real jughead, but that’s another story.) Learned to jump.

My horse books are all personally researched. And/or use personal experiences for a little color. For example, in BORN TO BE WILD, Suicide Hill plays an important role in the story. I used to ride at an adult horse resort in Michigan, and that’s where I rode Suicide Hill, an experience I’ll never forget. I’d had a riding accident earlier that summer. Not the first time I’d been thrown, but definitely the worst. I was taken off the field on a board with my neck tied down. Thankfully it wasn’t broken, but I spent more than a month wearing a neck brace, and then had a difficult time getting comfortable on a horse again.

Until Suicide Hill, that is.

The wrangler wasn’t supposed to take us up there because it was so dangerous. It was nearly straight up. And, near a lake, it was sandy ground. I had to lie flat against the horse’s neck to get to the top. And I had to lean all the way back, my shoulders against the horse’s rump, to get down. My powerful mount lunged on the way up and basically slid on the way down. Besting Suicide Hill cured me of my fear. If I could manage that and feel exhilarated afterward, there was no reason to be afraid any more.

So what fears have you overcome? Do you have a fun/scary story you’d like to share?

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