Thursday, December 18, 2014

And What About the Horses?

Personality Plus

Several readers of my novels have commented on the horses in the books. If you've read Kingdom Beyond the Rim or The Wall Between, you will know that horses play a prominent role in the stories.

I was one of those little girls who always dreamed of having a horse of my own. My parents, wiser than many, never did get me a pony, no matter how many times I looked for one under the Christmas Tree.  They actually did me a favor because the deal was, if I wanted a horse, I would have to earn it myself. For ten long years I scrimped and saved every penny I earned, starting a bank account for my horse. Only after college graduation and landing a job teaching was I able to meet than dream and buy my horse. My mother had supported me for riding lessons before that, and I was able to learn a lot about caring for horses through 4-H and a school riding club, so when I did get Russell R., I was pretty well prepared.

Owning him was sheer magic. Ask any equestrian and you will probably hear something similar. There is something simply magnificent, breathtaking, and incredibly beautiful about a horse, especially if its yours.

The very first novel I penned as a teenager--pre-horse ownership--featured a beautiful white stallion. (I've learned since that on a practical level, dark colored horses are much easier to keep clean)  Horses often danced in my dreams, and every time I saw a live horse anywhere, I was drawn to it as if it were a "me" magnet.

Horses are like that. Mystical, magic creatures.  Watch TV for a while and over and over you will see horses in commercials as if their very existence has some power to sell a product or simply mesmerize buyers into falling in love with whatever's being advertised.

The horses in my novels are there to capture the imagination, and accent the Magic. Whim, of course, is the very embodiment of Magic. But he is not totally a mythical creature caught in the realm of enchantment. He has a personality and as the novels progress, he has no trouble expressing it.

Real horses are like that. If you think your dog or cat has personality, just multiply that by at least ten times--after all a horse like Whim might weigh in at 1400 pounds or so--and you will have a horse with attitude. They are extremely intelligent creatures, ready, willing and able to do our bidding, and just a ready, willing and able to do just the opposite.

Nearly all the horses featured in my novels are based on real horses I have known. Whim is my first horse, Russell R, in many ways. Bright, mischievous and yet totally connected to his owner, heart, mind and soul.

Magic bred, Magic born? Whim is real, trust me.


  1. but i bet he couldn't magic the mud off :-)

    1. Ah, that's why Whim can. He does it several times in the novels when he's sweaty or dirty. He kind of starts to shimmer, dissolve and the mud is gone.
      Once again he becomes my dream I trudge out with my curry to deal with my real ones. *G*