Thinking about the 'good old days' reminds me how much my life has changed. From the age of five, I was obsessed with horses. Steiff, Breyer and ceramic horses filled my bedroom. A pony was always first on the Christmas list. Fortunately, my father also liked horses, so by the age of eight, when we moved to a house that had a small lot, I had my first pony, Ted.
I have never been without a horse since then. I fox hunted, showed hunt seat, competed in low-level dressage, raised two foals, belonged to a trail riding club, broke and trained several horses and wrote over thirty-five horse books (fiction.) Through college, graduate school, marriage, several careers and moves, and two children, I managed to keep horses--and the barns/land they require--in my life.
Today my obsession has cooled to a quiet love. Relish and I don't do anything spectacular to write about on Equestrian Ink. We amble about the pastures and hay fields, schooling occasionally (so neither of us forgets what leg aids are for) and rarely going faster than a trot. Horse care is pared to the basics, yet both Relish and his chubby pasture mate Belle are glossy and healthy. So now, not having horses as the focus of my days suits me just fine.
What has also changed is my obsession for writing horse books. It's just gone. I am under contract for two books for Peachtree Publishers, but both are about dogs, and I will not be sad if I never write another book about horses. Why this huge change? I have no idea. It's not that I am empty of ideas--I just am not interested in turning them into queries, proposals and first drafts. This is a giant life switch for me, and it took some analyzing, deep thinking, depression and time for me to accept this change
That doesn't mean horses don't loom large in my life. Lately, I have been having fun with my horse obsession in a different way. In my thrifting and antiquing I am once again in touch with the ceramic and Breyer horses from my past. Finding a vintage Napcoware or Robert Simmons' ceramic horse at an auction or flea market gives me goosebumps. Especially if there are no broken legs or chipped ears! And yesterday, I found three Breyers from the 1970s in the original boxes at an antique fair. The guy wouldn't deal, but as I went from booth to booth, I could not get them out of my mind. I had never seen ones in the old boxes and after borrowing money from my sister, I went back and bought all three: Man O' War, Silky Sullivan (another race horse), and my favorite, Western Pony.
Equestrian Ink is for people who are passionate about horses in many different ways. What big changes have you dealt with surrounding your love of horses, and how have you handled those changes?