Author of Mysteries and Humor and Horse Memoirs
Hi, I'm Gayle, and I'm a horse-aholic.
I've been invited to entertain you all on the last Saturday every month, so set your alarms, mark your calendars, here I come. I'm really excited about contributing to this blog, and I'll try not to be boring.
I thought I should introduce myself so you'll all know which corner of the equine hemisphere I inhabit. Let me start with two anecdotes:
1. When I was a teeny tot, my favorite activity was to take a huge sheet of paper and draw. I'd start in one corner with a house, a tree, a dog, and a horse (always a horse). Then I'd begin to tell the story, drawing it in as I went. Soon the paper was filled with forests and mountains and cities and fighter jets and dragons. (I told a helluva story.) My art-loving family saw all the pictures and thought I was an artist. They were wrong.
I was a storyteller.
2. I'm pretty sure I was horse crazy from the womb. I read all the horse books, collected horse statues, drew horses, dreamed of horses. My grandmother was from the country and told wonderful tales about all the horses she had known. My mother (her daughter) did not like horses and would not allow me to be around them. "They're large and you will get hurt."
When I was 45, my husband got me riding lessons for my birthday. It was the first time I actually got to ride a horse. A year later, I finally owned my first horse.
I also began writing. Fifteen years later, I have six books in print and two Quarter horses.
The lesson here, by the way, is that you cannot hide from your destiny. The life you were supposed to live will not be denied.
My first horse, Frostie, was three when I bought her. I intended to show her, but she had other ideas. She has a rather nervous temperament for the noise and chaos of a horse show. Fortunately, she has good bloodlines, so I bred her and got her son, Snoopy. You met him when I guested last week. Snoopy loves the excitement of a show, and when he's not being a goofball, he's pretty good at it.
We show in AQHA Trail classes. I've been told that these are technically called "pleasure trail" classes, but honestly, the AQHA website and show premiums don't call them that. Here is a video of my trainer, Niki, showing Snoopy at the Los Angeles Equestrian Center in Burbank. Niki was four months pregnant with her son at the time, so I took this video to show her you couldn't see the baby bump. Snoopy has his own YouTube channel. If you're interested, go here.
I have lots of pictures of me with my horses, but here's a picture of my family, which I think puts my life in context. It's our annual Christmas photo. In addition to Frostie, me, and Snoopy, let me introduce my husband, Dale, our son Marcus, the two maniacal dogs Duffy (corgi) and Lady Spazzleton (retriever-Muppet mix), and Katy the cat (who is most displeased with the whole thing).
Again, I'm super-happy to be here, and hope I can contribute to the horse cyber-discussions!