Thursday, March 6, 2008

On Loving Horses

Hello everyone,

I’m so excited to be part of Equestrian Ink. I have never been able to resist a good novel about the horse world and I’m delighted to be in the company of the incredibly talented writers who create these stories!

When I began writing fiction, the advice I kept hearing was write what you love. For me, the choice was crystal clear. As a child I spent every possible moment at our local hunter/equitation barn. I took two lessons a week and in between mucked stalls, tacked and untacked, fed, and did anything else I could think of just to be around horses.

While I was in graduate school I was finally able to buy my own horse, Spencer. He was an equitation horse who had competed in Medal Maclay and was retired when his owner went to college. A barn near my school bought him and tried to use him in a lesson program, but after being turned out for three years he was taking the students on some pretty wild rides!

With the confidence of a young woman who had only ridden calm lesson horses and knew not what she was getting into, I decided to buy him. I spent the next six months landing in the dust & getting right back on. He even spooked at a large yellow butterfly flitting by his nose.

One day, I asked my husband to put up a small vertical for me in the indoor ring. Being new to horses, he didn’t know what I meant by small and put the rail up well over three feet. Spencer’s ears perked up like radar and he was off and running. We sailed over the jump, out the open door of the ring and across the road before I stopped him. At this point, I concluded I needed help and got a good trainer to work with us. After some reschooling, Spencer’s talent began to shine again.

Eventually, my beloved Spencer taught me to ride well and kindly. When he was too old to compete and I tried to give him well deserved retirement, he went into an equine depression and we had to put him back to work! He spent the next few years happily teaching beginner riders and took many of them to their first shows. He trotted around the ring in short stirrup classes with his head arched and tail flowing like he was still on the A circuit.

When not in the saddle I spent years in medical research and public health, which involved quite a lot of scientific writing, but I always had a secret yen to write fiction. I wrote my first novel, an equestrian romantic mystery titled A Dangerous Dream, while on bed rest with twins.I may not have been too mobile but my characters were having adventure, mystery, and excitement on the Grand Prix show jumping circuit. In A Dangerous Dream my heroine, Melissa, has a dream job working at a world class equestrian facility specializing in hunters, equitation, and show jumping, but her future is threatened when an attempted murder takes place at the farm. She must decide who she can trust and if her long-held dream is worth the risk of her life. I’m currently happily at work on my second book, a story about a beautiful horse trainer who also happens to be a witch. She is being hunted by a murderer and must decide if she will be honest about her legacy with the man determined to help her.

The horse world comes alive in the pages of my books because of the wonderful education I’ve received from some very patient trainers and my good fortune in being able to ride amazing, talented horses. Whether I’m writing romantic mystery or contemporary fantasy, horses inevitably wind their way through my imagination and into the lives of the characters I create.

I’m glad you stopped by Equestrian Ink and hope you’ll come back and visit us often!



Mary Paine

1 comment:

Jami Davenport said...


I love your story about Spencer. As they say, "horses are the best teachers."