Sunday, January 30, 2011

Verna Dreisbach and WHY WE RIDE

Meet Horsewoman Verna Dreisbach: Verna Dreisbach is an author, educator and literary agent. Her stories have been published in EQUUS Magazine, Bernie Siegel’s Faith, Hope and Healing and Calaveras Station literary journal. She is the founder and president of Capitol City Young Writers, a non-profit organization dedicated to the education and inspiration of young writers. She graduated Magna Cum Laude with both a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree in English with honors from Phi Kappa Phi and Sigma Tau Delta International English Honor Society. Verna lives in California with her husband, three kids, and myriad animals.

Verna and Chicklet

Verna's most recent project has been as author and editor of the book WHY WE RIDE: Women Writers on the Horses in Their Lives (Seal Press/Perseus 2010.) Here's a description:

Women and their horses — a symbiotic relationship based on trust, camaraderie, friendship, and love. In Why We Ride, Verna Dreisbach collects the stories of women who ride, sharing their personal emotions and accounts of the most important animals in their lives — horses. This collection of 27 stories includes the heartfelt thoughts of a range of women — those who rode as children, those who spent their girlhood years dreaming of owning a pony, and those who have made a lifelong hobby or career out of riding. Each story reveals how horses have made a difference — and an impact — in the lives of these women. The bonds formed, the paths ridden, and the hills climbed all combine in this provocative, compelling anthology. With a foreword by best-selling novelist Jane Smiley, Why We Ride offers a reflective view on the relationships between women and horses.

Here's an excerpt from the book - to whet your appetite:

I have been in love with horses since I can remember. And I know I’m not alone as I remember images of that first glimpse, sensations of that first touch, and ultimately the exhilaration of that first riding lesson. As a young girl - I was hooked. But it wasn’t until junior high that I found my true love.

Like dog owners who profess their breed of dog as the only one they’ll ever own for reasons ranging from loyalty to intelligence, personality or “just because of the way he makes me feel,” horse owners are no different. We choose a horse for her beauty, her ability, or for what we see of ourselves, reflected in her. I found beauty in the racehorse, the thoroughbred racehorse - a beauty that captured my heart long before a boy ever did. Enticed by their long, slender legs and narrow faces – I treasured the climb upon their back, the long view down from above, and the effortless movement of their long strides, the sensation of the ground passing under us as if Pegasus had taken flight. But mostly, I love their passion to run and how their sweaty bodies glisten in the sun, sweat dripping from their bellies to the ground - a passion so intense that it seeps through every bead of sweat that tickles their skin, in every muscle that twitches. The prancing, the inability to stand still, the glaze in their eyes as they near the racetrack – that reveals their spirit. That tells their story.

Wow. Can anybody relate to that? I know I can. To learn more about Verna, please visit her website We hope to hear more from her in the future, and in the meantime, try and find a copy of WHY WE RIDE. Sounds like a winner!


Alison said...

Thanks Linda for introducing us to Verna. I especially enjoy hearing about the 'other' side of writing.

Amy Warwick said...

After reading this excerpt I am excited to say that I get to meet Ms. Dreisbach at a conference this week-end. While I am not rider myself, the excerpt is effective in making even the foot-bound want to hop in the saddle and join the author on her journey. I cannot wait to read the rest and have a copy signed for my daughter who shares Ms. Dreisbach's passion for horses.