Saturday, July 27, 2013

Please allow me to introduce myself

By Gayle Carline
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!


Laura Crum said...

Welcome Gayle! I've enjoyed your comments here very much and look forward to your posts. And what a sweet family photo. I have never managed to get my husband, son and all our critters into one photo--you did a great job!

Anonymous said...

Hi Gayle, nice to meet you and hour herd :D

Anonymous said...

oops I mean your herd

Gayle Carline said...

Thanks for the welcome!

Laura - after all the years we've been doing this, we've gotten it down to a pretty good science. Still, the outtakes show the chaos of the day!

The horses are fascinated by the cat, who hates the entire event. The dogs have the attention span of gnats with ADD, so they sit for about 30 seconds, then forget and get up to sniff something. The humans just keep staring at the camera and smiling.

White Horse Pilgrim said...

That's a great point, Gayle - not being able to hide from one's destiny. Sometimes it does take a while for destiny to become clear. It's so exciting when destiny starts to be outworked.

CG said...

Love the family photo! It would be fun to try and get one of our herd some day.

And, you get my vote for favorite quote of the week, "The life you were supposed to live will not be denied." Love that!

Linda Benson said...

Welcome, Gayle! So glad to have you blogging with us. I believe that a lot of our readers came to horses later in life, when - like you - that love for equines would not be denied. So glad you are finally living the life you love, and look forward to your posts. :-)

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Alison said...

Welcome Gayle! loved your introduction. Next blog post I hope you will introduce your books! I bet they are as fun as you are.

Gayle Carline said...

Thanks again, all. I'm happy to be here!