Character Development

When I complained about challenges in life, my dad used to tell me: “It’s good for you; it builds character.”  He would say it as if in jest, but I knew he meant it.

People’s interest in some of the characters in Believing In Horses, has surprised me.  Readers have asked:

  • “Who was that supposed to be?”
  • “Are these real people?
  •  “Is your book an autobiography?”
  •  “Is that me?” [Read more…]

Competition

Being new to the ranks of “authors,” I’m learning all the time.  Sometimes this strikes me as funny, since one of the reasons I retired from the military was because I was tired of learning a new job every year or so.   But one of my recent lessons in writing has been the cooperation I’ve witnessed among writers versus the competition so prevalent among competitors in other professions and venues.

Writers truly seem to want to help each other.  My foray into writing came to fruition due to just such encouragement.   A stranger I met in Las Barrilles, Mexico, gave me the advice one of his writing mentors provided him:  “Just write.”  I was fortunate to have come across a website which provided many of the tools, and positive support, to get started – www.write4kids.com.  And I’ve since been lucky enough to join groups of other writers in forums such as www.jacketflap.com and to follow many writing blogs of interest.  Maybe the formula is simple in that writers like to write, so it reasons there would be much out there in the written word…but there’s probably more to it than that. [Read more…]

Kids Are Heroes

It’s Kids Are Heroes Week, and October 23rd is Kids Are Heroes Day.  When I found out about this, it reminded me of one of the reasons I wrote Believing In Horses.  Sometimes it seems people are so focused on the negative, they fail to see the positive.   So many of our youth are actively involved in trying to help today; at Freedom Hills Horse Rescue’s last fundraiser, young girls were selling food rather than riding horses – talk about commitment!  A colleague recently told me about her daughter’s efforts to try and save a local park.  If you take a moment and click on the Kids Are Heroes web site, you’ll be overwhelmed by just a few of the incredible projects kids take on these days — all positive.

A nine-year-old girl started Kids Are Heroes –talk about a hero.  One of the stories on the web site is about another young girl, Maria, who started “Read Indeed,” a literary organization in which Maria wishes to collect and distribute ONE MILLION books to needy kids by the time she is eighteen.  So far she has collected and distributed over 400,000 since early last year!  She’s helped kids locally and as far away as Africa, Costa Rica, and the Phillipines.  You go, Maria!  [Read more…]

Endurance

“Endurance” seems an appropriate topic today, in celebration of the 33 Chilean miners rescued, following their 69 days trapped underground.

In horse parlance, the Endurance discipline tests the stamina of horse and rider as they race to compete a long course; at the World Equestrian Games (WEG) it was a 100 mile course.   When my husband, Jaime, and I volunteered to support the WEG, we were pleased that our second assignment would be supporting the endurance competition.  We both had great interest in the sport and admiration for the athletes, even though we hadn’t participated in endurance riding – yet.   Hey, the senior member of the U.S. team, Jan Worthington, competed in the Games at age 70.  Talk about hope and endurance! [Read more…]

Combining Passion and Work

I had originally planned to write more about the World Equestrian Games, but I can’t seem to get past something that’s foremost in my mind right now:  having a passion for what you do.  I attended the “Get Motivated, Inc.” seminar in Washington, DC, this week, and if you ever have the opportunity to attend one of these events, I’d highly recommend it.  I attended because I had attended a similar event over ten years ago, and many of the speakers’ insights changed my life for the better.  Both events stressed the importance of trying to find a way to combine your passion with your work.  [Read more…]

Wowed at the World Equestrian Games

I am one of those fortunate women whose husband also enjoys horses.  Okay – don’t hate me for that.   But because of this shared interest, we get to do a lot of things together that many of my other horse friends don’t share as couples.  When we found out the World Equestrian Games (WEG) would be held in the U.S. for the first time ever in Kentucky, it was an easy decision that we would attend.  I had to be a bit more convincing when I suggested we volunteer to support the Games.  After a year’s coordination with the volunteer staff, we received our assignments as Horse Inspection Stewards, scheduled to support Reining, Endurance, and Dressage.

As we approached the fourth place we had been told to park at 5:00 a.m. on Sep 24th, we decided our real mission as volunteers was to “work out the kinks in the system.”  A sense of humor always helps in these situations, and it was a warm, dark morning, with very few people in the Kentucky Horse Park.  We sported our Ariat-provided cobalt blue Competition Support Volunteer uniforms and credentials, which we had picked up on Day One, and looked as if we knew exactly where we were going.  We were scheduled to support Reining, which the WEG describes as “a Western sport that displays the precision and style of horse and rider.”   We wound our way to the Reining barns and met up with some other Competition Support Volunteers and the head Federation Equestre International (FEI) Reining Steward, Eric.  Success!  Eric politely informed us he didn’t need us for at least another hour, and to just relax.  So, we relaxed while observing the early morning routine of the grooms, trainers, and exquisite equine reining athletes, mostly American Quarter Horses.    [Read more…]