a looooong introduction
 
 

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a looooong introduction

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        07-25-2011, 05:10 PM
      #1
    Foal
    Smile a looooong introduction

    Hi all!

    Iím returning to the horse world after a lengthy absence. Reading the posts on this forum has been great, and has made me take a look at the reasons I stayed away so long, so Iím going to share some of them, in part just to clarify things for myself.

    I was obsessed with horses from birth, but my parents were baffled by it and wouldnít pay for lessons. The summer I was 9 I rode my bike about 4 miles every day to a trail-riding place, and after helping out all day Iíd get to go on a trail ride. From the age of twelve I worked in order to afford riding lessons. As my skill increased I worked in the barn and taught riding to support my habit. I started riding jumpers, and in the mid-90ís I competed at the International Intercollegiate Equestrian Games, which was completely awesome J

    My competitive career was looking pretty good. I even quit my first year of university to work with horses full-time. Then one day, my coach asked me to take the edge off a school horse who was a bit fresh. I was cooling off, walking quietly on a loose rein with my feet hanging out of the stirrups, when snow slid off the arena roof. The loud Ďwhooshí triggered an instantaneous, huge buck in the horse I was riding, and I hit the ground before I even knew what happened. I suffered a fractured vertebra and crushed disc in my lower back, and had to have back surgery followed by a year of intensive physiotherapy before I was relatively mobile again. My doctors told me I was lucky, and told me my riding career was over. I was twenty-one. But Iím nothing if not persistent, so I tried to go back to riding. I couldnít do it, though. Iíd lost that edge, that fearlessness you need to compete at your best. Plus, I kept re-injuring myself; my back wasnít strong enough. After a few years, I gave up. I was managing a 42-stall barn at the time, and I loved each of the horses in it, but the real heartbreak came when I had to sell my own horse, Jamie. I had no choice--I couldnít even do the barn chores anymore, and I had no other skills. I spent months finding him the perfect home, but it nearly killed me to let him go.

    I returned to school, earned a couple of degrees, and turned my back on horses completely. I went to work on Bay Street (the Canadian equivalent of Wall Street) as a business analyst. It was a good job, but I was unhappy, although I didnít admit it to myself. I was determined to make myself into a new person. With the clarity of hindsight, I realize that I was emotionally traumatized by the loss of the sport & career that I loved. Duh, right? But somehow during those blurry years that was something I never considered.

    Then came the biggest change of all--I had kids. And from the time my daughter could talk, she was fascinated by horses. I had not a single picture, ornament or reminder of horses at home, and I never spoke about my past as a rider, yet she was mesmerized by all things equine. As my son got older, he was the same. When my daughter was 3 she was quite nervous of animals (wouldnít even pet a bunny), but one day we went to a farm and she ran up to a draft horse and hugged its leg. I picked her up and started explaining, ďThis kind of horse is called a Belgian. His colour is called chestnut,Ē etc. So I began to rediscover the world of horses, through my kidsí eyes. And one day, I woke up and started writing. I know it sounds all melodramatic, but I canít overstate the case here - this story was demanding to be told. I wrote during my kidsí naps, I wrote late into the night, I wrote in my head while driving (which probably made me a menace on the road). As a single mother, I had no free time, but even that didnít stop me. After spending well over a decade unable to admit how much I missed having horses in my life, I spent a year completely immersed in my make-believe horse world. And it was weirdly freeing, because since then it somehow doesnít hurt anymore. I love watching my children learn to ride, and Iíve started riding occasionally myself.

    Yikes, Iím writing a novel here. Sorry, occupational hazard ;) So there you go, now you know way more about me than you ever wanted to, I bet. I look forward to getting to know you, too!
         
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        07-25-2011, 05:49 PM
      #2
    Weanling
    Hi! Are you back riding again now, or are your kids riding?
         
        07-25-2011, 06:02 PM
      #3
    Super Moderator
    Mgarzon,

    No wonder you had such insightful things to say to the young wife who was forced by circumstance (and some would say hubby) to give up her horse.

    That is an amazing story and so beautifully penned that I am certain that anything you write will be worth reading. Where do I find it?
         
        07-25-2011, 06:13 PM
      #4
    Weanling
    I agree with tinyliny. Great story! Well...not really story. Great piece of nonfiction!

    Welcome to the forum.
         
        07-25-2011, 10:35 PM
      #5
    Foal
    Thanks, all! Lobelia, I've ridden exactly 3 times in the last 3 years, after more than a dozen years of not riding at all. 2 of those times were on my friend's green TB X mare, so it was very basic flatwork. My kids have both started, but they are young (5 & almost 7), so not doing much yet. Actually I'm a bit scared of catching a full-on case of 'horse fever' again, because I've got the kids to support. And now, their pony habit :)

    Tinyliny and pintophile, thank you so much; I was honestly blushing at the computer. Tinyliny, the story actually ended up getting published, but I didn't want to mention that originally because I don't want people to think I'm promoting the book... that 's really not what this forum is about for me, I just want to reconnect with horsepeople. Since my kids have been riding I've run into riders from my past, but they remember me from 'back then', and seem uncomfortable. I should perhaps also mention that two years before my accident, my best friend and business partner (we managed a barn together) was killed in a car accident, which only adds to their discomfort (truth really is much stranger than fiction). So it's easier in cyberspace. But since you asked, the book is called Blaze of Glory (by m. Garzon). It was originally a more 'horsey' story with an element of romance, but first my agent, then editors advised me to make the manuscript less horse-heavy, so now it's more of a romance set in the horse world :)
         
        07-26-2011, 03:07 AM
      #6
    Super Moderator
    I shall look for it. I have never read a romance novel. Except for one, can't remember the name, about India and a Brit who falls in love with an India nobelwoman. Well known story, but can't for the life of me remember.
         
        07-26-2011, 10:00 AM
      #7
    Foal
    Well, thanks!! I'm honored. It's being sold mostly online - it's hard for an unknown author to get shelf space (there's a list at m.garzon | welcome). That story you described sounds very interesting!! If you can remember the title, I'll look for it. I just read a great novel set in India called Shantaram; it was violent and disturbing in some ways, but so beautifully written.

    The funny thing is, I don't read romance either. About the closest I got was the Twilight series :)
         
        07-26-2011, 11:34 AM
      #8
    Weanling
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mgarzon    
    It was originally a more 'horsey' story with an element of romance, but first my agent, then editors advised me to make the manuscript less horse-heavy, so now it's more of a romance set in the horse world :)
    Darn editors! There are so few horsey-centred books out there, because so few people are horsey. That's what my mom said every time I want to write about horses: "Horses are boring; nobody wants to read about horses."

    I want to read about horses!

    But no, I will certainly take a look at your book next time I'm out.
         
        07-26-2011, 01:14 PM
      #9
    Foal
    I'm with you, pintophile - I want to read horsey books too! I say, if you want to write about that, then go for it. We're nothing without our passions :)
         
        07-29-2011, 11:29 PM
      #10
    Green Broke
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by tinyliny    
    mgarzon,

    No wonder you had such insightful things to say to the young wife who was forced by circumstance (and some would say hubby) to give up her horse.

    That is an amazing story and so beautifully penned that I am certain that anything you write will be worth reading. Where do I find it?
    I second this!
    Mgarzon- I didn't get my first horse 'til I was 40... follow your dreams girl! I couldn't be happier that I did!

    And let NO one tell you you can't..
         

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