"No hour of life is wasted that is spent in the saddle." ~Winston Churchill
MK here, with a look back to my younger years. This was originally a tale I told in May 2015, but I've been thinking about old Abe a lot lately, especially after my editor mentioned her sweet horse recently (whose name I chose for a Gallagher steed), and I went in search of this story. An interview question I was asked back in 2015 got me thinking about the horse I had between the ages of 8-10. A wonderful, yet sometimes temperamental, Arabian horse. The name "Abe" came with the horse who had been a carriage horse in Durango, CO for a number of years. I have pictures of old Abe somewhere in a box of memories, but it's the memories I keep stored in my mind that mean the most.
My favorite memory is of my younger sister and I when we would crawl around on all fours in the pastures, walking between the horses' legs pretending to be foals. Gross, and possibly dangerous, but the animals were great about it. Of course, we had to do this without grown-ups watching. Thinking back on it, I'm sure they found out. My other siblings would sometimes join in for a round of Cowboys and Indians, or we would all ride up on the mountain trails behind the house.
That leads me to my second prominent memory of good Abe. Now, to Abe's credit, he was a great horse who didn't bite, throw, or otherwise harm anyone, but Arabian horses can be hot-blooded. My family and a few friends—all adults—rode up into the mountains one day. Something spooked the horse—to this day we aren't sure what—and he took off with the others at a run. I was always good at holding on, and enjoyed a good run as much as Abe, but something about this ride was different. Contrary to training, I leaned forward just a little too much and in the wrong way. Before I realized what was happening, Abe's head leaned down and I went with it, toppling over his head and rolling onto the ground before he went over me.
I had angels on my back that day, because other than a major case of trying to catch my breath, and a few bruises, I came out of the incident unscathed. As a child, I was always taught to get back on the horses—figuratively and literally—as soon as possible. It took me a couple of days, but I got back on Abe and it was as though nothing had happened. In fact, Abe seemed more upset about the incident than I did.
The interview question that stirred up these memories was related to horses in my books in regards to transportation and how commonplace they were in everyday life. It made me realize how much I miss the days when I spent every day after school with my horse.
She was on a quest of discovery. He was on a quest for revenge. Together they would discover a second chance.
Horses are, in my humble opinion, one of the grandest creatures to ever walk this earth. I love being around them, watching them prance in the summer and exhale warm breath into cold winter air. I'm grateful for every story I write that gives me a chance to spend time with these amazing animals.
Now for a bit of trivia.
If you've read my Gallagher books, this will be easier for you, but can you guess which of the Gallagher horses, and the horse's name, is named after my editor's horse? The winner will get a character named after them in one of my books.
From the Scottish Highlands to the Montana frontier, experience the first book in a series about a family in search of peace, hope, and love on a wild land.
Gallagher's Pride by MK McClintock
Genre: Historical Romantic Western
Heat Level: 2
Language Level: 2
Violence Level: 2
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