Horse Sense by Deb Tiffany

Okay, I’m embarrassed to admit this, but I find myself, at the very tail end of my thirties, going through my horse phase. I realize this is probably something I should have done when I was nine, but I can’t help it. For the past few years I’ve been besotted with everything equine.

I love the reassuring solidity of horse muscles, and the way they blink their eyes. I love the huffing noises they make and even the honest way they smell. I adore well-oiled saddles (especially the fancy-pants Western ones, with scrolls and embellishments), the way riding breeches hug a woman’s thighs, and horse shoes hung above doorways. I even like naughty ponies, with their spastic tempers and nasty, little plots. The only problem is, I’m not a rider.

This is when writing fiction comes in handy. I can have all the horses I want with no expense. In The Little Giant of Aberdeen County, in fact, one of my favorite characters is a most tragic horse named Hitching Post, and in the novel I’m working on now there’s another, beautiful gelding by the name of Salt Lick.

Horse names are the most fun of all. They’re even more fun to come up with than human characters’ names, and they tell you so much. For instance, you know you’re in good hands seated on a Monty, or a Buttercup, but any horse named Lightening is going to be trouble (again, read The Little Giant of Aberdeen County), and I’d stay also stay away from horses with names like Snowflake, Diamond, or Jingles. Trust me, those are the horses that look sleepy and innocent until they get a rider on their backs and instantly go tearing off into low-lying scrub, bucking.

There’s a stable where I live, near the beach, and it’s fun to go ogle the horses. Gradually, I’m getting closer and closer to the fence. One of these days, I just may throw a leg over the posts and take a ride for myself.

5 Replies to “Horse Sense by Deb Tiffany”

  1. Hey, Tiffany – nice post. My daughter went through a horse fetish phase. Only thing was, she didn’t actually like to RIDE them. So after awhile, I got kinda tired of paying all that money (lessons are expensive!) so she could brush the horses!

  2. Is there anyone who doesn’t love and admire horses, even people who don’t ride? I’ve ridden horses a few times (those ranches where rookies can pay a few bucks to plop themselves on a horse’s back and the horse meanders wherever a horse darn well pleases) and it’s so exciting and powerful to be up there.

    That said, if I’m not ON a horse, I’m a little afraid of them. I look up their horsey nostrils and think, “You could stomp me to death, and I think you know it!”

    I’m so looking forward to the horses and everyone else in your book, Tiffany!

  3. I went through a huge horse phase around ages 6-12, and even had horse back riding lessons. I was also a big fan of The Black Stallion books. But it’s true, when you’re up close to a horse, they are HUGE and a bit scary. After all, one even paralyzed Superman.

    Looking forward to your book, Tiffany!

  4. I’m not totally a horse person, but my older sister has always loved them and used to take me riding with her when I was in high school, just around in the woods near a ranch. Once, we played hide and seek in the pouring rain, and I swear the horses knew what we were doing and stayed perfectly still.

    They’re really incredible animals! This makes me want to go riding.

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