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CampCreek
12-23-2005, 02:43 AM
My yen for writing falls mostly on the fiction side, but I've been thinking of doing some non-fiction writing about horses ~ training, keeping and their behavior. I'm a long time member of a couple of horse forums and have saved many of my longer and more in-depth posts from there to serve as starting points for when I do decide to do this, IF I do.

Anyone else here write about horses? Fiction or non fiction? What is/are your book(s) about?

Out of those of you who do, do you currently have horses? If so, feel free to show them off here! I'd love to see them! Here is a picture of one of mine. She's my favorite mare, just a sweetheart. Painted Bon Too is her registered name, but we call her Bon.
http://campcreektexas.com/images/horses/bonafteraride.jpg
The others in the pic are my husband Kenny, Nellie (the little heeler) and Boo (the weenie dog X chihuahua in the foreground ~ her name's short for boudain, a type of cajun sausage ;) ).

scarletpeaches
12-23-2005, 02:50 AM
Hi, my names Mister Ed and I'm a horse writer. It's hard to operate a laptop with these hooves, but-

Oh, sorry, I misread the thread title.

ANNIE
12-23-2005, 02:51 AM
I haven't written about horses - yet, But have five of them! the oldest wil be thirty-one in January.

your mare is a beauty! I have two quarter horses, An arabian, an arabain/quarter mix, aand the old man is a quarter/ morgan mix.

We also have 3 dogs and two cats.

Take care and keep warm while mucking that barn out!
Annie

CampCreek
12-24-2005, 02:43 AM
*snicker* Scarlet! I thought for sure the first joke would be about writing and riding and reading that aloud three times fast. ;)


Nice to "meet" you, Annie! Another horse person! :D Thanks for the compliments on Bon. She's a sweetheart. Attitude is the first thing we look for when we pick which horses we'll breed, and she's certainly got a great one.

Do you ever just sit and watch all five of yours interact for an extended period of time, like an hour? Doing that really opens a window onto their world. If you peek through it, you can learn a lot about how to "talk" to them. Interesting stuff! If you've never done that, I highly recommend it!

That was one of the subjects I was thinking of writing about ~ how horses communicate amongst themselves, why they do it that way and how a horse person can use that knowledge to communicate with their horse. What I've found out from watching them for so long is that they primarily communicate through body language. This makes sense since communicating vocally would alert predators to their location, so Ma Nature weeded out the loudmouths a long time ago. *snicker*

I've put what I've learned to the test with my own horses, which include a stallion, and it works. I've even successfully broke my stud colt of kicking, biting and charging without laying a hand on him. Atleast so far so good ~ he'll be turning three soon, which means he's growing into his "manly man" self. I might be in for some nasty surprises. :o

Do you have pictures of your horses? I'd love to see them! Here are a few more of our girls:
http://campcreektexas.com/images/horses/someofthegirls.jpg
The two sorrels on the left are Quarter Horse mares and of course the other three are Paints. We lost the mare on the far left in a trailer accident while she was out on lease and we sold the other QH because she wasn't quite foundation enough. We hope to find another two QH mares with more foundation breeding probably next year or the year after that (it's hard finding just the right ones!). The Paint mares above, and Bon as well, are heavily race bred. Yes, they really do race Paints! :tongue

GHF65
12-26-2005, 08:03 PM
I'm a horse writer. Have been for years. I'm a horse owner. Writing about them is something to do when the mud's too thick for riding.
:banana:

I have sold a bunch of stories to anthologies, was a guest columnist for a while, and put out a (forgive me, all) a POD compilation of my stuff. In my own defense, I plead ammonia inhalation asphyxiation.

I've done quite a bit of reading and writing on the subject of how horses communicate. It's fascinating, isn't it, how a flick of an ear by the dominant mare can send four geldings scurrying while their human herd leader can beg, shriek, threaten and cajole without one of them moving a single step out of the way of the tractor? Obviously we need to stop reading training books and learn to control our ear movements if we're ever to make an impact on their behavior.

You can visit my place here:
http://gallanthopefarm.com (http://gallanthopefarm.com/)

Nice to meetcha!

ANNIE
12-26-2005, 08:32 PM
Hey schoolmarm - you and I could be twins:)

Josephine, Of course I have pictures but for some reason. I can't get thm to download - too big! i don't kno how to make them smaller:Shrug:

What training methods do you use? I'm a John Lynos fan myself- a certified trainer of a cetified trainer - if that makes sense.
Annie

September skies
12-26-2005, 10:09 PM
I think horses are beautiful. But I've never even been on one. Just a dream. some day......

CampCreek
12-27-2005, 09:49 AM
I have sold a bunch of stories to anthologies, was a guest columnist for a while, and put out a (forgive me, all) a POD compilation of my stuff. In my own defense, I plead ammonia inhalation asphyxiation. LOLOL! Too much stall mucking, huh? Yeah! That's the ticket! Too much work! That ought to give you an excuse to lay off it for a while. *snicker*

I went to your site and read about your book, then promptly put it on my "Want List". I especially liked this line from the book page: "A horsemanís most important piece of equipment is a sense of humor..." Love that! It's SO true! Lots of patience and a great sense of humor are so important when dealing with horses! :tongue


I've done quite a bit of reading and writing on the subject of how horses communicate. It's fascinating, isn't it, how a flick of an ear by the dominant mare can send four geldings scurrying while their human herd leader can beg, shriek, threaten and cajole without one of them moving a single step out of the way of the tractor? Obviously we need to stop reading training books and learn to control our ear movements if we're ever to make an impact on their behavior. I've actually thought that very thing ~ attaching a set of "puppet" ears to my head with wires to my hands so I can work them. :ROFL:

And yes, I completely agree that it's incredibly fascinating watching the Alpha mare "work" the rest of the herd! Just a look can send the whole herd running. I've been working on how to put those looks into words by posting a description of it on the main horse forum I go to. I think I've gotten it down pretty good to where the reader understands exactly what I'm saying. That's one of the things I'd love to write about ~ how to make yourself the leader in the "herd" with your horse so you can "flick one ear" (or give them a look) and they straighten up. :D After doing this, I can see why most trainers use video to teach those lessons! LOLOL! MUCH easier to show instead of tell in this subject! :ROFL:


You can visit my place here:
http://gallanthopefarm.com (http://gallanthopefarm.com/) I went there and it's NICE! You have a beautiful place! And the horses ~ just gorgeous. You have Paints and Quarters like us! I love your mare, Missleading. She's beautiful! I think she's a tovero though. The white on her chin is a big sign of sabino, so I'll bet she carries two pattern genes. Does she have any roaning anywhere or "ragged"/indistinct (not crisp) edges to any of her spots? Those are two more big signs, but just the white on the chin is enough. APHA just recently started registering horses as "tovero" instead of only either tobiano or overo, so if she's older than about five or so, she could be listed on her papers as tobiano, but in reality be tovero. Do you have any pictures of her full body? I'd love to see her if you have time to post one, even if we weren't talking about color. I just love her head. She's such a pretty girl.

And I LOVED your "Notes from the Schoolmarm". That's me in a nutshell! LOLOL!


Nice to meetcha! Nice to meet you, too! :D

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


Josephine, Of course I have pictures but for some reason. I can't get thm to download - too big! i don't kno how to make them smaller:Shrug: If you really want to and have the time ... Download Irfanview from here: http://www.irfanview.com/ It's free and it doesn't have any spyware or hijackers attached. It's wonderful to resize pictures! Once you get it downloaded, poke around in there to see how it works. Open one of your pictures and save it as a different filename (in case you accidently hit "Save" when you really didn't want to) and play with it. Go to "Image" then "Resize/Resample" and change the width and height. You can also click and drag your mouse pointer to select a section of the image, then go to "Edit" and "Crop selection" to cut out everything outside what you selected. When you save the image, be sure to click "Options" in the window that pops up (right below the "Save" button) and set it to 75%. That's the right amount to compress it enough that it loads fast, but not compressed so much that you lose a lot of quality. And save it as a .jpg file if it's not already ~ .jpgs are the most universal file type that can be uploaded most anywhere.

Then you can attach images to posts here on the forum. If you'd rather post them right in the message, give me a holler ~ I can walk you through that, too. It's really easy peasy once you get the hang of it.


What training methods do you use? I'm a John Lynos fan myself- a certified trainer of a cetified trainer - if that makes sense.
Annie Most all of the "natural horsemanship" ones. I like John Lyons, too, and Chris Cox and a couple other new ones who I can't remember their names right now. I REALLY like Mark Rashid, Ray Hunt, and Clinton Anderson is pretty darn good, too. Pat Parelli and Monty Roberts have gotten a bit commercial for my taste. It seems like half of their shows are pushing some product, mostly their own creations that you could make/buy elsewhere for literally 1/4 the price (and CA's getting dangerously close to doing the same thing now *sigh*), but I still watch them when they come on RFD-TV. I watch/read all the trainers and usually learn something, even if it's what not to do. ;)

Mostly, though, I watch my horses and learn from them. I watch closely to see how they communicate, then try to emulate that when I need to get a message across. I like to read and learn about why they do the things they do, learning about "horse psychology" so to speak, then sit and think about ways to apply that so they'll be more comfortable with the next thing I'll expose them to. It's helped a lot not only in keeping my horses calm and learning, but keeping me from getting the crap kicked out of me. LOLOL!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Hey, September! Are you anywhere near Texas? If so, come on over! We'll put you up on Bon, the horse in the top picture. She's a sweetheart and great with newbies. Late spring would be best for us since we've still got some of the girls getting over a sickness the whole herd got earlier this year. By late spring or early summer they should all be back in great shape and we can have horses available for you and any friends or family you want to bring with you. :D

GHF65
12-28-2005, 08:32 PM
Hi, Josephine! Thanks for the kind words. I'm pretty partial to my place and my horses myself, and I take compliments graciously. :Trophy:


The Mare Ears thing is really funny! In fact, there was a fake ad posted years ago on one of the horse bb's for that very product. I saved it, but it's on the hard drive on the computer that's in the storage room waiting for a transplant donor.

You're right; Pokey's 19, so she's registered as Tobiano. Aside from the white spot on her chin, though, she has no other overo signs--no roaning, no ragged edges on her spots. She's essentially all white with some black hairs in her mane and tail and one large black spot on her side. Makes for an interesting bathing experience, I assure you. :D This photo shows most of her. The black spot is on the other side.

http://absolutewrite.com/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=869&stc=1

On the subject of Alpha mares . . . Pokey is currently alpha-by-default because she's the only mare left in the herd. Dolly went with newlywed Jess to PA to live. Having Pokey take over as alpha was a hallelujah moment. Dolly was elected alpha (because she wouldn't let anyone else vote) when we moved here. Imagine an alpha mare with ADD and a raging case of paranoid schizophrenia. Imagine that mare five years old. It wasn't pretty. She ruled the herd with an iron ear for eight years. They're in recovery now.

As for the book, the column it's based on was probably the most fun I've ever had with clothes on and without horse hair. Wouldn't you love being asked to write a topical advice column based on your own horse experience? That "Notes From the Schoolmarm" piece was the introductory essay for the rest of the column. If you liked that, you'll LOVE the book, if I do say so myself.

I'm an unrepentant Mark Rashid groupie, so a lot of my beliefs about training come straight from his books and John Lyons' videos. We don't get much in the way of live clinics out this far East (you Texans keep the Big Boys too busy!), but my daughter was trained by Bob Jeffreys who has his own books and videos out now and who graduated in the same Lyons class as GaWaNi Ponyboy (who, he says, is a Jewish kid from Long Island, but that's another story). I'm so steeped in round-penning I trot around the bedroom three times in each direction before I climb into bed at night.

My most recent efforts are a follow-up volume to the first book, this time focusing on sanity in horse ownership; a book for the 10-17 age group called Why Horsemanship?, and a novel I started a year ago that needs to be finished when I have three or four months to spare. The sanity book is pretty much finished. I just keep monkeying with the chapters to avoid having to send out those query letters. The kids' book is three-quarters done. The novel . . . well, fiction is tough for me. I'm not entirely happy with where the characters are going, but I don't seem to be able to stop them.

So, what are you writing?

GHF65
12-28-2005, 08:40 PM
Hey schoolmarm - you and I could be twins:)

Josephine, Of course I have pictures but for some reason. I can't get thm to download - too big! i don't kno how to make them smaller:Shrug:

What training methods do you use? I'm a John Lynos fan myself- a certified trainer of a cetified trainer - if that makes sense.
Annie

Hi, Annie! Do you mean we look alike, think alike, or both have the same manure-induced brain rot?

As I said in my response to Josephine, Mark Rashid is GOD! John Lyons is a close second. As it says on my site, my daughter is a Lyons trainer trained by Bob Jeffreys. I wasn't allowed in the round pen for a year while Miss Perfect was busy dedicating her life to outside turns and turn-and-face. Now that she's moved out, I go in there sometimes and just run around for the hell of it even if I don't have a horse to work.

Nice making your acquaintance! Hope to hear more from you. What are you working on writing and/or horse-wise?

SM

Sparkle
12-29-2005, 06:12 PM
Hi,

I have 15 Rocky Mountain Horses. They are mostly known for being chocolate body color with white or flaxen mane & tails. My stallion named Rockin' Dobbin has a mane which hangs to his ankles. He does ads for Mane'n Tail products. He is also an International Grand Champion. You can go to our web site and see him www.indianhillfarm.net (http://www.indianhillfarm.net).


I have written three stories about him concerning a heavenly herd of horses. Still looking for a agent. I get request for his picture from people across the nation and Europe.

Horses are my passion and this breed is so gentle....love them!!!!

Diana

GHF65
12-30-2005, 06:53 PM
Wow! Sparkle, I've never seen such an amazing mane! And the horse under it is gorgeous, too. :o He's got a wonderfully kind eye. My kind of horse. Rooster is coolness personified. LOVE the outfit! :roll:

Gorgeous barn! It looks a lot like mine, but you've got some bells and whistles I'd eat manure for. And ah! The Babies! I applaud your breeding program.

You said you've written "stories" about your stud (that sounds a bit off-color, doesn't it . . . I'll just leave it that way). Do you mean novels or short stories?

Joanne

Sparkle
12-31-2005, 05:34 PM
Hi,

Thank you for the comments!!

All of the stallions at our farm are very gentle. I clean their stalls with them loose and all they want is for me to pet them. They do not offer to bite, kick, or do anything mean. The picture of Dobbin is two years old, so his mane does fall at this ankles now. He loves children and lets them do anything want to him. He has put his head in a little girl's lap when she was in a wheelchair so she could pet him.

Rooster fell to the side after the picture was taken. He was scared of the hat. We laughed and laughed at him. He thinks he is a horse because he wants to eat hay and grain. He has identity issues.

The stories are around 3,000 words, so I would consider them short stories. It is hard to find an agent who understands the dollar amount spent on horses during a year. There is a market for horse stories. Children and horses are a great combination.

Good luck with your writing!!!!!

Diana

GHF65
12-31-2005, 08:54 PM
The stories are around 3,000 words, so I would consider them short stories. It is hard to find an agent who understands the dollar amount spent on horses during a year. There is a market for horse stories. Children and horses are a great combination.

Diana

Do a dogpile search for "calls for submissions". I've found that once you hook up with an anthology producer (either editor, compiler, or publisher) that likes your work, they will contact you for submissions. The smaller anthologies are quicker on the reply than the big ones like Chicken Soup. Here's one link with multiple options. This came up when I did a search just now:

http://www.gcwriters.org/publish_links.htm

This one accepted one of my stories:

http://www.adamsmedia.com/Default.aspx?tabid=495&articleid=312&articlemid=1470#1470Articles

It's the second anthology they've done about horses in the past year, and I have a story in each. Not big-ticket sales, but a paying market nonetheless. After they bought the first story for the Horse Crazy anthology, they emailed me for a submission to this second book. I had the same experience with the now-defunct Chocolate for Women series that bought four of my stories for four consecutive books.

Many anthologies, magazines and other market have a word limit, by the way. I've found 1,000-1500 words to be about average. I've spent many a painful hour deleting whole sections of my glorious prose, bleeding with every click of the button, just to make the cut.

Joanne

GHF65
01-10-2006, 04:35 AM
Josephine, I just came across the "mare's ears" ad when I was cleaning out my bookmarks. It's really a hoot.

http://www.ultimatehorsesite.com/fun/jokes3.html

Sparkle
01-28-2006, 07:01 PM
Hi,

I sent a letter to a publishing company about my horse stories and they responsed with a request for the stories. I had bought some books that this company had published, so I submitted the letter.

One tiny step forward, but I am not holding my breath. I can still get that rejection letter once they read them.

This just an update.

Diana
Love my horses!!!!

GHF65
01-29-2006, 01:50 AM
Hi,

I sent a letter to a publishing company about my horse stories and they responsed with a request for the stories. I had bought some books that this company had published, so I submitted the letter.

One tiny step forward, but I am not holding my breath. I can still get that rejection letter once they read them.

This just an update.

Diana
Love my horses!!!!

That's great, Sparkle! My fingers and hooves are crossed for you. Which company did you pick?

Sparkle
01-29-2006, 03:19 AM
Raven Publishing Company...they print horse stories and they have a movie in production now about one of their books.

We will just wait and see.


Diana

GHF65
01-29-2006, 07:52 PM
Outstanding! I'll be looking forward to hearing the outcome, reading the book, watching the movie, and pretending that I "knew you when". :hooray: I live my vicarious life with great enthusiasm.

awatkins
01-30-2006, 06:22 AM
Woohoo! That's great news, Diana! Wishing you mucho sucess. Please keep us posted. :)

kristie911
01-31-2006, 07:39 AM
I own an off the track Thoroughbred (grandson of Secretariat) and have been riding for years. I've volunteered for an organization called CANTER (we help place horses from the track into new non-racing homes) for the past several years and wrote some training articles for their website...the articles have been "farmed" out to several other rescue organizations for their websites. It's been my only foray into non-fiction writing but I definitely enjoyed it!

rallygirl
01-31-2006, 10:33 AM
I love horses!http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/images/smilies/Emotesnoopy.gif
I had an Australian Pony mare, Gypsy, for 19 years. Unfortantley I lost her to colic in 2002. I used to do novelty events on her (flag & barrel etc) She was an awesome pony!

Gypsy inspired me to start quite a few stories about Aussie kids, horses and their adventures...all in long hand and very rough...maybe one day I will finish them off.

I used to love reading (okay and i'll admit i still do) The Pullien-Thompson sister's books. I also love Ruby Ferguson's Jill series...all very pony pony pony and never any of the goopy boy stuff you get these days..lol..

When i was 15 i wrote a 100 foolscap page story about a girl who rescued an ex-trotter (Standardbred) and turned him into a champion showjumper!!