Why write a Horse book?
For myself, the question should be “Why Not write a horse book”
For the best part of my life horses have filled my thoughts, dreams and aspirations.
I learned to ride at the tender age of 4, competed at horse shows, studied to become a British Horse society riding instructor, even judged at horse shows.
So there is certainly no shortage of subject material.
For the past 15 years I have earned my living as an equine photographer, covering horse shows, events and hundreds of private equine photo shoots.
So there is certainly no shortage of images to use in a book.
Now I do not consider myself to be anything special, I never rode at the Olympics or photographed the queen’s horses in the Royal Mews.
But I do like to think of myself as “Extremely Inquisitive” others have a less than flattering name for this character trait. Nosey Parker is one that immediately comes to mind. However I choose to take that as a compliment and it was exactly the kind of quality needed for the creation of my latest book.
“The Humans of Horse Racing”
The premise for the book was simple enough, photograph all the people who are involved in horse racing at Northlands Park and tell their story.
How hard can that be?
Horse Racing Alberta issued me with an all access license to the back stretch and a couple of introductions to a trainer and the head “out rider” and after that I was pretty much on my own.
I figured the best way to get to know the people, what they do and how they work was to spend lots of time at the track. Not just on special race days but every day starting at 6 am, which is when most of the people at the track show up for work (some start even earlier).
Even at this early hour the barns are buzzing with activity, horses are being tacked up and led out to the track for their early morning gallops, others are tied to the horse walkers to stretch their legs and move their muscles - similar to doing 20 mins on a tread mill. Grooms are mucking out stalls, filling water buckets and hay nets. Trainers are lined up against the track to keep a watchful eye on their equine prospects. The out rider is primed and ready for action as he watches the young horses, he is looking for signs of possible run away’s or jockey’s in trouble. The tack store is open for business and the farrier is gathering his tools for the start of his rounds. The office and support staff start a little later.
It quickly became apparent that horse racing is like a very elegant jigsaw puzzle and it requires ALL the pieces to create the finished picture”.
The perfect recipe for a book that gives readers a glimpse into the private - behind the scenes look at horse racing.
I don’t want to mislead you into thinking writing a book is easy .
But if you are an equestrian you have all the qualities needed to complete this task.
You are accustomed to hard work for little or no reward
You always get back up when you fall
You can take criticism without feeling crushed
You are not scared to get your hands dirty.
Most important of all - You never give up.
So you have everything needed to become a writer.
The Humans of Horse Racing is my fourth book and I know I have at least two more books inside me just waiting to get out.
I hope you feel inspired to take your knowledge and unique experiences and write a horse book.