I grew up in Oklahoma on a four hundred plus acre farm, about eighty miles northeast of Tulsa. My family had cattle and horses, and like most girls that age, I was horse obsessed. My first horse was Nickels, an ornery little Shetland pony that loved to run me into shit, buck me off, bite me, and kick me. Good times. I soon graduated to Poncho, but my legs were too short for his jaunty little jig, so my Grandpa Earl moved me up to Brandy.
I loved this horse. So much. She was gentle and put up with a lot of bullshit… like us using her as a diving board in the creek, an endless parade of strange people riding her, and me trying to force her to run barrels even though she was definitely not barrel racing material. The whole barrel racing thing was pretty short-lived. My ass didn’t fit in Rockies, and my boobs and bra ended up getting tangled around the saddle horn one too many times. Yes. My boobs.
My first book was about a horse, and Brandy was the inspiration (she wasn’t buckskin, she was chestnut with a flaxen mane and tail). I wrote it in grade school, and wish that I could find it, but it’s in my grandma’s house somewhere, so I’m sure I’ll never see it again. And I’m sure it was terrible. Except it was kind of awesome, even though it was a little messed up. I illustrated it with crayon and everything.
It went something like this (at least from what I can remember):
There was a horse that got lost in the desert. It was buckskin, and wandered aimlessly around, trying to find food and water. It was missing for so long that it began to change colors. And it turned into a palomino. I think I killed it at the end.
That was literally it.
I should totally go write a children’s book now.
Here is a picture of me sitting on Brandy for your viewing pleasure: