Monday, June 9

Surviving Adolescence: Riding!

For me, growing up in the 90s meant one thing...horses!


After school, I couldn't wait to get out to the stables and ride, groom and learn how to train horses. I lived in a small suburban part of Tennessee (Greenbrier) and was lucky enough to have this riding arena right behind my house. When I did homework after school, I could look out and watch boarders ride and train their horses. I often had to move to the front of the house so I stopped watching them out the back windows.

That Appaloosa, AJ, was my first lesson horse. Oh, he was old and yes, he was was stubborn. But he was the best teacher. He taught me how to be a rider and how to listen to a horse's needs. He was a great partner and he helped me learn how to impress the girls at my new school with my riding skills. :)


Before we moved to Tennessee, we lived in Ocala, FL. This was a horse from a horse fair my family and I attended. I made my parents sooo nervous because I was always walking up to strange horses (even the occasional stallion!) and talking to them. I was a tiny kid, but if you had a horse, I'd ask for a boost so I could ride.

One of my absolute favorite horsey things to do was trail ride. My friend Amy and I would take our horses into the woods and get lost riding. We guided our horses through people's backyards (Sorry!), over creeks (Kind of dumb, now that I think about it) and along roads that saw a car a day. That was in the mid-90s and before cell phones were so inexpensive. Imagine how far my mom would have let me ride if I'd had a cell!

Horses were my most precious thing during childhood. They gave me the inspiration to write Take the Reins and the rest of the Canterwood Crest books. Name something from your childhood that inspires your writing.

8 comments:

Lauren Baratz-Logsted said...

I would consider horseback riding as a strategy to survival...except I have yet to meet a horse I can't fall off!

Alyson Noel said...

I had a horse growing up named Lucky. And since most of my friends had horses too, we'd trail ride every day after school...it was awesome.

But- I had to put lucky down when I turned 14- the heart of adolescence- so those days don't really inspire my books-- it's the tougher times that came after that I usually channel!

Awesome pics!

Jessica Burkhart said...

Huh...my other comment disappeared! Anyway, LOL, Lauren.

Alyson, I'm so sorry for your loss (what a tough age for you), but hope you have good memories of Lucky.

Melissa Walker said...

I loved horses when I was young, but never quite stuck with riding. What inspires my writing? That rollercoaster of emotions that I felt from about 7th-12th grades... I kept notes on it all, and the ups and downs never fail to inspire scenes for me!

Sara Hantz said...

I had a couple of bad experiences on horses, so didn't ride after that. I read a lot and that has helped my writing. Also, having friends and going through all their traumas has helped.

Gerb said...

Jessica, you lived a dream of mine! I was horse crazy as a kid but living in the suburbs, never had much of an opportunity to ride. I always wanted to have my own horse. *sigh*

What inspires my writing? An overactive imagination for one thing. I used to get in trouble in school for 'daydreaming.' Now I get paid for it. : )

Cara King said...

I'm racking my brains trying to think up something that inspires my writing besides the obvious (books) but I just can't -- that's all I can think of!

So: books. Especially books from my childhood. The Oz books, Nancy Drew, Edward Eager, The Little Princess, Noel Streatfeild, Diana Wynne Jones, Alexander Key, E Nesbit, Louisa May Alcott, Tolkien, Robin McKinley, Susan Cooper...

Reading has always made me want to write. (And everything makes me want to read!)

Cara

Kelly Parra said...

Great post, Jess! My creative side inspires my writing today!