I don't know if anyone has really wondered, but I thought I'd give a little extra background behind why I wrote a book about a horse. If you do a search for books about horses, they all kind of look the same. There's a girl, she's angry, upset, lost, or just a bit out of sorts. But then she discovers a barn, and a horse, and usually a boy. And mayhem and magic ensues. But I didn't think about that when I decided to write this book. And I'd like to think that my book is a bit different. Sure, my character is lost, upset, and angry. And there's a boy. But from there, it goes elsewhere. There are no horse shows, no ribbons. There's just a girl in her life with horses. So why horses?
1. Horses are every girl's dream. I know very few women or girls who don't have some love for horses, whether they have any or not. Horses are one of those universal creatures that are only a horn away from a unicorn and there's something magical about them, even without that horn. For women, anyway.
2. Human connections to horses don't make sense. I grew up with horses. I don't remember a time in my childhood where there wasn't a horse around. I inherently felt connected to them, even though nature says that connection shouldn't be there. Horses are prey, and humans are predators. Horses should fear humans. Humans weigh (usually) 100-200 pounds. Horses weigh over 1000. Humans should fear horses. But in general, this isn't the case. There is a partnership between humans and horses that defies nature, and the trust necessary to form that bond is immense and irrational. But when you can curl up on the ground with a sitting horse, lean against their neck, and pet their face, nature isn't a thing. The bond is.
3. Horses are mysterious. It's often difficult to figure out exactly what they're thinking, even though sometimes it seems obvious. They have quirks and personalities that are unique and special. They have a language all their own, and for anyone who takes the time to pay attention, the conversations between human and horse is special.
4. Horses have meaning. This is a strong belief I've always had. Horses are strong, independent, and spirited. They are willful and sensitive. They are connected to the earth and yet ethereal. In a more practical sense, anyone who spends time around horses has a special sense of the world that doesn't come with a dog. I have a niece who grew up with horses, training them all herself, taking them to shows, and getting better with each horse and each skill she taught to them. And I believe it has made her the strong, independent woman that she is growing into. She is not discouraged by setbacks, she doesn't need anyone's approval, and she never gives up. On top of all that, she's a gentle soul with a deep sense of empathy for others. I'm sure she would have turned out great without the horses, but I also feel that her experiences with horses has given her the fortitude and strength that make her unique among teenagers, and skills that she can carry throughout her life. I like to think that my character has similar qualities, for the same reasons.