Monday, March 12, 2012

A Cover Story

Ah, firsts...They play an important role in our lives, don’t they? From the moment the stick turns (pink? blue?), the newly expectant wait anxiously for that first stir of life. We wonder if that first word will be “Ma-Ma” or “Da-Da.” Parents watch with camera in hand for their child’s first step. Grandparents fly in to watch their grandchildren head off for their first day of school, the first prom, the first graduation.

In Rodeo Daughter, my June Harlequin American Romance, four-year-old Hailey’s first horseback ride becomes a pivotal moment in the blossoming romance between former rodeo star, Amanda Markette and Mitch Goodwin, a stern prosecuting attorney who—thanks to a playground accident—struggles to regain custody of his daughter while earning Amanda’s love.

What child doesn’t love that first chance to ride a horse. I’m tipping my cowboy hat to Harlequin’s Art Department for capturing that excitement for the cover of Rodeo Daughter.

Recently, I ran across this picture of one of my firsts—my first horseback ride.

Yes, that’s me riding Biscuit. What a thrill! I just knew I was going to grow up to be a rodeo star like Amanda in Rodeo Daughter. I didn’t, but from that moment through my late teens, my sister and I spent most weekends at the local riding stables where we groomed horses in exchange for rides. And just a couple of years ago, when we wanted to celebrate a significant milestone, sis and I went on an all-day trail ride.

How about you? Have you ever been horseback riding? Was it a pivotal moment in your life?


linda s said...

Never rode a horse, yet. My mother loved horses and was an expert rider. My father hated horses and wouldn't go near them. Still, he took her to the ranch to ride at least once a year. But not us.

Tammy Yenalavitch said...

I went horseback riding when I was 5 or 6 at camp. I got thrown off the horse - he bucked me off. Scared me so much, that I stayed away from horses for years. I was in high school the next time I tried to ride. I still do not like horses.

I love the picture of you on the horse. So sweet!

Pamela Stone said...

Hi Leigh,

Yes, I actually talked my daddy into buying me a horse. Don't say it, "Spoiled brat, only child." Her name was Prissy and she lived at my grandparents' house with Daddy Jake's cows. She sort of thought she was a cow with no other horses to hang out with. My dad trained horses for a short time after WWII, but he never fully succeeded in teaching me to be a proper horse woman. Still, it was pretty cool.

Laura Barth said...

Hey Leigh,

I've ridden a few horses in my time--we pretty much always had farm animals of one sort or another.

My most memorable ride was when I took our pony out bareback and it managed to dump me on the side of the road and go charging back down the highway to our house. Yes, I said highway!

I was terrified it would trip over the reins and break a leg, but it was unscathed. We must have been quite a sight with me chasing that darn pony all the way home.