When I was a kid, I prayed for a purebred Arabian gelding. And he should be black and full of spirit, just like the Black Stallion. Well, fifteen years later, I had my prayers answered. Only I got a half-arabian mare; she’s an arab x saddlebred. But she is black and full of spirit.
After lots of searching, my dressage-teacher friend and I found my perfect horse, whose registered name we later discovered to be “Call Me Crazy.” I thought I probably ought to be called crazy during our first few months together. I was a brand spankin’ new horse owner, and my horse was very sensitive. To everything.
But after lots of lessons for me and training for my horse, we are partners, and she is truly the horse of my heart. Her barn name is now Darcy. Yes, named after Mr. Darcy from Pride and Prejudice. I know, I know. I sound like an obsessed teenager. But my Darcy does have the same aloof qualities of Austen’s Mr. Darcy. But once you get to know her, you’ll find that she, like Mr. Darcy, has a heart of gold and does her best to please when she understands what you want.
This year has been a big one for Darcy and I. I have made great strides in overcoming my horseback riding fear, and we have been able to travel to local trail riding facilities, which until this year I’d been too terrified to do. The work I did in overcoming this fear has carried over into my whole life, including writing and publishing.
Yes, there is a great deal of potential fear in publishing your own work. Will people buy it? Will they like it? Is there some horrible mistake in the text that will turn people off? But like with horseback riding, I’ve had to acknowledge my fear and then ask good questions to make sure I was not going to allow my fear to control me. I made sure to do the best I possibly could do on Charlotte Collins, and the rest was out of my hands. And even though I took a pretty nice spill off Darcy and injured my arm a month ago, I am not suffering fear of riding as a result.
Both riding and writing have risks, and I do my best to minimize those risks. I try not to let my vision be tainted by fear, but see what is really happening. And as a result of learning to ride and write fear-free, I have experienced the best year of my life so far.
So many thanks to my Darcy for being the best partner I can imagine. Thank you for making me a better person. I look forward to hitting the trails again with you soon, Darcy-girl.