The First Ride

The herd’s stallion trotted fretfully around the edges of his band. A stallion may choose his group but he is not the boss. Equine society is based on friendships and roles—the stallion was waiting for the group’s leader to make a decision, and he wished she would hurry. – Eclipsed by Shadow (excerpt)

A prehistoric horse herd-inspection…

“It’s all right,” Meagan calmly told the wary circle of horses. She moved slowly as individual horses stepped closer to sniff suspiciously. “I’m not going to hurt you.” She stroked the gray mare’s neck to show her good intentions.

The herd’s stallion trotted fretfully around the edges of his band. A stallion may choose his group but he is not the boss. Equine society is based on friendships and roles—the stallion was waiting for the group’s leader to make a decision, and he wished she would hurry.

The actual chief was a squat sorrel mare. She paced around Meagan with tight steps, her head held stiff and high. She was not pleased. Yes, this noisy pale monkey was interesting, mildly, taking a predator’s position to do nothing but gurgle. But the mare was impatient. She had a specific destination in mind today, a sheltered area with quality grass. The clinging creature was plainly too clumsy to be a concern, so perhaps a good day’s grazing could still be had.

To Meagan’s relief the sorrel mare snorted and swung around. The stallion moved to the rear as the herd fell into a brisk trot.

“Really, I won’t be any trouble,” Meagan assured the horses as they moved off, patting her mount’s coarse neck. The little mare flattened her ears and crow-hopped.

« “Mrs. Bridgestone” || “The Scythian Tomb” »
The Legend of the Great Horse trilogy is an adventure through history … each section is about a different time period. The above excerpt is from “Home,” the 1st section of Eclipsed by Shadow, set in modern-day California.

Eclipsed by Shadow (Book #1 of the trilogy) won national awards including the Eric Hoffer Award for best Young Adult Fiction, and the Mom’s Choice Award for best family-friendly Young Adult Fantasy.

__________

» See the Media Kit for more information about the trilogy.

Check out the trilogy’s page on Facebook!

Benefits of Horses series on Horse Owner Today

Hyracotherium vasacciensis skeleton, National Museum of Natural History, Washington, D.C., USA. - Jeff Kubina / Wikimedia Commons / CC-BY-SA 2.0
Hyracotherium (formerly Eohippus) skeleton – Jeff Kubina / Wikimedia Commons / CC-BY-SA 2.0
I’m beginning an informal series on the benefits of horses to humans … Horse Owner Today magazine has posted the 1st one!
Excerpt


Watching Horses is part of being Human

To say mankind evolved watching horses is simply reporting evidence. Incredibly the sight of horses is older to humanity than the use of fire or tools. Horse-watching predates walking upright…

(read more)

#39- The End of “Prey”

The spooked horses stampeded into the deadly corridor. The gray mare swung with the herd as Meagan grabbed mane and fought to stay mounted. Packed bodies crushed against her and she was carried with the torrent. Walls of rock blurred as the band plunged down the canyon… – Eclipsed by Shadow (excerpt)

Meagan wanted to believe the dark men tightening their circle were anything but what they seemed, anything but primitives on a well-scripted hunt…

The spooked horses stampeded into the deadly corridor. The gray mare swung with the herd as Meagan grabbed mane and fought to stay mounted. Packed bodies crushed against her and she was carried with the torrent.

Walls of rock blurred as the band plunged down the canyon. The close-running herd squeezed against her legs, threatening to pull her into the flashing hooves. There was no way to stop and a fall would mean a trampled death. The corridor curved ahead, and Meagan felt the ground begin to slope. The left wall vanished as the first shrill screams tore the air.

“PROMISE!”

The gray mare collided into the horse in front and scrambled to remain upright. Meagan buried her face into her mount’s neck, closing her eyes for the impact from behind. She fell into the rolling mass, holding the gray tightly as they were torn from the earth.

Excerpted from Eclipsed by Shadow, the award-winning 1st volume of “The Legend of the Great Horse” trilogy. (Hrdbk pg. 101)

Book II: The Golden Spark will be published Fall 2010.

Read the 1st Chapter online!

Copyright © 2008 John Royce

#38- The Horse Hunt

The tribe advanced, slowly tightening their circle as the herd milled in confusion. The only apparent escape was the deadly corridor between the rocks. The lead mare paced, trying to find another way before committing to the canyon’s blind entrance. – Eclipsed by Shadow (excerpt)

Mounted on a prehistoric horse, Meagan sees horse-hunting from a different point of view…

The tribe advanced, slowly tightening their circle as the herd milled in confusion. The only apparent escape was the deadly corridor between the rocks. The lead mare paced, trying to find another way before committing to the canyon’s blind entrance.

Meagan swallowed, remembering that horses were a delicacy of primitive man. Prehistoric bands of humans had ranged near such rocky formations, luring herds into blind alleys and driving them from cliffs. She remembered the caves of Lascaux in France which held the remains of thousands of horses killed some fifteen thousand years before. Thirteen millennia before the Year of our Lord.

She wished she had not read so many books.

A wisp shot past the men, a figure—a girl—running alone into the circle. Horses shied from her path. The figure slowed to a walk, approaching Meagan and the frightened mare. It was the silent girl who had tried to follow. Her crystal eyes held wonder. Thin fingers stretched to touch the gray’s matted coat, stopping short…

Excerpted from Eclipsed by Shadow, the award-winning 1st volume of “The Legend of the Great Horse” trilogy. (Hrdbk pg. 100)

Book II: The Golden Spark will be published Fall 2010.

Read the 1st Chapter online!

Copyright © 2008 John Royce