Spring 2018 Update

It’s been many seasons since posting. Not so long by some measures, but in social media terms it has been ages. Sometimes you need to resource your motivation and find the right stability for achieving goals. Regeneration is a hopeful project.

I came to see horses differently after doing research for the books. There is so much evidence that humans benefit from experience with horses, even if we don’t know this anymore. You can see the belief in our history: the art, the literature, the language and myths and political forms all recognize and respect equestrian influence. But not anymore. It seems a huge change to ignore.

Most have lost the horse connection–rip! it’s gone–and the ramifications are unknown. Another era is upon us. Horses are mute actors, large canaries in the coal mines of human coalescence. This seems true in all times and places. Horsemanship reflects consequence of action; our troubles are theirs.

I have even come to believe horses are important for our future. We seem to need the remembrance they represent, to feel the history that still lives with them. Horsemanship was a herald of human civilization. Both dawned together, and maybe that matters. I now think it might.

People may actually need the connection to nature that horses provide. In one sense the horse never left the prairie, we just built around them; horses are still wild inside, still afraid of lions.

It would be funny if it turned out that human primates need the horse’s original ancient lessons of strategic leadership and internal control in order to sustain society.

Maybe the flaw of machines is you don’t need to care. Maybe we need to care.

The brutality of the corporate vision offers vital despair as it approaches the horizon, but there are other paths. Paths once hallowed. We may have dismounted in haste, but the horse is still with us. Not in the guise of the betrayed plow horses or those we bred for carriages or drays, but within the intimate bonds of equestrian sport, recreational riding and therapy. The deepest partnership we have with animals has continued to advance and unfold. That itself seems a guide.

The exciting–thrilling–spark of our new day is something that wasn’t knowable before, and people may not think of even now. The love of horses is still alive. Horses are proving to be a curious antidote to the commercial world and will surely become more valuable over time, not less. Many still feel the ancient bond, proving love is indeed as perennial as the grass.


“Horses had been Meagan’s life since she had first been lifted onto Moose’s broad back. Her books were horse books; her toys, horse toys. Riding lessons and a pony were all Meagan wished for on birthdays and Christmases. Every conversation included horses.” —excerpted from Eclipsed by Shadow (Book #1 of ‘The Legend of the Great Horse’ trilogy (p. 20)

Her books were horse books;
her toys, horse toys.



quotation mark

Horses had been Meagan’s life since she had first been lifted onto Moose’s broad back. Her books were horse books; her toys, horse toys. Riding lessons and a pony were all Meagan wished for on birthdays and Christmases. Every conversation included horses.

To answer her daughter’s passion, Jennifer had arranged for three instructors. The first had been Jennifer’s own father, who spent summers teaching his eager granddaughter the nature of the animal and its care. Though Meagan enjoyed Western riding she longed to jump, so an Old School, cavalry-type drill sergeant was found, an instructor with a reputation for turning out tough, disciplined riders with classical basics. After watching one drill session, Tom was sure his daughter would give up riding altogether.

Meagan did more than survive the cavalryman, however: she thrived. Difficult horses were given to her and she succeeded, and steadily moved up the competition levels. In time, Meagan attracted the attention of a prominent trainer. The man’s credentials included international competition and the coaching of two former Olympians. He became Meagan’s trainer that afternoon.

One week later her father lost his job.

Jennifer knew why Tom put his foot down. Money was scarce and horses could be only a small part of the new budget. But Tom never understood, not really. To him, once Meagan was out of pigtails and able to steer a horse, riding lessons had diminished value. It was Jennifer who understood what horsemanship demanded and the values it instilled.

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. (p. 20 Hbk)

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.

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NYC could honor horses with small “Horse Village” in Central Park

The Legend of the Great Horse trilogy was inspired by man’s partnership with horses … the following is a response to an exceptional challenge to the horse’s place in society today.


The NYC carriage horse situation has given me the idea to ask the horse welfare activists to help with a project for the future of horses—by helping reconnect the public with their equestrian roots.

A New Era

The recent move to ban horse carriages in NYC follows a number of controversies involving the place for horses in modern society. The struggle against horse slaughter, the fight to keep free-running mustangs in the American West, and, for me locally, the disbanding of the Boston police horses and detached dismanagement of Suffolk Downs—these issues point to a need for an informed public conversation about horsemanship’s role in the modern era.

This is a conversation for our time. The discussion couldn’t have been had in 1900 when cavalry competitions in Jumping were new and gaining unprecedented popularity with horse-experienced audiences. In the following decades the ‘horse and buggy’ was being replaced by automobiles and made into a cliché of being old-fashioned and obsolete. A conversation about the future of horses wouldn’t have been hopeful in the WWI & II years as 21 million US farm horses were summarily ‘retired’ in favor of tractors and horse cavalries were being disbanded the world over. Even as new recreational forms of horsemanship were growing in the post-war era, it was too soon to see whether popularity would sustain or how the new forms would develop.

Today we have the evidence that human interest in horses goes beyond their use in transportation and war, and valuable experience in how humane forms of horsemanship can continue to benefit mankind. We are at a historic crossroads and, as the challenges to the horse’s presence in society are showing, we need to have that conversation for the good of our horses and future generations.

My proposal is to ask Mayor de Blasio to set aside in perpetuity a quiet 1.5 acre plot in the 840-acre Central Park for a ‘Horse Village’ dedicated to sharing horses with the public.

Continue reading “NYC could honor horses with small “Horse Village” in Central Park”

News about The Legend of the Great Horse trilogy

Into the Dark - bookcover image of Stroller

The Legend of the Great Horse trilogy is sponsoring a new horse-related website launching this weekend.

The name of the site is Clean-Round.com, and its purpose is to promote equestrian sport by aggregating links to coverage and related content online. The site is set to go ‘live’ on Sunday April 21, 2013.

Clean Round! is a non-profit project I’m creating with experience and resources gained though sharing the trilogy’s story. Horse sports are continuing the journey of horsemanship in our time, so the site is natural project for the trilogy to sponsor.

Why a Show Jumping site?

Horsemanship has a great diversity of engaging and unique sports. My own background was in Western trail-riding, which eventually led to eventing. I also competed in Dressage and Hunter/Jumper shows as preparation for what was called Combined Training in Texas during the late 1970s.

Clean Round! is a Show Jumping project because it is adaptable, humane, and has great potential as a spectator sport. People don’t watch sports as much as they watch games and Jumping can be an excellent game to watch. In that role the sport can help sustain a connection between horses and the public.

This is also an historic year for the sport. With sponsorship from Furusiyya funded by Saudi Arabian interests, Show Jumping is embarking on a new international framework for the team Nations Cup series.

It’s a new idea and an experiment, one I hope helps bring positive exposure to great reporting and initiatives happening in the horse world.