It all began when a neighbor offered me my first ride on the back of her palomino Quarter Horse. That was the only time she ever took me for a ride and I'm sure she never knew the impact that it had on me.
I was eight years old and from that moment on I became obsessed with horses. I read every book about horses at our school and in our small town's library. I dreamed about horses and drew pictures of them. I wanted one so badly it felt like a physical ache.
I still remember my surprise when my dad came home one day with a beautiful dappled pony named Cricket. He had bought her at an auction and she came with a black saddle with a red, stitched seat. The only problem was that Cricket was not trained. I never was able to ride her. Every time I tried, I got bucked off and Cricket would take off down the road. It didn't diminish my love of horses in the least.
Shortly after that, we moved and to my delight, one of our new neighbors had several horses and ponies. He offered to teach me to ride and eventually took Cricket and one of my dad's pigs as a trade for one of his well-trained ponies, Dolly.
That was when the fun really began with 4-H, horse shows, fairs, parades, and trail rides over the years as I was growing up. When I had three daughters of my own, we also enjoyed riding together.
Through the influence of Christian horse trainers, John Lyons and Lew Sterrett, I began seeing that the relationship we have with our horses is, in many ways, similar to our relationship with God. God kept after me to do something using our horses to teach young girls about Him.
In 2002, my daughters and I started a group that we called the Christian Cowgirl Club. During the summers we invited a group of girls over once a week. We taught them about horses and riding, and included lessons about God, illustrated through experiences we had with our horses.
The books in the Sonrise Stable series are fictional, but they draw heavily on the experiences I have had with horses over the years. My goal in writing the books was to help children learn about horses and draw closer to God!
My early cowgirl days!
About 10, my pony, Dolly
Whispering to Kezzie
On the trail with Sassy
My current horse, Nikki