I was looking for book quotes the other day for some project or another, when I saw my name pop up. Now, I was a good five pages into the Google search at this point, digging a lot deeper than most people will ever bother, so I’m not entirely surprised that I never saw this quote before.
I am a little surprised no one ever told me about it (maybe the person who lifted the quote from my book?) but I confess I don’t know the protocol in these situations.
Anyway, I click this link and it’s a full PDF of the October 2014 issue of America’s Horse.
Now, I’m sweating a little. America’s Horse is the publication of the American Quarter Horse Association. My first horse was a quarter horse, but I’ve been writing about Thoroughbreds and their basic superiority to all over creatures on earth for a while now, and I’m trying to think if I’ve said anything too pretentious about quarter horses in any of my books. I think Jules might have gotten cute about them at some point.
I am hoping she did not get too cute.
So I flick through the pages of this magazine and find a section devoted to equestrian quotes. There’s a very pretty line from Tolstoy, Anna Karenina. There’s a sage paragraph from D. Wayne Lukas, who started out in quarter horse racing before he moved onto completely reshape the face of American Thoroughbred racing. And then there’s some of the opening lines from Ambition.
Right in the middle, sandwiched between old Tolstoy, a Western Dressage person, and Mr. Lukas.
What an odd place to find not just a few lines from your book, but a few cute, introductory sentences…. nothing deep about the emotional state of a horsewoman in crisis, nothing introspective about the inexplicable bond between horse and human as they gallop together through an uncaring world… just a little moment as Jules regards the horse she loves.
I like those lines. I like the way they reflect how precious Dynamo is to Jules — so precious she keeps him in her sight as much as possible, not even allowing the darkness to invade his paddock at night. I like to think about his prickly whiskers scratching at her neck, and the goosebumps that would raise along her upper arms in response. I like to think about all the times I’ve sat in front of a horse’s stall, leaned my head back against the wall, and just dreamed.
I like that someone at America’s Horse thought the same way.