Wednesday, 16 May 2012
Author Spotlight - The Inspiration of Horses by Delores Goodrick Beggs
I wrote some of my first published short stories sitting on a California mountaintop while I watched Moonrise, my part Appaloosa mare that I'd trained, play in the exercise corral at the hilltop stables that was situated so high a hazy snow cloud once hovered close enough overhead that I reached up into it and felt my hand grow icy and watched it disappear, the only time I have touched a cloud.
Moonrise was a feisty mare with personality plus, and always did something unexpected. She was never what you'd call a tame, broke horse. She was perfectly capable of ignoring a command if I neglected to make it the correct way I'd trained her since she was a young, unbroken filly. She gloried in keeping me on my booted toes as well as providing inspiration for my stories.
One time I remember well was the day the exercise corral had a number of tumbleweeds rolling about in the wind. She began to nudge at them with her nose, and then picked one up in her mouth, carried it close to where I sat somewhat sheltered from the blowing gusts, and dropped it. She cantered away after another rolling bush, caught it in her muzzle, and brought it over to pile on the first one she'd dropped. She repeated that until she'd piled four tumbleweeds in a neat stack while I watched her play with them.
In my 1989 short story Aestart and the Shadowfolk, part of a published collection of my skyhorse stories, Aestart the skyhorse saved the heroine from the swarming Shadowfolk by covering her with dried brush in a similar manner as how I'd observed Moonrise pile tumbleweeds that day.
Moonrise was also a part of one of the most special events in my life. My daughter and I were riding at the stables late one afternoon, I on Moonrise and her on her big bay, Beau, which she kept at the stables also. We rode around the barn to overlook the exercise corral,and watch the city lights come on far below, savoring the end of another nice ride together. We turned the horses around to go put them up just in time to see a huge, milk-white moon rise over the barn roof. We halted our horses and stared watching it climb on up into the sky, glorying in the specialness of experiencing the moon rise together.