Monday, December 31, 2007

Ride Pennsylvania Trails!

I met Carolyn Cook at an open house for a tack shop in Pennsylvania in 2004 when my first horse book, "Beloved School Horses," came out. She was selling her book, "Ride Pennsylvania Horse Trails - Part I, The Eastern Half of Pennsylvania." In 2005, Part II, the Western Half was released.

These are comprehensive guidebooks that are perfect for anyone wanting to explore the commonwealth's picturesque trail system. Carolyn includes interesting introductions - she was engaged to John Spotts, a fellow trail rider, in Part I and their unique wedding (yes, on horseback!) is described in Part II. She also includes information about the differences between the state forests, parks and gamelands etc.

Details about each trail system include: an overview and personal comments; fee and permit info; who to contact for maps; interesting historical background; and directions and parking info. For emergencies, there is a list of local stables, vets and blacksmiths.

The books come complete with black and white photographs and some breathtaking color shots. Carolyn personally rode each of the trail systems she wrote about - 47 in Part I and 37 in Part II, and that doesn't include the branches with different names!

My favorite part of the book is in the back - the Bloopers! Hysterical photos with comments in Part I and a Bloopers Recap in Part II.

These books are terrific "reference points for the assortment of trails in Pennsylvania."

Visit to order or learn more.

Happy Trails!

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Happy Holidays!

On Saturday, December 15th, I was invited to do a book signing at Winning Edge Tack Shop in Ocala, Florida, near where we are spending the winter. I was pleased to have a couple of great gals who I had interviewed for stories in my Beloved Sport Horses join me at the event. That's Jeanne McDonald, breeder of Gypsy Vanner Horses, on the left and Denise Hopkins, a trick horse trainer, on the right. Many thanks to them and Winning Edge for their support!

I am planning a fundraiser for make A Wish Foundation involving ten special editions of Beloved Sport Horses. More on that in my next Blog!

I recently finished reading the first three novels by Dick Francis. They were all in one paperback - very handy!

Dead Cert, Nerve and For Kicks are wonderful mystery stories with each protagonist being a different but fascinating steeplechase jockey in England. The stable settings, racing scenes and equine personalities are very realistic despite that all three novels were written in the early 1960's! If you have never read a Dick Francis novel, I suggest you find one to get lost in; I've never been disappointed by them! There are two certainties with Dick Francis - they are always written in first person and are always set with a racing background, or at least have horses in them. My favorite scene? When the hero in For Kicks jumps on a racehorse bareback and gallops cross country trying to avoid being killed!

Next review will feature trail riding in Pennsylvania by Carolyn Cook.
Have a wonderful and peaceful Holiday Season!