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Friday, April 2, 2010

Straight From The Horse's Mouth

I spent a GREAT day at an equine veterinary center the other day. There's a chapter in Apocalypse Rising where one of my main characters tames a very ill-mannered horse.

The scene came out as I planned and although I was happy with it, I wanted to make sure I got the feel of it right. Grey, the main character is so good with horses, I wanted to instill that sense of confidence and experience with the reader.

I'm touchy about scenes in cases where the author has a lot of expertise on a specific topic. I have to watch this when I write about dogs or homesteading. I can go overboard if you let me and I have to keep reminding myself it's not about the dog (or horse). It's about the story.

After visiting with the vets, their amazing associate, and the horses (of course), I felt I had the scene pretty close the first time. But with their help I think it reads even more intimately now.

This equine center is walking distance from my house, but I'm still gimpy, so I drove out there, notebook and camera in hand.

They were such nice people! They answered all my questions and I got up-close and personal with one of the horses where I could touch, smell and study the animal.

They let me examine the horse's mouth, her feet, her coat, and gave me some valuable tips about behavioral problems. I got to wander around to my heart's content, but I didn't want to wear out my welcome. They had patients to tend to and I didn't want to get in their way.

I am so glad I did this. It makes me feel I nailed Grey just the way I needed him. There's a lot to be said for authenticity.

*** Now, I want a horse.

I only said that so I can see Greg cringe. hehehe.


Dru said...

I'm laughing as I imagine the look on Greg's face about wanting a horse.

That is a beautiful horse.

Have a good weekend.

Maria Zannini said...

Yeah. I should've had my camera out. LOL! The look was priceless.

He is terrified I'm going to ask for a horse.

I wouldn't mind having one, but they are expensive animals to keep and they aren't particularly practical unless you work them.

Have a great weekend, Dru!

Sherri said...

Love horses...used to have one back in high school. Sister bought her current house just so she could have them again. They are a lot of work!

I imagine your hubby's look about horses would be the same as mine about a trip that involved flying over an ocean, LOL

Maria Zannini said...

Sherri: I have enough work to do. LOL.

Not to mention I already have a horse-sized rottie that likes to sleep in my bed.

But if I could afford it, yeah, I'd like to have a horse.

M.R.J. Le Blanc said...

Ah, I've always loved horses. That must have been fun spending the day there. Got any particular favourites with regards to breeds?

Maria Zannini said...

I'm not fussy as long as the horse isn't too skittish.

Barbara Ann Wright said...

That's awesome. Don't give in to the wanting of the horse since the center is so close. You can visit anytime you want and any horse-related mishaps will have nothing to do with you! Ahh, sounds perfect.

And also, now that I look at heliduck again, he does seem to be a duck with a very steampunk hat.

Maria Zannini said...

There is also a lion preserve nearly across the street from the equine center.

...I hope never to hear about mishaps there either. :grin:

Marian said...

"It makes me feel I nailed Grey just the way I needed him."

I was reading this fast, and misread "Grey" as "Greg".

Maria Zannini said...

I have no doubt I'll nail Greg--but that's a different sort of nailing. LOL.