Friday, November 28, 2008
If I Could Write a Book...
Oh yeah, I did. Last weekend I prepared to take a Corolla stallion to show off at a horse expo and do a book signing. To my surprise, I discovered that I had sold all but one of the ones that I had at home. The book, entitled, "And a Little Child Shall Lead Them: Learning from Wild Horses and Small Children", has been very well received by readers. I plan to order another printing tonight, but one can order a copy now by hitting the link on our web site, www.msindianhorses.com.
I guess that all books have a story behind them, but this one came into being in a bit of an unusual way. For years I have been asked at my clinics if I had a book available. I never found the time to write a book, but I did have some essays and articles that I had not yet published that could form the core of a book. Though instructional, those essays tended to be lighted hearted and humorous. I slowly pecked along at building a book around those writings.
Then I found out my mother was dieing. I began to write at a furious pace. I wanted to have the manuscript together for her to read. I finished the draft just before she died. She was too weak to read any of it. My wife offered to read some of it to her but by then the pain medicine made it too difficult for her to concentrate enough to have it read to her.
She never got to hear a word of it. After the funeral I looked over my short manuscript and realized how little it said about what was special about the relationship that I try to teach my little riders to have with their horses. I wrote much more. I expected to weave the new portions seamlessly into the manuscript, but it did not flow as I expected.
Before the final copy went off to the publisher I realized the problem. Nothing that I wrote after my mother died was light hearted or humorous. Nor was it depressing. It simply said what I felt about--about kids, about horses, and about the elusive pursuit of happiness that my life had been. It is more honest than men usually are with themselves and, like my mustangs,it was just what I wanted, whether anyone else liked it or not.
If I wrote it today there are a few things that I would change. Some felt that I was too hard on the "established horse world." I was not hard enough, particularly on horse snobs. Another flaw was my insistence that stallions should not be gelded. I now recognize the value of geldings. At the time I wrote the book my bias in favor of stallions was misplaced.
Though it may sound a bit brash, I have always considered false modesty but be just another form of dishonesty. With that said, this is a good book.
Posted by Steve Edwards