A Worthy Steed
A guest post by Pegg Thomas
Writing for The Pony Express Romance Collection gave me a wonderful opportunity to combine my love of history and my love of horses. "Embattled Hearts", my story in the collection, includes a one-eyed horse named Cyclops. He’s a solid black thoroughbred with attitude.
When our son decided that he wanted to be a cowboy, we put obstacles in his way. You see, I’d had horses as a kid and I knew the expense and the work involved. We told him he couldn’t get a horse until he was 13 and able to do the work involved. He also had to take riding lessons first, which we weren’t going to paying for. And he’d have to purchase his own horse. That should have deterred any youngster, right?
He cleared the last hurdle just weeks before his 13th birthday, and had his money in the bank. It was time to horse shop. We knew our son was going to be tall—he’d passed me at age 12—so we went looking for a tall horse, something he wouldn’t outgrow. The market was high at the time and Quarter Horses over 15 hands were bringing a small fortune. Then we heard about off-track Thoroughbreds. Retired racehorses ready to take up a new career.
That led us to Jason.
Jason was a 16.2 hand solid black gelding with a been-there-done-that-got-the-tee-shirt kind of sanity that a mother appreciates. He was as smart and level-headed as any horse I’d ever been around. But he also had attitude. Did I mention our son was 13? One attitude deserves another.
Our son, who had been active in 4-H for years, was thrilled to take his horse to the fair. People proceeded to tell him that he should have bought a Quarter Horse. They told him that he couldn’t contest with a Thoroughbred. Never throw the gauntlet down before a pair with attitude. Within the year, our son and Jason were weaving between poles, circling barrels, sliding to a stop between chalked lines, and bringing home the ribbons to prove it.
The big black taught my son a lot of lessons along the way. He taught him patience. He taught him perseverance. He taught him trust. He taught him to overcome obstacles, some physical and some mental. He taught him to stand his ground. And he taught him that mom meant it when she said to unplug the electric fence before riding in the paddock.
I started writing "Embattled Hearts" almost a year to the day after we lost Jason at the ripe old age of 25. It seemed only fitting to capture his spirit in the story—which turned out to be my debut. I think Jason would have approved, although he may have given me some grief about the one-eyed thing, since he had both of his.
Pegg Thomas lives on a hobby farm in Northern Michigan with Michael, her husband of *mumble* years.
A life-long history geek, she writes “History with a Touch of Humor.”
When not working on her latest novel, Pegg can be found in her garden, in her kitchen, at her spinning wheel, or on her trusty old horse, Trooper.
Blurb for "Embattled Hearts": Alannah Fagan escaped from a battle she wouldn’t survive. Stewart McCann left behind a battle he couldn’t face. Thrown together at Horseshoe Station, can they find something worth fighting for?
Buy Pegg's story "Embattled Hearts" in The Pony Express Romance Collection, available now at Amazon and Christian Bookstores
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