Friday, May 14, 2010

Why We Ride

I am fortunate to have two real driving passions in my life. Obviously, the horses are a huge part of my family's life and mine. I love working for our family business where I can participate on a daily basis in finding new ways to make our equine partners live out their lives comfortably and happily. Some of you may know that my other passion is writing (let me just say that if we were having this conversation face-to-face, I would have to really annunciate the "t" in writing versus the "d" in riding). Yes--I am a writer. I've written two mystery series and a handful of other novels.

The reason I bring this up is that I was lucky enough to be able to participate in an anthology project titled, "Why We Ride." This is a book of short stories written by women writers on the horses in their lives. My good friend Verna Dreisbach edited the book and Jane Smiley has written the foreward. The stories in the book are inspiring, fun and full of love for the horse. The book has already gone into a second printing and it was just released this month! I hope you will consider checking it out at your local library or picking up a copy at the bookstore. It is a book for horse people by horse people. For me, it gave me the opportunity to tell the story of of what growing up with horses was like and more than that it's about the adventures my friends and I had out on the trails with my Dad who was the leader of our little gang that we called "The Billy Dal Gang." My Dad started Professional's Choice, along with my Mom over 35 years ago, and the horses were the reason they started the company. As mentioned in my last post, it's always about the horse. However, my short story on The Billy Dal Gang is also about how much fun the horses provided us as little girls, and how my Dad taught us what it meant to care for, respect, and really love our animals.

Here is Libarary Journal's Review Of "Why We Ride"

Dreisbach writes that we choose a horse for many reasons, such as beauty, ability, what we see of ourselves reflected in the horse (or what we wish we were like). All 20-plus contributors to this collection--for example, Jane Ayres, Kara Gall, Michele Scott, and Jacqueline Winspear--believe that their horses taught them something about themselves and made them stronger, better people. If you're looking for a rational, objective reason as to why women ride, it will not be found in this book--all the contributors write of a passionate love and connection with the horse (sometimes in spite of being physically injured while riding), and most are impressed at being in control and/or partnering with such a beautiful, graceful, and powerful animal. VERDICT Animal lovers and readers of horse memoirs such as Susan Richards's Chosen by a Horse and Jane Smiley's A Year at the Races (Smiley here contributes a foreword) will enjoy this compilation. --Library Journal, May 1, 2010

As a sidenote, I'd really like to know from you, what are some of your favorite horse stories? They can be books, movies, TV Shows. And, don't forget to read this week's post on the Historical Horse. If you contribute on the comment page, you will automatically be eligible to win some cool stuff from professional's Choice in this month's drawing.

Have a wonderful weekend! Go hug your horse.

Michele Scott
Professional's Choice
Vice President


  1. I would have to say that a movie comes to mind. Wild Hearts Can't Be Broken. It demonstrates the determination and tenacity that horse people have, as well as the trust and dedication to the animals and sport that we love so dearly.

    I know in my own life that they saved me. I suffered some emotional problems in my youth and if it werent for them, I wouldn't be the confident, determined, loving mother that I am today. (Its a long story). I have been working for barns since I was 15. My family didn't come from money so I worked at McDonalds to make monthly payments on my show horse, which my dad helped me a lot with. My parents made great sacrifices to help me chase my dreams. I also worked at the Seahorse Ranch in exchange for board, training and lessons. Both of these jobs started when I was 15. When I turned 17 I found the barrel horse that I am currently running now. She was a 4 yr old that raced her 2 yr old yr on the AQHA track. The owner was kind enough to let me make payments of $200 a month ($3800 total), so I made sure to never disappoint her. The mare and I almost 7 years later are finally reaching our goals. She ran a 17.691 on a standard pattern on 5/9/10 to put me in the top 25 runs out of over 160. This is my dream and though we still struggle financialy, I always make and find a way. My truck is a beat up 1994 chevy with fenders that dont match and the trailer it pulls is a 1977 WW two horse, but it was either the nice horse or the nice trailer and a trailer is no good without the nice horse. I wouldn't be me without horses. They saved my life along with my daughter.


  2. By the way, I love your products! I have the CJ Orthosport pad, 2 CJ Cinches, bell boots... I love it all! Thanks for making such great products!


  3. Dear Nichole,

    Thank You so much for your comments and your inspiring story! It's great people like yourself and great horses like yours that keep us excited about what we do for a living. Please keep us posted on how you your mare continue doing. It sounds like you've done a great job already.

    Thank You again for your post!


  4. Glad to see you blogging about the book. I am one of the other contributors to the collection, and I enjoyed reading your piece.

    I love The Black Stallion for the way in which the relationship between the boy and the horse first develops on the island when they are alone - long, nearly silent stretches which establish the bond the two share, unspoken, pure and clear.

  5. I LOVE The Black Stallion. Definitely one of my all time favorites.