Kaki Warner Talks Horses and a Giveaway

Kaki_head_shotHello again, and my thanks to all the fine authors at Petticoats & Pistols for inviting me to visit today and pimp my latest release, WHERE THE HORSES RUN.
In part, I dedicated this book to my husband’s and my two mares—Missouri/American Forxtrotters and full-blooded sisters. They were often cranky, contentious, and hardheaded—in kindness, we said they had well-defined personalities and strong awareness of self. But they were also kind-hearted, mostly cooperative, sure-footed, beautifully gaited, and loved chasing cows across this beautiful country. Knowing them greatly enriched our lives (and diminished our bank account), while giving us wonderful memories. We miss them still.
So I decided to write a book about a horse, (plus all that romancy stuff, too). Despite being a western historical, and the fifth Heartbreak Creek book, WHERE THE HORSES RUN is mostly set in England. Where else would an ex-Texas lawman go to purchase English Thoroughbreds and Hanoverian warmbloods? But in addition to securing excellent breeding stock, Rafe Jessup also found a traumatized horse and a woman desperate to make him well.
where_the_horses_runPembroke’s Pride is a Thoroughbred stallion who was injured in the Grand National Hunt (steeplechase) Race in England in 1870. Pems is fictional—the race isn’t. The obstacles I’ve described in the book are true to the course, including the most dangerous of the thirty jumps. Although the hedge at Beecher’s Brook is only five feet high, the landing is lower than the take-off side, which confuses many horses. In addition, on the other side of the hedge and hidden in the approach is the brook—not particularly wide or deep, but with a horse’s limited straight-down vision, it can be a real shocker. Many horses and riders have been injured at this jump, several fatally. In my story, just as Pems pushes off, another horse bumps him and sends him into the brook. Several horses pile on top of him, penning him under the water. Although he heals from his physical injuries, he is terrified of water thereafter.
Sound farfetched? It isn’t.
We had a horse that wouldn’t cross water. Not because of an injury, but because he was a nitwit. Or maybe a liar. The water in his trough didn’t scare him at all, and in fact, he dearly loved to play in it, drenching himself and anyone in the vicinity. He eventually learned to cross water. And we learned that you can lead a horse to water, but you sure as hell can’t make him cross it if he doesn’t want to. Instead, you have to break through that fear, convince him to put aside his instincts, and trust you enough to do what you ask. If you can reach him, you can teach him. This takes a lot of time and patience and hard work. Luckily, I had just the right guy to help Pems.

Do you have horses? Are you afraid of them? Do you still nurture a childhood dream of having a horse of your own? Share your thoughts, and you’re in the hat for one of two copies of WHERE THE HORSES RUN that I’ll be giving away to two commenters. Good luck! And thanks for chatting with me today.

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Please visit Kaki at http://www.facebook.com/kakiwarner or write to her at kaki@kakiwarner.com. She loves hearing from readers. All of her books are available in print or digital at major book retailers and on-line distributors, as well as the Penguin/Berkley website. Check out the latest reviews on the amazon website: http://amzn.to/1lLdUBI.
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42 thoughts on “Kaki Warner Talks Horses and a Giveaway”

  1. I love horses but am still a little scared too. i finally owned a horse named Cheyenne. in KS, in the 90’s. Already a grandmother of 12. I never got to where I could really make him go where I wanted him to. So, it took lots of my fun out of riding. I felt like I was pulling him hard enough when I wanted but was always a battle. My husband, brother-in-law, and son-in-law had no trouble at all. And, I never did get real easy with letting a horse eat from my hand. Was always afraid they might bite me, tho was told many times. Still made me nervous. Thanks for this article and the chance to win a good book.
    Maxie > mac262(at)me(dot)com <

  2. I liked to go to stables to ride trails when I was a young girl. I never had a desire to own one of my own. Too much time and money involved for me to ever afford a horse.

    I’d love to read about your horses featured in WHERE THE HORSES RUN.

  3. I’ve always wanted to learn to ride, but that’s a luxury that’s never been in our budget (or my parents’ when I was younger). I did chaperone a Girl Scout weekend years ago with my daughter where we road horses along a trail through some hills. I was so scared because it seemed very steep, like I’d roll right off over the horse’s head. But those horses knew that trail blindfolded, I’m sure.

  4. I never spent a lot of time around horses. I think it would be fun to be able to ride again some day. I did a couple times when I was younger.

  5. Hi Kaki!
    Thanks for sharing about yourself and your new book, it sounds fabulous! I love that your book includes a dedication to your two mares, your description made me laugh. I fostered two Polo ponies once who were quite ‘opinionated’ on the ground but nothing short of a dream to ride!
    I grew up absolutely in love with horses-I lived and breathed them. Read every book I could and surrounded myself with people who could teach me about them. My parents could never afford a horse but after I left home I adopted a Mustang from the BLM. Wow, that was an interesting first horse eperience! Thankfully there was a kind hearted rodeo guy who helped me with some of the trickier things…what it really came down to was patience and understanding though. That boy had quite the flight response and more than once nearly did us in. When I had to move away I was heartbroken and found him a great home at a little hobby farm. I remember unloading him from the trailer in this scary new place and feeling overwhelmed with pride/love/sadness when he clung to me for comfort. I never thought he actually decided I was quite good-so it was very touching to know he really trusted me when it came down to it. In later years I did foster care for retired harness racing Standardbreds and really fell in love with their laid back temperments. We kept a couple on our farm, one that my little girls named Black Beauty (though he wasn’t actually black). He was the gentlest, kindest horse I have ever met. You could see his soul through his eyes I swear…I so loved him!

    Anyhow, I’m horseless right now and longing for the days when I can share my life with them again.
    Thank you for the chance at the win!

  6. Hi Kaki, Where The Horses Run sounds like a wonderful book and I absolutely the title. Horses are beautiful animals and I love seeing them grazing in a pasture or running with the wind. We own five horses, two haflingers for pulling our wagons and three others that aren’t ridden much any more. I would love to be comfortable on top of a horse but I am ill at ease and I know the horse can feel that. In the back of my mind I am always thinking that it is a long way to the ground and I am too old for that fall. When the horse trips or stumbles a bit it unnerves me so that I am just not comfortable riding. I guess I don’t ride enough to get use to the ways of a horse.

    I would love to read Where The Horses Run so I am keeping my fingers crossed. That you for the opportunity to be a winner.

  7. Love your books, Kaki. I had the dream of having my own horse when I was a teen. Having one rear up when I was leading it down a ramp took away some of the romance of the idea. Our daughter and her husband have had horses, but are down to a 28 year old stallion. She injured her hip when she was thrown from a horse and doesn’t ride any more. They kept the horses they had and let them live out their senior years.

    Thank you for the giveaway. I am certain the release of WHERE THE HORSES RUN will be a big success. It sounds like a great story.

  8. I admire horses from afar 🙂 Never really had any contact with them and don’t really want any but they are majestic creatures! Thanks for sharing and congrats to Kiki on the new release!

  9. Thanks for inviting me to visit today, ladies. I love this fun group. Now to respond to all these great comments:

    Maxie, I’m sorry your experience with horses wasn’t positive. Sounds like yours was a bit hardheaded and maybe sensed your wariness. And you’re right to avoid hand feeding…it can make a horse “nippy”. But kudos for trying. It takes a lot of courage to climb up on an animal that can do you harm just because he’s spooked.

    A horse might not fit, Minna, but my book will. Maybe you’ll win a copy. YAY!

    Cathy, hopefully you’ll win one instead. Good luck!

    Good thinking, Faith. Horses can be pretty unpredictable and do stupid things especially when they’re scared. A little wariness is a very good thing. Always. Glad you came by.

    Thanks, Laurie. Horses are VERY expressive and time-consuming. You have to be a little horse-crazy to want to own one. Hope you like my story.

    Hi, Janie. You’re right…those up and down hills are scary, even for experienced riders. But good for you for giving it a go. Thanks for stopping by.

    They are fun, Janine. And they always take a piece of your heart when they leave. We had to put our last one down about twenty years ago, and I miss her still. But we’re definitely not getting more. Thanks for your comment.

  10. I am not really scared around horses but I am a bit timid.

    Recently here in Nebraska the area was hit by several tornadoes. One story to come out was about three horses. Our friend were in a cement safe room in their basement. When they felt the tornado had passed they discovered the house completely gone. In the basement were two thoroughbreds. They were uninjured but had to be tranquilized in order to be lifted out. A third horse was under a pickup. He, too, was uninjured.

  11. Great post! I love horses, we use to have them. Growing up it was my job to warm up the horses for my dad when he went to the redo. I loved it! My favorite horse was our palomino. He was a smart horse. He knew who was riding him and how to react differently. Whenever I rode him I felt like we could fly and it didn’t matter who else was around, it was just the two of us.

  12. Tabitha, what wonderful experiences you’ve had! A horse raised in the wild must have been a real challenge. I’m impressed that he finally learned to trust…you were obviously doing something right. And Standardbreds are wonderful horses. I rode one extensively as a teen and loved her very much. And bless you for adopting. So many horses need good homes. You gave your daughters some great experiences they’ll treasure always. Thanks for sharing them with us today. Good luck!

    Melanie, you’re proof you don’t have to ride horses to love and enjoy them. As for falling, I’ve “accidentally” left the saddle a dozen times (always my fault) and I don’t recommend it. I was never seriously hurt, so I was lucky. I don’t ride anymore, partly because I have a feeling #13 would be a doozy. Glad you came by and good luck winning a copy of HORSES.

    Patricia B, thanks! And a rearing horse can be terrifying. I’ve had it happen on the ground and in the saddle. No fun. Sorry your daughter was hurt, but it was kind of them to let their horses live out their days in familiar surroundings. Thanks for your comments and good luck winning a copy of the book.

    erinf1, glad you came by. And if you’re not a horse-lover, it’s good to avoid them. They can be dangerous and unpredictable, and VERY expensive. But it probably wouldn’t hurt to read about them, right? Maybe you’ll win a copy of HORSES. Good luck.

  13. Connie, what an amazing story of survival! I’m sorry your friends lost their house, but I’m glad the horses were safe. How did they get in there? Unbelievable. I’ll be thinking about that story for days. Thanks for telling us, and good luck winning a copy of HORSES.

    Cori, what wonderful horse memories. Thanks so much for sharing them today. We had a palomino Walker, and I think he really could fly. So happy you came by and good luck winning a book.

    Anon1001, I’m glad. Thanks for dropping by and good luck!

  14. I love horses but never had one. I always wanted one as a child but would probably be afraid of them now. We did have a small farm when I was growing up and someone paid to graze their ponies there and we got to ride them. That was the closiet I have came to having something like a horse. I would say a horse or a pony is every childs dream.

  15. As a child, I rode horses a lot. My favorite was my Grandfather’s palomino called Buck. We rode without a saddle. Of course, we didn’t ride very far.
    Now I just look at them and admire their spirit and beauty.
    I live in Arizona where they raise a lot of Arabian horses. A must for one’s bucket list is to attend the All Arabian Horse Show in Scottsdale every spring.

  16. Hi Quilt Lady, glad you came by. I agree, most kids dream of having a horse. And a unicorn. And superpowers. Luckily some keep those horse dreams alive into ownership, otherwise, who could afford to own them? HA!

    Hi Joye. Thanks for coming by. We had an Arabian once. Very showy. Also a little flighty. They’re so smart and high-spirited, they take a patient rider. Arizona must be the perfect climate for them. I’ll have to put the Scottsdale show on my list. Enjoyed your comment.

  17. I love horses… I have calendars and a bunch of statues around… I was lucky enough to go riding for two summers as a kid for camp before they stopped doing it… I looked forward to those days… always wanted to ride my fav horse named Jackpot…

  18. What lovely childhood memories, Colleen. I still remember the horse I rode at camp, too. They’re such beautiful animals, yet have the gentlest eyes. Thanks for coming by today and good luck winning a copy of my book.

  19. Why thank you, Goldie. That’s a wonderful compliment and music to an author’s ears. I hope you like this one, too. Glad you came by.

  20. Hi Kaki! A big welcome to P&P! We’re so glad you could come blog with us. I just got my copy of WHERE THE HORSES RUN in the mail today so I’m a happy cowgirl. It’s always a huge pleasure to have you. From the time I was a little girl, I always wanted to own a horse. Never had the opportunity. I really love them and am envious of anyone who owns/owned one.

    I cannot wait to dive into this story. Your books always have so much heart and the sizzling romance in each one just makes everything extra special. I’m already in love with Rafe.

    Wishing you much success!

  21. Hi Sherri. I was horse crazy, too. Still not quite over it, even though I’m long past my “kid” years. Glad you came by and good luck winning a copy of HORSES.

  22. You’re sweet, Linda, and make me feel very welcome. Thank for being so supportive of your fellow authors. LOVE the looks of the one you have coming out in January (?). The cover is stupendous! Great “talking” to you.

  23. Wonderful post, Kaki!
    I don’t have horses, or know much about them, so I always enjoy reading other’s experiences. Your new book sounds wonderful. I’m going to have to add you to my TBR.

  24. I use to ride regularly years ago and would dream about owning my own horse. However, I live in a condo and I don’t ride anymore because I didn’t have the time. Life kept getting in the way. I miss it. Now I am probably to old to take it up again.

  25. You’re never too old, Lori. But sometimes the reality is tougher than the dream makes it out to be. I loved owning horses. Now I love NOT having the huge expense, responsibility and time demands horses require. They really tie you down, and I’m at the point in my life that I want to spend all that money on other things. But I still think about it, and probably always will. And that’s OK, too. Glad you came by, Lori.

  26. Kaki,

    This sounds like such a great story! I love horses and always wanted one. My grandfather bought a wonderful paint when I was a child and my uncle would lead us around, but she was sold before I could really get into riding. But there’s no time like the present! 🙂


  27. Thanks for coming by, Kirsten. HORSES is a fun story, but also has some scary parts (as far as the horse is concerned, anyway). One thing I think surprises a lot of readers is how prominent a part Thomas plays, which is a build-up to his book, up next. Hopefully you’ll win a copy so you can see for yourself.

  28. Hi Britney, glad you came by. And you’re right about horses. They’re special creations. Good luck winning a book.

  29. I enjoy horses, but don’t think I would ever own one- I feel like I don’t know enough about their care and would feel horrible if one died on me because of my shortcomings! My cousin owns a few and we go riding sometimes… that’s how I get my fix 🙂

  30. Hello, Heidi, thanks for coming by. Owning a horse is a HUGE responsibility and commitment. If you can get your “fix” without the time and expense of owning one, go for it. That’s the best of both worlds.

  31. Horses are beautiful creatures. I love the Black Stallion and show horses especially when they prance. I had my picture taken on a pony when I was around 3 or 4. Was a bit afraid but stayed on long enough for the picture. Thanks for sharing this post and lots of luck to all!

  32. I was fortunate to grow up with horses – Quarter horses, Tennessee Walking horses and simply backyard mixes, and was riding in front of my mom on show horses before I was walking.

    After going away to college, then later getting married and moving to a new city with no space for my beloved horses, we finally sold my last horse to a family with 3 children whom he met each day at their bus stop – they formed the rest of his little herd!

    As an adult, I’ve had the pleasure of trail riding with a friend on her Arabians, and found them to truly be people in equine bodies. My frequent mounts would turn herself nearly inside out to avoid a simple mud puddle while jumping into a river with abandon – go figure!

    Congrats on the new release and thanks for the contest!

  33. I never liked horses –the first time I rode, I got thrown so there is no love lost. But one year, I rented a mobile home on an Arabian horse farm. My goodness those horses were beautiful! When I had time off, I used to stare transfixed as they played and ‘fought’ in the paddock in the sunshine. Never got any cleaning done. And the stallion! He was magnificent! When they took him out of stall, the looked around the stable as if to say : “Okay, who do you want me to f#ck today? Where is the lucky lady?” He was so dangerous he only was allowed out if there was several strong men to control him. All in all, it was a life changing experience, but I still don’t want to ride them, now out of respect.

  34. I like horses, have never ridden one but am learning, my 2 friends have horses and they take in abused ones and try to sell them. I help clean stalls and they have a farm that have room for m sheep and goats, they taught me how to make goat cheese and she used the wool from my sheep to make hats for babies at the local hospital and a few blankets! I’d love to win this book, love your stories!

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