Hi! Kit Morgan here and today I want to talk about research and unexpected inspiration!
Last weekend, my sister invited me to a party she had to go to. It’s not that she didn’t want to go alone, she just wanted to tear me away from my keyboard for a while. It was a party at her place of employment. Now you might imagine me thinking, “oh, great, a party at Marijo’s work. Boring. Did I take one for the sisterly team and tag along? Of course. But was it going to be a boring party? On the contrary. You see, my sister is my resource for all things “Horsey” as she’s been in the horse industry since she was sixteen. The “work party” she was attending was held at Big Dog Horse Stables, a Certified Equine Association (CEA) facility where adults and kiddos can learn how to ride well, form life-long friendships and be part of a fantastic and friendly community. And what a pretty place it was (and by golly, the perfect setting for a western romance!)
The original barn was built in 1915 and is the focal point of the farm. There are newer barns of course and a huge indoor arena along with a couple of outdoor arenas as well. What makes this facility unique is that you can not only learn how to ride, but take an inline-dancing class, or how about a class in self-defense or yoga? Wreath making, anyone?
The old barn is special too. The owners renovated the upstairs hayloft and put in a stage, a bar, and a dancefloor. Oh, and there’s hay up there as well.!
Kids camps are also a big thing at Big Dog. The camps are held in June and August and last about a week. Each camper shares one horse with another camper. They start their day by taking care of that horse. Feeding and watering it and of course mucking out the horse’s stall. Campers also spend time in the barn learning important topics on horsemanship and of course get to ride for an hour. The goals of the individual campers are discussed with the head instructor and then instructors work one on one with each camper to achieve them.
But enough about the facility. Let’s get to the party! What does a party for campers and employees at a stable look like? FUN! There were kids of all ages there with their parents. They had a woman teaching everyone line dancing. There were “horse races” (the horses were made from foam floaties and socks) and a taco bar. Parents and kids alike were having a grand time. So did Big Dog Stables big dog! He wandered around and said hello to everyone! And my sister gave me a grand tour. Here are a few pictures I took around the place. Talk about inspiration! Is it any wonder I got some story ideas?
So, we have a stable, barns, kids, horses, one big fluffy dog and loads of fun. The perfect setting for a western romance, don’t you think? It could be contemporary or historical. Remember how old that barn is! So be inspired! What sort of western romance might blossom here?
By the way, I’ll be on a plane to New York today, so won’t be able to comment until this evening! I can’t wait to see what everyone comes up with!