Recently I came across a review of my first book Cowgirl Lessons that I had not seen before. While favorable, it questioned my use of Cowgirl in the title. The reviewer questioned it as the story had noting to do with western riding (in the reviewers opinion – said it was English) or the cowgirl life.
While true in the sense that the book does not take place on a cattle ranch nor at a rodeo or other suitably western locale, it still at its very essence is about my favorite Cowgirl.
The story is about a little girl who wants to learn how to ride horses. To a lot of little girls who dream of learning how to ride, this is the closest thing to being a true Cowgirl they will get.
The one thing I did want to point out is that this story is based on my own daughter and the horse she loved with all of her heart. The horse she started riding when the only saddle Miss Valerie had small enough for her was a western saddle.
She continued riding western at Deerfield Farm in Washington and now, back with Miss Valerie, at White Horse Dressage in California. The advice used in the book: straight back, heels down, hands calm on the reins, is applicable for both English and Western dressage. She just completed in her first schooling show and came in second to a woman three times her age.
Does my character chase cows on a horse or barrel race? No. But that doesn’t mean she isn’t riding western.