Writing Horses

I'm inordinately excited for HORSES to be Writers Rescue #1 in a new series hosted by Holly Lisle, The 33 Worst Mistakes Writers Make About..."


We've all heard it and cringed…

"…book made me so mad I threw it against the wall"

Don't Be THAT Writer....

There are a reported two million horsemen in the US alone. Wouldn't it be great to be able to write as if you've spent a few years in the barn?

Some misconceptions regarding horses are so deeply entrenched in literature that writers take them as fact without researching and it drives horsemen nuts.

Don't Alienate those Two Million Readers…

This book covers many mistakes that even experienced writers tend to make about horses, including the details that are so often glaring in their absence.


So your hero jumps on his horse and – what?

When was the last time you galloped through the woods? …charged the enemy, sword raised? …got bucked off, stomped on or had a peevish mare tell you where to stuff it?

- For me, it was probably last week.

I've spent my professional life helping new riders work through mistakes and old riders avoid mistakes in new sports. And I've made my share of screw-ups. I know where things are likely to go wrong.

I understand the common misconceptions inside and out. I've seen them a thousand times in the arena, on the trail – and in far too many books. Don't write so horsemen snort and snicker or groan when they read your horses.

If you want to keep those horsemen reading, "33 Worst Mistakes Writers Make About Horses" can be your best friend.

"Show don't tell." How often have we all heard that?

What if you could include a scene where readers understand your horse is a stallion without you having to mention his dangles? Wouldn't you love to be able to define your horses through simple characterization instead of tired, old labels?

Imagine being able to write riding as if you'd been doing it all your life. It's possible to give that illusion by knowing a few simple details to slip in, replacing the old clichés.

Ø Know when your hero needs to rest or feed his horse.
Ø Give your horse gender-specific characterization.
Ø Know the difference between proper terms and colloquial lingo.
Ø …and thirty more simple yet important points.

Regardless if you are writing contemporary, western, historical or fantasy, this book covers the most important things you need to know about horses.

Let me help you avoid common mistakes from inside my world. Use my experiences in your writing so when a reader who's a rider settles back with one of your books, they'll smile, nod and keep reading.


33 Worst Mistakes Writers Make About Horses is currently available as an e-book in the HollyShop



Anonymous said...


I hope you'll publicize this on some of the historical writers' loops. If you're not on any of those loops, I could post for you with your permission. I think your book will be very helpful in avoiding a "wallbanger book." LOL

Becky Burkheart said...

Thank you Carolyn - YES, please pass the info along. Also that I'm available on email for any individual questions and for conferences or workshops, either in a hall or here on the farm.

Val said...

Wow, I'm excited for you!
[most recent "wallbanger": I picked up one of P's Clive Cussler thrillers in which he created a diversion by sending a team of mules down Main Street w/a mannikin driver! I just couldn't continue...]

Leah Braemel said...

Congratulations, Sue! I know you've been gathering information for this for a long time now (witness my outbox and my myriad questions.)

Hopefully because of your advice I won't be a writer who makes horsey people throw the book across the room.

Becky Burkheart said...

Oh no, Leah. I don't think your books will ever be thrown across the room, not for horses or any other reason! :)

Val, do you mean you have never seen those oh-so-accommodating mules?!?!? ...mules that just go briskly in whichever direction you point them?!? .... maybe you will guest blog a mule post for me if I ask very nicely?

Aelfleah Farm said...

How're sales going?

Becky Burkheart said...

I didn't really have any idea what to expect, but there was a lot of traffic and a steady stream of sales the first few days and I'm pretty happy about that. Of course, it's slowed down a little but I know that's normal.

Getting the word out over the long term is going to be important - I'll send you a cover icon so you can give me a little linky-love.

...even though sweet ZEUS and YODA are probably terribly embarrassed by what I wrote about all those bad-boy stallions and their issues.

Julia Phillips Smith said...

What a godsend of a book. Thanks for conceiving it and for understanding the needs of writers, as well.

Becky Burkheart said...

Thank you Julia!! I hope it's very helpful to you.

Don't be hesitant to email me privately or ask here if you have questions about something that's not covered.

Sue L