I love horses. We had ponies and horses when I was a kid, and they’re just wonderful creatures. My first job was exercising horses for an elderly man. I couldn’t get enough of them when I was young.
Unfortunately, I haven’t had access to horses in years. I live in the suburbs now, and my housing association frowns on having them in your backyard. So, I had to throw some horses into my latest novel. (They’re in the upcoming sequel, too!)
First, there’s Merlin. Merlin is Thomas Carillon’s magnificent black Morgan stallion. My favorite horse growing up was a chestnut Morgan with a large white blaze named Dannyboy. As clever as he was beautiful, he had smooth gaits and a big attitude. I thought about giving Thomas a Tennessee Walker like one of the horses I exercised for the elderly man because that one was like sitting in a rocking chair. You couldn’t ask for an easier ride. Thomas ended up with a Morgan because they are small in stature—and Dannyboy was such a great horse. Since Thomas is lame, I thought he would have an easier time mounting a Morgan.
Merlin is stout-hearted and fast. He’s gentle and well-suited to his kind owner. Unlike many stallions, he isn’t aggressive to other horses and rides well with Bucephalus, Hadrian’s mustang.
Hadrian Burton named Bucephalus after Alexander the Great’s horse. (The story goes that only Alexander could ride the wild stallion.) Bucephalus is a buckskin mustang. Mustangs are tough horses that still roam wild in the United States today. They are descended from the horses of Spanish conquistadors and come in a beautiful variety of colors. Bucephalus is a buckskin. These are horses with golden coats and black manes, tails, and points. They don’t have the black dorsal stripe of dun horses, otherwise, they look similar.
Both Thomas and Hadrian have disabilities. Thomas has clubfoot, and Hadrian has PTSD. Their horses provide them with both transportation and emotional stability. In our modern world, horses, the animal we so depended upon in the Old West, continue to help us. Horses are used in therapy to help people with disabilities, including PTSD. They are such amazing animals!
2 thoughts on “Meet the Horses of “Carillon’s Curse””
I too love horses and they often find their way into my stories. I owned a Morgan buckskin from the time I was about nine years old. We bought him from Val Bromfield who actually ended up going to LA and acted in Mr. Mom as the crazy TV repair woman. Buck got me through many trying times. I rode him through the trails in all kinds of weather. He was a great friend. I think that’s why Jesse ends up riding through the Chippewa reservation on her appaloosa, Reba. Horses are the best.
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I love that we both had Morgans! They are such smart horses. I loved Reba, too.