I live in Newton, Massachusetts with my husband, three kids, and my hound/lab rescue dog, Macie. I have published three novels with Random House: See You Down The Road, The Other Half of Life, and The Perfect Distance. The Perfect Distance came out in 2005 and in 2014 I decided to update it to include some changes in society in general (like Facebook and texting) and changes in the horse show world in particular, and republish it myself as an e-book. After that I began only writing horse books, including Blue Ribbons and the three books in the Show Circuit Series: Summer Circuit, Winter Circuit, and Hunter Derby. I’m currently working on the fourth book!
My riding life
I started riding when I was six and by the time I got a large pony I was showing on the A circuit. “Spenser” had a pretty big spook in him but we did well in New England and showed at Pony Finals and Indoors too.
When I was fifteen, I got an ex-race horse, who had done some jumpers, as my equitation horse (not all eq horses were warmbloods back then), and he turned out to be awesome.
Together, “Ace” and I ended up winning at some pretty big shows, mostly in the equitation, although we dabbled in the junior hunters (people did that back then, too). In my last junior year, we were fifth at the USEF Talent Search Finals and ninth at the USEF Medal Finals. I made it through to the Maclay Finals three times but never placed. I rode with a BNT (Big Name Trainer), but I kept Ace at a small, private farm closer to my home and I always did all my own work. No trainer ever prepared Ace for me, and I braided and groomed him for every show except the Medal and Maclay Finals, where my parents splurged for day care.
I went to Tufts University and during my sophomore year bought another OTTB, this one only five years old and dead green. “Spruce” was quirky and temperamental, but talented. I started out doing the hunters, but switched to the jumpers after realizing it took way too long to get him quiet enough to do the hunters.
Spruce liked the jumpers much better and we had so much fun together. I showed him to top ribbons in the A/O jumpers at shows like Lake Placid, WEF, and Devon. We also did some eventing, which was a blast! When I had kids, I leased Spruce out and finally I retired him to a wonderful farm in Vermont. He lived there happily until he died at the age of 23.
I’ve been riding off and on these past few years and I hope to buy a young horse again someday soon.
My Writing and Judging Life
In addition to writing fiction, I’ve written for many horse magazines, including The Chronicle of the Horse and Practical Horseman. I’ve covered the World Cup Finals and lots of other big events. I also do freelance PR writing and communications work. I am a member of the PEN New England Susan P. Bloom Children’s Book Discovery Award Committee.
I am a USEF ‘R’ judge in hunters, equitation, and jumpers. I’ve judged the Washington International Horse Show Junior Equitation Finals, the Capital Challenge, the Winter Equestrian Festival, Lake Placid, the Vermont Summer Festival, and lots more big shows. I also enjoy judging one-day local shows, local medal finals, IEA, and IHSA shows.
I also have a blog, Below the Cutoff: A Look at the Horse Show Life.