Author Guest Post: “How to Read a Horse” by Amy Novesky, Author of If You Want to Ride a Horse

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“How to Read a Horse””

My picture book IF YOU WANT TO RIDE A HORSE is about the dream of riding a
horse. It’s also about writing one. I am a rider and a writer. (If you say them aloud they sound alike!)

I’ve been writing and riding—and dreaming!—since I was kid. Writing and riding both are rich in metaphor. Whether one wants to ride a horse or not, IF YOU WANT TO RIDE A HORSE can be read as a book about dream making of all kinds.

What do you want to do? What’s your dream? Name it, call it into being.
What does your dream look like? Imagine it, the big stuff and all the pretty little details.

This is the fun part. Write it down and/or draw it. Tell it to someone you trust. What do you need for your dream? Learn about it, ask for help, gather all the tack and tools.

Take care of your dream. Shelter it, feed it, groom it ‘till it shines. How do you keep your dream alive? How do you care for it?

Where does your dream live? Where is it? How will you get there? What is the first
step?

Dreams are hard work. You might have to chase after it, wrangle it, tame it a bit, find the right fit. With grace and grit you’ll wear it.

Okay, it’s time to give this dream a try. Are you ready?

Show up. This is the hard part. Facing your thousand-pound dream. What are you
feeling? Is your heart galloping? It’s natural to feel many things all at once, even—and
maybe especially—fear. What do you fear most? Failing? Falling off? You are not alone.

If you fall off your dream, and you might, will you walk away, hang up your hat? Or will you get back in the saddle, bruised butt and ego, take hold of the reins again and ride on?

Whatever you dream, be brave. Calm. Remember to breathe and have fun! You can do this. Before you know it, you will have your dream eating out of the palm of your hand.

Published March 12th, 2024 by Neal Porter Books/Holiday House

About the Book: What’s the most important first step to riding a horse? Simply closing your eyes . . . and dreaming.

If You Want to Ride a Horse introduces young readers to the joys of owning, riding, and caring for horses. It only starts with imagination—from there, the possibilities are endless.

Beginning with a daydream, our young rider goes from dreaming about a horse, choosing their ideal kind of horse, meeting their horse, cleaning their horse, tacking up in preparation to ride, soothing their horse (and themselves) through a hard moment, triumphantly getting on, and finally galloping gloriously off into the sunset.

If You Want to Ride a Horse celebrates the imagination, the most powerful steed of all.

The book includes an author’s note, an illustrator’s note, and fun facts about horses and horseback riding.

About the Author: Amy Novesky’s award-winning picture books include IF YOU WANT TO RIDE A HORSE; GIRL ON A MOTORCYCLE; and CLOTH LULLABY, THE WOVEN LIFE OF LOUISE BOURGEOIS. THE POET AND THE BEES will follow in 2025 and TO WANDER, thereafter. Amy writes and rides in the Marin Headlands, just north of San Francisco. To learn more, visit www.amynovesky.com and follow @amynovesky.

Thank you, Amy, for sharing the power of dreams!

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