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A Horse Called Ambition
Rachel Gillian North
Indigo Dreams Publishing
198 x 129 mm
£8.99 plus P&P
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Rachel Gillian North is a 32 year old Local Government Officer and has lived in lovely sleepy Devon all her life – there is no place on earth she would rather be!
Her first pony was reluctantly bought by her long-suffering parents when she was 11 years old. Rachel kept him for 20 years until eventually, age got the better of him, he was truly part of her family and she attributes much of her development into adulthood to that dear kind animal.
She now has two young American Quarter Horses who live with her at her rural home near Whiddon Down, near Exeter.
Rachel wrote her first 'book' when she was 7 and A Horse Called Ambition is her first full length novel.
She wanted to tell a story which real horse lovers, with real overdrafts and fears, could relate to. It’s not all about riding; it’s mainly about getting covered in mud and gruelling hard work, especially in the winter months!
She also wanted to explore feelings and emotions, those which we have for our animals, each other, and perhaps most importantly, for ourselves.
A HORSE CALLED AMBITION
‘So, have you phoned Jules yet?’ Rosie said, as she smoothed Amber’s proud chestnut crest. Gill was contending with Rocky’s eager jigging as the big stallion felt the sheep shorn grass under his bare hooves. She sat easy on the horse, slowly calming him with her secure seat and kind but assertive hands.
‘Bloody hell, Gill, you don’t actually want to fall out properly
over this do you?’
‘I know. I just don’t know what to say? She will still think she is right and he’s a great boyfriend and I’m not suddenly going to say, ‘Yes he is a great guy, why don’t you marry him,’ am I?’
‘That’s a very negative way of looking at it and you know she doesn’t really think he’s the perfect boyfriend. You need to make up, this is daft. She needs us to support her, not reprimand her for being in love. You know better than anyone you can’t help who you love!’
‘I know, you’re right … it’s just going to be awkward now whatever I do.’
‘Why don’t I have you both round for a girl’s night and dinner next weekend?’
Gill looked down at her gloved hands, which played gently on Rocky's leather reins.
‘Gillian Newman, you’re not twelve.’
‘Okay, yes, that would be good, thank you.’
The horses cleared the tree canopy and they found themselves at the foot of a gentle incline, parkland stretching before them.
‘Little canter?’ Gill grinned at Rosie.
‘Will it just be a canter, or will we end up going flat out?’
‘Oh come on, Amber will look after you!’
With that Gill eased her hold on Rocky and he bounded forward in giant leaps. Amber unsettled Rosie by breaking into a dancing canter without being asked. Rosie clamped her hands towards her body and tensed up without thinking. Amber was used to soft hands and a relaxed jockey. Where she would normally have come sweetly under control and found a rhythm, Rosie's sudden tension unsettled her. She stretched her nose upwards, running away from the unnatural pressure Rosie was inflicting on her. The harder Rosie hauled on the reins to ask the mare to slow down, the more Amber fought, her strides interspersed with half rears. Rosie knew not to pull, knew fighting the mare would only serve to increase her flight instinct, but fear swallowed up her rationale.
Had Gill thought to look back at the pair, she would have seen an ungainly wrestling match ensuing between her frightened friend and her sensitive horse. As they reached the brow of the hill, Gill started to bring Rocky back down to a walk. Rosie quickly steered Amber directly behind Rocky so that she slowed down as he did.
‘There, see that was very dignified wasn’t it?’ Gill was beaming and slapped Rocky's neck in praise for not having shot sideways or exploded into a bucking fit, as he was apt.
Gill turned to see Rosie unusually tight-lipped and Amber looking tense. She decided not to comment.
The rest of the ride was uneventful and by the time they returned to Newmans Rosie had, more or less, relaxed again. Even so, she was hugely relieved to dismount and allow her knees to unlock. Amber looked equally relieved that the ride was over and Rosie quietly apologised to the little mare as she gently slid the saddle from her back.
Rosie hugged Gill goodbye and headed back home to do some training with Red
PURCHASE HERE TO READ MORE OF
RACHEL GILLIAN NORTH'S
'A HORSE CALLED AMBITION'
Three women share a passion for horses.
Little do they know, the animals they depend upon are about to be put in grave danger...
FOR RACHEL'S NEW NOVEL
'A HORSE CALLED RED'