I’M PLEASED TO WELCOME BARBARA MORGENROTH TO SHARE AN ITEM FROM HER BLOG, “MY NEW BEST FRIEND” AND TO TELL US ABOUT HER BOOK, “BITTERSWEET FARM 1: MOUNTED”
FROM BARBARA MORGENROTH’S BLOG
Some years back both my horses passed and it was a very difficult time. Finally I decided that the homestead lacked a horse and I should find someone to keep me company.
Things have changed since last I got a horse. Now you search on
the internet. I searched, my friend in Texas searched. A horse was found across the state from me. I drove and drove to see Max. He was a large chestnut Hanoverian. Something didn’t click.
Back to looking.
We found a farm in the next state having basically a yard sale on her horses. My vet says people like that are hoarders—they collect far too many horses to take care of properly. At least the woman realized she needed to find homes for many of her horses.
Again I drove and drove. I rode one horse. She was okay.
I can’t remember too much about her.
Then they brought out another, a Thoroughbred/Oldenberg cross. I felt comfortable on her. She had a kind eye. (Look at her eye—kind!)
I am well past wanting to
show. She was the woman’s dressage horse
for a few years. Perfect for trail
riding. Okay. Zig Zag is the horse for me.
After much arranging and
fixing of fences, Ziggy arrived.
I’m not going to pretend all
went well. This was the first time in
her life, she was alone. If you don’t
count 16 cats. She didn’t understand the rules. She got herself into some
What are you doing there???
She loves cookies, she learned the rules—stay home—and is extremely talkative.
Ziggy is good company for me. I hope I’m good company for her.
BITTERSWEET FARM 1: MOUNTED by Barbara Morgenroth
When a handsome new trainer arrives at Bittersweet Farm, the competition between half-sisters is no longer limited to the show ring. Talia Margolin’s life has been marked by events completely beyond her control–her mother’s death, her move to her father’s horse farm, the retirement of her show horse.
Now she faces the arrival of a new coach whose job is to get Talia’s half-sister, Greer, qualified for the finals at the National Horse Show. Greer is brutal on trainers but Lockie Malone is different. Handsome, talented, and with a will of hardened steel, Lockie can be an immovable object. He also becomes the agent for change in the lives of everyone at Bittersweet Farm.
For seventeen year old Talia, change has never meant anything but loss. Will this time be different?
Excerpt from BITTERSWEET FARM 1: MOUNTED
An hour later, we were looking at the
X-rays he had taken.
“You can see some bone changes here and
here.” Dr. Fortier pointed. “And he’s got some arthritis. It’s normal for a horse his age.”
“There’s nothing we can do, is there?”
“Make him comfortable,” Dr. Fortier said.
“You can give him some supplements, Bute for pain. You can hack out in the
woods once in a while, but his show days are over.”
“Did I do this to him?”
“Age did,” Lockie replied.
“Horses only look strong and everyone
starts to wear with age. It’ll happen to you, too,” Dr. Fortier said with a
I didn’t feel like smiling and went into
Butch’s stall while Lockie and the vet went outside.
We had been together since before my mother died. She’d been ill for a few years and it was obvious to me that she was never going to get better. She had a transparency overtaking her where each day she faded a bit more.
My father had been managing almost everything for those years as it became progressively more difficult for her to
conduct her life. He made the arrangements for the hospitals and the doctors and begged her to marry him again and again until she finally gave in so that my future wouldn’t be in question.
He moved us to the farm and to give me something to try to take my heart and mind off what was happening, Butch was found for me.
Greer hated it. Blaming my mother for destroying her own family, she didn’t want me in the house. That September a boarding school in Virginia became her new home; she was as happy as Greer ever is. Her mother is still happily living in London on the extremely generous divorce settlement my father offered.
I had Butch and quiet and ever-present apprehension.
Then the time came when even with full time nursing, my mother had to go to the hospital and she never came home.
My father returned to the city, a nanny was brought in for me, and a trainer. I lived alone for the rest of that school
year. When Greer came back from Virginia, we started in on the serious equitation and junior hunter training.
The rug had been pulled out from under me again and I buried my face in Butch’s neck and cried.
“Talia,” Lockie said from behind me. “He’s retiring, not dying.”
“He’s my best friend.”
“We’ll get you a new friend.”
“Idiot,” I said, turned and pushed past
Barbara was born in New York City but now lives at Black Cat Farm.
Envisioning a career as a globe-hopping photojournalist, after college she determined her hop muscles weren’t global strength so turned to writing.
No life experience is safe from her keyboard and Barbara has proved that being a magnet for story material may be overstimulating to live through but it’s all ultimately research.
Comment on the blog and be entered into the giveaway for a copy of Mounted; Bittersweet Farm 1. Barbara will announce the winner later today in the comments section, so be sure to check back.