Here’s an excerpt from my debut novel, Horse Country – A World of Horses.
Glancing out of the school window across the green oval the bored sixteen-year-old sighed, admitting to herself that it would be a lot more exhilarating racing her palomino gelding around the emerald surface, rather than sitting in a stuffy room while their teacher marked the roll.
Calling her name he gained her attention, marking her off before addressing the class.
“Morning everyone. Over the next fifteen minutes or so, I want you to have a think about what you’re going to do after year twelve.
“Because you’re in year eleven, I know most of you have already picked subjects that coincide with what you plan on studying in University. But, today I’d like you to have a think about what you want as a job after your studies and list five different possibilities for me. This year you’re going to do two bouts of work experience, so we will try and line these up with your preferences,” a balding fifty something pedagogue informed the general consensus of bored teens before him.
She smiled to herself, mentally correcting the teacher as she stared at the blank piece of paper in front of her. She didn’t want a job – she wanted a career.
And she wouldn’t spend fifteen minutes deciding on one either, she’d spent just short of fifteen years deciding on horses. Flicking through the University/TAFE guide before her she stopped on the letter E, her eyes scanning the page until she came across the word she was looking for.
Finding a list of seven or so careers, she mentally crossed out those that didn’t appeal to her, writing down the few that did before her attention returned to the green surface outside the classroom.
Replaying in her mind the conversation with her “Careers Teacher”, she smiled ruefully, more than aware of how she should have handled the conversation.
“Horses aren’t a career, dear. Every girl goes through a stage where she wants a pony; you’ll grow out of it. Aside from that, it’s too dangerous working with these unpredictable animals.”
It’ll be even more dangerous me working with them if I’m not initially trained to do so.
“Girls that want ponies do quickly grow out of it, generally by the time they’ve discovered the male population. I own a horse, have had this infatuation for the past ten or so years and don’t believe I’ll be growing out of it anytime soon. Though, if I am going to do so, surely I’d tire of the animals more quickly if I was put to work with them?”
Aware that this response from her could have turned the conversation either way, she was curious to know if it would have worked to her advantage.
Thankful she had a mother whom was insistent on her following her heart, there’d been no need for her to have a follow up conversation with the older male however, and it was all thanks to her mother’s “little conversation” with the man. She’d managed to convince the teacher to agree to let her daughter work with horses, at least for the first lot of work experience and that’s all that mattered to the teen.
Grinning, she scanned the list of horse properties in the phone book before her, highlighting those that were close enough for her to consider working at and therefore send a letter to.
Like what you’ve read? You can purchase Horse Country – A World of Horses at Amazon.