We are nickering and neighing for joy to be introducing the fabulous, multi-talented Karen Wood!
While we celebrate her arrival by galloping up and down the stairs on our resident bay mare,* what better way to usher Karen into the House than to offer her very own Vivid Recollection:
I have a vivid recollection of hanging out the window of a big horse truck, waving to my parents as they ran down the road after me yelling, 'Get out of that truck, young lady! You're not going anywhere! You haven't even finished school!'I ran away with my horse, Robby, to do show jumping. I worked with some hugely talented riders and got to ride some of the best horses in the country. I travelled from show to show and lived in the back of a truck like a gypsy having a wild old time, much to my parents' dismay.
See, that's talent, right there. Keeping that red jacket and white show-jumping shirt immaculately pressed and those tall boots polished to a mirror-like shine while living in the back of a truck and having a wild time? Respect.
Karen was persuaded to develop her other 'more responsible' talents, which included horticulture and an MBA (which she promises to finish one day**), but her love for the colourful world of horses would not be quietened for long. Next stop: campdrafting, which is slightly less focused on ironed shirts and spotless jodhpurs, but still wild fun camping in the backs of trucks.
As Karen has lashings of talent and boundless energy, last month saw Diamond Spirit, the first of her mighty horse trilogy, canter through the House paddock gate, with the second, Moonstone Promise, and third, Opal Dreaming, snorting at its heels in February and March.
Karen's feisty, funny, asparagus-loving and utterly charming characters have captured the hearts of real horseriding people as well as the rest of us in our city abodes who dream of escaping the concrete and bitumen on a midnight-black steed.
* She's lovingly known as Broomy, and is stabled in the corner of the kitchen down beside the fridge.
** We promise not to hold you to that promise, Karen. More horse stories, on the other hand...