Sunday, August 2, 2015
Horse Personality and Characters
No two horses I've owned have ever been alike. Sure, they all had their individual strengths and weakness as far as training and talent, but more than that, they each had their own quirks, favorite treats, fears, and games they'd play with me or each other. I had one little grade horse who loved those horrible, chalky valentines candy hearts so much he would come running across a ten-acre field when he heard the box shake. Another, a huge ex-racer (pictured above), would roll on one side and instead of rising to his feet or flipping to the other side, usually sat up on his butt and walked his front feet across in order to collapse on his other side. The first time I witnessed him doing this, I ran into the field, certain that he had broken his pelvis or something.
I'm sure every horse lover reading this is conjuring up some kooky or endearing habit of a favorite horse. So now I have to ask, why are horses in books devoid of individual personality? Yes, they are often bold and generous and courageous or forgiving, but how about less lofty, abstract traits in favor of more concrete ones? Full confession, I feel now that I was remiss in not giving my horse characters in my novel more unique personalities. So, what do you say out there readers? Can you give me some experiences you've had with quirky, crazy, funny horse traits or have you known a real horse character who is crying out to be in a novel of his own? Would love to hear from you!