And life. I have always loved horses I think since I was born…a long time ago.  And of course, I begged my dad for a horse but he said now. “Too much responsibility.

My dad, me and Val

Valjean’s Nobility

But when I turned fifteen, after a few years of riding lessons and training, I got Valjean – an American Saddlehorse, five-gaited, bay gelding. Together, we went on to win 1967 Reserve World Champion American Saddlebred Five -gaited Pleasure, at Lexington KY.

Val wasn’t the only horse I owned over time and true to my dad’s warning, I took care of them. Oh yes. Every morning and every night, exercised them, trained them, showed them. The whole nine yards and loved every bit of it. And I did learn so much from there. Like Winston Churchil said, “there is something about the outside of a horse that is good for the inside of man.” I agree.

I also had ‘Big Deal, a bay American Saddlebred, three gaited gelding who was amazing to ride …when h e wanted to work. And at times he did not want to work and life turned into a rodeo. Once in a show arena. But after one solid kick off from my dad into Big Deal’s rear end, we went on to  win third place in an equitation class/a class judged on how well you ride.

We traded Big Deal in for another three gaited Chestnut American Saddlebred gelding – Man of Integrity (or as we called him ‘the big horse’ cuz he was tall)

Big Deal at work

who had been shown under harness and had forgotten how to canter. Really. Harness horses are disqualified if they break into a canter in a show ring. So, this twelve year old horse had forgotten how to canter. I will ever forget turning that boy lose to race down into the pasture after Valjean. I’ve seen cartoons that looked like he did. But by spring, he remembered and raced Val back to the barn.

And there was Maggie. An American Saddlebred bay, mare who gave birth to Whiskers who had true blue blood of champion American Saddlebreds. But I found my hubby by then, traded my gelding and mare in for a true stud who gave me two kids and I continued to ride them to this day. And grandkids.

I learned over time that horses have a great past And would like to share what I have learned and used in my writing. Lots of history. Lots of fun. 

Man of Integrity and me

In Red Fury Revolt are the two Iceni stallions because the Iceni were famous for their horses. In Red Fury Rage is Seytan, Julius’ beautiful stubborn black stallion, he found in Ephesus, the forerunner of the Arabian bred. And his son,  Onyx, who appears in  Red Fury Rebellion.

Plus I get to ride with the Roman Cavalry, as well as with Calgacus, Colin and the Boresti tribe in Britannia. So, I’m still riding horses…from a desk. I love it. And yes, writing has taught me a lot about horses,  which I plan to share with you. So stay tuned.



Character development

Fiction and nonfiction

JF Ridgley

Red Fury Revolt

Boudica Iceni Queen

Growing past trauma and difficulty

Becoming emotionally strong

Heroes & heroines


Historical fiction Ancient Rome

Contemporary Romance

Marriage and Family


War & Warfare

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