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Tuesday, November 12, 2013
Christine Meunier, Author
Christine Meunier is impassioned about horses.
Currently residing in Wangaratta,
Victoria, she is the author of Horse Country and the acclaimed Free Rein Series.
has worked at numerous thoroughbred studs in Australia as well as overseas in
Ireland for a breeding season. She gained experience in a couple of Melbourne
based horse riding schools, instructing at a basic level before heading off
overseas again, this time to South Africa to spend hours in the saddle of
endurance and trail horses on the Wild Coast.
Particularly passionate about the world of breeding horses, she teaches equine
studies focused on breeding, at TAFE, Victoria, Australia.
When was your first
encounter with a horse?
when I lived in South Australia. I was around four years of age and was led
around on a little grey Australian riding pony that was owned by a friend of mine.
At this age I was hooked!
Do you have a favorite
not sure I can say just one! For me the Thoroughbred is a breed that is
versatile, elegant and an incredible joy to watch in flight. I also have a soft
spot for Friesians and the Quarter Horse.
Where in the world have
only competed at my Pony Club’s gymkhanas when I was in my early teens. This
was in Victoria, Australia. Outside of this I have ridden endurance and trail
horses in South Africa on the East Coast; hunter horses in Ireland and trail
horses across Victoria.
What was it like riding
endurance and trail horses on the South African Coast?
incredible! Even though it was winter, the weather was mild and sunny –
glorious riding weather! The horses were a mixture of young and old and
although some didn’t have many years of being under saddle, they were all well
trained and responsive. Some were the local South African breed the Boerperd
whilst others were Arabians or Arabian cross breeds. They were bred for
endurance riding but often utilized as trail horses to take locals and visitors
around the South African coast. Often we were riding along a sandy beach or
even a beach full of smooth pebbles. Other times we were riding down roads,
through thousands of hectares of bush and even crossing streams on horseback or
taking a ferry across a lagoon with the horses! It was an incredible
What horses do you
stage I have one horse that I own and look after. He’s a Quarter Horse cross
Arabian gelding named Pride. My parents bought him for me for my fourteenth
birthday as a first horse. He is still with me now fifteen years later. He is a
retired 25 year old gelding but I learnt to ride on him and enjoyed Pony Club
carrying out dressage, games and jumping. Previously I have been in charge of
looking after thoroughbred stud horses – mares, foals and stallions and at
times weanlings and yearlings too. I have also experienced the racing side of
the industry, working with thoroughbred racehorses that were colts, fillies,
mares, stallions and geldings.
Can you give us a peek
into the storyline of your novel 'Horse
Horse Country follows the lives of four young
women in their late teens to early twenties who have a passion for working with
horses. Two instruct horse riding at their parents’ metropolitan riding school
outside of Melbourne in Victoria, Australia. The other two are focused on
breeding thoroughbreds for racing. Horse
Country depicts the day to day tasks that are carried out whilst working
with and caring for horses. It’s written with a view to enlighten horse mad
people about what a job in the equine industry looks like, the incredible
people you can meet, places you can travel and skills that will be learnt. It’s
based on over 10 years of experience I have had working in both of these industries.
Where are you going with
the 'Free Rein Series'?
The Free Rein Series follows the lives of
three young girls around ten years of age who love horses. It explores them
each getting their first pony, learning to ride and be competent horse people.
Alongside this it explores growing in the Christian faith and learning about a
great God who has created them. I have written it for the age group that I
believe often comes to love horses and learn to horse ride – pre-teens. It is
my hope that the series will be one that young readers can turn to, to enjoy as
well as learn about horses and horse care and how to be a reliable young
What are you currently
I am working on the third novel in the Free
Rein Series as well as another standalone novel like Horse Country was. This novel focuses on a young woman who moves to
a tropical island to live with her new husband. Horses don’t exist here and she
plans to import them and set up a trail riding business. It will follow the
trials and tribulations that come from introducing horses to an island that
doesn’t support livestock well, doesn’t have vets and locals who aren’t used to
a foreigner who doesn’t speak their language.
When is your next book
December 8th of this year I am promoting my Free
Rein Series which is soon to be released. This will be happening in the
town of Wangaratta, Victoria, Australia.
What does horsemanship
mean to you?
to me is about learning to be the best advocate for the equine species that I
can. It means being able to read a horse’s body language, look after their
health and know when something is wrong and work to correct it. It also means
constantly learning about them.
List 10 random things
that people may not know about you...
over 630 equine related books in my collection.
name is May.
kicked in the head by a horse in 2012 and was in a coma for four days.
horse studies at a local TAFE in Victoria.
my favorite color, closely followed by purple.
I want to
learn about artificial insemination, something I haven’t been able to do whilst
working in the thoroughbred industry.
I write a
blog about equine related careers because at 16 I was told by my careers
teacher that there was no chance to make it working in the horse industry.
addicted to creating and writing for websites and blogs.
taking photos and try to use these often in my resource writing about horses.