Gina McKnight, Author, Freelance Writer, Equestrian, Blogger, and Poet! Welcome to my international blog about horses, writers, authors, books, cowboys, equestrians, photographers, artists, poets, poems, and more horses.
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Monday, November 10, 2014
Roni McFadden, Author & Equestrian
Author and Equestrian Roni McFadden! Residing in Willits,
California, USA, Roni is the mother of four and grandmother of fifteen. Married
to her husband of 43 years, Roni enjoys horses and the outdoors.
the McFadden family moved to Northern California, little did they know that the
property they bought and built their home on was once part of the Ridgewood
Ranch, home of the famous racehorse Seabiscuit. Shortly after moving, Roni
began a career with equine veterinarians who cared for horses at Ridgewood
Ranch for over 25 years, and through that connection Roni was able to write and
publish her first book Josephine: A Tale of Hope and Happy Endings,
a children’s book about a great granddaughter of the legendary Seabiscuit who
becomes orphaned at four days of age. Roni follows the filly as she is accepted
by a surrogate mare. All proceeds from the sale of Josephine go to The Howard Hospital Foundation and the T.R.A.I.L. therapeutic
riding program at the Ridgewood Ranch in Willits, California.
association with Josephine and the Ridgewood Ranch enabled her to start her own
small publishing company, which she name The Biscuit Press.
love of horses and the unusual experiences she had as a teenager working at a
pack station in the High Sierras are recorded in the pages of her newest book The Longest Trail, winner of the 2014 EPIC Award for best non-fiction and the 2014 Gold Award Global ebooks non-fiction!
twenty years of not owning horses, a new steed by the name of Romeo came into
Roni's life. The beautiful leopard Appaloosa gelding has succeeded in filling an
empty place in Roni’s soul she didn’t even know she had. One of her greatest
pleasures now, as she gets older, is watching her grandchildren grow and
thrive. As she nears retirement age she feels there might be a few more books
is a lovely story and beautifully illustrated. Clearly, Josephine made an
impact on you. When did you first meet Josephine?
work for the Equine vet that has taken care of the horses at the Ridgewood
Ranch (home of Seabiscuit) for over 25 years. Her story unfolded right in
front of me through work.
to Josephine's mother, Lucy?
was Lacy's 10th foal. Lacy was 20 years old. She started having
colicky symptoms shortly after foaling. Within 24 hours she was on her
way to UC Davis where it was discovered she has a ruptured Uterine Artery.
They tried for 4 days to stop the bleeding and finally gave up. Meanwhile
Josephine got pneumonia while there and got a bit sick herself. She came
home when she was 10 days old and we had Midnight, her surrogate mother,
waiting for her.
went to live in Las Vegas a year ago with Jacqueline's cousin who is a
trainer. She is learning to be a real horse.
Josephine now 5 1/2 years old!
Can you share
an excerpt from Josephine?
“Suddenly Josephine heard a very special
sound. It was the special love sound that mother horses and baby horses
make to each other. Quickly, Josephine called back and looked all around.
Then, she looked right up into the eyes of a big black and white horse, whose
eyes were filled with a special love look that Josephine knew was just for her. "I
know who you are," the big horse told Josephine. "Your name is Josephine!"
The Longest Trail is a wonderful novel. I enjoyed your wit,
adventures, and storyline. Riding in the High Sierras must have been exciting!
Out of all of your adventures there, which one holds the most memories for you?
time I could go off and ride Hellzapoppin' all alone was an adventure. He was
the once in a lifetime horse that every horseman dreams about. I can't
really pick ONE ride with him because there were so many; chasing the train was
probably the stupidest thing I did on him!
What was it
like living on the trail?
was hot and dusty most of the time. We got our trips down to a science as far
as how long it would take to go in and out. But emergencies on the trail
would always seem to mess that up.
You had some
dangerous encounters. Would you do it all over again if you had the chance?
dream about it every night!!!!
Out of all of
your encounters with horses, which one stands out?
are so many. But the two situations that I NEVER want to go through again
are when Jinx put his foot through the tailgate, and when I had to shoot
Where do you
like to write?
of my manuscripts were written while I was alone at work. After I had
gotten my "chores" done and no one else was around. Quiet and
peaceful. The rest was written here on my mountain where I can look out
the window and envision myself on the back of a galloping horse.
What are you
am working on a WWII love story. Still figuring it out.
What are you
DB Jackson's books; reading his They Rode
Do you have
advice for novice writers?
main advice is DON'T QUIT!!!! Keep at it even when you think it is crap! Don't
quit!!! I can't stress that enough.
What horses do
you currently stable?
almost 18 years of not have any horses, a friend just blessed me with the gift
of a gorgeous 13 year old Leopard Appaloosa name Romeo. So now I am
teaching my granddaughters to ride. It is amazing to find out how much
you missed something you didn't even know you missed!
horsemanship mean to you?
was taught to ride by an old Aussie woman named Kanga who taught real horsemanship.
I never knew anything else until I get older and saw the different ways people
did things. I would like to teach my grandkids like Kanga taught
me! Respect for the horse was always number one!