Monday, July 26, 2021

Milliron Monday: Remembering Gussie Anderson


Abbott "Pete" Smith D.V.M.
June 16, 1938 - February 22, 2010
Welcome to Milliron Monday where every Monday we celebrate the legacy of Pete Smith, D.V.M., and  Milliron: Abbott “Pete” Smith, D.V.M. The Biography (Monday Creek Publishing 2017), including his wife Jody (1938-2021). Pete, a well-known veterinarian in southeast Ohio, and Jody lived life to the fullest. They continue to motivate and inspire.

In the back of my bookcase is a large brown wooden box with a fancy latch. The box has ornamental scrolls and carved flowers. It's my treasure box. Inside are the recordings of interviews with Dr. Smith's clients. One of my favorite recordings is of Gussie Anderson.

Jody and I met Gussie for lunch, along with Sylvia and other Milliron friends. It was the first of many encounters I had with Gussie. We met at the Millstone BBQ in Logan. Gussie pulled up the heavy wooden restaurant chair, looked me right in the eye, and asked, "Do you own a horse? What breed? How long have you had horses?" Through the kitchen come-on of BBQ seasoning, I nodded my head, "Yes." Before I could get the rest of my answers out, she relaxed, leaned back in her chair, and started to tell me about Dr. Smith. She had a long history on horseback with Dr. Smith and Jody. Not only a friend, but she was a client of Dr. Smith's as well. She told me about the time she had a not-so-friendly encounter in the Milliron Clinic parking lot with Dr. Smith's dog, Tess. But, she mostly talked about horses and how Dr. Smith and Jody liked to ride on the trails near her home in the heart of the Hocking Hills State Forest. 

Gussie passed away July 20. She was 91 years old. The Hocking County chapter of the Ohio Horse Council announced it. My first thought was, "I have to let Jody know." Of course, I can't tell Jody. So, I am telling you. A good horsewoman left this earth. She had great stories, was a good friend to many, and loved horses. I wanted to tell Gussie how much I enjoyed her company, but she wasn't into pride or being top drawer. She wanted to tell me about her horses, not about how cool she was.

One day I am going to get out my fancy brown box and listen to all the interviews again. It will take me a month or more. First, I will listen to Gussie and Jody laugh and talk about horses. Wish you could listen, too.

Ride with the wind, Gussie.

Through captivating, powerful, and emotional anecdotes, we celebrate the life of Dr. Abbott P. Smith. His biography takes the reader from smiles to laughter to empathy and tears. Dr. Smith gave us compelling lessons learned from animals; the role animals play in the human condition, the joy of loving an animal, and the awe of their spirituality. A tender and profound look into the life of a skilled veterinarian.

Wednesday, July 21, 2021

Haydenville: A Small Town with a Big Story by Patty Carr Horn

Larry Horn's new book "Haydenville" will be
available July 31, 2021 at the Nelsonville Brick Fest.

Haydenville: A Small Town with a Big Story
by Patty Carr Horn

The history of the Last Company Owned Town in Ohio is fascinating. I lived in Newark, Ohio most of my life before moving to the unique little town of Haydenville. When I married Larry Horn, (this was his hometown), we would sit for hours and reminisce about the community and spend hours researching and working on different projects that would eventually end up in his book Haydenville: The Company Owned Ohio Town that Outlived the Company. He talked about writing a book for years and I am proud that his book is almost done.

This may be a small town but there are still things to do in Haydenville, Ohio, that is from the past and still happening today. People are still coming here for different reasons. This is my story: 

After moving here, it took me awhile to get use to traveling distances just to get food, gas, etc. Before I moved, every place I wanted to go to was within a 5-minute drive, my work was a ½ mile away. It reminds me of people who lived here. They would travel on a canal boat being pulled by horses or mules, or take the stagecoach to get to Hopperville, then find another way to come the rest of the way. I just cannot imagine that I would have the patience to go somewhere and it seemed like forever to get there. It’s bad enough driving or riding for two to three hours and wonder if we will ever get there.

But this was their lifestyle years ago, things have changed over the years, but the memories live on inside each one of us. Deciding on where to live: what town, what neighborhood, what school, what’s it close to. Living in Haydenville people did move from one house to another, but they had everything they needed close by and Mr. Matheny made sure of that.

When immigrants came looking for jobs, they showed their paperwork and was hired. No family members came to the United States with them, being their choice to come to America. Each of them worked alongside other factory men and had a job to do in Haydenville. They only knew each other by their nickname and not their last name.

Anyone who worked in the coal mines, you have my deepest admiration. There is no way you are going to get me underground willingly, being in a hole for an undetermined amount of time working and going deeper into the hills to bring the coal out. My heart races just thinking about it. These fine men were able to bring the coal out of the ground the hard way and not by all the modern machines they have today. Most everyone used coal to heat their homes.

The men who labored over the hot iron ore every day, was unbelievable and you did not hear them complain like they do now days. These fine men were skilled professionals and if something needed done they would do it and not complain, making about as much as you would pay your kids an allowance.

Listening to the stories about people’s life experiences and stories makes you feel a part of this community. I do not mind when people stop by to take pictures of our homes or talk to you about their parents or a family member that lived somewhere in Haydenville and would reminisce what they could remember about Haydenville. 

The annual Nelsonville Brick Fest that is held in July brings in several out of state visitors into Haydenville to check out the antique bricks that we have on the homes as well as having several different bricks on our beautiful church. They offer tours of bricks (and homes when available in Haydenville) that are in the Nelsonville, Haydenville, and the Athens area. Be sure to check out their website for more details. I was surprised that more children are learning more about the bricks and making books from all the antique bricks that they are collecting as well. Occasionally, they find a real jewel brick that they want to trade.

The Haydenville United Methodist Church continues to have church services every Sunday and will provide tours inside the church with reservations. Feel free to stop in on a Sunday morning. 

I own the old museum now and in the process of remodeling the five-room unique house, one room at a time. There is a picture on the wall that Wib Sparks painted in 1971 (while he still lived in Haydenville). It is a large picture of the Haydenville Company store that he painted directly on the wall that is the length of one wall alone, which is now my bedroom. This picture will remain there as part of history and I will eventually put a shadow box around it, wanting to preserve it as much as possible.

This is the first time this house has had an indoor bathroom. The outhouse was torn down and I planted a buckeye tree in the spot (donated by Larry). The kitchen is almost ready to use for family meals, where we can sit together for meals and not in front of the TV. When you visit my house, you will not find a TV, there are other things in life that are more important. Spending quality time with the family is important to me. 

I want to preserve the Haydenville nine-way brick tile, they are aged and falling apart outside, hopefully I can find a way to make them useful and preserve them at the same time. That is my next project. This is my way of preserving the history of this house that is on the National Registry of Historical Places.  

In the front yard of this old museum was a Haydenville marker. But when the museum was sold the marker was moved to the Haydenville Park that is right beside the Haydenville United Methodist Church. I did not realize that there was so much interest in finding these markers. They search for the longitude and latitude of the markers, putting the information in their GPS to find their location. Several people who have come to see the marker are from out of state and find as many as they can. While others are on their phones looking for pokey men and dinosaurs from some game they have on their cell phones. Either I am getting older or times are changing faster than me getting older. Nonetheless, I am happy to see people out and about enjoying themselves.

One of my favorite things about Haydenville is the Hocking Valley Scenic Railroad located in Nelsonville, Ohio. The train runs on the weekends and on special occasions, like the train robbery just outside Haydenville with Smoke Rise Ranch providing the horses and riders. It is fun to watch the kid’s expressions when the bandits board and rob the train. The robbery takes place by the sawmill in Haydenville.

One of my favorites is when I hear the restored steam engine coming, listening to the sound of the engine and seeing the smokestack above the trees coming down the track, and watching people pulling their cars over to the side of the road to take pictures of the steam engine. The train will go down the track and then come back on the same track which makes the smokestack going the opposite direction. The sad thing was when the Haydenville Train Depot was taken down this year.

During my time in Haydenville, Ohio, I went to Hocking College to receive my Associates Degree in Accounting and Business. I was on the Dean’s List.  I started tutoring other students when they were having trouble with Accounting classes, which reinforced my knowledge and understanding. It is a pleasure to help other people learn something new.

Currently I am working at the United States Post Office, which I really enjoy. I am a traveling clerk, which means I am stationed at the Sugar Grove Post Office now, but I can help other local communities. Our Haydenville Post Office is currently opened two hours a day, six days a week. The lobby remains open twenty-four hours a day.

Before I started working at the United States Post Office, I ran for Hocking County Commissioner. When I ran, I was against a two-term component, losing by 47 votes. I know that some people did not like me because I was new and not one of the good old boys. But, I never let that stop me from trying.

Our community is ATV friendly, there is a riding trail through town to get to the different Wayne National Forest trail heads. The riders travel long distances to be able to ride on trails at the edge of Haydenville. These trails are monitored by the Wayne National Forestry. I would just love to own one of the campers that comes by the house, several cost more than my house. But again if I had one I would have to travel. Family time is so important, and everyone needs times just to get away and have FUN.

I am the founder and president of the Haydenville Improvement Committee, Inc. that was formed in 2011, which is the only organization left in Haydenville.  The others are no longer in business. Everyone in my organization are all volunteers with no administration fees. A big thank you to all of you.

One of the projects we used to do is community cleanups, but we are unable to do that anymore because of the cost that we were encountering, and the money for the clean-ups is getting harder to find. An average cleanup costs between $2,000-$3,000 a year. Also, we felt that more people should have personal dumpsters and not wait till cleanup day.

My daughter Lauren and her four sons (Ryan, Nathaniel, Christopher, Zachary) moved in next door to me. They moved here from Newark also. The boys are adjusting to the move and the smaller classrooms. Interaction between them and the teachers was worth the move. Their grades have improved. Thanks to the Hocking County teachers, for all that you do.

Of course, one of the things that happened was CoVID and all the restrictions that the governor put in place, wearing of masks, social distancing and not allowed to be in groups. Some people had to talk on the phone or use the internet, Facebook or other type of communication to interact. This has been challenging for everyone especially for those that enjoyed the company of others. Kids were being homeschooled, with most of the classes being online that required every house to have internet. Each boy has a separate chrome book to do all their homework and do the live classroom with the teachers. Some classes used internet games to advance in math and English levels. Times are changing, using all the resources necessary to teach the children that were being homeschooled. It has only been recently that they were able to start school again, having a better respect for the teachers. Some days the boys had difficulty in different subjects and when you have four boys asking different questions, it was difficult for my daughter Lauren to help them figure out without giving them the answers. Lauren has been a great mom not only helping her sons out but helping other students when the parents had difficulty understanding the assignments. Lauren has understanding, love for her boys and has the gift to be a patient loving mom.

The Haydenville Reunion was put on hold, it was a time when everyone past and present would come together and reminisce and see all the changes that had taken place. Let’s not forget all the great cooks that made all the delicious food, trying out new and old recipes. Selling tickets for the Chinese auction to win a prize was our way to help cover the cost of the building rent for the event. Hopefully, we can have another one soon.

One of the things I made that I did not think would go over very well was pawpaw muffins. I picked the pawpaws at the Haydenville/Wolfe Cemetery to make them and I was totally surprised after four batches they were all gone within an hour. Who knew? If you would have known what they were, would you eat one?

My favorite was when Larry and I went up Pickett Hill to pick blackberries. I had an ice cream bucket full of blackberries when a snake wrapped his body around my leg and scared the living daylights out of me. I must have been stepping on its neck because when I lifted my boot up a little it started moving away from me. My heart was racing about 50 miles an hour at that point. GOOD news is I saved my blackberries and did not drop one of them. The pies were extra special that I made with them.

Haydenville is a never-ending story. When you think it is almost done, someone adds to it and the story continues. What is your story………….?

Tuesday, July 20, 2021

One Week of Winter: A short story by Author John Williams


One Week Of Winter
 A short story by Author John Williams


Today is an unusually warm January day with winds blowing at a pace greater than normal. Large puffy white clouds are also moving at a speed that is quicker than they have been for a while. The pine and spruce trees that border my home are flexing this way and that as the wind whistles through the branches. The broom grass that occupies the nearby fields is waving in the breeze, while the nearby pond also is riffled by the ever persistent wind. As I’m observing the movement of nature the rain has appeared from nowhere. It means change is in the air. It means winter is just beyond the hills. It also means the balmy days of spring are not here yet. I’ve never considered myself as living in the north; I’ve always deemed people from Maine or North Dakota as northerners but my home state does border Canada so I guess being from the north does apply. If you’re from the latitudes where cold persists you’re probably tuned to the effects of a north wind and even relish at what it brings. If you’re from the south you may be missing out on great moments that make living in the north special.


The leaves have disappeared from their high loft and have moved to a place of resting. What little sun that penetrates the grayness above now filters through the exposed branches. It’s winter and the comfort of a warm gentle breeze has given way to a more robust feel. The time has passed of the leaves dancing their way across a blue sunlit sky to the grass covered earth below, its winter and now a time to reequip for the days of spring when stored energy is released again. It’s a time of wonder, a time of what could have been, or maybe what will be. The feel of a warm fire with flames flickering above a burning log can be felt, best, on a cold winter day. An embrace by a loved one seems to mean more. Winter is here, as it comes every year, but it’s a time of reflection and a time to readjust for the days ahead. Winter encompasses what has been but also what will be.


Change has occurred and after the howling winds that blew through the night, the temperature has plummeted and a light snow is starting to fall. It’s the kind of change that makes a person want to be a part of what’s happening in nature. Animals sense this and move with a livelier gate of activity. Horses run in open fields, dogs come alive with motion and a person gets an euphoric feeling from what’s around him. It’s still in the 20’s so the cold can be kept at bay. Yet, too much clothing can bog one down and limit movement. Yesterday and today are different but both can be enjoyed. We will see what tomorrow brings.


A light snow has covered the creation its whiteness is more than my eyes can take in. I squint against the rays of winter. The grayness has given way to a sun drenched canopy above. It’s a moment to be relished. Moments in time is fleeting, but each of our days revealing what nature shows us. The green pine needles seem greener when peeking from under a blanket of white snow. The red leaves shimmer when exposed by a breeze. The frozen flakes of moisture from the heavens will linger to replenish the thirst of the earth. As the natural world has reason, we also should look at each day as wisdom for tomorrow. Yesterday has passed like autumn’s give way to winter. The leaves have fallen but even then they’re a protection and nourishment for the growth of tomorrows. Today has been a blur to what could have been and shields what the future may have.


The cold has settled in today. It’s winter. A cappuccino, latte, just a cup of coffee, or maybe some hot tea would start this day off just right. It’s especially good shared with the love of your life. If that is not possible, family or friends warms the soul when the temperature drops as much as it has today. The week is winding down but so has the thermometer. The negative side of the scale is dominating the readings. If you have seen more than the usual amount of vapor rising from the smoke stacks of home or business on a super cold morning then you’re in tune with this type of a winter day. The air becomes still. The earth becomes silent. Frozen particles appear in the air from nothing. A winter day like today is not to be taken lightly. Wrong turns today can be deadly, but it brings an awareness of your surroundings that have more meaning. Its winter: it’s cold, but it’s also wonderful.


The temperature has dropped even more. The animals have moved to more sheltered locations. The stove is tended to with more regularity; its warmth feels especially good today. It’s not an outside day, but a day to wrap yourself in something warm and plan for days when the temperature rises and the fields turn green. It’s a day to look back and note the good moments you have had. The flames flicker and the heat feels good. I pour another cup of coffee and break out the paper and pencil. Letters are welcomed by about anyone on a cold winter day. I set to write but my eyes seem heavy. Maybe a little later I think, but I’m like most people and the later seems to slip away. Tomorrow will be a better my mind tells me as I drift off into a dream world of the past and futures.


I’m woken to the sound of wind whistling through the evergreens while wrapped in my down blanket. The sun is peeking just above the hills and turning the clouds that have appeared a crimson red. Change is in the air. The cold is noticed as I slip from underneath my cover to check my stove for any leftover embers. The wind is from the south so relief is beyond the horizon, but winter is still here. A day of plus degrees will feel wonderful. Winter is all about the next day. Today is good, but tomorrow will be better. We always hope for better but today’s needs should be addressed first. Each day is better than the last, as it should be. That means spring is going to be beyond comprehension. It’s cold. It’s wonderful. It's winter.

About the Author

If you are looking for the author, John Williams, you won't find him in the office writing. He may be trekking a nearby hiking trail or floating in his canoe or kayak on one of the beautiful lakes that surround his Appalachian foothills home. If not there, jump on your bicycle and find a nearby trail, he may be wrapped around a tree somewhere and in need of your help. Teddi, his wife of 50 years, will tell you to take your time. Four children, all grown, made a break for it and put roots in different parts of our beautiful country. The seven grandkids don't know what he looks like. Go to the nearest locally owned coffee shop and just by chance he may be there. He will be the only one with a pencil and paper.

Worth Going Back: A Memoir of Alaska by John Williams

Available in Hardcover from Amazon

From the Author

Being creative I have been. I enjoy working with wood so constructed two Dulcimers from our native woods of oak, walnut, maple and cherry. I also have a 1988 Honda Prelude I’ve kept from the auto graveyard against my wife Teddi’s desires. I’ve started a novel, or it could be a biography but probably not, that’s nearly half completed. The natural world has always fascinated me so I’ve spend much of my time outside. Because I heat mostly with wood the process of keeping fuel on hand never seizes. It warms the body twice. The winter cold helped me create a short story. One of those separate attachments. I’ll also send a photo of my favorite winter hangout for writing and picking. The computer geeks say my hard drive is full when taking it to the shop for evaluation and I need to purchase a newer version. The world looks different from each perspective. Some look at me and see an elderly man but for someone that has eternity ahead I’m just getting started. I’ve still got the old computer. I’ll not bore you any longer but hope to see you in real life sometime and hope things are going well.

Monday, July 19, 2021

Milliron Monday: Safetytown

The Athens Messenger June 22, 1989

Abbott "Pete" Smith D.V.M.
June 16, 1938 - February 22, 2010
Welcome to Milliron Monday where every Monday we celebrate the legacy of Pete Smith, D.V.M., and  Milliron: Abbott “Pete” Smith, D.V.M. The Biography (Monday Creek Publishing 2017), including his wife Jody (1938-2021). Pete, a well-known veterinarian in southeast Ohio, and Jody lived life to the fullest. They continue to motivate and inspire.

Dr. Smith and Jody were often asked to make appearances at community events, including Safetytown, a local event sponsored by "civic organizations and businesses in cooperation with Athens City Schools, city administration and area police, fire and natural resource organizations."

Safetytown (sometimes spelled Safety Town) is basic safety awareness for kids. I remember sending my son to Safetytown at nearby Hocking College. He learned a lot about traffic patterns as he pedaled his tricycle through a maze of orange cones, stop signs, and crosswalks. But his favorite Safetytown event was learning about snakes and turtles from Dave Sagan. 

June 16, 1988, Dr. Smith talked to Safetytown kids about "dangerous and sick animals", a topic Dr. Smith new very well. June 22, 1989, Jody brought her cat (in photo) to share with Safetytown kids. The caption, "The cat... is a 'retired' blood donor for her husband's veterinary clinic, and now comforts clients who are grieving for sick pets." Both Dr. Smith and Jody enjoyed taking time out of their busy schedules to volunteer for this annual community service.

Safetytown is an important part of growing up. I highly recommend sending your kid(s) every summer. Volunteers, like the Smith family, make Safetytown memorable for many. I am sure the kids remember hearing Dr. Smith and Jody talk about animal safety.

Through captivating, powerful, and emotional anecdotes, we celebrate the life of Dr. Abbott P. Smith. His biography takes the reader from smiles to laughter to empathy and tears. Dr. Smith gave us compelling lessons learned from animals; the role animals play in the human condition, the joy of loving an animal, and the awe of their spirituality. A tender and profound look into the life of a skilled veterinarian.


Tuesday, July 13, 2021

Seasons on the Farm Starring Horse Casey & Friends Coloring Book

Follow horse Casey and friends through the seasons in this adorable coloring book for all ages. A companion to NC Matheny's memoir Hard Way to Go: The Horse of a Lifetime, this coloring book will become one of your favorites! Learn about horse tack, gaits, and things in the barn. There is space to color and design your own horse, too! A word search, crossword puzzle, and maze add to the fun.

Available from

For updates, stories, and more, follow NC Matheny's blog @

Monday, July 12, 2021

Milliron Monday: Girl, 10, Writes Contest a Story of Smart Horse

Abbott "Pete" Smith D.V.M.
June 16, 1938 - February 22, 2010
Welcome to Milliron Monday where every Monday we celebrate the legacy of Pete Smith, D.V.M., and  Milliron: Abbott “Pete” Smith, D.V.M. The Biography (Monday Creek Publishing 2017), including his wife Jody (1938-2021). Pete, a well-known veterinarian in southeast Ohio, and Jody lived life to the fullest. They continue to motivate and inspire.

August 1948, the Cleveland Plain Dealer and the Cuyahoga County Fair sponsored a writing contest. Jody's entry was about a horse. The newspaper ran a portion of Jody's story, but when Jody and I talked about it (several years ago), she couldn't remember who actually won the contest. I am hoping that the entire story is saved somewhere and we will find it in Jody's stack of papers (as she saved everything). But as of this writing, we haven't found it.

Girl, 10, Writes Contest a Story of Smart Horse

     Joyann Haley, 620 Coleman Road, Mansfield, O., is only 10, but she knows that horses are intelligent.
     Miss Haley yesterday became one of the many to enter the Plain Dealer-Cuyahoga County Fair Contest, writing a letter to tell of her experience with a horse named Babe.
     "I was trotting on an old black mare named Babe," she writes. "When I tried to brush a fly off her mane, her head went down and the next thing I knew I was sitting on the ground with one foot caught in the stirrup. Babe stopped as though she knew that if she kept on trotting she would have kicked me. Although Babe isn't pretty, I think she is plenty smart and I am glad she is."
    Entries continue to arrive daily from scores of towns and cities. One came from Florida. Cash prizes and tickets for the 52d Cuyahoga County Fair at Berea, Aug 19 to 22, are being prepared for the winners. The most interesting letter in the opinion of the judges will win $25 for the writer.

The article continues, sharing two more intriguing entries, but Jody's entry won the headline.

Through captivating, powerful, and emotional anecdotes, we celebrate the life of Dr. Abbott P. Smith. His biography takes the reader from smiles to laughter to empathy and tears. Dr. Smith gave us compelling lessons learned from animals; the role animals play in the human condition, the joy of loving an animal, and the awe of their spirituality. A tender and profound look into the life of a skilled veterinarian.

Sunday, July 11, 2021

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Monday, July 5, 2021

Milliron Monday: Apple

January 1983 - Pete, Apple, Colonial, and Streak 

Abbott "Pete" Smith D.V.M.
June 16, 1938 - February 22, 2010
Welcome to Milliron Monday where every Monday we celebrate the legacy of Pete Smith, D.V.M., and  Milliron: Abbott “Pete” Smith, D.V.M. The Biography (Monday Creek Publishing 2017), including his wife Jody (1938-2021). Pete, a well-known veterinarian in southeast Ohio, and Jody lived life to the fullest. They continue to motivate and inspire.

Johnny Appleseed, also known as Apple, was the first foal from Cricket and Alrod. Apple's bloodline included Standardbred, Saddlebred, and Morgan. Apple became one of Pete's favorite mounts. He enjoyed Apple's ground covering trot and fast walk. Pete penned a poem in Apple's memory:

Requiem - My Horse
by Pete smith

How I loved you, Apple!
(and love the memory of you still)
Rush of hare-brained gallop,
Earnest walk, flashing trot
Honest smell of sweat and manure
of Levi's and leather
Esthetic experience of flow
of form and function
Raw joy of oneness with nature
Your crafty innocence
Solo time with my therapist
Illusion at its best
Thank you, Apple, for the chance
to glimpse the power
and the glory
and the majesty
of God himself!

Through captivating, powerful, and emotional anecdotes, we celebrate the life of Dr. Abbott P. Smith. His biography takes the reader from smiles to laughter to empathy and tears. Dr. Smith gave us compelling lessons learned from animals; the role animals play in the human condition, the joy of loving an animal, and the awe of their spirituality. A tender and profound look into the life of a skilled veterinarian.

Thursday, July 1, 2021

The Western Novelist: An Interview with Anna Elizabeth Judd

The Western Novelist: An Interview with Anna Elizabeth Judd
by Gina McKnight
Archived from the June 2021 Issue of Florida Equine Athlete
No duplication without permission.
It’s always fun to connect with a fellow horse-lover and writer! Anna Elizabeth Judd (Lizzy) writes about the thrill and adventure of living in the old West. She has a knack for engaging readers into wild and wooly scenarios that entertain. A horse owner, Lizzy writes about horses from her own experience and imagination. As a horse trainer, she knows the value of horsemanship and good barn ethics. A best-selling author, Lizzy writes modern western novels and children’s literature. The author of many books, her website states: “Anna provides it all as if you are in the saddle along for the journey. Her rare books bring the readers joy from nearly every genre they can appreciate.”
Welcome, Lizzy!
GM: Every Western writer must love horses! When was your first encounter with a horse?
LM: I was nine years old when I got my first horse. His name was Kennedy, he was about 25 years old. If I remember right, he lived for about six months after we got him. My mom wanted to get me a horse, she grew up with them. So, he was delivered on my ninth birthday and we put him in the backyard until we could find somewhere to board him.
GM: Describe a day in your life with horses...
LM: The best part of my life is spending every day with a horse. I am truly blessed. Many people might think I am crazy, but one of my favorite things is cleaning stalls. It’s very relaxing. But for the most part, when you train horses, it gives you the chance to have a lot of horses and get paid at the same time. One of the most rewarding aspects of training is when you get a horse, especially a wild one to come in the middle of the round pen on their own and let you touch them for the first time. It gives me chills every time. They are definitely magical creatures.
GM: As a writer, do you weave your own horse history into your books?
LM: Yes, all my books are based on personal horse-related stories. My children’s book “The
Boy Who Couldn’t Talk” is based on a young boy with Autism. Adam was a young boy when I was just a kid who would enter the horse shows in a group we called Unique. My mom started it for children with disabilities.
GM: Do you have any funny horse-related anecdotes?
LM: I don’t know about anecdotes, but several of my children’s books are learning how to read. I love to write poems and rhymes, so one of my favorites, is “Taffy tussled the thistles tangled in her tail trying to taste the timothy.” I don’t know, it's fun sitting with the dictionary coming up with the words to rhyme.
GM: You have written about horses, training, and horsemanship. What training methods do you use?
LM: I train using the horse’s natural instincts. A great book to read is Xenophon. He was a Greek general in 355 BC. My first book “The Handbook of Horsemanship” has several references that talk about his training style.
GM: Of all the horses in the world today, which breed, and riders/trainers inspire you?
LM: Many years ago, I was given a rodeo bronc to train. She had quit bucking and was of no use to the contractor, so he gave her to me. Her name was Libby, to this day thinking about her brings tears to my eyes. She had a heart; unlike any horse I have ever been around. I used to work with girls that had been abused and Libby had a way of bringing them out of their shells. I miss you very much… Below is the poem she inspired me to write.

The Brilliance of Your Stature

Creates an Image of Perfection

Floating Throughout the Land

Free to Roam

In the Face of Adversity

Your Strength Shines Through

From Every Fiber of Your Being

With a Heart of Fire

Passion to Survive the Existence of Time

Your Chi Flows In a Glow

Infecting Life’s Energy

To the Beings in Your Presence

Through Evolution You Became Extinct

Your Image Silenced from Sight

Although the Essence of Your Soul

Placed In the Ground to Flourish

Once Again. Recognized as

“The Grass Remembers Them.”

The Horse


GM: What advice do you have for novice riders and those looking to purchase their first horse?

LM: Buying your first horse, can be exciting but you must also beware. The best advice is to trust your instincts. When you go to the place and see the horse; look at how the person keeps their barn, tack, and feed room. Are they clean will organized, or messing and cluttered? A good horseman will always have good clean tack and know where things are. Then, how does the horse react to you and the owner? Are they calm and well-behaved? Do they run all over the owner, get pushy or bite? That is the sign of a spoiled horse. Or….. are they nervous and fidgety? That can be a sign of abuse. Trust your instincts, no matter how much you want to buy a horse, take your time. The horse will pick you when it's right. So, if you are not a trainer with experience, be careful.

GM: What does horsemanship mean to you?

LM: Great question… a horseman is someone with a passion in their heart for animals. The only way to train or handle a horse is with love, respect, and natural instinct training. You never break a horse, you train them.

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Lizzy and Kennedy

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