Between the seven of us, we've written a number of novels about horses. And none of us can claim we managed to avoid all of these horse-book cliches!
1. The horse of uncertain breeding that becomes a national champion overnight. Why aren't you looking for your next winner in a dusty backyard or at the killers? Apparently that's where all the good ones are.
2. The heartless, tough-as-nails, evil trainer who basically abuses their students. Okay, these really do exist in real life.
3. The barn fire or other horrid barn incident. This is when everyone pulls together. It's awful and then it's beautiful.
4. The tragic accident that scars the main character for life. It could be the horse that died crashing into a huge oxer, the best-friend that died crashing into a huge oxer, or the main character herself who nearly died crashing into a huge oxer.
6. No trainer supervision. Where's the trainer? Nowhere in sight. These kids are on their own. Because kids today are always schooling themselves for the junior jumpers.
7. The spoiled rich girl who everyone hates. It. Never. Gets. Old.
8. The former Olympian who kindly decides to take the poor, talented girl under his wing. Because every talented rider out there with little funds knows that amazing trainers are driving around to schooling shows in the middle of nowhere looking for their next working student.
9. The parent who can't get it right. Mom's either a former rider who doesn't want her daughter to ride, or Dad never rode and finally wants his daughter to succeed at something. Either way, they're unbalanced people. Or they're simply inexplicably MIA.
10. Sex in the hay loft. Sex on itchy, rash-inducing hay--yeah, that sounds amazing!
Looking for your next horse book (with or without cliches)? Check out www.horsebackreads.com.