Kim Wickens grew up in Dallas, Texas, and practiced as a criminal defense lawyer in New Mexico for twenty years. She subsequently turned her attention to writing, which she studied at Kenyon College, and has devoted the last several years to researching this book. She lives with her husband and son in Lexington, Kentucky, where she trains in dressage with her three horses.
Love of Horses
So, what exactly is dressage? Look up any Olympic dressage television or video footage and you’ll see what appears to be a ballet with a horse performing piaffes and pirouettes prompted by unobservable aids from its rider. I have no footage of myself on horseback—intentional—but it would look more like Elaine’s dance on Seinfeld (I can assure you that any riding instructor I’ve ever had is nodding). Yet since I prefer for my horses to keep all four feet on the ground, as opposed to flying over a three-meter-high jump with myself aboard, this is the riding discipline I have chosen. Dressage takes years and untold hours in the saddle in order to perfect. If in fact perfection is ever obtainable. But it’s a sport I have enjoyed over the years for its complexity and communion with the horse, and for those very rare moments when everything just clicks and magic is created by even the most unlikely pair. I’ve attached photos of my trio of dance partners who are really my teachers in kindness, unconditional love, fairness, and patience. Tattles is the no-nonsense mare of the bunch who doesn’t find anything remotely funny. Flash is along because he looks so dang cute (yes, I have been asked if he is part Dalmatian, and yes, he can do dressage), and Farraz is my goofball five-year old American Hanoverian who thinks everything is funny. You can tell he’s just a kid, right? He loves to eat hoodie sweatshirts, especially while my son is wearing them.