Guest post with Giveaway ~ Saddle Up by Victoria Vane

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Talking Research with Victoria Vane

My “research” for SADDLE UP actually began fifteen years ago with my rescue of a BLM Mustang that was starving to death. I had no idea at the time that the experience would one day inspire a romance novel. As a matter of fact I would have laughed hysterically back then if anyone would have told me that I woudl one day become a romance novelist!

The horse was a four year old mare that had been “adopted” through the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Wild horse adoption program. I don’t know much more about her history. I only know that whoever originally adopted her had no clue how to train a wild horse, so wild… she remained. 

A friend of mine who saw this horse staked to the ground with barely a blad of grass to eat, called me and told me about this poor neglected horse. I couldn’t stand the idea of a starving animal and asked where it was located. I then drove by the farm to investigate and ended up pulling into the drive and knocking on the door.  The person keeping her wasn’t even the owner but the grandparents of the teenage boy who’d adopted her and didn’t want her anymore. Long story short, I bought the horse for $200.00. When I returned with my trailer, she was so weak and hungry that it only took a handful of grain to get her loaded.

That was the beginning of a long test of patience as I slowly brought her back to health and began the difficult process of training her. Although I had owned horses for a number of years, I really didn’t know anything about mustangs. I quickly learned how different they are from domestic horses and realized that I needed help.  To make matters worse, any animal that has been neglected or abused has trust issues to overcome. Fortuitously, soon after I acquired the horse I saw a notice on a bulletin board at my vet’s office about a new horse club starting up for the sole purpose of promoting BLM adopted and Native American horses.  A few calls, later I made some new friends and soon began training my wild horse.

I won’t go into all the details, but mine was a success story, but only because I already had experience with horses and managed to establish a strong support network of experienced “mustang” people to help me, namely the founding members of the Foothills Indian Horse Club in Upstate South Carolina as well as members of the American Indian Horse Registry. I’d like to also make special mention of the Hicks and the Ellis families in for their love of and wholehearted support of BLM horses. They became great friends to our family.

Although I trained the mustang mare as a trail horse, and later sold her to a young girl who loved her as much as we did, other BLM adopted horses aren’t so lucky.  While many Mustangs do find good homes, many others are sold to clueless people who just want to "break a wild bronco". About half of the adopted horses are never trained and end up returning back to government holding facilities.  The mustangs that are not adopted or sold, are rarely ever returned to the wild, but held in in taxpayer-funded holding corrals until they either die of old age, are euthanized, or the BLM gains the right to slaughter them.

Like my hero, Keith in SADDLE UP, I have very mixed feelings about wild horse management, as do those whom I interviewed in my book research. One of these people that I spoke with extensively, has been involved in wild horse round ups for over thirty years. I worked some of her experiences such as clashes with animal activists groups, and putitng a baby horse on a helicopter, into my story. I also used the BLM sponsored prison inmate mustang training program.  Lastly, when I got stuck, I was able to contact a cousin of a good friend who makes his living by training BLM mustangs for adoption.

Wild mustang management is a controversial and relevant issue. I hope readers of SADDLE UP will come away with greater awareness of these beautiful animals as appreciation of a great story that is very close to my own heart.

post-divider rightsaddleSeries: Hot Cowboy Nights (Book 4)
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca (June 7, 2016)
Genre: Contemporary Western Romance
ISBN-10: 1492635103
ISBN-13: 978-1492635109
ASIN: B01B1X78Z4
Buy: Amazon, Kindle, IndieBound, The Book Depository

saddle-up

Award-winning author Victoria Vane lets loose the fourth in the Hot Cowboy Nights series

WILD HORSES COULDN'T BRING THEM TOGETHER…
With exceptional talent and looks, cowboy "horse whisperer" Keith Russo once had the world at his feet – until his career was unwittingly destroyed by an aspiring filmmaker. After being rejected by his family for exploiting his Native American heritage, Keith has no choice but to turn back to his humble beginnings as a wild horse wrangler.

BUT MAYBE THEIR PASSION CAN…
Miranda Sutton always dreamed of making films, until wild mustangs captured her heart. But turning her grandmother's Montana ranch into a wild horse sanctuary proves harder than she thought. She needs someone who knows wild horses. Keith and the mustangs need each other. And while working together to save the herd, Keith and Miranda discover a passion as wild as the mustangs they love.

post-divider leftvictoriaVictoria Vane is a selling author of of smart and sexy contemporary romance and an award-winning author of historical romance. Her books have received many accolades to include the 2016 Red Carpet Award for Jewel of the East, 2014 RONE Award for Treacherous Temptations as well as Library Journal Best E-Book romance of 2012 for The Devil DeVere series.

 

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Comments

  1. Carol L says:

    Great looking cover. Thanks for the giveaway.

    Carol L

    • Carol L says:

      I'm also happy to hear Victoria's was a success story. How very sad about the beautiful animals. It's heartbreaking. 

      Carol L

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