Professional trainer shares stories and lessons about horseback riding and rural life
Susan Carpenter Noble, a local professional horse trainer and educator, was inspired when she learned from a young student that he didn’t read a lot of books because nothing existed “for us ranch kids.”
Hearing this “broke my heart,” said Noble, of Lewis.
So she started writing stories that weave her experiences as a horse instructor into two books that young readers and adults can relate to and learn from.
Released last year, “Cowgirls Don’t Quit” and the sequel “The Free Horse” are set in the Dolores and Cortez areas.
The characters in the novel are based on Noble’s alumni, her experiences, and the people she has known for over 20 years as a horse trainer.
“This is real life. I can write about horses and cattle racing, and I also really enjoyed the creative storytelling, ”Noble said. “There were times when the story went in a direction I didn’t expect.”
The stories have an upbeat rhythm that also mixes the hardships and realism of agricultural lifestyles.
“They are realistic. Things can go wrong, but what you learn can lead to positive results, ”Noble said.
His writings explore the challenges and adventures of young people as they work on the ranch or farm, learn to ride and care for their horses, and negotiate adolescence.
“In Cowgirls Don’t Quit” 11-year-old Meghan Callahan collects cattle and demonstrates her courage and tenacity with family and friends.
In “The Free Horse,” Meghan learns tough lessons by training her horse, Savannah, and in the process strengthens her friendship with a girl with Down’s syndrome.
“Free Horse” was among the top picks for young readers in the November issue of Colorado Country Life magazine.
Noble’s knowledge of horses is reflected in the books. In addition to being interesting tales, they have authentic educational value.
“Part of my intention was to include horse lessons in the stories as a way to share what I know with young people who want to learn,” she said.
According to an author biography on Square Peg Bookstore, Noble has won state championships in reining, western riding, and working hunter. She has trained students to compete in dressage, trail and barrel racing skills, among others.
When not in the arena teaching, she is found typing on the keyboard, telling the kind of horse stories she would have liked to read growing up.
She’s working on the third book in the series and is going on a book tour now that the gatherings are resuming.
“I’m fortunate to learn everything I have about horses, and I don’t want to keep that to myself,” Noble said.
Her books are available at the Dolores River Campground and online at the Square Peg, Amazon, and Barnes and Noble bookstores. Contact Noble at [email protected]