The Retired Racehorse Book: It’s a Maybe

originally published at Equestrian Ink

Sometimes I think that my greatest talent is coming up with awesome ideas and then sticking them on the back-burner until I have “time.” (As if “time” were something I was ever going to possess, to clench in my fist, to cackle a villainous laugh over. I’ve got you at last, Time! Probably not.)

Stuck on my backburner I have various art projects (what to do with that charming little Sam Savitt paperback before it decays entirely? Something amazing. I’ll look it up later), an entire manuscript imaginatively named The Eventing Novel (I’ll completely rewrite that eventually), and, most annoyingly of all, the Retired Racehorse book.

I’ve been planning the Retired Racehorse book since the day I started Retired Racehorse Blog. You might know it, a little WordPress project that made me moderately Internet Famous amongst a small proportion of Thoroughbred enthusiasts and got me a lot of Facebook friends. (Hi Facebook friends! xo) I meant to just keep training Off-Track Thoroughbreds and blog about their training as I went, and eventually put it all into a lovely retraining manual, since it can be difficult to consult a blog before you go out to ride.


But it spun all out of proportion and somehow I ended up a writer in New York City. I attribute this development directly to Retired Racehorse Blog, and I still want to write the book, out of appreciation, at the very least! The blog deserves its book!

The problem, of course, is that I’m not training horses anymore, and I can’t just make up fixes for problems. I don’t have a set curriculum for a horse. I’m not Natalie Keller Reinert Horsemanship MasterClass, Inc. My blog posts were mentally composed as I was riding, thinking through the problems that the horse was presenting me as I tried to trace them to their roots in his early training as a racehorse.

And then yesterday I was in the basement of the Strand Bookstore, which is one of my favorite places to be (certainly it’s my favorite basement) and I found a gorgeous little vintage hardcover of Ahlerich: The Making of a Dressage World Champion, by Reiner Klimke. It’s basically a detailed—incredibly detailed—training diary of one of the most wonderful dressage teams we’ve ever seen. Just wonderful.

I didn’t buy it, because it was $40 and my price limit for books is closer to $1.

But it did remind me that I had a perfectly good diary of training a retired racehorse from racetrack to amateur eventer in five months, and I really ought to pull the Retired Racehorse Book off that back-burner.

Except I still really don’t have time.

And then today I saw a WordPress plug-in called Anthologize, which is supposed to make your blog into a book automagically, and I thought, this is the sign! I’ll do it today! 

But then I read the instructions, and it doesn’t work on hosted blogs. (i.e. dot wordpress dot com blogs, aka free blogs.)

So I pulled out my hair for a few minutes (it’s really long and I can spare a few strands) and then took a deep breath. I’ll still do the Retired Racehorse Book. Just not at this exact moment. When I have time.



Filed under The Retired Racehorse Book, writing

7 responses to “The Retired Racehorse Book: It’s a Maybe

  1. Dammit, now I have to have that Klimke book.

    Why the heck even have that plug-in if it doesn’t work? What’s up with that WordPress?

  2. Oh, it’s for people that own their own blogs. I own and host it on WordPress.ORG… this is WordPress.COM…

    The book is pretty sweet.

  3. Oh Natalie…please do write that book…it will help so many.

  4. Too bad Anthologize doesn’t work like you hoped–even got my hopes up for a possible idea I’ve been tossing around. Dang!

  5. It might work for Blogger… did you go and look?

  6. Love the Strand… been lost in there on many a rainy day.
    Love Reiner Klimke and Ahlerich – must have that book asap.

    Set aside a (tiny) chunk of time every day and write that book – I know it would be great!

  7. Nicholas

    I’d buy that book (yours, not the $40 one).

    I’d probably buy yours at $40, but please, don’t price it that high.

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