Sunday, October 18, 2015

Sharing the Love with the Big Heart Ranch

I wrote the first draft of Cowgirl Jumped Over the Moon standing up at my breakfast bar twenty years ago.With the publication of the now polished version of the story, I am finding myself re-connecting with the horse world that I loved. 
At the Bank of Books in Malibu I shared the podium with Bobby Kane who is a volunteer worker at the Big Heart Ranch in Malibu.
Bobby Kane and Bella
The ranch is home to an array of farm animals; an alpaca; a rescued deer, and a couple of mini, as well as life-sized horses that are used to help people sort things out. Children from the Braille institute are regular visitors, veterans suffering from PTSD become grounded working with the animals, and those with substance abuse problems find a connection in the real world. It felt good to be a part of the healing work being done at the Big Heart Ranch every day.
Kristen and Billy the Kid

Bella  the mini-horse was the scene stealer, but Kristen and her baby goat also helped make the day special for all who stopped by to say hello. I fought back tears during my brief reading.  In the first chapter my protagonist has a riding accident that turns her world upside down and forces her on a journey of self-discovery that takes her to a place she never dreamed she would be. My own life has taken some wonderful turns since my injury forced me to change my ways. But, as I read the lines it felt like twenty years ago was just yesterday.
Linda and Ginger Back in the Day

Images of the day courtesy of Suzy Demeter

Adventure-travel writer, Linda Ballou, shares Great Outdoor days in L.A, as well as a host of travel articles on her site, along with information about her travel memoir, Lost Angel Walkabout-One Traveler’s Tales, her historical novel Wai-nani, A Voice from Old Hawai’i and her latest action-adventure novel The Cowgirl Jumped over the Moon at-