Author Marjorie Simmins and Winnie at Roseway Stables Summer Show in July 2015.

All horse riders fall, but it was different when a horse threw author and writing instructor Majorie Simmins in May 2011. It would be two years before she rode again.

“In the olden days when we were much less careful about first aid it didn’t matter if you were a broken bleeding mess, they just put you back on the horse. That was the rule of horsemanship,” she says. “You had to get back on the horse on to avoid losing your nerve. They had a point I’ll tell you. It took me two years to get back on and it took everything I had to do it.”

Her new book, Year of the Horse (Pottersfield Press), chronicles her return to riding through the challenges and joys of “regaining her seat.” While the book is largely a memoir of her healing and history with horses, it’s also a solid backgrounder on the sport.

Simmins grew up in Vancouver, a short bicycle ride away from Southlands, a unique urban country neighbourhood peppered with stables, riding clubs, and horse trails. When she was 12, her mother bought the family a horse.

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