Melinda Folse (formerly Melinda Folse Kaitcer) is co-author of the bestseller Lessons Well Learned with Clinton Anderson (Trafalgar Square Books, 2009), author of Grandmaster: A Story of Struggle, Triumph and Taekwondo (about the life of Ninth Degree Taekwondo Grandmaster Won Chik Park), and a former senior writer at Time Warner’s Millionaire Blueprints Magazine.

Finding herself to be just one among millions of Baby Boomer women who once dreamed of horses and are now recapturing that dream, Melinda let her own struggles do the talking inThe Smart Woman’s Guide to Midlife Horses—a tongue-in-cheek account that is a little bit memoir, a little more self-help, a whole lot of practical guidebook, and all heart. This is the book Melinda wishes she had been able to find when she made the bold decision to get back in the saddle at age forty-five.

The author’s own midlife horse tale began with the purchase of Trace, a handsome bay gelding that was a pure dream-come-true to ride—until, that is, he decided to become, in the tradition of oysters-and-pearls, the agitating impetus for this book. To solve some problems while creating still others, she then added Rio, a little sorrel Colonel Freckles-bred gelding who seems to think he’s a dog. (For the uninitiated, Colonel Freckles is a AQHA Hall of Fame cutting horse known as much for his sweet-natured, trainable offspring as he is for his NCHA-winning speed and agility.) Although Rio couldn’t—and wouldn’t—cut a cow if his life depended on it, he does likes to show off his genetics from time to time with spectacular (and usually unexpected) 180-degree turns (sometimes at high speeds) whenever he sees something “flappy” (banner, tarp, particularly tall blade of grass). He redeems himself, however, by licking his owner affectionately and making donkey faces when she scratches his itchy spot. He would also follow her into the house if she’d let him. And one of these days, she might.

By Melinda Folse

Riding Through Thick & Thin

The Smart Woman’s Guide to Midlife Horses: Find Meaning, Magic and Mastery in the Second Half of Life