Cory Iverson's junior year is off to a lousy start.
Publicly humiliated by the school's hottest guy and terrorized by a bullying band director, Cory flees sports try-outs and just about everything else she begins, earning a reputation as a loser as well as a quitter. But when her wandering dog leads her to the barn of a former Grand Prix rider, she finds a welcome refuge in the familiar world of horses.
It's not too long before she starts dreaming of showing in one of the country's most prestigious shows--a totally unrealistic hope--until she rescues a mysterious horse with some unusual talents. But her road to success is littered with roadblocks as events spin out of control: prescription painkillers appear in her mother's purse; her ballerina sister wastes away before her eyes; her boyfriend is keeping secrets; and her normally opinionated trainer becomes strangely evasive.
Worst of all, the horse show world is not what she imagined. It isn't long before Cory's winning spree attracts the attention of a brutal trainer with a string of unexplained horse deaths in her wake. When Cory lands in the crosshairs, she has to decide if she'll once again back down and flee or stand up for herself, her horse, and her dreams.
Inspired by everyday miracles, L.R. Trovillion weaves magical stories of hurting people who find hope through horses in her Maryland Equestrian Novel series. Although she earned a degree in Russian and spent a career in government service, her real love has been caring for and working with horses. That love shines through in her series, focusing on the healing power of horses in the lives of teens facing complex and sometimes dangerous family situations. Believing there is more to this world than meets the eye, she adds a dash of the supernatural to each story. L. R. Trovillion lives on a small horse farm in Maryland with her husband, daughter, and several animals that really run the place. Her other works have appeared in Baltimore magazine, Chicken Soup for the Soul, and various poetry anthologies.
Competition nerves. Performance nerves. Any time we are pushed beyond our comfort zone we can experience an anxiety that makes you very uncomfortable. In this scene, Cory is upping her game in the showjumping world taking on the dread triple combination of fences. She struggles with the desire to quit, to scale back, to play it safe. But what is the ultimate price of playing it safe your whole life? Douglas MacArthur is quoted as saying: "Age wrinkles the body. Quitting wrinkles the soul." I know I've faced many challenges when I wanted to quit riding horses as well as quit writing novels. Quit working so hard. But each time I remember how great it feels to press on, overcome obstacles, and decide to up my game instead.
False Gods: The Show Jumper's Challenge
AS SOON AS Pressman landed over the brick wall jump on the outside line, Cory snapped her head around, searching out the last combination of fences on the show course—the triple. Three huge oxers loomed across the entire diagonal length of the indoor arena. She’d practiced this type of combination at home, and she knew he could do it, but now they looked so much bigger. Show nerves. Everyone was watching. But like Vee had told her, galloping around a course of big fences on top a thousand pounds of horse thrust is no time to be grappling with a case of nerves.