Clueless. I was a clueless child growing up. I wasn’t popular in school, intensely bullied until adulthood, and my family was secretive. I wish I could paint a rosier picture, but that’s how it was for me. I didn’t get people, their motivations, their insecurities, and their ability to be cruel.

At twelve years of age, my dad bought me a horse and saved my life. This new world at the stable engaged and challenged me in a positive way. Don’t get me wrong, I was clueless around horses, but they were patient teachers.

Some of the lessons were physically painful like when I was bucked off or stepped on or squished against a wall, but I liked the clearness of it; horses cut through the b.s.

Horses don’t lie, say one thing, and then do another, or blame others. They respond to what’s happening to them in real time.

Later in life, I became a horseback riding coach, mostly with children. I loved how horses and ponies drew shy riders out of their shells giving them confidence and I wanted to provide a safe place for children to have fun. That was my farm, Free Spirit from 2004-2013.

Growing up with adversity had its advantages because today I’m resilient, creative, intuitive, empathetic, and forgiving.

I’ve always been a storyteller. When I was middle aged, I began to see patterns of behavior with my fellow humans. I identified with your pain, anxiety, happiness, and rejoiced in your equine achievements. You will see yourself in my stories because my characters are based on you! Magical realism let’s me crank it up a notch.

So, who is your author, Jackie Poirier? She’s bright, optimistic, has two traditionally published short stories, The Rona, and Psychic Vampire, and is about to set loose onto the universe three books, Dark Horse, Maximum Overdrive, and Warhorses.

Am I still clueless? I hope so because it’s allowed me to go places that cognizant people wouldn’t dare; that’s the beauty of it.