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An intimate examination of cowgirl narratives, horseback riding, and the characters and personalities of the animals who have accompanied the author from childhood to the present.
The Cowgirl and the Racehorse offers a moving, intimate, and richly descriptive memoir on the relationship between a girl and her horses. Beginning with a traumatic horse-riding accident, Wells reflects on the personalities and characters of the many horses—both real and fictional—who have accompanied her through often difficult life experiences, teaching her strength, resilience, discipline, care, and trust.
The Cowgirl and the Racehorse is also a scholarly reflection on the many cowgirl narratives—films, television shows, music, and books—that have marked the author’s life passages and which offer complex and compelling images for girls as they grow: particularly in terms of their independence of spirit and the social and familial expectations with which they are burdened. Finally, The Cowgirl and the Racehorse is a detailed examination of the ethical and societal questions raised by the sometimes dangerous and cruel, and sometimes seductive and compelling, world of horseback riding.
About the Author
Ashley Wells is a writer living in Iowa City, Iowa. She teaches courses in rhetoric at the University of Iowa, including one on the rhetoric of cowgirls and freedom. Her work exploring cowgirl narratives has appeared in Bitch magazine, Connotation Press, and Jezebel. Wells earned her Master of Fine Arts degree in Creative Writing Nonfiction from California State University, Fresno.