Date of Award

12-15-2014

Document Type

Open Access Thesis

Department

English Language and Literatures

First Advisor

James Barilla

Abstract

This is a memoir of my experiences as a horse lover and professional horse trainer, and the startling parallels I discovered in the Los Angeles equestrian and entertainment industries. Both worlds revolve around commodifying something that is rooted in beauty but somehow gets bruised in the process of spinning art into business. I found that my taste for romance and adventure spurred me to new heights and simultaneously crashed against reality. In pursuit of the big prizes, I was willing to slowly sell off the things I cared about most to get what I wanted, until I woke up to what I really needed. This is a trainer’s guide to the Grand Prix, including lessons on how to ride, mistakes to avoid, and a reminder that the innocence and generosity at the heart of a horse is the best prize of all.

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