Anderson Stables is an equine training facility in upstate New York that specializes in retraining thoroughbreds fresh off the racetrack. The stable is owned by racehorse trainer Wes Anderson and his son, Vince.
Vince is also the stable’s barn manager and head trainer, but he always finds time to work with his own personal horse, Xander, who he rescued from abuse and trained for the sport of show jumping.
Dustin O’Brien was kicked out of his parents’ house at seventeen for being gay. At nineteen, after two years of living on the streets, Dustin meets Vince, who is a literal lifesaver. He gives Dustin a job as a stable hand – then they fall in love.
With the encouragement of his family and friends, especially Dustin, Vince and Xander are attempting to make the Olympic equestrian team. Of course, the road is far from easy. There are still other horses to train, a new relationship to keep, a son to help raise, and intense competition in the arena – all things that could potentially throw them off track.
The Story Behind the Story
A friend of mine asked if I would take care of her two horses for the winter. She was moving out of state for work, and it was just easier to leave them in New York until spring. So, I began feeding a sweet chestnut thoroughbred gelding named Jake.
My dad used to work at our local racetrack, and he always told me how mean and aggressive thoroughbreds were. Even as a horse person, his horror stories still drove me to avoid the breed when I could. Then I started visiting Jake. He was sweet and gentle, though a little silly. He completely changed my mind about the breed.
He changed my mind so much that I began leasing a thoroughbred of my own, hoping that the gray mare would ease the pain when my temporary winter horses went to their new home in April. That lease unfortunately did not work out, but it did lead directly to the creation of this book series.
I started leasing that horse in March of 2013, and as I worked with her I started forming an idea in my mind. What would it be like to work with these amazing animals right off the track? What would be the joys? The heartaches?
Within 48 hours I had the vaguest idea of what my fictious stable was called, who my trainers and stable hands were, and the background of the place. And I started writing, with no idea at all where it was going. Originally, I was only going to write about the actual training of horses, telling a new horse’s story with each book.
But then the characters and the plot took on a new life, and the true adventures of Vince and Dustin began. I’m really looking forward to where Team Anderson will take us.