Canadian indie musician Tamara Williamson offers an unbridled account of a life in the world of horses.
Pub date April 29, 2023 (Douglas & McIntyre)
From her first clever little bay pony, Stroller, to brilliant ribbon-winning Fletcher, Tamara Williamson recalls the many significant horses in her life, grappling with what it means to be horse-obsessed and what drives this desire to connect with horses. As Williamson discovers, during the tumultuous years of relationships with people and horses, these complicated equine creatures reflect back to us our best and worst selves.
Woven throughout the stories of individual horses in Williamson’s life is her own story of a creative, chaotic, challenging and adventurous life. Raised by an eccentric family, with a distant mother who disappeared into alcoholism and a charismatic father who left one sunny morning with a younger woman, Williamson struggles with dyslexia and a sense of increasing detachment. Horses, and the exacting sport of dressage, provide her with opportunities to connect, sometimes imperfectly. Her drive for accomplishment in equestrian sports, whether as a trainer or a rider, is regularly at odds with the fear that lingers from a traumatic childhood riding accident.
While reckoning with the financial and psychological expense of training and competition, and with the multitude of industries that benefit from horses, Williamson never loses sight of the enormous burden of responsibility she feels toward horses and the respect she has for their individual characters, memories and instincts. On the surface, The Mirror Horse is a book about horses—but beyond the bridles and braided manes, Williamson crafts a complex story about courage, family, and the unexpected places where we find a reflection of our souls.
As a rider you can confuse yourself with being the teacher, but horses are constantly showing us something important about ourselves. They are holding up a mirror.
“I have decided to donate 20 per cent of my royalties to a cause that is very important to me, The Canadian Horse Defence Coalition,” said Williamson. “CHDC works to help stop inhumane horse slaughter as well as the shipping of live horses to other countries for slaughter. To learn more information, get involved or make a donation, please visit https://canadianhorsedefencecoalition.org/ ”
What others are already saying:
“Honest, humorous, and full of wit and wisdom, Mirror Horse is a life’s journey of self-discovery told through horses. Tamara Williamson takes courage and aims right at the heart of how these creatures can be frustratingly difﬁcult to understand and yet so deft at holding up a mirror to our souls. Whether you’re an equestrian or not, these horse tales will keep you hanging onto the reins.” —Marie Caloz, journalist
* Mirror Horse is about an equestrian life, but it's also about an examined life: about what our relationships with animals teach us about ourselves, about the lessons the world is trying to teach us when we don't even realize it. Williamson is an engaging writer, telling a personal story with universal resonance.— Michael Barclay, author of Hearts On Fire: Six Years That Changed Canadian Music 2000-05
* The Canadian Horse Defence Coalition was offered a first glimpse at Tamara’s wonderful book Mirror Horse in 2021. It was an immense pleasure to read her reminisces and the life lessons that her love of horses instilled in her. Tamara writes with expected passion, but it was the honesty of her words that spoke; without guile, her prose is sincere and not masked with overt sentiment. Mirror Horse will naturally appeal to horse lovers of all ages, but it should also appeal to a wider audience interested in the animal-human bond and how this bond shapes our lives. We applaud Tamara’s first book and sincerely hope this is the first of many more.—The Canadian Horse Defence Coalition
Tamara Williamson is a multidisciplinary storyteller, musician, songwriter, producer, playwright, multimedia artist, podcaster and equestrian. She has toured internationally as a musician, recording albums as a solo artist and with her band Mrs. Torrance. Her award winning alternative musical-theatre debut The Break-Up Diet received rave reviews. Williamson is a lifelong horse enthusiast and equestrian coach. She runs a business creating music for dressage performances. Born and raised in London, England, she now lives in Uxbridge, ON. For more information, visit www.tamarawilliamson.ca.
Events – more event information on Tamara’s website join her for music and entertaining stories!
Saturday May 27, 2023 – Uxbridge book launch at Banjo Cidery (614 Sanford Rd. Uxbridge) 5-7:00 pm ET