Grand National special: writing into (and out of) the Jeremy Vine Show…

I will never be asked on to the BBC (UK) radio programme, “The Jeremy Vine Show,” again.

Grand National article on How To Write Better 2019

My kind of Grand National … where the fences are a little smaller. And so are the “horses…”

Note to non-Brits: Jeremy Vine is a perfectly nice guy who does a great radio show here in the UK. He is also one of the patrons of a local charity I support here in my home town of Milton Keynes, England, called Ride High. So he’s an extra-nice guy.

Once upon a time Jeremy’s researchers thought they’d found the perfect cannon fodder: me

This was because I had written an article on the Grand National Horse race (the 2019 version of which takes place today near Liverpool, England) about the high number of equine casualties arising during the race where horses were maimed and sometimes killed. In 2011, in particular, there was really high casualty rate and coming up to the 2012 race, I let rip. (See below for the actual article I wrote.)

Ring… ring…how to terrify an interviewee so creating some real radio entertainment!!!

[Read more…]

Horsey jokes you’ll love, because you need a sense of humour…

Do you love, hate, or tolerate horses? Know someone else who loves them? Whatever your feelings you may as well laugh … and here are some useful opportunities.

The following is a sneak preview of one of my favourite jokes in my forthcoming book, 500 horse laughs for humans … to be published later this year with illustrations by the one and only Roger Penwill whose work is truly superb.

Jokes about horsesIt’s the sequel to my iconic, lovely, popular title The Horse Lover’s Joke Book which has sold nearly into the 6 figures ( a lot for a niche book) and continues to make horsey families laugh even 18 years after it was published.

Today, in the aftermath of International Women’s Day, here is some advice for young women making that tricky choice between their horse, and their boyfriend…

Why horses are better than boyfriends

[Read more…]

BUT is a hurtful word: what writing lesson can we learn from dressage?

Have you ever noticed how the word “but” can rip the positivity out of the words preceding it in whatever you’re writing …at the expense of your poor readers who may suffer from its nasty negativity?

why the word BUT can be unnecessarily negative

Dressage: Easy? Sure. Like threading a needle blindfolded is easy.

Being a weirdo, when I’m not writing in here or for my own books or my clients’ books and blogs, guess what I do in my spare time? I write. And none of this namby-pamby keyboard or touch screen stuff. This is hard core handwriting on paper with a pen, cramped up in a car or sometimes in a drafty little wooden shack with a leaking roof in pouring rain and no heating. In mid-winter. Sheer masochism? [Read more…]

Have a great Christmas!

Every good wish for a peaceful, restorative and happy Christmas from me and the crew here at

How To Write Better

Christmas greetings from How To Write Better with Suzan St Maur

Holiday best wishes to our equid friends too…

Suze xx

 

How to write about The Queen … of horses

“Canadien Horse?  Never heard of it,” said the magazine editor down the phone to me, “but write it up and we’ll have a look.” I had just read an article about the breed in an obscure Canadian historical magazine and had fallen in love with these tough, hardy, talented “little iron horses” as they’re known.

Article about the Queen's horse

HM Queen riding her famous horse “Burmese”, given to her by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police in 1969. Burmese was ridden by the Queen at every Trooping the Colour ceremony from 1969 to 1986. Many thanks for this image to Leonard Bentley.

Being Canadian myself, I was particularly enthused at the thought of introducing British readers to a Canadian product that’s lot more interesting than maple syrup, lumberjacks, or Toronto’s CN tower which once earned itself the dubious accolade of being “the largest free-standing erection in North America.”

I was also fascinated to learn more about what I imagine is, if not the only one, certainly one of the few North American “native” breeds not descended from horses left behind by the Spanish. [Read more…]

Pony jokes for daughters (and you may need them too)

Pony-mad children are gathering momentum for the northern hemisphere’s equestrian extravaganzas as schools close down for the summer.

Funny jokes about ponies

What’s the difference between a pony and a banana? Have you ever tried to peel a pony?

As most parents and other adult relatives/friends will know, such activities breed very high levels of adolescent hormones and resultant stress, anxiety, petulance, tantrums, sheer bloody mindedness and more: mainly, if not almost exclusively, amongst girls.

And these can cover a very wide range of disciplines, even within the pony confines. For example: [Read more…]

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